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Talent and connection at Encounters and WBMB open mic 

Screenshot from Encounters and WBMB | Instagram

WBMB and Encounters Magazine held an open mic event where students displayed a wide variety of artistic talent at Baruch College on April 9. 

The performances included spoken word, poetry, original songs, covers, short stories and a little bit of DJing. Patricia Prado, Encounters’ media manager and a programming member at WBMB, said the event was “meant to have a space for people so they can express themselves.” The event aimed to unite artists from WBMB and Encounters, as well as from the student body. “We cultivated a space where the intention was there to have music, art and spoken word celebrated,” Prado stated. 

Caroline Sánchez, WBMB’s executive secretary shared that the open mic was “an indicator of the growth that happens at Baruch, and served as inspiration for those who do not know where to start in their creative journey.”

The open mic participants created connections not only with each other but with the audience. It was a way for students to freely share their art, especially since getting involved in club culture can be hard for many working and commuting students to maintain. 

The event brought different artists who would have otherwise been separated by the limitations of specialized platforms. 

Martina Tamayo, a musical enterprises management major, sang for the crowd. She shared that she is in the process of producing some of her own music.      

“I think being in a space where you are heard and appreciated as an artist putting yourself out there is a very special thing to have,” Tamayo said. She added that the collaboration between clubs is important because it “nurtures the community aspect we sometimes don’t see in commuter schools such as Baruch.”

Encounters and WBMB cultivated a space where students could step up from the crowd and find encouragement to express their creativity. 

Digital marketing major Justin Calzado said he made some “really out there music and visuals” to share at the event. For Calzado, music is special because of  “the way it’s able to put people in a room who don’t know each other and allow them to vibe.”  Performers and attendees alike experienced some aspect of that, especially during a performance where the lights suddenly turned off and people took out their flashlights to bop along to a rendition of “My Shot” from “Hamilton.” 

WBMB and Encounters both plan on putting together a similar event in the future. WBMB hosted its annual Spring Fling music festival on April 18. The festival featured student artists and R&B singer Jordan Ward. Encounters will launch its spring 2024 issue on May 9. 

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