Since its inception in 2017, The Poetry Room has been a home for poets and songwriters to hone their skills and a platform to showcase them. Founded by host, Masaki Takahashi under the guidance of Dylan Rogers, The Poetry Room open mic is fast paced, easily accessible, entertaining, and is unlike any other poetry open mic you may attend. Included into the mix is Masaki’s long-time friend, Kevin Nguyen who takes amazing, professional quality photos of the events and sets the music used for transitions between acts. Together, they have found a formula to reach the masses, build community, and give voice to a diverse group of blossoming poets and musicians while becoming Lansing’s mecca for major talent.
Save June & July, The Poetry Room takes place on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at the Robin Theatre in Lansing, MI’s REO Town Neighborhood. There is a line to sign up to perform that starts forming about a quarter to 7:00pm, the doors open at 7:00pm sharp, and the list to perform is usually full by 7:05pm. If you are not there by 7:30pm, it will be very difficult to find a seat. The show starts at 7:45pm.
The Poetry Room, which was recently featured on a billboard created by the City of Lansing, is free to attend, though there is a suggested donation of $5-$10. Each event has a loose theme that guests, and participants are encouraged, but not required, to consider. The Lansing based poetry & music talent performing at The Poetry Room shows the immense artistic talent that Michigan’s Capital City possesses, or as Masaki puts it, “all killers, no fillers”.
Masaki Takahashi is the host and founder of The Poetry Room. Heavily influenced by hip hop and the elements of improvisation, he brings his skills to engage the crowd to have high powered events, which attracts the freshest talents from the surrounding areas. Masaki has been a featured poet for the Lansing 5:01 DamJam, the Lansing Poetry Club, Reo Town Readings, the 55th Annual East Lansing Art Festival, The Artist’s Umbrella, and Williamston Art Fest. He has been featured on HOMTV, The Mike Bass Podcast, LCC Radio “Lansing Loud & Local”, Michigan Business Network, The State News, The Citizen Press, and The City Pulse.
Masaki has participated in Freestyle battles at Freestyle Monday in NYC, and the UAB Freestyle Rap Competition. He is the winner of Scratch Pilot, MC competition at Green Door in Lansing, Michigan, and a finalist in the Michigan State University Poetry Slam Competition in 2012. He has been an opener for Detroit based rapper Invincible, and national touring poet Neil Hilborn. His work also allows him to run educational workshops in Everett New Tech High for programming, and another in poetry. By focusing on one school, he believes he can harness a better relationship with the school and students. Masaki holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Arts and Technology from Michigan State University, and another Bachelor of Science from Davenport University in Computer Science.
For more information on Masaki & The Poetry Room visit:
Thursday, Sept. 5th –Saturday, Sept. 7th, 2019
REO Town - Lansing
(Lansing, MI) – The 2019 Threadbare Mitten Film Festival, aptly titled “Bright Lights, Big City”, will be the first time the festival will be within the city limits of Lansing. The festival, which started in Charlotte, MI in 2017, will be taking place in Lansing’s REO Town neighborhood Thursday, September 5th – Saturday, September 7th, and will feature sixty two selections from thirteen different countries, however a third of the selections will be films from Michigan. The festival will also feature two free community screening events, four feature films, and a multitude of Michigan, U.S., and World Premiers. Participating venues for the festival will be REO Town staples Blue Owl Coffee, Reo Town Pub, and The Robin Theatre. Limited Festival Passes are available for $25.00. For more information, & to purchase tickets, visit www.threadbarefilmfest.com.
The Threadbare Mitten Film Festival (TMFF) was created to fill the perceived gap in the Michigan festival circuit between traditional "independent" film festivals and horror/sci-fi "genre" festivals. “I wanted to create a home for the odd and eccentric films that were slipping through the cracks, yet still deserved an appreciative audience,” said Dan Kofoed, the festival’s founder and director. A celebration of genre cinema, the TMFF has been described as a grassroots, anti-genre, but all-genre film festival. The festival’s films can play straight to their genre, blend between genres, or fall entirely into the gap between. The festival prides itself on featuring films crafted with pure artistry. “I don't mind if an independent film is occasionally a little 'threadbare' and shows the seams of its budget,” says Kofoed. TMFF also has a dedication to featuring films made in Michigan, or films that are created by Michigan filmmakers.
Other than the films themselves, another thing that sets the Threadbare Mitten Film Festival apart is their thematic programming. “We offer both a selection of films, and presentation of those films that is distinct and coherent,” said Kofoed. “We program our festival so that the audience knows what they are buying a ticket to.” The festival is broken up into different program blocks, including Michigan Student Films, Documentaries, Short Comedies, Michigan Feature Films, and Surreal Short Films. Each program block is of a piece, telling a larger story through the films within it.
The move to REO Town for the third year was partly from neighborhood pride, and partly in search of the larger local audience that Kofoed feels these films deserve. “REO Town lets us recreate the ‘small town’ atmosphere we are known for, while providing all the amenities that being in Lansing has to offer.” The Threadbare Mitten Film Festival has a few traditions that they are bringing with them to REO Town which include free public screenings, jury and audience awards featuring local handcrafted trophies, and the Friday night Film.Craft.Beer Party.
For a full list of films, directors, programs, and the entire 2019 Threadbare Mitten Film Festival Schedule visit: www.threadbarefilmfest.com/2019tmff
News about Opportunity Arts and it's Affiliates.
Seizing the Opportunity:
The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center Becomes an Opportunity Arts Affiliate.
Seizing the Opportunity:
The Poetry Room with
Masaki Takahashi becomes
Opportunity Arts Affiliates.