Writing workshop and open mic night centering on queer and BIPOC voices comes to Astoria

“I’M FINNA TALK,” an evening of community, creation and unapologetic self-expression, will take place in Astoria on Oct. 27. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Reiss)

All poets, writers, comedians, singers and creatives are welcome to a writing workshop and open mic night in Astoria that will center on queer and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) voices.

On Oct. 27 from 6 to 10 p.m., Michelle Reiss and Julissa Contreras will co-host “I’M FINNA TALK,” an evening of community, creation and unapologetic self-expression. Everything at the event will be free of charge — plants, food, plant medicine and journals.

The inspiration behind this event came from the life experience of Reiss, who identifies as queer and Latinx and is an up-and-coming comedian and writer.

“After going to a few open mics throughout New York City, I saw that most of these spaces were taken up by straight cis white men for the most part, and I wanted something else,” Reiss said. “I craved a space where people would go to feel supported in their art as well as find community amongst folks that have the same passions, and that’s how this idea of a space centered for Queer and BIPOC folks came to fruition.”

After receiving the City Artist Corps Grant earlier this fall, Reiss seized the opportunity to host the open mic, knowing she could finally reinvest in a local venue, local photographers, local videographers and local organizations.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Reiss
Photo courtesy of Michelle Reiss

The event is called “I’M FINNA TALK” as a call back to New York vocabulary. Reiss explained that the phrase is used when someone wants to talk and be heard, which is exactly what they want to do with this event.

“We are trying to make people feel validated and heard amongst their peers, which is not common for open mics,” she said.

The night will start off with the writing workshop, where attendees will have time for personal writing, followed by the open mic.

Throughout the night, the hosts will be handing out free journals sourced from a local Brooklyn woman-owned shop, free plants distributed by local organization Plant Xchange, free plant medicine and free snacks.

“I hope this event helps attendees find community in things they are passionate about as well as connecting with folks that share intersectional identities together,” Reiss said.

There are limited spots, so anyone who is interested should RSVP on Eventbrite.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Reiss

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