Express Yourself! Open Mic Turns 20

Courtesy photo    Cathy Dana and Rev. Nancy Gordon celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Express Yourself.

Express Yourself! a local, open- mic event will celebrate its 20-year anniversary tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 17, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Home of Truth, 1300 Grand St. The open mic was founded 20 years ago by Rev. Nancy Joy Gordon, Rose Gregory and Alameda Poet Laureate Cathy Dana as a place for people to share their talents. 

People have read poetry, told stories, done stand-up comedy and improv, showed artwork, taught Tai Chi, sung original songs, and played piano, guitar, violin, trombone or ukulele at the event. Sometimes people share longtime talents; other times they try out a creative expression in front of an audience for the first time. 

Dana hosts the open mic, reminding the audience that their role is as important as the performers because, in sharing their gifts, performers are vulnerable. That means the audience needs to “hold the space” for the performers, and “beam love” to them. Express Yourself, modeled after the Marin Art Salon, meets third Fridays.  

The anniversary celebration features Express Yourself talents. “It’s going to be a fantastic night!” said Dana. “My husband, Jim, and I are doing a guitar-ukulele duet of ‘I Got You, Babe.’”

To learn more, write to cathydana@gmail.com.