QVCC hosts 'Waiting for Yoko Ono' open mic event

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Killingly - posted Thu., Feb. 24, 2011
Audience members listen to Tim Pettus read his poetry at the open mic night at QVCC on Feb 23. Photos by Denise Coffey.
Audience members listen to Tim Pettus read his poetry at the open mic night at QVCC on Feb 23. Photos by Denise Coffey.

The Quinebaug Valley Community College fine arts and English departments sponsored their second open mic night in the Spirol Gallery on Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. Three Connecticut student poets began the event, which was called “Waiting for Yoko Ono," in tribute to the avant-garde Japanese author, artist and musician.

Tim Pettus from the University of Hartford, Hannah Watkins from Middlesex Community College and Joseph B. Welch from the University of Connecticut read their work to about 28 people. After the featured reading there was an open mic for poetry, spoken word and song. Students, faculty and members of the community were invited to participate.

Last fall, Professors Mark Szantyr and Brian Kaufman, poet Jon Andersen and Gallery Director Audrey Mucci first kicked around the idea of an open mic night. “We’re trying to have an effect in the Quiet Corner,” Szantyr said. “If people can write a poem or tell a story or take a photograph and you feel connection to the history of all that, isn’t that nice?”

“We would like people from the community to come. They can bring a guitar, a band, poems, or stories," said Szantyr. "I want people to relax, I want them to come in and sit on the pillows. I want to open this up to everyone.”

The school sponsors several visual arts shows a year in the Spirol Gallery featuring student, faculty, national and international artists. Szantyr wants to use the gallery more often. “Let’s put science in here. Let’s put math in here. I would love it if a math faculty would come in and go through a beautiful equation. I think there’s beauty in that. And we have physics people who could talk about beautiful physics moments. We have history people who could talk about things important to the world. That’s what we’re aiming for," Szantyr said. "I don’t want there to be edges. I want to blur everything.”

The title, “Waiting for Yoko Ono,” was a joke, Szantyr said. “We can wait and we’re just going to continue waiting. We have a chair set up for her with a reserved sign with a cup of tea.” Before the evening began, Kaufman read a letter from Ono, who wasn’t able to make the event. “You can invite Yoko Ono and you can actually get her to talk to you,” Szantyr said.



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