Open Mic Night

A few of our in-person events were not live-streamed during the festival and were only seen on the Green. We're bringing those shows to you NOW on our virtual stage! We'll be broadcasting something new every Thursday at 5PM EST on Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo, and our Virtual Stage.

Come out to Open Mic Night at the Festival Center for an evening of listening and being heard. The show will be emceed by professional performing artist and mentor Influence (Sharmont Little), with appearances by State of Connecticut Beat Poet Laureate Dee Truepoetry (Darlene Fernandez) and spoken word and rap phenom AnUrbanNerd (Josh Brown). 



AnUrbanNerd has been writing and performing for more than 15 years. He is a Poet, Spoken Word artist and Rap artist with a background in education and engineering. He brings a number of experiences to his craft being able to connect with a wide audience. He spent years suppressing his gift trying to avoid being a stereotypical black man who raps, however he learned that “our gifts are not your own” and now he makes sure to give his gift back whenever he can. He has published several poems and has written and distributed two Music EP’s. He currently Teaches in the New London District where his goal is to provide more opportunities for students to express themselves.


Sharmont “Influence” Little is a Poet from New Haven Ct. Who has been called engaging, prolific and truly passionate. He uses the art form of Spoken Word to deliver his message and belief, as quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Influence’s goal is to educate and inspire people of all ages and mind sets, with a strong focus on the youth of the inner cities. He has performed all over the country using Colleges like Yale, Virginia State, Boston University and host of Public schools as his platform to reach the youth of today. As well as performing at some of the most historic poetry venues such as the Nuyorican poetry Café in New York City and the Lizards Lounge in Cambridge MA just to name a few. Influence made a name for himself as a slam poet wining over a 100 slams nationwide and being a four time member of the Connecticut slam team Verbal Slap including coaching the team in 2017 and wining the Grad Slam Championship in 2018. He has shared the stage with musical entertainers Common, Mos Def and R&B artist Rome. One of His greatest accomplishments. Is creating Influence A Life LLC, a for profit company established to service the community in various ways. Creating Work shops, Motivational Speaking with a focus on feeding and clothing the youth of his city New Haven . Influence’s first album was released in 2007 entitled Verbal Tears. If “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” then Sharmont “Influence” Little has made it a mission to use every ounce of his poetic talents to engage and enlighten his audience. Living by his own saying “Poetry is life, Live it”.

Dee Truepoetry

Darlene Fernandez aka Dee Truepoetry, State of Connecticut Beat Poet Laureate of 2018-2020, author of Broken Silence and Curator of many events like Grown and Sexy Poetry, Poetry Matters Movement and co curating Poets of the Round Table. Her passion is to make a difference in the community by inspiring others to use their voice, so together we can make a difference by implementing the arts in a positive light so we can continue healing. She believes we are all poetry and we matter. You can find her on all social platforms as DeeTruepoetry and her book is available on Amazon.