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Diamond Bar has new venue for artistic expression


May 2008, By Maritza Velazquez

When 23-year-old David Romero was growing up, he didn't have an outlet for artistic expression. As a passionate poet, this Diamond Bar resident flocked to the Los Angeles poetry scene to get his kicks.

Now Romero is providing a venue for performing artists as well as free entertainment for those seeking something different through a new Diamond Bar Open Mic every Saturday night.

Students from Diamond Bar High Schools Calliope Club performed their poetry at the Open Mic at Starbucks on May 24th.

According to Diamond Bar High student Emily Robles, the poetry club is putting a bigger emphasis on the students actually performing and reading their poetry rather than just turning it in to be published at the end of the year.

So when she saw the flyer about the new open mic in her English class, she was ecstatic.

"Especially in high school, you only see poetry as the stuff you learn in English class, the 18-year-old said. Like the Shakespeare and the sonnets. Its very dry."

She said she hopes that the open mic will allow those her age to experience poetry in a different way.

For Romero, he also wants spoken word poets and musicians to feel comfortable while all eyes are on them.

"I want to provide a very open experience; a very encouraging experience. And accept the fact that not everyone is going to be great off the bat. Because really, everyone has to start somewhere," the Diamond Bar High School graduate said.

In addition to amateur performers, Romero invites a featured group or individual who takes the spotlight for about 20 minutes during the event.

So far, he's had a hip hop group and a couple of spoken word poets.

He said it gives locals a chance to experience something different from the typical movie or bar scene.

"For the people who aren't able to do those things because they don't have the money, open mics are great, Romero said. Youre getting stimulating entertainment and it's cheap."

Romero hosts the event every Saturday from 7 to 8:30 pm. Currently it's held at Starbucks in Diamond Bar, but according to Romero, this may change.

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