Are You Ready for the #BeHeard17 Kick Off?!

Are You Ready for the #BeHeard17 Kick Off?!

This Saturday, at 7:00p at the Black Dog Cafe in Saint Paul, we launch into a season of heart wrenching, thoughtful and eloquent poetry by young Minnesotans – will you be there!

Through a series of eight poetry slams, Be Heard seeks to identify six youth poets who will both represent Minnesota at the annual international Brave New Voices youth poetry slam and festival in San Francisco in summer 2017, and serve as the #BeHeard17 cohort for the duration of the year, receiving mentorship in writing, performing, and arts leadership.

While the competition element of the series represents an incredible opportunity for the top six poets, the series itself is set up as a space for everyone—from youth slam veterans, to first-timers, to the audience itself—to build community through art, present counter-narratives, and call into being the world in which we want to live. As always, “the points are not the point; the point is the poetry!”

For poets interested in registering for #Beheard17, there is still time! Click here to sign up for an upcoming preliminary bout!

Find additional ways to get involved at, and on social media: @TruArtSpeaks. The hashtag for the series is #BeHeard17. _____________________________________________________________

Mark Your Calendars: TruArtSpeaks presents “Rose Gold” written and performed by Zhalarina Sanders at 7:00p on Saturday February 18th, 2017 at Pillsbury House Theater!

Through the mediums monologue, poetry, and rap, Rose Gold recounts the tragedy of black motherhood and the glory of its daughters. This one-person play explores the relations of black women in light of traumas old and new. Bobbie- Marilyn is a mother. It is her most painful reality. Consumed with guilt, she is determined to correct a mistake from her past, realizing that there may be greater obstacles in the way of this than her own sister.

This special, one-night-only showing of “Rose Gold” is tied to TruArtSpeaks’ “Flip the Script!” conference the following day, where Sanders will be working with MN teen poets and guarantees a packed house! Reserve your tickets now! _____________________________________________________________

Are you a youth poet interested in simply sharpening your skills in a community filled with your peers? The #FTS3 is for you!
The 3rd annual Flip the Script! Writing & Performance conference is a space for young writers to zero in on craft and presentation. Sign up now! 





 #ReVerbOpenMic promises to be filled with high poetic energy in the coming weeks. Featuring poets, excess and singers like Alicia Steele, Donte Collins and BDotCroc with attendees such as yourself! This is going to be a great season!
See you at Golden Thyme Cafe from 6-8p every Thursday! _____________________________________________________________

 #ReVerbOpenMic is back in full effect for 2017 and brings to you a NEW HOST! Please welcome Armand McCoy, TruArtSpeaks and #BeHeard program alumnus to the open mic family!

Born in March of 98, Armand Fenelon McCoy is an 18 year old Poet based in Minnesota. Growing up in the midway area of Saint Paul, he attended French Immersion for 7 years, where his first writings emerged as rhyming poems and fast paced short stories. Having always been interested in the arts, Armand picked up the violin in elementary school, played for 3 few years, then switched to the piano, and has been practicing Blues and Jazz piano since. Throughout his life,  he’s expanded his writing style to the realms of hip/hop lyrics and raps, mythopoeic works, prose, slam, and many other established forms of poetry. Armand ventured into the local poetry scene in 2012 when he started performing at open mics in the twin cities. He became involved with TruArtSpeaks through the Soul Sounds Open Mic, (Now the Re-Verb Open Mic) and was drawn to their programs, including their slam series.

He competed in the 2015 Be Heard MN Poetry Slam Series and made a team, that went on to represent Minnesota at the Brave New Voices National Poetry Festival, which took place in Atlanta GA that year. Minnesota placed 3rd at Semi-Finals, and Armand was even selected to perform a piece on the finals stage as the sacrificial poet of the night. He has since started a year long internship with TruArtSpeaks, and looks forward to participating in their slam series again this January. Other plans for the near future involve releasing a chapbook, a mixtape, and staying active in the streets. _____________________________________________________________


As always, connect with us on social media via @truartspeaks and we will see you at an event!

Get Connected: Power Youth Voice with TruArtSpeaks

May Banner

We’re grateful for the chance to build with so many people at In the Heart of the Beast‘s annual May Day Festival in Powderhorn Park. The theme this year was Black Lives Matter, and as people all over the country take to the streets, we are reminded of the role that art– and especially spoken-word– can play in movement-building. At TruArtSpeaks, we believe in the power of communities to organize, and for artists to be part of that work– as signal-boosters, as re-framers, as the people’s media and beyond– so we move into May with a sense of urgency.

YesYesYes flyerUpcoming Events

  • #YesYesYes: Wednesday, May 20 at Intermedia Arts: TruArtSpeaks is proud to co-sponsor #YesYesYes; featuring Guante, Chava Gabrielle, and many other local artists, this will be an evening of spoken-word about consent and healthy sexuality. 7pm. $5 donation appreciated.
  • The weekly ReVerb open mic: all through the summer and beyond, we will continue to host our weekly, all-ages open mic. Every Thursday at 6pm at Golden Thyme Cafe in St. Paul.
  • The Sendoff: stay tuned for details on our annual sendoff show.

BH 2015 Team w ArmandBe Heard Team Update: Welcome Armand McCoy

In April, the make-up of the 2015 Be Heard MN youth poetry slam team changed. The brilliant and bold Isha Camara was unable to move forward with the 2015 team which created a platform for a new and exciting young voice:  Armand McCoy, the first alternate in line to join the Be Heard team. Welcome Armand! We will be showcasing every member of the team here over the next few months.

The team has also started practicing; under the guidance of coach and poetry slam champion Khary Jackson, they are writing, revising, and collaborating with each other, all in preparation for the trip to Atlanta this July. Stay tuned for updates on the big sendoff show, as well as a performance at the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market, and more.


There’s still time to put #7UpForSocialChdonor flyer 2ange and support the work that TruArtSpeaks does. From youth leadership development, to creating spaces for expression and community-building, to much more– you can help us keep growing for just $7. Thanks to everyone who has already gotten down with the campaign! Click here to add your name to our supporters.



Hope to see you at an event, at the open mic, or in the community. In the meantime, be sure to get at us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr!

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