Spotlight On Youth Open Mic (SOY) has provided young people (ages 13-19) in the WNY area a safe and supportive space to share their artistic talents since 2004. All art forms are welcome. SOY is usually held on the 3rd Wednesday of every other month from 5:30-8:00 pm at Shea’s Smith Theatre (658 Main St., in the Theatre District and on the subway line). From 5:30-6:00pm, participants enjoy free pizza and can begin sign up for the open mic. Participation in the event is free and open to the public.
The SOY stage is the developing artists’ playground. Fostering a sense of safety and encouragement, SOY empowers our community’s youth to use art as a means of sharing their thoughts, their struggles, their triumphs, and their pride as they assert their place in this ever-complicated world. For many young people in our community, it is an essential tool in the forging of their identities. As longtime SOY participant, Byshop, states, “SOY is the place to be. It helps me build character and makes me a better person. I wish this was an every day event.”