I attended a spoken word event at The Ritz Theatre and Museum last Thursday. The attendance to the event was in part for my public relations class, and all of my classmates and I were there because of the class’ end of semester project. The end of semester project is a group project in which groups are supposed to be a PR firm or PR advisors, and we are tasked with the dutiful assignment of creating a PR plan to further get the theatre and museum out there to the public. We’re trying to get more people to come to the events, and experience the wonderful atmosphere at the Ritz. We also need to incorporate different ways of getting the people of Jacksonville to become aware of organization. See, the museum has been opened for about 11 years, however, it really hasn’t gotten as much attention, and I suppose, revenue as one would think it would. It’s a place where one can not only learn about Jacksonville’s historic African American community of La Villa , but also see different exhibits promoting local Jacksonville talent. Not to mention, besides it being a museum, one can also attend Jazz events, Amateur Night or Spoken Word. Its a place that really brings a certain type of class and old school atmosphere, and where people can really just have a good ol’ time.
I feel like its one of Jacksonville’s best kept secrets of places to go to, but it shouldn’t have to be. People should know that there are more museums than just The Mosh , or The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. I’m also certain that the people of Jacksonville would like the idea of a attending a Jazz Jamm night where different artist come out to perform Jazz, or a Spoken Word night where poets and poetry lovers join in for open mic.
On another note, I should’ve attended the Ritz a long time ago. It’s located in downtown Jacksonville on the corner of North Davis St. The sad thing is that I used to live downtown and pass by it all the time! I just, for some reason, didn’t really think anything of it. I never heard about it on the radio, television, nor any of the social media websites. So can you really blame me? Well, I know about it now, and when I went last Thursday to the Spoken Word event I really enjoyed myself. People are always saying that there isn’t anything interesting to do in Jacksonville, but then again, they probably haven’t heard of the Ritz. At the Spoken Word event, which happens every first Thursday of the month, people had a chance to let their voices be heard, to let their souls speak and just release a flow of thoughts artistically and soulfully. There were probably about about 30 – 40 people there, all eagerly waiting for the next poet to speak and all encouraging. There was no pressure. One didn’t have to be a perfect public speaking poet who had been doing it for years. Anyone who had something to say or express had the ability to go up to the front and take the mic. All individuals, from different walk paths of life, speaking their truths, their beliefs and their spoken word was absolutely inspiring and just plain awesome. I felt inspired, and with the courage of my fellow classmates; Santreese, Asad and Carolyn, I even went up there and did my thang, which is absolutely crazy because anyone who knows me knows I’m shy.
As I spoke out my thoughts, the eyes of the audience gazed upon me and I felt empowered. Some nodded as I spoke, and I then thought to myself “they feel me, they see where I’m coming from.”
Needless to say, I absolutely loved the experience. I will be going back next month, and I totally recommend it to all who visit Jacksonville, Fl.