Poets, Rappers and Musicians Shatter the Bonds of Stigma with Inspiring Performances at Hope Is Alive! Open Mic 2

May 28, 2015

Chill Bill is on the mic at Hope Is Alive! Open Mic 2, cheered on by Pitt Fox and emcee, Amanda Flowers-Peterson

Nearly 20 Shasta County poets, rappers and musicians performed at the Hope Is Alive! 2 Open Mic Night event May 9, 2015, shedding light on their struggles and sharing how creativity has helped them deal with hard times and promote understanding. 

From grieving the loss of beloved relatives to struggling with depression and post-traumatic stress, the performers inspired and educated the nearly 100 people who attended and encouraged people to seek help when they need it.

“He had what he needed, but he couldn’t take that first step,” Margaret Quintana, who read poetry written by her son who died by suicide.”Please take that step. Talk to someone. Pick up a brochure. Ask for help. You are not alone. People care. People matter. Minds matter. And you matter.” 

You can watch several of the performances from Hope Is Alive 2! below. 

Hope Is Alive! Co-Founder Brandon Leake performs “Stop. Respect. Think.”
Burney High Rapper Chill Bill Performs “Life Goes On” and talks about the loss of his grandfather.
Margaret Quintana reads poems written by her son who died by suicide and issues a clarion call for hope.
Rap group, Pitt Crue, representing the Pit River tribe, share a song about cultural acceptance and overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress.
“They’re super sad, but trust me, they helped.” – Kallie reads her poems that have helped her process her father’s death.
Cole discusses his diagnosis of depression and reads his poetry.
Talisha shares poems written by her father who died by suicide.
Local poet Ronny makes his public debut with his poetry about love and loss.
“My name is Kenwani Cahee. I am Evening Wind. And I am no longer ashamed.” Kenwa (Wintu and Pit River) shares her story of overcoming trauma to find her place with her people.

Hope Is Alive! is an ongoing series of open mic nights held in Shasta County to celebrate how art and creativity can promote healing and understanding.  Hope Is Alive! 2: Think. Stop. Respect. was organized to celebrate National Mental Health Month this May. 

Hope Is Alive! open mic nights are organized by the Community Education Committee and Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency. 

To learn more, contact Christopher at (530) 229-8484 or cdiamond@co.shasta.ca.us and visit standagainststigma.com. 

To learn to recognize the signs someone may be thinking about suicide, go to Know the Signs.