Annual Juneteenth and Performing Arts Open Mic Event

Jun 14, 2024 5:00PM—7:00PM


Windsor Art Center 40 Mechanic St Windsor CT 06095


Event Contact Human Relations Commission | Email

Categories , ,


Friday • June 14, 2024 • 5:00pm-7:00pm

Free Event


This event is co-sponsored by the Windsor Art Center and the Windsor Human Relations Commission as part of their Juneteenth celebration also honoring the memory of the late Judge Kevin Washington. We are honored to announce the return of the dynamic Ms. Versatile Poetiq as our Master of Ceremonies. You’re invited to listen to the powerful words of others, or share your own during this event. All are welcome, free to attend!



Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, has been celebrated by African Americans for over 150 years. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas, that all enslaved people were officially freed after the end of the war. In recognition of this historic day, President Biden signed into law the designation of June 19 as a federal holiday to be celebrated by all Americans.

Spoken word poetry, deeply rooted in African American tradition, is a natural fit for Windsor’s Juneteenth celebrations. As the Poetry Foundation describes, spoken word has its origins in oral traditions and performance. It encompasses elements of rap, hip-hop, storytelling, theater, and various music genres such as jazz, rock, blues, and folk. Characterized by rhyme, repetition, improvisation, and wordplay, spoken word poems often tackle issues of social justice, politics, race, and community. Similar to slam poetry, spoken word utilizes music, sound, dance, and other forms of performance to connect with audiences.

This year, we are honored to welcome the amazing Hartford Troubadour poet, RapOet, as our guest speaker. We invite you to immerse yourself in this extraordinary spoken word experience that combines entertainment and depth.



The RapOet is the first Hip-Hop Troubadour of an American City. He found a way out of the

LES, NYC projects by choosing a scholarship over a major label oƯer from Def Jam. Since

then, he’s performed worldwide, become a State Poetry Slam Finalist, and seen his positive

use of Hip-Hop praised on platforms including NPR, Netflix, CPTV, the NY Times, the

International Hip-Hop Festival, President Obama & Biden’s Champions of Change, and


He has continued to lecture, mentor, study and teach the benefits of Hip-Hop Culture from

elementary school workshops all the way up to full college courses. As a live performer,

fans have seem him alongside Alice Walker, the Last Poets, KRS-ONE, Talib Kweli,

Common, Ludacris, Joyner Lucas, and more.

As a recording artist, he summited the Top 40 Indie Hip-Hop Charts with Mez Davis (of J

Cole’s Dreamville), reaching the top 2 and 3 spots with their underground classic album

“Manhattan Night”. The RapOet currently has 5 songs in Spotify’s Top 10% Most Played category.



Brittana VersatilePoetiq Tatum was born at Hartford Hospital and spent nine years in Simsbury, CT, followed by ten years in Avon, CT. While in high school, she played basketball with aspirations of playing in college. However, she discovered her passion for poetry and became a poet. She graduated from Avon High School in 2005 and pursued a marketing major at the University of Hartford starting in the fall of 2005. She set aside her basketball sneakers and picked up a pen to become a poet. In May 2009, she graduated from UHART with a degree in Business Administration.

For the past 15 years, Ms. VersatilePoetiq has been captivating audiences with her spoken word performances and sharing her expertise by teaching spoken word for 12 years. She is associated with Charter Oak Cultural Center and Arts for Learning Connecticut. Her teaching experience includes working with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at Two Rivers Middle School, where she taught Civic Engagement. She has also taught at Covenant Prep, Montessori Magnet School, Trinity Academy, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Milner Elementary, SANDS School, and Albert E. Burr School in Hartford, CT. Her reach extends across various towns in Connecticut, including New Haven, Windham, East Hartford, and Norwich. In the 2014-2015 academic year, she served as the Spoken Word teacher at The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts (Colt Campus). Notably, she has performed in front of 20,000 people at The Greater Hartford Jazz Festival in 2019 and 2021. Additionally, she hosted the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in 2019. Due to her universal appeal and unique blend of Spoken Word and Rap, she goes by the stage name Versatile Poetiq and encourages her students to address her as Ms. Versatile.