Quincy Not So Fine Arts Society
All of the children in the class who know what a poetry slam is please raise your hand, anyone, anyone?
Bueller? Bueller? Why am I not suprised?
OK, to be fair, I suppose I am merely assuming that no one knows what a poetry slam is, because I’m an elitist hater, but I happen to know for a fact that the contestants, judges and spectators (intentional or accidental) who attended the Quincy Not-So-Fine Arts Society’s inaugural slam April 2, 2011, know what a poetry slam is.
Poetry slams saw their birth in the mid ’80s in Chicago, Ill. Though rules and regulations oftentimes vary, the major themes remain the same: poets of all races, religions, colors and creeds assembling and reading their original works for sport. It is not unlike any standard professional sporting event you may have seen, judges (refs) that scrutinize your every word and fans that are encouraged to cheer and jeer at their leisure. It truly is a wonderful way for any writer to gain confidence in themselves and their work, and if they already have confidence in themselves and their work — well, have you ever seen a guitar player play a ridiculously fast solo? Same thing, only with words.
As usual, the folks at Brix Wine & Cheese were wonderful hosts of our happy little event; Brix has been the home base for every poetry slam the NSFA has held, and it is the perfect venue for such an event in size, acoustics and ambiance. Our celebrity judges were: Phil Quevillon: NSFA Senoir Activities director, Megan Duesterhaus: Executive Director of Quanada, and Rob Dwiyre of the Quincy Society of fine Arts, and this humble scribe served as master of ceremonies for the event. (To read Clinton Begley’s blog on last year’s slam, click here.)
Though the turn out for competitors was small, all of the talent was HUGE. For those who do not know, Quincy has a very strong and talented community of poets, and I have always been honored to count myself among those ranks. Briana Robertson, Chaz Robertson, Clara Robertson and Lincoln Brown stepped up to the plate and knocked verse after verse straight out of the park. As a writer, it is unbelievably exciting to be in the presence of talented writers spitting truth through their words. The audience was feeling it too, even the accidental spectators were fascinated by the strange humans with their iambic pentameter and stanzas. It truly was a magical event, and we are proud to extend our congratulations to this slam’s winner: Briana Robertson.
The NSFA society throws several slams and poetry related events every year so, if you haven’t already, join the facebook group to keep up on all the fun.
Tired of trying to convince others that you’re a good speller? Get your mouth in the game and end the debate once and for all at the Not So Fine Arts Society Spelling Bee at Great Debate Books Wednesday, Aug. 11. The bee is free, and the prize is the bees knees. The winner will receive free admission to any NSFAS event for an entire year!
The Quincy Not So Fine Arts Society is a grassroots arts organization that seeks to bring all forms of expression into the limelight in Quincy, and also other things that are just plain fun!
There are spots available for 25 contestants and they’ll be filled on a first come-first-serve basis so be sure to get there on time for sign up at 6:00. Verbs will start flying at 7 p.m. and spectators (read: hecklers) are encouraged.
This will be a clean bout as it’s an all ages event. So get your Evan O’Dorney wannabees to the gig and prove to the world that the “Q” in Quincy isn’t silent.
“Alternative to what?” a friend asked incredulously, when I shared the news about my new alternative arts blogging gig. Resisting the urge to wax snobbish and weave a tapestry of nonsense for him, I instead gave pause and considered his point.
In a nutshell, alternative art is an alternative to a putting art in a box, or perhaps more appropriately, a frame. Performance, found art, high concepts, soundscapes, installations, film, independent theater, design, community projects and any number of other possible avenues of expression could be covered here.
Artists are constantly pushing the envelope of expression and technique. They blur the lines between inspiration and entertainment and enrich our communities in the process. Through this forum, I hope to bring some attention to their creativity and craft.
While certainly not the only angler with its line in the water, an organization that has taken the alt-art bait hook, line-and-sinker is the Quincy Not So Fine Arts Society (NSFAS). Spearheaded by four Quincyans, the hodgepodge organization is “Dedicated to Illuminating the unheard/unseen music, theater, film, art, cooking and writing of Quincy and bringing it to the masses,” according to its Facebook page.
Having promoted such events as an “iron belly” competition, a traveling farce based upon the Lincoln Douglas debates and numerous other concerts and art exhibitions, the NSFAS has certainly made strides in helping to haul ashore the myriad of talent lurking in the waters of Quincy’s underground art scene.
While speaking with Alex Sanders, one of the group’s organizers, it was made clear that the laissez-faire approach to selecting the artists and styles of expression they choose to support has been an important key to their success thus far. “It’s really just about creating a venue for people to express themselves and get their creativity out there,” Sanders said.
The primary vehicle for delivering their guerrilla arts message has been the Internet, so check out their Facebook page and get your face to the next event.