Third Thursday Open Mic Reflection

by Emily Miksch, Associate Editor

Dr. Robin Carstensen, Corpus Christi Poet Laureate, reads

Dr. Robin Carstensen, Corpus Christi Poet Laureate and Windward Review Senior Executive Editor, opens up the reading. 

On April 18, The Art Museum of South Texas hosted their monthly “Third Thursday” event that consists of local vendors, activities for the family, music, and more. All people are welcome to experience this night, whether to connect with people in the community, indulge in art, or to do something completely new - it’s free!  

The factor of the event that truly captured my attention and created a glimpse into the sense of community for this day was the open mic. Although the evening started with people who were much more experienced in the idea and execution of creating a piece and giving it to a room of people, the sense of belonging encouraged others to take a step out of their comfort zone. The night brought a wide variety of people and their ideas, giving a small glimpse into the beauty of diversity in our community. 

Elijah X.A. Esquivel, local writer, at AMST

Elijah Esquivel, local writer and musician published in Windward Review Vols. 20-21, reads (above). Another reader captivates (below). 

Reader captivates at the AMST

From being captured in the world and culture of South Texas to the issues that are prevalent here and need to be fixed, it was clear that works were wide in variety and creativity. Transported by imagery, hearing some works truly stuck with and created a whole new world, hearing of “secluded rooms” and a “snake charmer”. Although some did not come prepared for reading, finding the courage to pick a piece of their thoughts and feelings were shown and given in the profession of feelings of an ex-lover.  Hearing each person stand up and share a part of their inner thoughts was inspiring, and it was evident as each person went up, another felt the courage to do the same.  

Talking to participant and local writer Dustin Hackfeld (below), I was put into the mind of exactly what thought processes someone goes through when it's open mic night.

Dustin Marley Hackfeld, local writer and former WR Associate Editor, at AMST reading

He says, “ I initially wanted to share a new poem but when I walked into the main gallery and saw Noe Perez’s beautiful landscape paintings I changed my mind. I decided to read a poem that I thought would complement Perez’s work. The piece is titled “The Cornucopian Body,” and, like Perez’s paintings, it is grounded in place.” Understanding how a small factor, such as the room that it takes place in can have such a big impact on what you give to the audience was an insightful thought to have the opportunity to hear.  

Reader at AMST

A reader takes the audience away, standing in front of artwork at the AMST. 

After a truly dazzling night, I have found a new part of the community that welcomes and encourages people to be their authentic selves in a unique manner. Knowing that even the smallest parts of the night can impact a person who is either speaking or just in the audience is an experience that is not like many others. If there is any way to put your thoughts, feelings, and values into words, I encourage you to share them with the people of this incredibly accepting and respectful group of people.  


Sette Glass sculptor's vendor

Third Thursday events are free to the entire public and features refreshments and vendors like Sette Glass (above).

The next Third Thursday Open Mic (FREE!) is this May 16th. Join us at 7pm in the middle atrium area, on the way to the HEB theatre.

You can follow the AMST on social media @artmuseumofsouthtexas, or on their website-