FAIRBORN — Local residents will have an opportunity to gather and share their poetry, prose and music, courtesy of a Fairborn small business. Xtra Pro Dev 101, located in downtown Fairborn, will be hosting an open mic night and poetry contest in its lounge on Feb. 5 and 6.
The event will take place twice, on Friday and Saturday night, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. This is in order to accommodate as many people as possible while abiding by social distancing measures, according to Xtra Pro Dev 101 owner and operator Sylvia Chess. The XPD101 lounge is located at 422 West Main Street, Fairborn. The event will also be streamed live on Facebook for a virtual audience.
The poetry contest is offering first, second and third prizes, sponsored by Pastor Genna Caldwell. Chess says she wants particularly for young people to participate in live music and performance, as much of that activity has been stifled across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The young people need something to do,” Chess said. “It’s a way for them to be highlighting their gifts and talents.”
Social distancing protocols will be in effect for those who wish to attend in person and attendees must wear a mask. Anyone who wishes to participate in the open mic night should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Chess is herself a poet and playwright. Xtra Pro Dev 101 in Fairborn is a multifaceted business that is at once a leasing office for downtown local business, a budding truck driving academy, and a platform for Chess to promote young entrepreneurs in the city of Fairborn.
“Fairborn has incredible potential for young entrepreneurs,” Chess said. “That’s why I chose to invest in this community.”
Much of Chess’ work stems from her experience growing up as an African-American in East Texas. She originally moved to the Springfield area as part of her job with a trucking company but chose to start her own business in Fairborn.
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.