Ivan Villegas, 16, walked in the packed auditorium of Cherry Creek High School on February 4th and immediately wanted to leave. He told AfA Program Manager, MJ Smart, that he wouldn’t have agreed to perform if he knew how big the audience would be. There were roughly 250 people filling the room. The energy was high and people were anxious for the opening ceremony of the Diversity Fair to begin.
Ivan, keen to the energy of the room, started searching for a way to get out of his performance. Luckily, he was calmed by the confidence MJ and youth poet, Rachel Icolari, shared with him. Sweaty and shaky, Ivan jumped up out of his seat in the first row when the em cee called his name. He scurried across the stage, grabbed the mic free from the em cee and drew in a deep breathe.
With the confidence of a seasoned performer, Ivan introduced himself to the hundreds of spectators before him. “My poem is titled ‘Diversity,’ and it goes like this…”
Ivan knocked it out of the park! His piece was powerful and timely, and perfect for the event! The inspiration for Ivan’s piece came from his experience at Slam Nuba, a local poetry slam that his workshop attended last month.
Ivan is a pleasure to work with and an inspiration to all he comes in contact with. Welcome to the Art from Ashes family, Ivan!