In 2005, DaVerse Lounge was created with the dream of creating a safe space for youth to experience an authentic connection with the community. Originally founded by Will Richey and Lisa Holland, DaVerse Lounge is an under-21 spoken word mic and interactive art experience in collaboration with spoken word clubs and writing workshops across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This event, produced in partnership between Big Thought and Journeyman Ink serves as an intergenerational celebration of the voice, culture, and creativity of North Texas.
Over the last 15 years, DaVerse Lounge has become a sacred space of healing, expression, and celebration, not only for youth but for the community as a whole. This gallery aims to display moments of this sacred space at its’ best. Every night at DaVerse Lounge, Will Richey leads the crowd in saying these words, “My voice has the power to speak my truth and share my light.” The DaVerse Lounge experience is more than anyone picture or one piece of art; it’s more than one person reciting a poem or someone busting out some sweet dance moves; it’s about a community coming together and taking time to share and to listen to one another. At its’ core, DaVerse Lounge connects people. It connects introverts to extroverts. It connects the brain to the heart. DaVerse Lounge transcends the boxes often placed on youth and frees attendees up to celebrate their joy, express their pain, and become whole.
Walking through the gallery, I hope you will begin to understand what it might be like for a young person to share their voice onstage with a group of strangers. I hope you might begin to imagine the feeling that a young person must have in realizing that this group of strangers is actually a community of people ready to listen and celebrate their voice and story. I hope you begin to see how a single positive experience at DaVerse Lounge for a young person can have a monumental effect on their life. And finally, if you have not experienced DaVerse Lounge for yourself, then I invite you to come out and join the movement and support youth voice in a way that only DaVerse Lounge can offer.