Students shine at Zipser Open-Mic Night.
Students shine at Zipser Open-Mic Night.

MSU’s Zipser Open-Mic Night gives students the chance to showcase their talents.

As the vice president of community programming at Michigan State Hillel, event planning, promotion and production are a big part of my everyday life. Because I’m a student at the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State, I was excited to recently become an event planning intern for a new program series at MSU Hillel. 

There, I have been working very closely with Josh Rudman, the new Springboard Innovation Specialist from Hillel International, to put on Zipser Open-Mic Nights. This brand-new event series enables students a platform to showcase their performing talents. Zipser Open-Mic Night is open to any and all performances, which can range from singing, to stand-up comedy, to freestyle rapping and even a skit performance. The main purpose of this program is to enable and encourage students to practice and display their unique talents and be proud of what they can do. 

Students shine at Zipser Open-Mic Night.
Students shine at Zipser Open-Mic Night.

Our vision for Zipser is to take our MSU Hillel event planning goals and tools and elevate them. One way we did that is by forming and bringing along with us our own Zipser House Band. The Zipser House Band is made of four Michigan State students. Throughout the program series, the band will be available to students, who can send the musicians music to learn to perform at the next Open-Mic Night. Students will also be able to practice with the band to perfect their performances.

One challenge of planning Zipser Open-Mic Night was finding a suitable venue. We ran into many obstacles, like finding venues that had the necessary space for the band to setup and play that could also provide food. Luckily, we reached out to Blue Owl Café of East Lansing, and we were pleasantly surprised with their response. Blue Owl Café already had its own open-mic program, and they needed some help with it. Zipser Open-Mic Night collaborated with Blue Owl’s “The Mic Drop” and packed the venue. Fans were enjoying the show outside the Blue Owl as well. 

Students shine at Zipser Open-Mic Night.
Students shine at Zipser Open-Mic Night.

There is a saying “don’t fix what isn’t broke,” but one can always continuously improve. I am so happy with how our program went; however, I’m excited to make our next Zipser Open-Mic Night even bigger and better! 

I hope that this program allows more people to go out and chase their singing careers or inspire people to find their passions and perform — just as I got to use my passion in getting the wonderful opportunity to plan such a fun event. 

Come check out the next Zipser Open-Mic Night at Blue Owl Café in East Lansing on Thursday, Nov. 18. The doors open at 6 p.m.

Avery Geller is a junior from West Bloomfield. 

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