Jesi Cason Photography
By Nina Mendes
Spoken Beats began this summer when FGCU alumna, Elita Annette, recognized the lack of local platforms available for artists to share their creativity.
Annette contacted the Southwest Florida organization, Love Your Rebellion (LYR), to create a bi-monthly open mic-night for songwriters, poets and beat-makers.
LYR is a Fort Myers’ project that strives to empower oppressed voices through various art forms.
“It’s important for people to have a safe space to share their art,” Annette said. “Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our own heads with what we are working on that it can be helpful to share it to get another perspective.”
Angela Page is the founder of LYR. Her involvement in the SWFL music and art scene has been a presence for years.
Page was the frontwoman of a grunge/punk band.
She currently co-hosts a live show called Talking Tough that covers art, music, and culture in SWFL, which has appeared on WGCU.
“Art has boundless creative power,” Page said. “It has the power to move people, heal people, and change people. My hope is that the more folks who have the opportunity to come to express themselves, the more opportunities people will have to understand each other more deeply.”
The most recent LYR Spoken Beats took place on Oct. 6, at Beach Records.
Cody Smith, the vocalist of the Fort Myers’ act Cody & Co. performed an acoustic set at this month’s event.
“Love Your Rebellion gives a platform for every person, regardless of whatever factor they feel alienates them,” Smith said. “Spoken Beats gives me a chance to try out songs outside of my studio and see what actually works.”
People can sign up to perform at Spoken Beats on Facebook or can put their names on the list during the event.
The next Spoken Beats is scheduled for Dec. 1 and will be held at Beach Records again.
“I felt like there was a space missing in the scene for collaboration with music and poetry,” Annette said. “I wanted to create an all-inclusive space for all ages to come and do what they love.”