by Amanda Kennedy, @msamandakennedy, Founder of She’s the First*{Bryn Mawr}

She’s the First*{Bryn Mawr} (@shesthefirstBMC) is one of the newest campus chapters, founded this spring 2012 semester! We are located just west of Philadelphia, PA. I wanted our first big event to tie into the Voice Your Verse campaign, so our chapter began to imagine a She’s the First*{Bryn Mawr} Open Mic Night, but not just any open mic night…the best open mic night EVER! Our idea inspired this guide so that you can host one, too!

Feel free to use as many of these ideas as you’d like, or create your own!

FIND A PARTNER
We teamed up with another club on campus with a similar mission, Project Educate in Africa, since they are well established and know the ropes of putting on a large event.

PICK A PLACE & DATE
We reserved a lovely, large space in Thomas Great Hall, inside a building that looks like a castle (we even had an elaborate Harry Potter-themed end-of-year feast here, no joke).

DECIDE YOUR FORMAT

  • We decided to incorporate poetry readings from students, faculty, and administration into the evening, both of their own creation and from the She’s the First anthology, which will be released in April.
  • We also hope to invite students from two public all-girls high schools in Philadelphia to attend and read poems, as a way of establishing a mentoring relationship with them.

FIGURE OUT HOW TO RAISE MONEY

  • Students from the Tri-College Community (Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore) and members of the outside community will come free-of-charge to increase audience size, but we will also encourage donations.
  • An array of cupcakes will be on sale, and multiple kiosks will allow attendees to log on to purchase the She’s the First Poetry Anthology online.

SEE IF YOU CAN GET FUNDING

  • We created a budget and then applied for funding from two large student groups on campus
  • To reduce cost, don’t forget that you can reach out to local businesses to donate food, supplies, or door prizes.

ADD FLAIR!

  • Delicious food from a local restaurant will fill the bellies of our audience members before poetry readings begin
  • She’s the First Founder/President Tammy Tibbetts, located not too far away in New York City, will be our guest speaker!

SPREAD THE WORD
We will advertise in our campus newspaper, the alumnae newsletter, our local Patch.com and a local magazine. We’ll send out plenty of tweets and Facebook notifications! We’ll create fliers, posters, and “table tents” (for our dining halls). Sidewalk chalk will also be involved!

Have your own ideas? Tweet them to @shesthefirst — we’ll RT them for all to see!