On Thursday afternoons, in the LC Building Courtyard, the Scottsdale Community College Language and Communication Center hosts a weekly open-mic event called Retro Muse.
The event was created 20 years ago by English faculty member and creative writing instructor Sandra Desjardins, as a creative outlet for students to share their original poetry and music with others.
Desjardins recalls why she originally started the creative forum.
“I created it years ago. I came out of class and saw my students sitting in the dirt reading poetry to each other and playing their guitars and I asked if they’d be interested in having a place to gather and share their work,” Desjardins said.
The name “Retro Muse” was chosen by Desjardins with the Greek Muses of poetry in mind.
“It’s very retro too, in terms of how in the 50s and 60s people would share poetry,” said Desjardins.
Participants could be students taking Desjardins class, former students and current students from any of the 10 Maricopa County Community Colleges.
“This is the only open mic opportunity at all the Maricopa schools, even ASU doesn’t have something like this,” Desjardins said.
Retro Muse has made quite an impression on Etta Yule, who has attended and performed at the event for ten years.
“I love hearing and witnessing the artistic side of people, the exposure on stage really helps with stage fright and expression,” Yule said.
The audience ranges from college students to adults and even some instructors, who would share their covers of songs, handwritten poetry, or even Macbeth recitations.
For Valentines’ day an older couple exchanged performances of original love poems they had written for each other.