The city of Houston was blessed with The Second Annual Art + Music Festival held at The Secret Group. Artists of all forms from poetry to comedy showcased their talents. Hosted by EVOLVERSI, the event gave performers a platform to display what some have been doing for years. Providing artists with an opportunity to be heard and recognized, the festival started when founders Summer Woods and Russell Reinhart believed, “artists should never pay to perform and should, in fact, be paid themselves,” and decided to put on their own events. Some of the performers and people in attendance were artist Q. Guyton, Erva Carter, Tim Woods, comedian JCann, Self the Poet, and Doughbeezy, to name a few.

The evening started off with a poetry slam hosted by the Writers Block. Poets stepped on stage and spoke on topics ranging from sexism to appropriation, giving the audience food for thought for the car ride home. While those events were happening, booths were selling merchandise like artwork, jewelry, and clothes throughout the night.

Following that was comedy and music from artists all around. You had the choice to go back and forth to both depending on what you were feeling at the time. Musicians from different genres gave the audience a show. If one thing wasn’t for you, there was going to be someone who was. The comedy room was placed in a smaller room, setting a more personal vibe with the person on stage and the audience. One comedian, Teddy Redd, took the opportunity to go into the crowd and get close to his audience. There was also body art on display, done quite elegantly by Gr8paint.

Drinks were provided at the bar for anyone wanting to indulge. There was a food truck outside the establishment for those wanting to get their grub on. Everything considered the event was a great experience full of talented, gifted artists with a passion for expressing themselves through art.

Russell Reinhart had this to say about what he wanted people to take from the event, “We wanted people to experience something new and exciting, discover something that makes them happy that they would not have otherwise experienced. Most importantly we want the artists to have experienced a genuine show that is designed for them and not just to make a dollar. We want them to have come out and grown from working with us.” Russell and Summer put together a wonderful event, bringing together the people of Houston under one roof to support art and music.