Pensacola News Journal (01.31.13)
The Pensacola-based nonprofit Performers, Blessings & Jazz has been hosting an open microphone night since October each Saturday evening at the Belmont Building at 432 W. Belmont Street, Pensacola, in which local artists can display their talents. On February 2, the nonprofit group HIVevolution (formerly called Pensacola CARE Center) will join Performers, Blessings and Jazz for an HIV Awareness-themed open microphone night. This special event will honor National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), which will take place February 7. The open microphone event will include food, rapid HIV testing, and a spoken word performance by artists Quincy Hull and Rodney Jones. A talent competition called “Talent Lives on, Only…” will be presented, at which the winner will receive an Apple iPad and the chance to open for nationally recognized poets Shelton “Shakespear” Alexander and Sunni Patterson during NBHAAD on February 7. Nielah Spears, founder and artistic director of Performers, Blessings & Jazz, knows first-hand the void AIDS can leave behind, and declares that the two events will educate a younger generation about the realities of the disease.