April 2020

The Arts Center At NYU Abu Dhabi takes Rooftop Rhythms online for eighth anniversary poetry open mic night

The Arts Center At NYU Abu Dhabi takes Rooftop Rhythms online for eighth anniversary poetry open mic night

Abu Dhabi, March 23, 2020 – The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi will take the eighth anniversary Rooftop Rhythms Poetry Open Mic Night online on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 8pm (GMT+4) so that the arts and audiences may stay connected despite current social distancing guidelines. This edition of Rooftop Rhythms, the Middle East’s longest-running open mic night series, will feature the first-ever Abu Dhabi virtual poetry open mic night with participants at different locations streamed into a Facebook live feed.
Launched in 2012 by Dorian Paul Rogers, the Rooftop Rhythms series has become one of Abu Dhabi’s popular traditions that invites students, the general public, and performers to use spoken word, poetry, and Hip-Hop as a form of expression and community building. Rogers will host, accompanied by DJ A.L.L.A.D. spinning tunes throughout.

Speaking on the eighth anniversary, the founder of Rooftop Rhythms Dorian Paul Rogers commented, “I can’t believe it’s been eight years since we first started hosting our monthly open mic night. It’s surreal to witness how poets began as novices on our stage and are now making a living off of their craft as poets and performance artists.

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi’s partnership has given us a cultural home on NYU Abu Dhabi’s campus and their production support takes the event to the next level. The UAE artistic community has been a force to be reckoned with for some time now, and artists are at a point in which they are primed for more international opportunities.

Going live for our first ever virtual show on is a big step for us. While we are doing this particular show out of necessity for the purpose of social distancing, this platform of performing could be used in the future to welcome international performers who may not be able to physically attend our events and expose our locally based artists to the rest of the world.

We are excited for what the future has in store for the UAE performance arts scene as the talent is abundant here.”

Executive Artistic Director of The Arts Center at NYUAD Bill Bragin explained: “The arts have a special power to bring people together and make connections. Through technology, we have the opportunity to continue that work, despite the challenges that surround us. Since its founding eight years ago, Rooftop Rhythms has been an essential platform for connecting the people of the UAE in a celebration of self-expression, so it’s fitting that this iconic Abu Dhabi event becomes the centerpiece of our first experiment with creating a real-time virtual open mic. We’re especially grateful to our technical team, who have been working through ways to bring the event to audiences. And we are happy for the opportunity to bring the talented voices of the UAE to international audiences.”

Rooftop Rhythms and The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi are committed to providing a platform for locally-based artists to share their original creative work in front of a supportive community. In an effort to foster local talent, all participating artists must play or sing original material.

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