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The word “infuse” has several different meanings. It can mean to inspire, to pour out, or to imbue, which is precisely the reason Jason Lalli chose this name for the performance event he hosts monthly at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Launched last May, Infuse Open Mic allows poets, musicians, dancers, comedians, singers and anyone with a performing art to come and showcase their talent.

The event makes it possible for self-expression to be explored because it is a place where, according to its website, “creativity can flourish, positivity is bred, and respect brings a community together.”

The untapped market for the many immensely talented, yet underappreciated, artists in the Phoenix metropolitan area is significant, and this event aids in developing a community of artistically gifted individuals.

Infuse is centered on the belief that the spoken word has the power to revolutionize perspectives, find fortitude with exposure and impact viewers far beyond comprehension.

Being part of the positive aspect of expression is a learning experience in understanding and confidence, Lalli said.

“Every show fuels my fire, because I watch the growth, camaraderie, creativity and passion of all the artists that come down,” he said. “My heart swells with love every time.”

The event strongly advocates for the idea that performing requires resilience and determination to cultivate a person’s unique identity. By using language to break through restrictions and structures, each person is able to find his/her personal voice.

There is one rule to attend Infuse: you must expose your passions, your vulnerabilities and also strengthen your voice.

The intimate environment offers support and catharsis to those who choose to participate, and many performers explain that having had the opportunity to display their work is a therapeutic release and awakening.

“It’s incredible to see the people shine on stage. I understand the courage it takes to expose your heart to an audience,” Lalli said. “Our community needs this positive outlet.”

The event runs at the Phoenix Art Museum from 7 to 10 p.m. the first Friday of every month. The next Infuse Open Mic will be on Feb. 4.

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