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Motown Mic


MOTOWN MIC: The Spoken Word 2019 Artist of the Year: Mikhaella Norwood

To safeguard against COVID-19 and the spread of the novel coronavirus, Motown Museum has postponed our MOTOWN MIC: The Spoken Word competition series. The health and safety of our performance artists, attendees, staff and volunteers are our top priority. 

We will keep our community updated on the rescheduled dates.

Thank you for your interest and participation in this very important program.




Our open-to-the-public Spoken Word Competition series invites you to come share your talents, at Motown Museum during the month of April, for the chance to win $1,500!



Friday, April 3, 2020
Friday, April 10, 2020
Friday, April 17, 2020
Friday, April 24, 2020 

8:30 pm – 10:30 PM  Doors at 8:00 PM

At Motown Museum, Hitsville Gallery
$10 General Admission / $5 Students & Motown Museum Members
Tickets can be purchased online or at the Motown Museum Box Office.

Poets must register here by 5:00 PM the day of competition. Click below to register.

Poets will be judged on three areas: 

1. Content & creativity
2. Stage presence & presentation
3. Delivery

Entries must be:

• 3 minutes or less in length
If you exceed your three minutes, points will be deducted from your final score
• An original piece
• Clean – no profanity or overtly sexual content
• Poets must perform individually

All competing poets must check-in by 8:15 PM on the date registered for. Should a Poet not advance to the Finale round, they may sign up for another preliminary round that has space available.  In the event of a tie, poets will be asked to perform another original piece.

Poets must be 16 years or older to compete.  Poets under 18 must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian or present the performance and media release for minors signed by a parent/legal guardian.

At the end of each preliminary round, judges will choose two poets to advance to the Grand Finale Event.

Finalists will be offered artist development in preparation for the Finale Event.

Grand Finale Event

Come hear the top 10 Finalists as they compete to be named the Motown MIC: Spoken Word Artist of the Year!

Friday, May 15, 2020
The Garden Theater
3929 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201

Doors open at 7:30 PM, Showtime 8 PM

$15 General Admission (in advance) or $25 General Admission (at the door)
Tickets can be purchased online or at the Motown Museum Box Office.

The winner of the Grand Finale will be named the Motown MIC: The Spoken Word Artist of the Year, receive a $1,500 cash prize, be published on a literary broadside, featured on the Motown Museum website and in various Motown Museum events throughout the year.


Motown Mic: The Spoken Word was created to pay homage to Motown Records’ Black Forum Label— a Motown spoken word label created by Berry Gordy and the Motown Corporation in the ‘70s as a venue for Black expression and education. The label served to capture the voices of African American poets and orators such as Langston Hughes, Stokey Carmichael, Elaine Brown, Ossie Davis and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose moving and inspirational “I Have A Dream” speech was recorded by the label. As Motown revolutionized the music industry, its Black Forum Label documented the social consciousness of a generation— Motown Mic: The Spoken Word is a continuation of that rich legacy.

Motown Mic Features Motpwn Mic Gallery