Reacting Out Loud is devoted to uplifting poetry and affirming community.
We imagine a Muncie that recognizes and engages in efforts to strengthen the community, and uses poetry as a form of self-expression and connection. We aim to bridge the gap between Ball State University and the town itself through poetry, and we encourage both students and locals to venture out into their community and value its artistic movements.
In 2014, Executive Director Levi Todd moved to Muncie, Indiana as a student at Ball State University. He quickly realized that there was a strong artistic community in Muncie with numerous exhibitions, concerts, and music festivals, but that there was potential for greater connection between the Ball State campus and Muncie itself. He recognized the opportunity for a space where poets could gather routinely and share their work, and where students and local residents could interact.
Reacting Out Loud started as a monthly poetry open mic in April 2015 at The Cup. The event was open to both students and community members, and on its first night there was standing room only. Within a year, the audience quadrupled and demanded a larger venue, and served as an indicator that the community wanted more than just a monthly event. We now rotate our host venues to guarantee we serve different areas of the community, and we've hosted events at Two Cats Cafe, Cornerstone Center for the Arts, and the David Owsley Museum of Art.