When Hannah Hasan speaks, you listen.
You feel the cadence of her words throughout your body, like a heartbeat. Her voice commands your ear. But it’s the words she speaks that touch your soul, provoke thought and with any luck, spark action.
In an society consumed with handheld devices and keyboards and wireless connections, the art of spoken word builds real, human connection. Poetry has been around, and will be around forever and is an artform that makes people feel something. It makes them feel connected. Spoken word is an extension of that.
Hasan, a spoken word artist in Charlotte, has been using her gift of speech to inspire since her first open mic appearance in 2002.
“I discovered my passion for spoken word during my freshman year in college,” Hasan said. “I saw a sign in my dorm for an open mic night. I had written poetry for quite a few years at that point, and I felt like I needed to be a part of the open mic night. I started performing then, and essentially I haven't stopped”
Hasan spent time as a spoken word advisor with Playing For Others (PFO), a local nonprofit which provides a space for teens to explore and answer the questions, “Who Am I?” and “How will I give of that?” through programming in personal development, service, and the arts.
“It was three years that helped me to grow as an artist, a mentor, and essentially a human being,” Hasan said. “My time there was really what I needed to give myself permission to pursue my own path. I'm now using the beautiful art of spoken word and storytelling to create impactful projects, consult, and mentor through my own platform -- Epoch Tribe.”
Hasan hopes that her time at PFO inspired a next generation of artists to be bold in their pursuit of excellence.
“Bold art creates conversation,” Hasan said. “Bold artists move the needle. I always encouraged them to know who they were and to use that -- whatever it might be -- to create great art. I hope my mentorship reminded these amazing young people that they don't have to wait to be great. They are ready now. This is how we change our world.”
During last fall’s #GivingTuesdayCLT, Hasan wrote “Do Your Part to Make Charlotte Stronger.” (Watch Now)
“As a community, we can do so much to make Charlotte stronger,” Hasan said. “I think that begins with uplifting the voices and experiences of marginalized people. In order for Charlotte to grow as a city, we have to make sure that everyone has a seat at the table. We have to make a concerted effort to reach within our city and provide space, resources, and opportunities for those who aren't typically in the room. Charlotte only grows stronger when we acknowledge what’s in our ground and work together, create creative solutions to our most challenging problems, and do the things that make us afraid. I'm excited for the future of our city.”
To learn more about Hannah Hasan and the powerful work she does, read her full bio.