Life Amplified Showcase for Charity

Somewhere between my final interview question as a freelance reporter for Patch and exiting the independent movie theatre on North Dale Mabry Highway in October 2012, a movement was born.

Only I didn’t know it at the time.

I had simply asked why Tampa Pitcher Show didn’t present spoken word poetry and then eagerly volunteered to host a poetry showcase three months later.

I probably should have realized that despite Tampa Pitcher Show donating the use of their venue, no experience combined with a zero budget for advertising for an all-volunteer event would be a painfully slow registration process. I probably should have given up.

I choose the name Life Amplified because spoken words poets amplify telling a story, whatever topic they might present. I created a logo and a website filled with information and a registration page.

I decided to donate my portion of the ticket sales directly to a small local Tampa Bay nonprofit and be a voice for their platform.

The charity I selected was Redefining Refuge fighting against human trafficking. Natasha Nascimento was in the process of opening a home for rescued trafficked women and children and was the perfect recipient for the show’s proceeds.

In early December, through the use of the website, Facebook, other social media and free press release sites, the event began to build momentum and other performers -not just spoken word poets- asked to perform.

The inaugural show opened on January 19, 2013 with 2 singers, 9 poets, a comedian/impressionist Eddie Webber and a mind-reader Justin Myer.

At the end of show, I was asked by an audience member, so when’s the next one?

I hadn’t even considered the possibility.

I’ve since opened the showcase to all variety acts and no longer have to wait months for performers.

We’ve helped numerous nonprofits, and January 2018 marked the fifth anniversary of Life Amplified, and we returned to fundraise for the charity that started it all – Redefining Refuge.

In June 2019, Life Amplified CONNECTIONS Broadway Tunes was at Stageworks on June 23. All proceeds benefitted Project No Labels.

On September 28, 2024, Life Amplified SPECTACULAR will be at The Studio at Carrollwood Cultural Center. This is a 70s-themed adult-affirming prom featuring 29 powerhouse singers from across Tampa Bay’s stages. All proceeds benefit PFLAG Safety Harbor.

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