WRITTEN BY VALERIE KAUFMANN

St. Francis College sophomore Krystal Rosa wants to let campus artists be heard.

Rosa has been writing spoken word poetry since the age of 14, when she auditioned for the arts and advocacy program “Girl Be Heard.”

“In order to audition into it you have to write a piece of some sort… so I decided to write a poem,” explained Rosa, “I wrote the poem by saying it out loud. I didn’t know spoken word was a thing.”

Her style impressed the judges and she was accepted to the program. There, and at The Opening Act arts program in the Bronx, Rosa has been able to develop her writing and performance skills. “The first time I performed my poems out loud, I was stage shocked,” she recalled, “but I kept working on it.”

She wants the artists at SFC to have similar outlets for growth. That is why she is starting a new club, called “Colorful Souls.” Rosa realized that what was lacking in student activities was a place for sharing the art made by members of the St. Francis Community.

Rosa described her vision for the club as, “A place where people can just come in and share any kind of art they want.” From Rap, to poetry, to painting, artists will be given prompts, feedback, and a space to air their work. Rosa is also interested in creating an open mic night to broadcast to a larger audience.

An outgoing leader with much poetic experience under her belt now, Rosa’s beginnings were far from auspicious. Coming to New York from Puerto Rico, she was often bullied as a child for her thick Spanish accent. For a while, she worked hard to mask her accent and blend in.

Now, she explained, “I don’t mind if you hear my accent, I don’t mind if I’m speaking too fast that you can’t understand it- just ask me, I’ll say it again.”

“Colorful Souls” has its first meeting during activity period on October 6. All artists are welcome.