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      Downtown Albany store Global Essence is serving as the venue for a new "open mic" session for local artists

      Unplugged is list only by candles to create an intimate, unintimidating atmosphere for local artists / Sarah Bleau

      Inspired by coffee house and bookstore art performances, two people in Albany decided to start something similar in Downtown Albany.

      "Unplugged" takes place at Global Essence on South Jackson Street and features poets, musicians and spoken word artists. The intimate setting â" there no mics and only candles for lighting -- is purposely created as to not be so intimidating.

      After walking into the Global Essence, Unplugged Creator Tannur Ali says she knew it was the perfect setting and teamed up with Global Essence Owner Patrick Jenkins to create an outlet for local artists.

      "There's really an artist movement going on, it's really kind of a revolution going on in Albany. The arts are coming together: There's painters, there's poets, there's musicians who are all looking for a place to be," says Ali.

      She says it is also a way for local artists to network. During Monday's session, she announced she wanted to help local artists receive scholarships.

      Approximately 40 people have attended in past sessions. Those who are not artists but are there instead to experience the atmosphere also attend.

      Unplugged is held the first and third Monday's of the month.

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