Best Open Mic
Spit Dat at Emergence Community Arts Collective
Spit Dat, one of the longest-running open mics in D.C.—and, with its $1 admission price, one of the cheapest—originated in Brookland in 2002. Since then it’s moved a couple of times, but it finally found a home four years ago at the Emergence Community Arts Collective, which offers an affordable space for artists and activists. Depending on the featured performer, between 30 and 70 people have been known to cram into the intimate space. Who are some of the performers you’re likely to see? One of several Hall of Famers, one of whom co-host Drew Anderson, aka Droopy the Broke Baller, describes as “a young artist struggling to express herself through a pronounced speech impediment.” Then there’s Amin “Drew Law” Dallal, an retired battle rapper turned slam competitor and host of the Graffiti DC slam series, and well-known spoken-word artist Ainsley Burrows. Along with its regulars, the night has its traditions: When someone on the list doesn’t show, hosts call out the name “Fatboy Sean”—a sort of running gag he compares to Bart Simpson’s prank calls to Moe’s Tavern.