The Plant, a cultural center in Tallahassee where creative minds — from musicians and poets to painters and activists — come together to show art in various forms. It’s a venue where a variety of events are held, from vegan chili cook-offs to performances. The most fascinating part about The Plant, it’s a nonprofit venue that’s fully operated by volunteers.
“Our goal is to encourage community members to self-direct their creative dreams and ideas in a space of facilitation,” its website reads. “Rather than direct, we as a collaborative space provide what we might have on hand — materials, space, basic PR, suggestions, and volunteers.”
And if people aren’t volunteering or performing, then they’re attending the venue’s events. Charlie Knowles talked about how he has friends he supports, who sell art and perform at The Plant.
“I worked a lot in the past, so I didn’t have the chance to really go out, meaning I didn’t know about [The Plant],” Knowles said. “But then some of my closest friends would post on their social media about them performing or selling their stuff there and I would feel bad for not being able to support them. But when I eventually started making time for my social life, I would show up to The Plant to check out their events and support my people. You not only are introduced to new things, but you meet amazing people to connect with. I admire how the place was created to help young artists put their names out there. It’s dope.”
Tvpe, a member of Tallahassee’s hip-hop duo Indeci$ive who wears a mask to hide his true identity when performing, talked about how places like The Plant give upcoming artists like himself the opportunity to not only put their names out there to create a fan base but also freely express themselves through their art without judgment because they are “performing in front of people who understand.”
“Normally, you start to wonder, ‘what do people like, what do they want to hear,’ but then that all goes away when you meet people who understand you and just want to hear what you have to bring to them,” the masked rapper said. “The Plant you don’t have to worry about what others expect or want because they want to hear something different and real. That’s why when other performers ask for places to perform, I always tell them that The Plant is a good place to start.”
The Plant is normally open every day from 2 to 5 p.m. It is always collecting donations at its events and via the cashapp, $ThePlantTally. You can find events on their Instagram (@theplant.tally), Facebook, and website (https://theplantartscenter.wordpress.com).