Carteret, NJ – This Saturday, local amateurs took center stage at Carteret’s community center for what marked the 4th installment of the town’s first open mic venue. Among the many recreation and arts programs Carteret now offers, the “Coffee House Open Mic Night” has stood out as the first of its kind in this 100 year-old urban community. In July, Mayor Dan Reiman joined with members of the local Arts Committee to announce the program, which provides a casual setting for impromptu live performances by New Jersey residents.
According to Mayor Reiman, the program was introduced to provide locals with a new Saturday night activity, but primarily to showcase local talent. Few restrictions have been set for these performances, which may include anything from music to drama. Unlike Carteret’s already popular Friday night “Concerts in Carteret Park,” and its Waterfront “Concerts by the Bay” on Sundays, Saturday Coffee Houses have been established to showcase local talent, as well as to provide a relaxed environment to congregate in, according to the Mayor.
“This is an exciting new program that encompasses many local needs and interests,” Mayor Reiman has stated. “Until now we have had few, if any, Saturday night activities for our young residents. These Coffee Houses provide a new setting for congregation, while putting the spotlight on regional talent that previously had no venue in town.”
The Mayor also remarked on the program’s growing popularity, and hopes it will continue in the Fall; “We’re testing the waters with this program as of now,” he stated. “I’m sure that our Coffee House will evolve into a Saturday night hotspot for both performers and fans of the performing arts.”
The program has been coordinated by Carteret’s first Arts Committee, and sponsored by the Carteret Business Partnership who donated $6,700 towards audio equipment. According to the committee, performances may include music, poetry, fiction, dance, and drama.
“There’s been an overwhelming amount of interest in the program,” stated Arts Committee Chairman Ron McPhee. “We’ve had rock and roll bands, saxophone quartets, acoustic acts, poets, and most recently a drama group has expressed interest in performing. Every Saturday has produced a different assortment of artists, which is what has made the program so exciting. If it’s live art, it’s welcome at our Coffee House.”
Open Mic nights are hosted every Saturday night this summer from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., at the Thomas J. Deverin Community Center, and due to its popularity will likely resume in September through the end of the year. To ensure all interested performers can be accommodated, pre-registration is required. Performers outside of Carteret are welcome.