Carteret to offer venue for local artists

Carteret, NJ – On Friday, April 17th, Carteret’s Arts Committee will host the first installment of its 2009 “Coffee House” series. The program, begun last year, allows local – and now regional – artists to take the stage in an impromptu performance venue with few limitations.


The series was first established last summer, when local amateurs took the stage at Carteret’s community center for the town’s first open mic venue. Among the many recreation and arts programs Carteret has recently introduced, the “Coffee House Open Mic Night” stood out as the first of its kind in this 100 year-old urban community – one that has historically been short on public arts programs.


According to Mayor Dan Reiman, the series was introduced to provide locals with a new evening activity, but primarily to showcase local talent. Few restrictions were 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 year, Mayor Reiman announced, the program will extend its promotional reach to welcome musicians and other performers from throughout the region. Having earned the attention of the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission, the Carteret Arts Committee was awarded a grant to assist with the printing of promotional materials. Promotion has also been extended to include web-based marketing and public-access television.


“This program encompasses many local interests,” Mayor Reiman has stated. “Until now we have had few, if any, evening activities for our artistic residents. These Coffee Houses provide a comfortable setting for congregation, while putting the spotlight on regional talent that previously may have had no other venue.”


Mayor Reiman also remarked on the program’s growing popularity, and hopes it will continue in 2009; “I’m hoping that our Coffee House will evolve into a Friday 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 over $7,000 towards audio equipment. According to the committee, performances may include music, poetry, fiction, dance, and drama.


“There’s been a growing amount of interest in the program,” stated Arts Committee Chairman Ron McPhee. “The stage has been set as far as running the series is concerned, and locals have responded with an eagerness to either perform or listen. We’ve had rock and roll bands, saxophone quartets, acoustic acts, poets, and most recently a drama group has expressed interest in performing. Each installment 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 will be hosted on April 17, May 8, June 12, July 10, and August 14, from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., at the Thomas J. Deverin Community Center. A fall schedule is pending.


To ensure interested performers can be accommodated, pre-registration is required for scheduling. Performers outside of Carteret are welcome. For inquiries, contact the Office of Public Information, (732) 541-3817, or email .

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