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Hope & Coffee to host Virtual Open Mic Night on April 3

Every first Friday of the month, two Tamaqua businesses collaborate to host an Open Mic Night.

And thanks to a bit of creativity, the show will go on.

Hope & Coffee and WagonWorks are teaming up host their virtual Open Mic Night via Facebook Live on April 3 from 6-9 p.m.

“Depending on what the turnout is on Friday, we might keep it going even week-to-week so people can feel connected one way or another,” said Kevin Smith, owner of WagonWorks. I think it’s trying to utilize our technology to our advantage during a time like this. We’re trying to keep the positive and inspiration flowing around.”

The Open Mic Night is typically held at Hope & Coffee on Pine Street in Tamaqua. Hope & Coffee, which has been in town since 2018, is a nonprofit that supports recovery and individuals who are battling addiction. This Friday, the show will be on the Hope & Coffee Facebook page.

“I’m really excited for that,” said Loren Collura, Manager of Hope & Coffee. “One of the things that we value as part of our mission is creating bystander opportunities, which is way for people to engage in supporting our mission with whatever might be appropriate or accessible for them at the time. I think this is a good way to get people involved, and help people realized they can still support the mission even if they’re stuck at home.”

Performers will be issued 15-minute time slots. A sign-up sheet will be available each Wednesday before the scheduled show.

“We’ve been planting the seed here in Tamaqua for first-Friday type of events,” Smith said. “Every single first Friday at Hope & Coffee, bringing out a great community of all different levels of performers and singer-songwriters. From beginners to people that are touring the country and stopping through. It’s one of those things, just trying to be creative and keep the flow of creativity going.”

WagonWorks, also located on Pine Street in Tamaqua, is “a membership-based creative collaboration hub/makerspace that rents studio space and provides access to professional equipment providing a location to work, build, prototype, design products and businesses as well as learn new creative modalities,” according to its website.

“We’ve been collaborating with them pretty much since we opened,” Collura said. “Kevin has been fantastic in linking us together and finding ways to involve the community in music. … I would encourage people to remember to support local businesses - even if they’re closed. By doing this, we’re creating ways that people can stay connected and healthy. Especially people that might be in recovery, or might be trying to support keeping people healthy who are in recovery. Just stay connected as much as possible.”

In this file photo, Lisa Scheller, Benefactor of Hope & Coffee, stands in front of the shop on Pine Street in Tamaqua. TIMES NEWS/FILE PHOTO