Art, coffee and the community

Inside the coffee shop Photo By Yesica Gonzalez

By Yesica Gonzalez | Staff Writer|

Weekly Open Mic night brought together young art enthusiasts in a Riverside coffee shop on Feb. 6.

Every Monday night at 9 p.m., art enthusiasts explore their community through inspirational entertainment.

There are various talents of performers such as singers, poets, rappers, writers and more.

The Open Mic is located in downtown Riverside in the basement of the coffee shop.

“I’ve been Back to the Grind before, I kind of knew what the ambiance was but I’ve never been to the open mic before,” explained Jerry, a performer.

“I still dig it, I’ll come back,” continued Jerry. 

On a usual day, Back to the Grind, coffee shop is just a cozy place with a relaxing vibe where people study with friends or order drinks from the barista.

However, on Open Mic nights, heading to the back and strolling down the stairs, people enter a new world of talent.

The event displays the talented people of the community, with a positive sense of support from the audience.

Attendees are welcoming and kind to all new guests and support any local talents.

That moment in the spotlight, is a way of expressing themselves for many performers such as Mikea.

“For me it’s a way of releasing things out,” shared Mikea.

“It’s more like therapeutic. Even though it’s scary, it’s good for me,” she added. 

Inside the Open Mic Photo By Yesica Gonzalez

Mikea shared with the audience a beautiful poem that she wrote in a journal that she kept going back to.

For the past three years Mikea has attended the event. After she graduated college with her degree in creative writing, she needed something to keep her motivated and the Open Mic did that for her.

“I needed something to keep pushing me and that’s when I started coming more regularly and it’s been really cool, It’s been like a great teacher, getting over my people anxiety,” said Mikea.

She believes that the new attendees will be blown away from how different this event is from others.

“People are very supportive of you and what your trying to do, It’s totally eye opening, it’s cool to see people inspire each other like a nice little community or family,” said Mikea about Open Mic. 

Other audience members shared what they feel when they step into the event.

“It’s diverse, best way to describe it,” said audience member Brent.

For Jerry, it was his first time at the open mic and he shared his thoughts of his experience as a first timer.

“You gotta be opened minded to appreciate it, I think all of us are,” said Jerry.

Megan performed a delightful poem where as Brent and Jerry were there to support her and others.

All three discovered the coffee shop and what happens on Monday nights through form of communication.

“Mostly word of mouth,” Brent states as Megan and Jerry agreed.

Just like many attendees at the event, they would recommend the Open Mic to people who are open minded

“There are particular styles, if you just want to explore a little bit more about our side, by all means, check it out,” Jerry recommended.


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