Musicians, authors, poets and others who want to share their works in front of a live audience can do so at Open Mic Night, which meets at a growing business in the city.
Beth Orozco has been running the program for several years, which was established by a committee from Cochise College's Creative Writing Celebration.
Orozco teaches at the college, but she volunteers for Open Mic Night with the goal of providing an outlet for artists. The effort is leading to increased communication, friendships and alliances between participants.
"We've really developed an amazing writing community here. So writing groups have spawned from this, musicians are getting together," Orozco says.
"It's funny, I stop in here, I don't know, probably two or three times a month aside from Open Mic night and I see people that are here that have met in this venue and they're just meeting for coffee, they're sharing ideas."
The organization started meeting at Urbano Coffee Company several months ago when the group needed a new location after it had been meeting via Zoom due to the pandemic.
Supporters say the in-person presentations have rekindled connections and contributed to the company's well-being, since the monthly gathering brings new clientele and attention to the coffee establishment.
"We formed a relationship. The building that was a shell turned into a wonderful, beautiful venue for Beth and for many other people that have come to play here," says Urbano Coffee Company co-owner Jessica Sariñana.
"They take pictures, they post it, and people hear about Urbano because really it's all been word of mouth."
Sierra Vista resident Erica Wilson says Open Mic Night has become one of her favorite activities, and she prefers it more now since it is being held in person instead of online.
"My internet sucks so it was hard to log into a Zoom event. It's really nice to once a month be able to meet up with a lot of like-minded people who share similar interests and the same types of passions that you have, and just read and write and talk about it," Wilson says.
"So whether you read or whether you just sit in the back and listen, it's definitely a good time and definitely worth it," she adds.
Organizer Beth Orozco encourages participation from all members of the community, from beginners to professionals.
"We have a really nice variety. We have a four-minute limit and we just ask that the material is original," she points out.
Open Mic Night is held the second Thursday of the month from 6 pm to 8 pm. Urbano is located at 4711 Highway 92 in Sierra Vista.
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