East Brunswick Library’s virtual open mic nights showcase local talent

EAST BRUNSWICK–Creating a platform for performers and artists to showcase their talents despite social distancing restrictions, the East Brunswick Public Library has been holding Virtual Open Mic Nights.

Adult Programming Librarian Melissa Hozik said the library held its first open mic night on July 8.

“In these times of social distancing, the library had to cancel all of its performances. Musicians and artists have fewer opportunities to perform, and we wanted to offer a virtual space for local residents,” Hozik said. “The East Brunswick Arts Commission also agreed that there was a need, so our two-part Virtual Open Mic Night was born.”

At first, Hozik said the library was not sure if it would fill all of the available slots.

“As soon as we announced the signup process, performers were very excited, and the spots filled quickly. We had performers from East Brunswick, North Carolina, and multiple boroughs of New York City,” Hozik said. “Performers invited their family and friends to watch the performances. We also streamed them to Facebook Live so anyone could enjoy from anywhere in the world.”

For each virtual open mic night, Hozik said a maximum of eight performers were able to perform a five- to seven-minute set, whether poetry, singing, storytelling or instrumental.

“I was blown away by the talent we had on stage,” Hozik said.

Since this was a summer series, Hozik said there are no upcoming events planned. The event is currently on hiatus, but the library would love for it to return at a future date.

For more information about the library’s virtual events, visit www.ebpl.org/main/ebpl-events-calendar.cfm.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.