ALTON, IL – August 26, 2011 – Jacoby Arts Center is excited to introduce open mic nights to their East Room stage. Open Mic: WORDS takes place on third Thursdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. from September to November and again from February through May. The first Open Mic: WORDS takes place on Thursday, September 15, 2011, and is partially supported by a grant from the Gannett Foundation.

The doors will open at 6 p.m.; presenters begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. Audiences of all ages welcome; however, attendees are advised that content may not be suitable for everyone. A cash beverage bar with beer, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages, as well as a coffee bar will be available; light refreshments will also be served.

A $5 suggested donation is requested from each presenter to ensure 5-10 minutes of time on the evening schedule; the final amount of time allowed to each presenter will be determined after confirmation of the total number of artists participating. Pre-registration is requested by sending an email message to [email protected] or by calling Jacoby at 618.462.5222.

Anyone ages 16 and up who wants to share their words of art are invited to present. Songwriters are welcome to try out a new song, fiction writers can share their poetry and short stories, playwrights and actors can try out new lines and skits, comedians can share their new material with the audience. No politicking or pornographic material is allowed; artists are also asked to exercise discretion in use of profanity.

“The focus and intent of Open Mic: WORDS is for literary artists to gain feedback on their original creative works while developing a comfortable repertoire with an audience. The other part of this concept that makes it unique is that there are no contests, no prizes, no judges – just words,” said Melissa Mustain, Jacoby’s executive director.

Mustain is a writer and poet who is also known throughout the region for her direction of the regional Poetry Out Loud contest for Jacoby for the past four years. Outside of her role as executive director at Jacoby, Mustain has also taken on coordinating the literary arts happenings at the Center, including Open Mic: WORDS.

Located at 627 East Broadway in Alton, Illinois, the Jacoby Arts Center is open on Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays from 12 noon to 4 p.m., closed on Mondays. For more information, visit the Center’s website at www.jacobyartscenter.org or call 618-462-5222.

The Jacoby Arts Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster the artistic development and economic success of artists, and to expand accessibility to the arts through programs that promote education, participation and exploration.

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