Whether you’re a veteran performer looking to test new material, or a rookie trying to overcome those stage-fright jitters, Toledo’s booming artistic scene offers plenty of chances to work in front of an audience via an open mic.
“Open mic” is a catch-all term for an event that offers the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience, usually for five to 10 minutes. Over the past few years, locally, a myriad of options have become available for those looking to share their work, or simply to listen— and also learn— from other artists. An updated list of venues and their programs:
Greenleaf Vegetarian Cafe
4933 Dorr St.
The newest entry on this list, SOULfood is a weekly open mic and performance evening presented by Greenleaf and the L.J. Hamilton group. The event, first held on May 22, features not only local poetry and spoken word performances, but a different
featured artist every week.
Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center
1225 Broadway St.
This weekly event is not only an open performance space for poets, musicians, comedians and the like, but it’s also a grand potluck meal, as well– all attendees are invited to bring a dish to share, along with whatever talent they want to put on display.
BREW Coffee Bar
2903 Dorr St.
If you’re looking for a more family friendly environment with your open mics, BREW has you covered— the Dorr Street establishment asks that all performers keep it clean and present a performance appropriate for all ages. Seats are reserved for paying customers, be sure to sample the titular beverages or any of the desserts while you’re there.
Black Kite Coffee and Pies
2499 Collingwood Blvd.
Great coffee and food. A homey atmosphere. New ideas from some talented performers. This is the blend that makes Black Kite’s open mic such a potent experience every Wednesday night. Not to mention, the shop’s savory pies are always worth stopping in.
2746 W Sylvania Ave
Speaking of delectable, Kathy’s selection of coffee cake, brownies and other baked goods makes this Thursday event even more of an attraction. For those looking for a fresh-baked side dish for your poetry and comedy performances, Kathy’s is an ideal stop.
Our Brother’s Place
233 N. Huron St
A more structured event, “Showtime” at Our Brother’s Place restaurant, welcomes performers of all kinds to do their thing. A variety show competition hosted by comedian Kool Keith, a winner is crowned at the end of the night.
Glass City Roasters and
1240 W Sylvania Ave
A more relaxed atmosphere can be found among the hand-roasting specialists of Glass City every Saturday afternoon. Happy Hour is 2-3pm, as well, so take advantage as you take in the performances.
3143 W Central Ave
Second Sunday of every month, 6-8pm
The popular Uncloistered Poetry event moved to its new home at Calvino’s last August. Every performance begins with readings from featured poets, but then the mic is open to anyone wishing to take the stage.