April 12, 2024

Back To the Grind Coffeehouse held its “Between the Tables” event March 19 where a variety of artists literally performed between the tables to create a more inclusive environment for guests.

The event hosted performers from a variety of mediums including jazz, poetry and spoken word. Jonathan Frias, 29-year-old musician, performed as part of a jazz trio.

“The event was eclectic and fun by incorporating different forms of art,” Frias said. “It was a great showcase of local artists that need more support from their communities.”

“Community” was a recurring theme for many of the performers and attendees. The event itself created an atmosphere in which the audience was no longer simply viewing an artist nor the artist solely performing for an audience and both needed to adapt to one another.

One example of this relationship was strikingly clear in Micah Tasaka, 26-year- old teacher, and his poetry performance.

“Minutes before the show started, the microphone I was supposed to use went out, so I decided to just scream my poems on the main floor right next to customers,” Tasaka said. “This definitely changed how my piece went because I had to project my voice, but also it gave me a chance to spit my poems without the veil of the stage or the microphone separating me from the audience.”

Back To The Grind incorporated the audience and performers into the experience, at least for a couple of hours. Still, the coffeehouse continues to support the community and the art the community creates.

Francisco Arroyo, 20-year- old attendee, said he recognized the importance of these events are to not only the artists but also the community as a whole.

“Events like this are important to the community because it makes people come together to enjoy one another,” Arroyo said.

The coffeehouse and artists played vital roles in allowing the community to express itself. Back To The Grind continues to put on performances like this throughout the month. Each one has a particular purpose and atmosphere yet every single one contributes to the support of local artists and their expression.

“We need more places like these to help connect in deeper manners other than just a quick ‘Hey, how are you?’” Frias said. “In our technologically advanced world, we are slowly disconnecting from each other, and in my opinion, we need each other to strive and thrive.”

Back To The Grind continues to act as an example for other local shops to do more for the community than brew coffee.

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