Hillside Grind Open Mic Night

People enjoying poetry during the first UKirk Open Mic Night at Hillside Grind. Photo by Brannon Mahaley.

When you combine a hot mic, coffee, a pool table and friends- magic happens.

On Oct. 25, the UKirk Ministries hosted the Hillside Grind Open Mic Night.

UKirk is the University Church, a campus ministry that is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA.  UKirk owns and runs the Hillside Grind Coffee House which is an outreach of the ministry.

The Grind operates as a a non-profit to provide a safe and welcoming place for students and the WCU community to enjoy a drink for a fair price, relax and gather people together.  They offer this unique space in the spirit of Christian hospitality.

“We are looking to provide events at the Grind that will bring students together in community, as well as to facilitate important issues  that will be of interest to students. We are also interested in making our space available to other students groups, campus organizations, and faculty and staff groups for meetings and events,” Margie Stansell, the campus Pastor at UKirk said.

This was the initial opening event that UKirk has held and there was a great turnout.  Speakers included Sydney Kugel-Humphrey, the student president of UKirk, and Emmy Grill, a local Western Carolina University student.

“I like to write poems because that way I can express myself,” said Grill after reading three of her own poems.  Beaming ear to ear, she was excited to share her stories with the small community that had come out to the Hillside Grind.  While Grill was not affiliated with the church, she was invited to join open mic night through friends within the church.

Kugel-Humphrey read a few poems that had been requested and some she felt like reading.

“I want to give people an environment where they can share what they love,” said Kugel-Humphrey.  She was excited to start this new tradition and be a part of it.

After the speakers had finished, everyone bonded over coffee and board games. They spoke about their personal lives and some possible next dates for hosting the open mic night again.

Look for upcoming UKirk events on Instagram or Facebook.