Among day of events, Soapbox, Coffee Shop offers students chance to speak up, wind down


Two events at Ovation will give students the opportunity to express their creativity: the Coffee Shop and Soapbox.
Soledad Vasquez, assistant director of Annual Giving, is running the third annual Coffee Shop event sponsored by the Center for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement
Vasquez brought the idea for the Coffee Shop to an open forum, which then evolved into its current event in conjunction with Ovation.
“My original idea was for a mic night,” said Vasquez. “And then we realized no one served coffee [at Ovation] so we turned it into a coffee shop.”
The event runs throughout the afternoon of Ovation on April 25. The front area of Marting Lounge will be set up with the podium, and there will be 8 slots available for performers, with a 5-minute break in between. Each time slot will be 15 minutes long.
The performances will alternate between readers and guitarists, said Vasquez.
“They are allowed to present whatever they want,” he said. “It can be an original, or it can be something featured in The Mill, which we will provide that day. Same for guitarists. It can be an original, or something they’ve practiced in the Con.”
Vasquez said performers are also given an opportunity to interact with the audience.
“The reader will do a reading, and then it’s open for questions,” said Vasquez. “It’s usually pretty full in here, and during the presentations there’s coffee and pastries set up in the back.”
According to Vasquez, the event is supposed to replicate the feel of a real coffee shop.
“People are welcome to walk in and out,” he said. “Some people get coffee and go. It’s good if people are able to stand and stay a little bit.”
The Coffee Shop gives students an opportunity to be a part of Ovation without having to present a poster or be evaluated.
“For a lot of people, this isn’t their major,” said Vasquez. “They aren’t going into writing, or they aren’t solo guitarists. This gives them an opportunity to come in and just have fun with it.”
Another event returning to Ovation is the Soapbox event. The Soapbox gives students the opportunity to bring awareness to issues they see in the world and present solutions to those issues during an open dialogue in BW’s Lyceum Square.
The time slots for the Soapbox will be 10 minutes long with 5 minutes in between presentations for conversations with the audience.
The Coffee Shop will be held April 25 from 12-3 in Maring Lounge. Ovation Soapbox will be April 25 from 12-3 at Lyceum Square.