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10th Anniversary of the Veteran Community Open Mic!

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

Art2Action Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Tampa’s popular Veteran Community Open Mic

TAMPA, FL — Art2Action Inc., in partnership with Alternate ROOTS, presents a special 10th anniversary edition of Tampa’s beloved Veteran Community Open Mic, said to be the longest-running veteran open mic in the nation. Re-launching at a new host venue, Skipper’s Smokehouse, the 10th Anniversary event will feature national guests, local artists, and military veterans.

The Veteran Community Open Mic was founded by Art2Action in 2013, in collaboration with Linda Parris-Bailey and The Carpetbag Theatre, with support from the Alternate ROOTS "Partners in Action" program. Since then, it has grown into a creative space for veterans, families, community members, caregivers, allies, and artists of all kinds. The Veteran Community Open Mic is a creative and courageous space, where all people are welcome regardless of identity, a space where veterans and civilians can bring their full selves to listen, share, and grow together. All forms of creative expression are welcome, from poetry and spoken word to music, dance, storytelling, visual arts, and more.

Art2Action’s Artistic and Executive Director, Andrea Assaf, states, “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to celebrate ten years of this impactful, creative community program, with the visionaries who helped make it possible. We will be joined by nationally acclaimed playwright Linda Parris-Bailey, as well as spoken word and visual artist Omari Fox of the New Danger Arts Movement, and other surprise guests from the Alternate ROOTS network of artists and change-makers. We’re also excited to be at Skipper’s Smokehouse, an iconic Tampa venue whose music programming we have long admired. It promises to be a very exciting event!”

Having found a home in venues across the Tampa Bay area, including Sacred Grounds Coffee House, Tre Amici at the Bunker Cafe, and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, the open mic will now celebrate a decade of healing and community-building through the arts at the veteran-owned local favorite, Skipper’s Smokehouse. The Open Mic will be co-hosted by Andrea Assaf and poet-veteran BlacJak, with music by DJ Cotton and live guests.

The event is free and open to the public, with free non-alcoholic beverages provided for veterans. Everyone is welcome to sign-up on the Mic, by RSVP in advance or onsite.


WHAT: Veteran Community Open Mic 10th Anniversary Celebration, presented by Art2Action in partnership with Alternate ROOTS

WHERE: Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Rd, Tampa, FL 33613

WHEN: Sunday, September 10, 2023, 6:30-9 PM

Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required. RSVP / SIGN-UP HERE!

Want more information about the history and vision? SEE THIS PAGE FOR COPY:

INTERVIEWS: Interviews with the artistic team are available. Email to arrange. Additional media assets are available upon request.

This event is part of a weekend "Rhizome" gathering of Alternate ROOTS in Tampa! In addition to the Veteran Community Open Mic, learn more about Alternate ROOTS and enjoy FREE Film Screenings by ROOTS artists and partners, including Art2Action, on Sunday, September 10th (11am-2pm) at Screen Door: An Ybor City Microcinema! Seating is limited, RSVP HERE!


Art2Action, Inc. creates, develops, produces and presents original theatre, interdisciplinary performances, performative acts and progressive cultural organizing. We support women artists, artists of color, queer or trans-identified artists, and creative allies. We are dedicated to cultural equity and innovation, artistic quality and community value, performativity and impact.

Alternate ROOTS is an organization based in the Southern USA whose mission is to support the creation and presentation of original art, in all its forms, which is rooted in a particular community of place, tradition or spirit. As a coalition of cultural workers we strive to be allies in the elimination of all forms of oppression. ROOTS is committed to social and economic justice and the protection of the natural world and addresses these concerns through its programs and services.

Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa hosts local, national and international musicians and has a full liquor bar and restaurant featuring “Floribbean” cuisine. This iconic venue has been bringing some of the best musical artists and performers since 1980.


These free events are is sponsored in part by Alternate ROOTS, with additional funding from Southern Cultural Treasures, a program of South Arts (made possible with support from the Ford Foundation, the Alice L. Walton Foundation, Community Foundation Tampa Bay, and the Gobioff Foundation).

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