The Coopersville Rotary Club and Coopersville Interact Club (teen Roatrians) installed new led stage lighting at the CFM Stage. The 16′ x 30′ stage, located inside the 12,000 square foot facility at 375 Main Street in Coopersville, Michigan, is fast becoming one of the hottest spots for teens and adults in Ottawa County. Sarah Ann Carmody, 2010 Miss Coopersville representative and a senior at Coopersville High School, started an open mic event for teens and young adults held the last Saturday of every month. Attendance and number of performers has more than doubled since the first Bands and Buds which was held in January, 2011. Shades of Faith (Christian Rock) and Between the Temples (80s-90s Rock) are two of the bands that perform regularly, along with Sarah’s acoustic guitar with vocals, various types of dance, singing by Kim Sloboda (accompanied by guitar), Coopersville Theater Club skits, comedy acts, poetry, and an occassional rap. The lighting was provided by the Coopersville Rotary Club to encourage the valuable youth program. Performing on stage in an intimate setting helps to build confidence in teens and young adults. The program also gives locals a place to go and socialize while listening to live music for a very affordable cost (only $3).
Coopersville Farm Museum and Event Center is certainly not new to the music scene however, the first and third Tuesday of each month, folk music can be heard for 3 full hours at Jam Night. Jam Night began in 2003 with 11 musicians and 22 guests and has since had over 40 acoustic musicians and averages 125 guests. With the popularity of these (and other music events), a volunteer crew and supporters of Jam Night came together and raised funds to build a stage. With handyman/board member, Thom Eno taking the lead, the stage was designed to resemble a barn, reminding some of the Grand Ol’ Opry! The musicians at Jam Night don’t need the flashing led lights to chase the music while they play old gospel, bluegrass, and country music, but they certainly appreciate the new white lights and the soft backlighting they now have. With up to 30 musicians on stage at any given time, it’s important that the audience can see them all.
On Friday nights, through November 25, 2011 and again after the new year, Helen Walters teaches Country Line Dancing from the stage. Having the raised platform and new lighting has made it so much easier for dancers to watch and learn. Helen has been teaching Country Line Dancing to a whole different group for more than six years. Her husband, A.J. and many of her friends/followers can be found throughout the crowd lending a helping hand too.
The stage is used for awards presentations, head tables for receptions, musical saw workshops, 50s-60s concerts, Coopersville Old Kids performances, and is prepared to host Coopersville Area Arts Council’s Community Theater’s performances in the not to distant future. The Arts Council provided a $1,000 grant toward the stage project with the hope of using it for dinner theaters down the road. When it’s not being used for a special event, the CFM Stage provides a unique display area for art, quilts, or other items for exhibit.
Coopersviile Roatary Club, Coopersville Area Arts Council, Splashman, Virginia Wasky, and many, many others have made this project possible. Additional improvements will continue to be made as funding is made available. The Coopersville Farm Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations are gladly accepted. The facility is also available for private parties and special events. Visit www.coopersvillefarmmuseum.org or call (616) 997-8555 for more information.