Monday, September 14, 2009

Get connected and caffeinated

By Lori Kittelberg, doug editor

Looking for a spot to showcase your art, begin a foray into spoken word or just hang out with friends off campus? Former Douglas student Bryan Schwartz is inviting students to check out Urth Coffee House on 8th St. across from the New West Campus.

Poetry readings and live music are booked for every second Wednesday of the month starting in October (November’s will take place on November 4 due to Remembrance Day). Book readings begin on October 6 with Catherine Owen. He is also planning to host an acoustic night for musicians. Artists showing their work at Urth get 100% of any sales.

“I want to help artists get out there and help people find opportunity,” says Bryan.

As a former Douglas student and a New West resident, he is aiming to build community spirit through coffee. “This area of New West is underserviced. I want Urth to be a gathering place and somewhere to have an inexpensive night out.”

Bryan spent the last two semesters picking up Science classes at Douglas to complete a Kinesiology Degree he started at SFU. A two-hour break between Physics and Biology classes changed his path, for now anyway.

“I was taking a walk one day and saw a ‘For Lease’ sign. I had worked for years in the restaurant industry and I was good at what I did. For three days, I considered it. And then I decided, ‘Why not a coffee shop?’”

His degree is currently on hold, but Bryan says with two young stepchildren, he’s committed to finishing it in the next couple of years. “I want to set an example and show them that it’s good to exercise your mind and empower yourself.”