For 35 years, Tryworks Coffeehouse provided the citizens of Greater New Bedford (and well beyond) with a venue where they could perform and listen to folk, traditional, contemporary, original and classical music. Poetry was read, short plays were performed and stories of all sorts were told.
Maggi Peirce and Barbara Carns first opened the doors of Tryworks Coffeehouse on May 14, 1967 in the Pilgrim United Church on Purchase St. Within a few years they moved to the First Unitarian Church of New Bedford. Maggi remained the director until 1987. At that time a Board of Directors, led by Jody Heck and Margo Charig, kept the coffeehouse open until May 2002. When Tryworks Coffeehouse closed its doors after 35 years, it was one of the oldest, continuously run coffeehouses in the United States.
The weekend of May 12 – 14 will be the Tryworks Coffeehouse 50th Anniversary Celebration. All events are hosted by Maggi Peirce and Cora-Dot Peirce and held at the First Unitarian Church of New Bedford, 71 Eighth St., New Bedford, MA.
Friday night, May 12, will be an Open Hoot with songs, music and stories from and about Tryworks Coffeehouse. Doors open at 6 p.m. for greeting and socializing. The program begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $5.
A full evening is planned for Saturday, May 13. Doors open at 4 p.m. Everyone is invited to bring food to share for the potluck at 5 p.m. Beginning at 7 p.m., there will be an Open Hoot with special guests. Admission is $10.
The weekend wraps up Sunday, May 14 at the 11 a.m. service at the First Unitarian Church of New Bedford in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Tryworks Coffeehouse. Maggi Peirce will lead the conversation.
Seating for Friday and Saturday is limited. Guests are encouraged to arrive early. Throughout the weekend reprints of the original song books, commemorative t-shirts and buttons will be available for sale. There will be a Memory Board available for anyone to add photos or memorabilia from Tryworks Coffeehouse’s 35 years or they can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All proceeds from the weekend will go towards community outreach programs at the First Unitarian Church of New Bedford, home to Tryworks for more than 30 years. The First Unitarian Church, including Tryworks Auditorium, is handicapped accessible.
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