Music lovers gathered at the Forum — located between Ian’s on State Street and the Veterans Museum — Tuesday evening, for an open mic night organized by the Business Improvement District.

BID formed a contract with the city of Madison to create Summer in YOUR City, a program which offered free art events throughout the summer. This event was one of the last outdoor open mic nights offered before the temperature starts to drop — during the winter, this activity will continue inside Ian’s Pizza on State Street.

The open mic night had a variety of performers, ranging from guitar players to poets. Even though the space was small, the artists treated their performance like any other show and even got the crowd to sing along and recommend songs.

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Summer in YOUR City’s schedule featured many other art events, including both live music and hands-on art. The programming coordinator for BID, Jenny Sligh, explained the purpose of the program is to bring economic growth to the downtown district. Every business on State Street, King Street and around Capitol Square benefits from the events.

“BID works for the property owners in downtown Madison,” Sligh said. “In order to encourage success of our downtown and our downtown retail, we help facilitate a variety of things in downtown Madison.”

Attracting people to every business in the downtown district may seem like a daunting task, but the program also partners with well-known art institutions in Madison such as the Chazen Museum of Art and Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

The events that Summer in YOUR City organized have been both small and large scale. Local musicians had the chance to play a gig at Lisa Link Park every Thursday over the summer, while larger regional bands would put on shows at Capitol Square.

Under the umbrella of Summer in YOUR City, a program called Kids Create was established for educational purposes. These events, with the help of local organizations, offered learning projects revolving around certain themes. This past summer focused on art, heart and smart, according to the program’s Facebook page.

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Adults are also encouraged to get hands-on with art. Once a month, an event was put on specifically for adults where they could work on pop-up art, Sligh said. Adults could also participate in health and wellness activities, as well as hear authors speak about their works.

Summer in YOUR City is something that everyone should become familiar with even as summer comes to an end. Free events keep the people of Madison entertained, while helping local businesses grow and succeed. More information can be found on the Summer in YOUR City website.