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57 Miles to host open mic night in Marion, Alabama

57 Miles will host an Open Mic Night Friday at P3,located in Marion’s town square. The building leased by The University of Alabama’s Honors College in Marion, Alabama. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Burkeen

Elizabeth Elkin

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P3, located in Marion’s town square, is used as a meeting place for anyone in Perry County. The Honors College also hopes to open an ice cream and coffee shop 
in the building.

“P3 allows us to more easily host events and implement projects in the community,” said Benjamin Burkeen, student director of community engagement for 57 Miles. “We have a junior, Derek Carter, living in the apartment on the second floor of the building and coordinating our economic development efforts on the ground in Marion.”

The Honors College plans to hold programming at P3 throughout the year.

“These first couple months of this semester, we have been getting our bearings. Now we are prepared to have a large opening event in P3,” Burkeen said.

Events like Open Mic Night are designed to help create a sense of community between Tuscaloosa, Marion and the entirety of Perry County, Burkeen said.

“It is our goal to bring together a wide range of people to Open Mic Night: high school students, adults and college students from UA, Marion Military Institute and Judson College … we are seeking to strengthen our relationship with the community of Marion as well as create an easy-going environment where folks in the community can create new connections among themselves,” Burkeen said.

The name P3 is indicative of the theory of the Third Place. A Third Place is 
somewhere other than home, school or work where people can find a sense 
of identity.

“A Third Place exists to provide the community an additional place to be comfortable and find identity,” Burkeen said.

The Honors College seeks to inform more people about P3 and the work they are doing. They encourage all who are interested to travel to Marion for Open Mic Night.

“I am excited by the work the Honors College is doing in Marion,” said Erin Yepsen, a freshman majoring in microbiology and a member of the Honors College. “Meeting different people, creating a sense of community … more people should get involved in this.”

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57 Miles to host open mic night in Marion, Alabama