The Historic District Coffeehouse is a free and welcoming open mic venue for both novice and veteran performers.  These are wonderful evenings of entertainment with a variety of music performance, poetry reading, storytelling, and more. Please join us to share your talent with a supportive, appreciative group – or to be part of the audience!

Musicians and artists are invited to perform by either calling ahead to reserve performance time or on a walk-in basis. Audience members are invited to enjoy coffee, snacks, and the show without charge; however, donations or non-perishable food items for the Dubuque Food Pantry are most welcome.

Coffeehouses are held every other month (excluding summer) on a Saturday from 7:00-9:00pm.


Upcoming Dates

Events will be held in-person if safe and possible, otherwise live on Zoom.

  • September 26, 2020
    • Virtual Historic District Coffee House, 7-9pm: Co-hosted by Art Roche and Karen Buechele.  As part of the Dubuque Day of Peace, some of the performances will recall the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and some will refocus our attention on hope for a nuclear-free future. Please join us via Zoom to share your talent with a supportive, appreciative group – or to be part of the audience! Contact Art (, 563-581-6521) in advance if you’d like to perform. Art will put together the list of performers, to allow for a smooth transition in the Zoom environment.
    • Link:
    • Password: 4321
    • Phone: 1-312-626-6799; Meeting ID: 881 4473 4458
  • November 21, 2020
  • January 23, 2021
  • March 20, 2021
  • May 15, 2021


For more information or to sign up to perform, contact:


Performer Zoom Tips

  • Position your device (phone or computer) so that the camera eye is approximately level with your eyes. If this isn’t possible, it’s better to have the camera a little bit higher than your eye level rather than a little lower. People want to see your face and eyes while you are performing. You don’t want people to be looking up your nose!
  • Be attentive to lighting. It’s good to have a light directly in front of you your face or two lights with one on either side but still in front of your face. Experiment before the event starts. You can see your face on Zoom. What you see is exactly what other people will see.
  • Sound: in general, it’s better to play softly and sing softly on Zoom. That requires being up pretty close to the microphone on your device, within 2 feet if possible.
  • Electronic amps over Zoom can be tricky and could result in disappointing results. Avoid it if you can.
  • During your performance, everyone else will be muted (except for performances where continuous audience response is desired, like stories or comedy).  We will have Alyssa as the Zoom facilitator to mute the audience for performances and unmute in between for applause, but you can also control muting/unmuting yourself as desired.
  • Pay attention to the sign-up list so you’ll know when it’s your turn. Be ready. Introduce yourself briefly and introduce each of your songs briefly.
  • If you’re using lyric sheets or sheet music, you can put it in a position very close to the camera so that it’s not apparent to the audience. That allows you to maintain more eye contact with the camera and the audience.
  • Smile and have fun! Everyone watching is so happy that you are performing!