Cecily Hennigan’s Alive in the Alley plans to go out with a bang on Saturday, Nov. 9 for their last musical evening of the season, with the addition of three former The Voice contestants on the list of performers.
Season 16 contestants Jimmy Mowery of Murrells Inlet, Andrew Jannakos of Flowery Branch, Ga., and Dalton Dover of Rockmart, Ga., will be sharing their talents with Conway from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. in Norman Alley downtown on Saturday.
Attendees are asked to bring their own chairs, and anything they need to keep warm.
When the City of Conway agreed to let buskers perform after they obtained a permit earlier this year, Hennigan said at least 30 people got permits, but she was one of the first ones to actually come out and perform.
Alive in the Alley started in September, and Conway High School student Hennigan hoped the weekly event would give artists opportunities to perform and hone their craft, as well as give people in the area another option for a night out.
Each Saturday night since early September, with the exception of a few rain cancellations, buskers were invited to come and share their talents in Norman Alley for the community.
Hennigan watched many of her fellow contestants continue to thrive after The Voice, and she wanted to find a way she could keep performing, and give other artists the same opportunity here in Conway.
She worked with the City to come up with a plan, and Alive in the Alley was born.
Hennigan said it’s a very simple setup.
“[It allows the artists to] strip back and do what they love. The whole purpose is giving artists the opportunity to be authentic and do what they want,” Hennigan said.
Hennigan tried her hand at busking in Downtown Conway at the end of the summer, and was amazed at the number of people that came out in the evenings to listen to live music and just “hang out”.
“It just proved if there was more of that, people would be interested,” Hennigan said. “Conway has so much potential…”
Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy said in September that she hoped Alive in the Alley would show others that Conway is “in fact alive and thriving”.
“It’s an introduction to the new downtown Conway to people who may never have been, to people have come before but found themselves without much to do,” Blain-Bellamy said.
When Hennigan tried her hand at busking, Blain-Bellamy said people commented that they had just been out for a stroll, or out doing other things in Downtown Conway and told her they “hadn’t expected to be entertained”, and one couple commented that their evening walk turned into an impromptu date night once they happened upon her performance.
She hoped that this fall event helped give others a chance to brave performing for others.
“If there are other young people who want to be successful at something [in the arts], I want Conway to feel like a place they can [do so],” Hennigan said.
Performing more is what helped her be more comfortable in front of a crowd, she said.
“You can practice in your room all you want,” she said, but that getting out there in front of people helps to get young performers more comfortable sharing their talent.”
She plans to keep Alive in the Alley very much alive, and hopes to continue the event as the weather warms back up next year.
Follow Hennigan on social media, as more special guests may be added this week. Find her on Instagram @its_cecily and on Facebook for more information.