Monthly Archives: December 2015

ArtsinStark announces $1.2 million in grants

At its December board meeting ArtsinStark’s Board of Directors approved $1,182,000 in grants to 74 organizations, schools, and individual artists across Stark County. The grants were awarded in four different categories: Operating, Special Project, SmArts, and 20/20 Vision. “These programs and projects touch every single community in Stark County,” says ArtsinStark board chair Max Deuble. “And they show the incredible impact of the arts on community and economic development, and just how far ArtsinStark has come in the last 10 years in serving all of Stark County.”

The projects we support through our Grants Program reach 200,000 people a year. Over the last 10 years we’ve awarded $10 million in grants to the 7 largest arts groups: Canton Ballet, Canton Museum of Art, Canton Symphony, Massillon Museum, Palace Theatre, Players Guild and Voices of Canton — and another $1.5 million in grants to 600 small non-profits, artists, and schools in every community in Stark County.

New Operating Grants will go to the seven major arts organizations in Stark County. They total $1,064,835. “These are the crown jewels of our region,” says ArtsinStark board Vice Chair Emil Alecusan. “They operate at the highest professional level and are key to attracting visitors and growing tourism.”

New Special Project Grants will go to 25 smaller arts organizations, non-profits and individual artists. They will be awarded $34,900. Projects like Canton Parks and Recreation offering art programs during the summer, the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps providing classes and equipment for the students of En-Rich-Ment, and local artist Craig Joseph producing a musical on the lives of our presidents, were among the winning ideas. “We received applications from lots of new agencies and artists this year, and it will be exciting to see the results of their programs,” says Anne Wadian, ArtsinStark Office Manager, who runs the Grants Program.

New SmArts Grants will go out in two forms: Mini-Grants and Partnership Grants. To date this year they total $53,450. Every one of the public school systems in Stark County is receiving a SmArts Grant of some kind, as well as Holy Cross Academy, Central Catholic High School, and Heritage Christian School. SmArts Grants support projects that integrate the arts with the core curriculum to do things like use photography to teach Chemistry, create artistic ecosystems to teach 5th grade Science, and make ceramic art to connect different cultures in Social Studies. “Over 5,000 students in Stark County will use the arts this year to learn Math, Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies,” says Justy Boggs, ArtsinStark Planning and Education Consultant. “And the total dollars being spent, old and new, by the County Arts Council and all the school systems to support SmArts Program total more than $90,000.”

20/20 VISION GRANTS awarded so far this year will go to 17 organizations and artists that are helping move the 20/20 Vision plan forward in Stark County. Projects range from banner murals in Louisville, to mini-fests in Alliance, to the Polar Bear public art project in Jackson. “20/20 Vision is a plan we developed for the whole county,” says ArtsinStark Board Secretary Greg Luntz, “and covers everything from downtown revitalization, to public art, to increasing cultural tourism.”

Specific awards can be found on our website at

BACKGROUND: ArtsinStark — Kids, Jobs, Communities. We are a 45 year old private, non-profit organization that gives out grants, manages the Cultural Center, and runs the Annual Arts Campaign — and much more (Canton Arts District, First Fridays, SmArts Program in the schools, 20/20 Vision, and the ELEVEN). More at Our annual budget is $3 million. What we don’t earn, we raise each spring through the Annual Arts Campaign. In May 2015 the Campaign raised the highest amount in 45 years: $1,775,000 — to become the only united arts fund drive in America to ever make goal for 10 years in a row. (Over the last decade we have increased private sector giving to the arts by 85%.)

What makes Players Guild’s “A Christmas Carol” so special

By Maranda Saling

Running through December 20th, A Christmas Carol is synonymous with the holiday season across the country. I went straight to The Players Guild Theatre Executive Director, Joshua Erichsen about what makes our A Christmas Carol: the new musical so special that families have been coming for over three decades!

Josh said, “A Christmas Carol at the Players Guild has become a holiday tradition for many families. Now in its 33rd year, multiple generations have experienced the magic of this story. Returning audience members who were kids when they were first introduced to it, are now grown adults and are introducing their children to it. Dickens’ ghost story of Christmas is timeless, and we like to be reminded that we have the power to change lives for the better, just as Ebenezer Scrooge did.”

In case you have a bit of a Scrooge in your family or friend group who isn’t interested in seeing A Christmas Carol for the 15th time, here are some behind the scenes information specific to OUR performance that adds depth to the performance; making each time you see it a unique experience:
– In order to make Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past fly, it takes 6 backstage crew members who are specially trained. PG hires ZFX to provide the flying effects; they are responsible for the flying effects in multiple Broadway shows such as Wicked.
– The current set for A Christmas Carol is made to break down an fit into two semi-trailers
– The current cast is made up of 36 individuals, all of whom volunteer their time. They rehearse 5 days a week for 6 weeks and perform 6 days a week for 3 weeks
– The original musical production was composed by our resident Music Director, Steve Parsons with book and lyrics by John Popa, a native of North Canton. The production premiered at the Guild in 1997, and has since been produced at theaters in Canada and Viet Nam.

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit:

Maranda Saling 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />
Maranda Saling is the owner of Bellflower Communications and a blogger for ArtsinStark.

Call for Entries for the Great Minerva Banner Mural Contest

ArtsinStark and the 20/20 Vision Minerva Committee are installing banner murals on buildings in downtown along historic “Market Street” (Hart Mansion to West Line Street) to celebrate the work of Minerva area artists.

We are inviting Minerva artists who currently live, or were born, within five miles of Minerva, OH to send in paintings or drawings for consideration. Up to five entries will be selected to be part of the first series banner murals. The banner murals will be installed in the spring of 2016. Each winning artist will be awarded $250 for permission to use their image on one of the banner murals. Winning entries will be determined through a “blind” process where a professional judge will select the winning entries based only on the images provided, without any of biographical information on the artist submitted with the entry.

Any Minerva area professional, amateur, or student artists are invited to submit up to three images for consideration. All submissions need to be received by email or by hard mail by 5 pm on December 31.

Email applications should be sent to:
Hard mail applications should be sent to: Justy Boggs, ArtsinStark, P.O. Box 21190, Canton, OH 44701-1190

All applications must include the following information:

1. Name
2. Minerva Area Address (if currently living within five miles of Minerva)
3. Birth address (if born within five miles of Minerva)
4. Phone number
5. Email Address
6. Hard mail Address
7. Age as either: under 18, or 18 years up

Color your World at the Stark County Artists Exhibition

By Judi Christy

I have attended a lot of art shows. So has my husband. Normally we part company somewhere between the whoosh of the revolving door and the first taste of slightly icky red wine that I always manage to drink in two gulps. This year’s opening of the Stark County Artists Exhibition at Massillon Museum was no different. The wine still made me pucker – but in a good way, as I excitedly entered the main gallery to see a delicious sampling of the treats from 41 area artists. I noticed some of the usual suspects, both hanging around the gallery and on the walls: Nancy Stewart Matin and Michele Waalkes; Photographer Mark Pitocco, wood smith Tom Migge, Diane Belfiglio and the girl about town, Heather Bullach.

It’s fun to see all the talent under one roof, laying their foundations of oil and acrylic, colored pencil, cloth, clay, glass, paper, plastic and goodness knows what else. As someone who has more trouble drawing the “hangman” than actually playing the game, I am easily overcome with the skill that these fragile few possess. How in the heck did he manage that detail with watercolor? Is that really colored pencil? What in the world gave her the idea to paint that?

It’s like being the kid in the candy store where your eyes dart to the bright and the shiny, and are still pulled to the rich of the chocolate. If only I had more money …
Most of the pieces are for sale. And, some were marked at the November 21 opening, with that coveted shape of all shapes, the little red dot. You are loved! (Maybe it should be a little red heart, as the feeling is certainly the same for the buyer and the seller.)

If it was payday and not the Saturday on the heels of a car repair, I probably would have insisted that a little red dot (heart!) be marked on “The Dog Lay Dead on a Field of Ashes,” a wood cut by William Bogdan. I also liked “Mr. Fluffy and Master Thief,” by M.D. Mahoney. My notes, with three actual stars by this title, indicate that it was an oil. But, I am embarrassed to say that I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it looked like. But, by God, it was starred with a fury. Bruce Humbert’s “Emerald Beauty,” was also in my notebook with an exclamation point and the indication that it also an oil. This means that I also liked it. And, I have a hunch that it was green – not the color of my couch.

Which brings me to a point: I am not an art critic, art writer, artist or art aficionado. I, like so many of you, just know what I like at that particular point of the day, moon rotation, or blood sugar level. Another visit to the Massillon Museum would no doubt be met with other stars, smiley faces and exclamation points.
And, isn’t that the real beauty of it?

Being judged in the eye of the beholder is a tough task for artists. I saw it on the faces of those 41 who waited to see who would be crowned as Best in Show. It was Ted Lawson, a great guy and a very talented painter. I’m happy for Ted; he certainly earned his heart that night.

But, so did 41 artists whose work was selected among a group of 67, with a total submission of 172 entries. Of these, 63 pieces of artwork were chosen to be part of the Stark County Artists Exhibition, a tradition at Massillon Museum since 1934. And, in case you’re checking my math in this paragraph of many numbers, you don’t need an eraser. Some of the 41 artists had multiple pieces selected. Which is pretty great, considering a stipulation of this show is that the work must have been created within the last two years.

So, these people are talented AND prolific.

But, we already knew that. In Stark County we are so lucky to have people who dare to dabble, draw, deconstruct, desire and dream. They invite us to open our eyes – and yes, our wallets, to not only see what they’ve created but also to envision a world that is unframed.

The Stark County Artists Exhibition runs through January 10 at the Massillon Museum. While you’re there, see “Fashion Outlaws,” upstairs and work by the Canton Artists League in Studio M.

Judi Christy 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />Judi Christy is the Special Events and Marketing Manager for Fieldcrest Estate and a blogger for ArtsinStark

Canton Ballet’s The Nutcracker will feature New York City Ballet dancers

Canton Ballet is pulling out all the stops this December for its 50th anniversary! New York City Ballet dancers will perform the leading roles in Canton Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker in five performances on December 11-13 at the Canton Palace Theatre. NYCB soloist and Canton Ballet alumnus Zachary Catazaro and principal Sterling Hyltin will dance the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier. This will be a first for Stark County audiences to see performing members of America’s premiere ballet company here at home.

Opening night theatregoers will have an opportunity to meet the NYCB guest artists by attending the VIP After Party at the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography following the performance. Tickets are $35.

We are very excited to welcome home Zachary with Sterling Hyltin as guest artists for this outstanding highlight of our anniversary season,” says artistic and executive director Cassandra Crowley. “Watching Zachary dance with New York City Ballet has been truly rewarding for us at Canton Ballet.” During his 11 years with Canton Ballet, Catazaro studied primarily with Crowley and assistant to the artistic director Jennifer Catazaro Hayward, who is his mother. His father is Thomas Clark of Canton.

Catazaro was born in Canton and began his dance training at the School of Canton Ballet. A graduate of Hoover High School, he studied at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, during the summers of 2003 and 2006, and then enrolled as a full-time student later that same year. In October 2007 he became an apprentice with New York City Ballet, and joined the Company’s corps de ballet in October 2008. He was promoted to soloist in February 2014.

Admission is $21-25 for adults, $21-17 for seniors and $11-13 for children. There is a discount for groups of 15 or more. Reserved seat tickets may be purchased online at and in person or by telephone at 330-455-7220 at the ballet box office in the west wing of the Canton Cultural Center for the Arts, 1001 Market Ave. N. in Canton. Office hours are 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday. Use the Cleveland Avenue entrance.
The beautifully restored historic Palace Theatre is located at 605 Market Ave. N. in the downtown Canton Arts District. There is a wheelchair seating area on the main floor. The theatre box office opens one hour before performance times for advance purchase pickups and walkup sales only. Ticket purchase in advance is recommended for this popular event.

Canton Arts District: The best place in the world to buy a gift

By Maranda Saling

Looking for the perfect gift? Look no further than the Canton Arts District or damn near close to it- Seriously! Recently Just Imagine, with goods from the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities art program, and Colette’s Vintage Clothing Store and Fashion Design Studio opened new store fronts in the 200 block of 6th St NW! We’re also thrilled to welcome Print & Press featuring LetterPress Jess and Little Chicago Clothing Company located at 429 4th St NW officially in May 2016, but at all First Fridays until then! Love the unique items that only museum gift shops offer? Check out the gift shops at Canton Classic Car Museum, National First Ladies Library and Museum and Canton Museum of Art. Did you draw the caffeine junkie of the group in the gift exchange this year? Coffee goodies can be found at Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, Cultured Coffee Company and Muggswigz. Looking to add some bling to your significant other’s jewelry box? Look no further than our own Gasser Jewelers, Julz by Alan Rodriguez or Capestrain Jewelers for that perfect, “No you didn’t!!” gift. Want to thank your co-worker for hosting the Holiday Party? Stop by Canton Flowers and have a beautiful bouquet send their way!

Now we’ve gotten to many peoples favorite item: Clothes! Where does one buy clothes downtown you might ask: Afore mentioned Colette’s Vintage Clothing and Dress No Evil of course! For the active person in your life, stop by Collective Skate/Art/Snow or Downtown Yoga for boards, yoga pants and accessories for varies sports. Per usual, the local talent at the following galleries is overflowing and such a treasured gift for anyone: Journey Art Gallery, Lynda Tuttle’s Art Center, Bliss, Second April Galerie and Studios, The Hub Art Factory and Studios and The Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography. We all have that person who has everything…. But I guarantee they don’t have everything in Arrowhead Vintage and Handmade Goods or Stoffer’s Market! You can even get furniture here people- Elemental Arts is the perfect stop for quality made, beautiful pieces that are not only functional, but also a topic of conversation! How about treating someone on your list to a Canton Food Tour?

As if you needed another reason to avoid Belden Village. Shop Local in the Canton Arts District this year!

Maranda Saling 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />Maranda Saling is the owner of Bellflower Communications and a blogger for ArtsinStark

Translations “Really Big Art Sale” Saturday

By Craig Joseph

My house is overrun with art. Ever since leaving Translations’ physical location downtown, my home has become the storage place for all the pieces that accumulated over the six years the gallery has been in business. Pieces that artists never picked up after exhibits came off the wall. Items that patrons paid for but left behind, even after several calls and e-mails. Random gifts, unclaimed portfolios, estate sales, throw-offs from my own collection, and much more.

This fall, I started compiling it all in my basement – pulling pieces out of closets, grabbing things from under beds, unpacking boxes in the garage and basement, taking things off the wall to make room for recent purchases. My first thought was, “Wow, I need to get rid of some of this stuff. I should just have a sale and offer things at greatly discounted rates right before the holidays.”

So we’re doing that. As Translations ends its existence this December, we’re holding a one-day REALLY BIG ART SALE on Saturday, December 5th, from 10 AM to 4 PM at Cyrus Custom Framing (2645 Cleveland Avenue, Canton, OH 44709). We’ll be offering pieces at 30-60% off what they cost when they were first on the walls, getting our patrons some really great deals on beautiful stuff, while still paying the artists or recouping some of the gallery’s cost. We hope you’ll join us.

But my second, more lasting thought – and a better reason for stopping by on Saturday – was “How fortunate!” How fortunate to have had the opportunity to do this for six years. How fortunate to have rubbed shoulders with, worked alongside, and fostered the creativity of over 400 artists and writers. How fortunate to live in a community that encourages the arts. And how fortunate to have a group of patrons who’ve supported us financially and with good will all of this time.

More than just a great sale, Saturday’s display is for me – and I hope for many of you – a walk down memory lane, highlighting all the ways in which we – patrons and artists alike – accomplished what Translations set out to do from day one: “to create, cultivate and host innovative exhibits that catalyze fellow artists and expand the audience for art in Stark County.” Our name came from the idea that art could help foster dialogues between varied groups of people. When I look at this artwork, I don’t just see oil paints, photos, encaustic, sculpture; I see the faces of people who’ve engaged, discussed, challenged, thought, provoked and more. And I’m nothing but grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to be part of it.

CraigJoseph 300w, 144w, 900w, 960w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />Craig Joseph is the mastermind behind Translations Art Gallery and Seat of the Pants Productions

Pop Art: Uncorked at the Canton Museum of Art.

By Judi Christy

The idea of a paint and sip party is not new. Through a few Google clicks, I found evidence of one such idea in 2005, started by a 30-something and her stay-at-home mom friends who decided that Pino Grigio was a nice accompaniment to talking about Pampers and putting paint on a brush. Apparently tired of story hours and make-n-takes involving glue sticks and glitter, the Moms wanted their own way to release creative juices, not packaged with a bendable straw.

Sure, they could attend a book club and probably did. But, the paint and sip party was so much more fun, with no reading, experience or fibs about actually “getting” the plot line, required. In fact, you didn’t even have to talk (as if that was actually going to happen).

So, the paint and sips gained appeal. They popped up in neighbor’s homes, restaurant backrooms, church basements, and when you were really lucky – the local art museum.
Enter: The Canton Museum of Art.

No stranger to art education classes for adults and children, the Canton Museum of Art (CMA) jumped on the trend a tad bit before it actually got trendy. I actually attended one of these early sessions, couched as a Girls Night Out, about three years ago. It was just one of those things that I did with some co-workers, to stick around in Canton after the street lights came on – and of course, to support the arts.

It was fun.

So, I came back to the CMA two additional times, with other buddies and a thirst for doing something fun on a Tuesday night. By now, the title of the CMA’s programs was, “Uncorked,” – a creative play on the verb that means to “release from constraint,” something that is more easily accomplished, for some, with a plastic cup of chardonnay.

The program was a hit at the Museum. On the sessions that I attended, every seat was full and they never had enough pretzels – but never mind, my hands were busy mixing colors and dabbing and dotting, under the instructional eye of Erica Emerson, the Education Manager. Miss Emerson, who I want to say has the “patience of Job” – even though I never did look up the scripture passage to see what this actually means – is very calm. Maybe it’s because of the cabernet, but I give her more credit than that. She’s just nice. She is also very talented and very methodical, as she explains and demonstrates various techniques and outcomes that the class members may choose to use or simply ignore.

I’m somewhere in the middle on these things. I realize that the teacher has way more knowledge than I do, but I don’t want to paint by numbers (note – I don’t literally mean that this is a paint by numbers exercise, but that some people in the Uncorked sessions actually follow the teacher, step by step, so their work looks exactly like the example.). Not me.

I get the gist of the technique and the mood of the master. Then I sort of play. Oh, and I drink wine. But surprisingly, I don’t do much talking. I’m sort of in my own head, riding a wave, or wading through water lilies pads or picking flowers in a garden. And I’m truly relaxed – probably for the only time that week, or even that month.
I assure you that the two hours and two glasses of wine go down easy. It’s money ($35) and time well spent.

And, the good news is that you don’t have to be a drinker (pop and bottled water is available) or more importantly, an artist. The image you create is yours — not Van Gogh’s, Matisse’s, Klimt’s or the lady’s in the front row who you swear has taken “real” painting lessons before.

Who cares? At Uncorked, there’s no test, no worries and certainly no “best of show” ribbon to be awarded. And, even if you don’t leave with a masterpiece that matches your couch, I guarantee that your drive home will be so much more colorful.

The next Uncorked at the Canton Museum of Art is Tuesday, December 15 @ 6 p.m. The muse? Van Gogh’s “Almond Branches.” Register today @