Monthly Archives: May 2016

School of Canton Ballet Now Enrolling Summer Classes

School of Canton Ballet summer classes are a great way for current students to maintain their levels of training and for new students to enter the ballet school program. Classes for all ages are offered in two 4-week sessions, June 13 to July 6 and July 13 to August 3. The program includes a full range of classical ballet plus other dance styles. Pianists accompany all ballet classes. There are scholarships available for boys. View special discounts and register online at or call 330-455-7220.

Two very special happenings are the dance camps for ages 4-7. Prince and Princess DanceCamp will be June 13-17 and Princess DanceCamp, August 10-13. Both camps offer creative movement classes led by early childhood specialist Julie Mizer Grasse. Register for both and receive a $15 discount. Students will make fun crafts and enjoy healthy snacks.

At Ballet 101 students ages 6-7 will learn basic ballet steps and terminology while dancing to music and exploring movement with fun crafts and healthy snacks. Dates are June 13-17 and June 27-July 1.

In early childhood division classes led by Mrs. Grasse—Mom & Me for toddlers, Predance for 3-year olds, Creative Movement I & 2 for fours and fives and Preballet for 6-7 year olds—children learn to release their imagination through rhythm and music and to enjoy the magic as well as the discipline of movement.

In elementary level classes for ages 7 through preteen, students are introduced to classical ballet training appropriate to the physical development of their bodies. There will a 3-week Elementary Workshop July 11-28 for previous students of Elementary 1, 2 and 3 or equivalent experience. Students will have daily ballet class as well as weekly jazz, modern, tumbling, choreography and rehearsal for a final performance on July 28. Student must take all three weeks to be eligible to perform.

For the serious dance student a 5-week Intensive Workshop will meet June 27-July 28 with activities planned to enhance the daily training necessary for aspiring dancers. Students will take instruction in ballet, pointe, modern dance, makeup, jazz and an intensive study of dance composition resulting in choreography which they will present in a public performance at the end of the workshop.

Teen and adult ballet classes are slated for two sessions, June 13-July 6 and July 13-August 3 for ages 14 and older just beginning or wishing to return to dance study.

School of Canton Ballet faculty includes artistic and executive director Cassandra Crowley, assistant to the director Jennifer Catazaro Hayward and choreographer in residence Angelo Lemmo in addition to Grasse.

For registration details and further information see, call 330-455-7220 or visit the Canton Ballet office. Summer business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The ballet office and studios are located in the west wing of the Cultural Center for the Arts, 1001 Market Avenue N. in Canton. Use the Cleveland Avenue entrance.

J-Jams is Back! Live Music at Lunchtime!

ArtsinStark wants to get out for lunch in your neighborhood for some live music! J-Jams starts this summer for the seventh year. Get out for lunch for some fresh air, shade, and live music! Every Wednesday, from 12-1pm, ArtsinStark brings you J-Jams, the free outdoor concerts in June and July at the Cultural Center for the Arts, 1001 Market Ave N. Free parking, free admission! Gather under the covered patio at the chairs and tables, next to the Civic Center with your bag lunch or takeaway. If you don’t have time to bring your own—you can easily purchase a hot dog meal, snacks, and drinks.

June 1- Pat Masalko
June 8- Andy Cyphert
June 15- Ryan Humbert
June 22- Scott Paris
June 29- Dean James

July 6- Cody Martin
July 13- Rock, Salt, and Nails
July 20- Rhythm in Blue
July 27- Saxy Rob

Summer Serenades in the Park Return!

The popular program that combines the spontaneous sounds of nature and people enjoying a park with the orchestrated sounds of musicians is returning this summer.  Serenades in the Park is a free, family-friendly series of brass, woodwind, and string ensembles performing all over Stark County.  Everyone is invited to bring your favorite picnic food, games, and blanket or chair and enjoy the setting and music.

The Canton Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in partnership with the Stark County Park District (SCPD) will present the 5-concert series June to August.  The series is sponsored in part by the Dominion Foundation.

The series consists of one hour performances taking place each month in June, July and August and features a different small ensemble of CSO musicians in a casual program of light classics, pops, patriotic, jazz and/or folk repertoire.   Pre-concert activities before the performances coordinated by CSO and SCPD staff will enable audience members to experience live animals, crafts, building musical instruments out of recycled materials and instrument petting zoo.

The Canton Symphony Orchestra is looking forward to the repeat collaboration.  “We are building on the strength of the program from last year,” reflects Lisa Boyer, CSO Director of Education and Community Engagement. “We had great audiences and feedback and are looking forward to seeing more new faces this year!”  Likewise, the Stark County Park District sees many benefits to the program. “The series will offer carefree moments and quality time with family and friends in familiar and undiscovered parks in our community,” says Jared Shive, SCPD Marketing Specialist.  “We recommend putting them together and enjoying the arts in the parks this summer”.

The schedule of the performances is:
June 7, 2016      6:30pm     Exploration Gateway         Brass Quintet             
Live animal display beginning at 5:30 (in case of rain, the concert will be moved indoors)

June 23, 2016    6:30pm     Magnolia Flouring Mills    String Quartet            
Mill tours, instrument petting zoo, instrument building beginning at 5:30

July 12, 2016     6:30pm     Quail Hollow Park               String Quartet            
Instrument petting zoo in the Nature Center and House beginning at 5:30

July 28, 2016     6:30pm     Cook’s Lagoon                   Woodwind Quintet 
Farmers Market from 3:00-6:00pm

August 11, 201  6:30pm     Minerva Municipal Park    Brass Quintet             
Live animal display and instrument building beginning at 5:30

The mission of the Stark County Park District is to acquire, preserve, and develop natural areas for passive recreation, conservation, education, and nature appreciation.  Stark Parks offers more than 14 parks and 100 miles of hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails and four lakes for boating, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. More information is available at

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain. Under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the orchestra performs classical, pops, holiday, and educational programs. Most performances are in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall at the Zimmermann Symphony Center 2331 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio (adjacent to McKinley High School). For more information, please visit

ArtsinStark Campaign Hits Goal for 11th Straight Year

It took to the very last day of an 11-week marathon to get it done, but ArtsinStark’s 2016 Annual Arts Campaign has made goal for the 11th straight year in a row.  At the Victory Luncheon held at Canton Glassworks and the Hub Art Factory in the Arts District on Wednesday, volunteers and arts leaders cheered as 2016 Campaign Chair Jim Porter, CEO/Publisher of The Repository announced “We’ve done it again!” Porter reminded everyone that “In a challenging economic environment like this one — it’s all about just getting to the $1.7 million goal.” More than 100 volunteers worked on the drive and 30 companies hosted arts workplaces for the arts.  ArtsinStark Board Chair Max Deuble thanked Porter for his amazing leadership saying “Jim’s determination was inspirational, and The Repository’s coverage about how art changes lives in our schools, our downtowns, and our neighborhoods made all the difference.”

ArtsinStark runs one of the 60 united arts fund drives in America.  The 1.7 million in dollars raised through the Annual Arts Campaign support our largest arts organizations: the Canton Ballet, Canton Museum of Art, Canton Symphony, Massillon Museum, Palace Theatre, Players Guild and Voices of Canton.  They also provide grants for some of our smaller arts organizations, individual artists, and other nonprofits looking to use the arts to deliver innovative programs.  They underwrite the SmArts Program in the schools.  They help downtowns across the county use live music, public art, and artist studios and galleries to revitalize themselves.  They produce “First Fridays.”  And they help keep the Cultural Center for the Arts, which will be 50 years old in 2020, up and running.  “Every year the arts change the lives of 200,000 people in Stark County,” says ArtsinStark Vice Chair Emil Alecusan. “We want to use the arts to make Canton a center for innovation, and the kind of super, creative place that turns kids into the geniuses of tomorrow.”

ArtsinStark is a 46-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).  What it doesn’t earn, it raises each spring through the Annual Arts Campaign.  As of today, ArtsinStark is the only united arts fund drive in America to ever make goal for 11 years in a row, and is also winner of the Governor’s Award for the Arts.  More information at


Hartville Seeking Talented Youth for Music Showcase

Do you have a musical talent? Are you 12-22 years old? Apply now to perform in Hartville’s Youth Music Showcase. Event will be held July 9th during Historic Downtown Hartville‘s Get Out & Play street festival. Vocal or instrumental acts of soloists or groups (up to 5 members) will perform in 12 minute sets. Prizes awarded to the top three performers. The Youth Music Showcase is hosted by the Historic Downtown Hartville Merchants with support from Arts in Stark and Visit Canton. Proceeds benefit downtown events and improvements.
Apply online at Deadline to apply is June 10th.

CSO Conductor Accepted to Miami Music Festival

The Canton Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announces that Dr. Rachel L. Waddell has been accepted as an assistant conductor to the Miami Music Festival Conducting Institute in Florida during the summer of 2016.  Waddell is the Association Conductor for the CSO and Music Director and Conductor of the Canton Youth Symphonies.

The Miami Music Festival Conducting Institute is a three-week intensive program for aspiring conductors who wish to gain experience in the symphonic and operatic fields. Participants work with leading guest faculty including Gustav Meier and Grzegorz Novak, resident faculty Jacomo Bairos and Michael Rossi. Conducting Institute participants receive weekly lessons, daily conducting classes, and the opportunity to explore conducting techniques in real settings including festival rehearsals, chamber performances, opera staging rehearsals, and orchestra readings. The MMF Conducting Institute is one component of the Miami Music Festival that also includes an Orchestral Institute, the Miami Opera Institute and a Piano Institute.

“This is an incredible opportunity for me to study and grow with some extraordinary faculty and students,” Waddell states, “I want to use the experience to be inspired, so I can continue sharing my talents and passion with the greater Canton community.”

In her role as the CSO’s Associate Conductor under Music Director Gerhardt Zimmermann, Waddell conducts the orchestra’s pops and educational programs, and guest conducts on MasterWorks performances. This April, she conducted the Ohio premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Dreamtime Ancestorswith the CSO.  In addition to her appointment at the CSO, Waddell also served as a guest conductor of Cleveland’s Suburban Symphony Orchestra, the first female to conduct them, and held the interim position of Director of Choral Activities at Kent State University, Stark. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Vocal Performance from the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut, a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Northern Arizona University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain. Under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the orchestra performs classical, pops, holiday, and educational programs. Most performances are in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, adjacent to the Zimmermann Symphony Center 2331 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio. Parking at the Zimmermann Symphony Center is free. For more information, please visit

Fashionably Late

by Judi Christy

In January 1982, a few months prior to my graduation from the Journalism School at Kent State University, you could find me wearing red pegged pants, a super skinny neck tie and a bowling shirt that once belonged to a “Joe.” What you couldn’t find me doing was having interest in the largest and most valuable gift offered the University since its founding in 1910. As I would read in the Daily Kent Stater, the gift of 4,000 costumes and accessories, nearly 1,000 pieces of decorative art and a 5,000 volume reference library, from fashion partners Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman, would be the foundation of the Kent State University Museum and closely linked to the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, which officially offered the fashion design major in the following year.

Fast forward to May 2016. After planning an outing for my female in-laws and daughter, I pointed the Audi to the former White Hall and set out for a day of high fashion fun. You could find me wearing couture from Charming Charlies (the discount rack) and scratching my head that Captain Brady’s was now (of course) a Starbuck’s. I had not been on campus for decades.

But the “rock” was still on the lawn covered with Greek-lettered paint, offering a jolly backdrop to the black squirrels scampering around it. I was finally here.

The Kent State Museum (not really called the Fashion Museum) is $4 for alumni and free for current students. We got a discount and a wheelchair for my mother-in-law, both cheerfully granted by the Museum attendants, dressed quite spiffily in jackets and ties. The tone was set.

We were the only ones visiting at 10:30 a.m. on that Saturday. So, we were free to talk loudly (my mother-in-law requires it) and spend as much time as desired to ponder, read, giggle, gawk and gleefully imagine a time gone by and a figure boasting a 15” waistline. Those darn Victorians!

There are currently six exhibits running with the aforementioned Fashion Timeline exhibit that delightfully includes two centuries of fashion history, and how it was influenced by political, technological and cultural developments. Three rooms house this collection, which will stay consistent until June 2018, when the clothing and related artifacts (jewelry, glassware, purses, etc.) will be swapped to other pieces in the Museum’s collection but keeping the same order and theme. The final room in the Fashion Timeline, was admittedly my favorite, focusing on jazz and Art Deco, and peeking my interest for the collection that I really came to see.


Ever since I fell in love with Jay Gatsby, probably in 10th grade, I have adored the drop-waisted, fringe-infused style of the flapper. Daisy would have done these garments justice, as they, a bit longer, sleeker and oh so elegant than there Edwardian predecessors, were truly works of art. As the curator notes read, “The term, flapper, refers to the generation of young women who came to age just as World War I ended and shocked the older generation with their short hair and short skirts, their drinking and smoking and swearing. Flappers faced a world strikingly different from the one their mothers knew and their clothing reflected this dramatic break with the past.” Had I been older, taller and thinner — I so would have epitomized this gal.

But, I was destined for punk pants and shoulder pads.

So, on our visit, I was forced to stay behind the gold rope. But, the view was spectacular. All the glitz and glamour of a Gin Ricky affair can be imagined by viewing this stunning collection – in person. The 40+ pieces including undergarments, evening wraps, sportswear, menswear and footwear – and of course the dresses – will be up through Labor Day 2016.

If you visit before July 31, you will also view INSIDE OUT: REVEALING CLOTHING’S HIDDEN SECRETS

This is truly a behind the scenes (or more accurately, below the belt) view of the hidden workmanship under beautiful handmade custom clothing. In many cases, the inside is more beautiful than the outer garment as the hand-stitching, weights, pockets, quilted linings, boning, ruffles and labels all come to light when the garments are flipped inside out. The exhibit truly highlights what lies beneath the rise and fall of hemlines or the tightening and loosening of waistlines. You will be fascinated by this showing and a little disgusted that your garments only sport an interior of poor machine stitching and a (not) made in the USA label. I left wishing that I didn’t skip out of Home Ec at Ellet High School.

But, we cannot turn back time – or reclaim that Singer sold at the yard sale.

So, we continued as spectators. As such, we ended our visit with FOCUS: FIBER 2016
I was probably more in touch with this exhibit, having seen this type of art form in Canton and beyond and being fascinated and amused by what artists can do with yarn, string, wool and imagination. Focus: Fiber 2016 is a juried exhibition of contemporary fiber art coordinated by Textile Art Alliance. Textile Art Alliance (TAA), an affiliate group of the Cleveland Museum of Art. It runs through July 3.

My travel mates were a bit perplexed by the offerings, 56 works of contemporary fiber art, including weaving, basketry, quilts, tapestry, felting, and embroidery. Some of it was admittedly odd. But, I like odd. And, since I planned the outing, I made the girls wander and read the artists’ notes before allowing everyone to exit through the gift shop.

We had a lot to talk about at lunch, with everyone enjoying the visit. “Let’s make this an annual thing,” I think I heard one of them say.

The Kent State Museum
515 Hilltop Drive
Kent, Ohio 44242

Regular Hours:
Monday and Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 10 am to 4:45 p.m.
Sunday Noon to 4:45 p.m.

ArtsinStark Campaign Falling Short

As the numbers crunch now, when the 2016 Annual Arts Campaign ends on May 25 in 15 days, it will fall at least $50,000 short of its $1.7 million goal. “That’s because of a combination of corporate restructuring and a slowing economy,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins, “that’s really hurting us.” The annual drive to raise dollars for all the arts is being chaired by Jim Porter, CEO/Publisher of The Repository. He believes there’s a chance. “If we finish all our calls, finish our arts workplaces in companies — and get a bunch of folks to give a little something for the first time — we can still do this.” N0t making goal will mean making cuts to art programs in schools, downtowns, and neighborhoods that reach 200,000 people a year. So, in the final two weeks remaining, hundreds of volunteers are working very hard to make sure that does not happen. More information at .

ArtsinStark is the major annual investor in the seven largest arts organizations here: the Canton Ballet, Canton Museum of Art, Canton Symphony, Massillon Museum, Palace Theatre, Players Guild and Voices of Canton. Annually, the county arts council provides nearly $1.2 million into these groups. “When we reduce support for these organizations,” says Ed Levy, Chair of ArtsinStark’s Operating Grants Committee, “we threaten the very future of the arts here.”

Over the last ten years ArtsinStark has given out $1.5 million in 600 little grants to churches, YMCA’s, YWCA’s, Boys and Girls Clubs, universities, libraries, schools, theatres, museums, historical societies, festivals, hospitals, Girl Scouts, food pantries, and individual artists. “Every single community in Stark County has received an ArtsinStark grant of some kind,” says ArtsinStark Board Chair Max Deuble. “So it’s incredibly important we keep this support going.

Last Friday, ArtsinStark hosted its 107th First Friday in the Canton Arts District. Eight years ago there was one just art gallery and five pieces of public art in downtown Canton. Today there are 26 art galleries and studios, and 55 new pieces of public art. “Why this is so important is that it’s not just downtown Canton we’re talking about,” says Emil Alecusan, ArtsinStark Vice Chair. “ArtsinStark has awarded grants and put arts projects in all our downtowns including Alliance, Jackson, Louisville, Massillon, Minerva, Hartville, North Canton, and Canal Fulton.”

Finally, there’s the revolution in education ArtsinStark has started. It’s called the SmArts Program and it has supercharged learning for 30,000 kids in every one of the 17 public schools systems in Stark County — and all of the Catholic elementary and middle schools as well. “We are changing the way schools teach by bringing the arts and the sciences together,” says ArtsinStark board Treasurer Greg Luntz. “That is great news for the 21st century workforce that America needs.”

ArtsinStark is a 46 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). What it doesn’t earn, it raises each spring through the Annual Arts Campaign. Last year ArtsinStark became the only united arts fund drive in America to ever make goal for 10 years in a row. “The next 15 days will determine whether or not that amazing record can be continued,” says ArtsinStark board member Faye Heston. “And I believe, if we keep working hard, we’re going to do it.”

74th Annual May Show Little Art Gallery

by Judi Christy

The older I get, the more I realize that there are only a few things that can be counted: True friends; immediate family; the nose tingle from too much wine; and the May Show in North Canton. For 74 years (about 20 before my time), Stark County artists, aged 16 or older, have had the opportunity to have their 2D and 3D work be part of a rigorously juried show that according to the catalog, is “designed to recognize the talents and achievements of local artists.”

This year, 50 pieces made the cut. A husband and wife juried team, the first in the show’s history, made the tough decisions from over 80 submissions. Christopher and Mary Hoot noted that it took five rounds of deliberations to reduce the pieces and select the finalists. And, I have to wonder if this process was easier or more difficult given not only their varied background in art, graphic design, research and publishing plus their vows to “love, honor and obey.”

In any case, they did a fine job. The exhibit is varied, fun and perplexing.

According to Elizabeth Blakemore, curator of the Little Art Gallery (inside the North Canton Public Library), all pieces are put on the walls or on display shelves for the jury process. No slide or electronic submissions are accepted. Jurors see the real deal and choose the show by removing pieces one at a time until they get the mix that works – at least for them. “Each composition set a tone and the most successful ones were evident quick quickly while others took some time to fully appreciate,” wrote the Hoots in their juror statement.

As BEST In SHOW, they chose “Petite Pinto,” a jaunty jointed horse by artist Pat Waltz and created with fabric, stoneware and embroidery. I noticed it right away, smiling at its playfulness and not even realizing (or seeing) its accolade until it was pointed out by Miss Blakemore. (I’m observant like that.) I was also draw to “Vegan Butcher Shop” (even before I read the title) for its humor and execution of paint on glass. And, although it didn’t have a shiny ribbon of appreciation for artist John Bruce Alexander, it was the first piece to sell at the show’s opening. So there’s that.


Other pieces that caught my attention were Russ Hench’s “Key West Wake Up Call,” a big rooster that you will not be able to miss when you visits the gallery; “Teabag on Cardboard,” by Allyson Stiffler for its accuracy on name and visual; and Michelle Mulligan’s gourd collection enhanced with acrylic and found objects and titled, “Her Story.” First place “Rainclouds Near Hartville,” also caught my eye, but only after seeing it very up close to appreciate the detail and richness of the dark and stormy night caught by the brush of artist Ron Watson.

But, hey what do I know?

I am not an artist. Sure, I can draw a hangman, but I am so much better at guessing the word in this game of wit and will.

That’s why I can certainly appreciate an artistic/mathematic equation made from LEGOs, a stiff white button-down flanked with an American flag and crucifix, and oversized face of a woman with blue lips and a serious looking Civil War soldier. But, I’m sure you will find others that will make you smile, click your tongue or perhaps scratch your head or conscience. And, that’s the beauty of the eye of the beholder breakthrough.

So, don’t rush it. Walk around. Stop. Think. And do it again. It took the jurors five spins before they got dizzy and jumped off the ride with their hands up to make the statement of “That’s it!”

So, take your time.

The 74th May Show @ The Little Art Gallery runs this whole month. It is FREE and open to the public during the open hours of the North Canton Public Library (185 N. Main Street, North Canton) where it is housed. See it Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Mary Poppins on Stage at the Players Guild Theatre

The Canton Players Guild has dusted off their tapestry bag and put the word out for a handsome chimney sweep, because their next performance will be one that you already know! They garnered positive reviews for performances like Les Miserables, A Christmas Carol, The Hobbit, and now they’re taking on Disney’s most beloved stories—-Mary Poppins! Join the Canton Players Guild as they tell you the tale of a delightfully perfect nanny who rules with a firm hand and a chirpy song. Young and old both will delight in the tried and true favorites coupled with some rousing new renditions—-enjoy the Disney songs that you already know and love along side the new music of the George Styles and Anthony Drewe.

Meg Martinez slips into the title role with an uncanny resemblance and a real talent for singing to birds! For about the price of a movie on Friday or Saturday, you can come out and see some truly talented artists act and sing in person. When the Canton Players Guild performs in the smaller venue, it feels like you’re a part of the fun!

Mary Poppins opens on Friday, May 13, and runs through May 29. Tickets are going quick, so early purchase is encouraged. If you’re looking to make it a special night, the Green Room is an option. This event space is open and available to groups of ten, includes a special menu with your larger selection of food and drink. If you’re looking to spread out during the performance, you can always choose Preferred Seating. With Preferred Seating, you get access to the special sofas and also a complimentary bottle of wine. When you’re buying your tickets, you’re able to make it a little more special with these upgrades—-a sofa AND a bottle of wine!

For more information, please visit