Monthly Archives: July 2016

“Reintegration of Pro Football” Painting and Mural to be Unveiled

On Friday August 5 at 4:30 pm a painting commemorating The Reintegration of Pro Football — as well as a 30 foot by 90 foot mural of that painting — will be unveiled at the Bliss Parking Deck at 238 Cleveland Avenue NW in downtown Canton. The artwork is part of The ELEVEN, a $2.2 million public art series of ArtsinStark and The Pro Football Hall of Fame celebrating the greatest moments in professional football history. “In 1946, 70 years ago, a full year before Jackie Robinson began playing professional baseball, four African American football players brought about the permanent reintegration of pro football,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins. “This art celebrates these heroic men: Marion Motley, Bill Willis, Woody Strode, and Kenny Washington.” The artist is Paul Collins from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Collins designed the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize Medal, won the People’s Choice Award in Paris, and has been voted one of the top 20 painters in America. A documentary called “The Forgotten Four” was released last year to tell the story of these four athletes. The public is invited to attend the 30 minute ceremony.

There had been a handful of African American players in pro football between 1904 and 1933, but from 1934 to 1946 — pro football had its own color barrier. That all changed in 1946, when the Los Angeles Rams signed Strode and Washington, and the Cleveland Browns signed Motley and Willis. This moment of The ELEVEN is being sponsored by 1) The George H. Deuble Foundation,
2) The Hoover Foundation, 3) Stark Community Foundation, and 4) Timken Foundation of Canton. In-kind Supporters are Hilscher-Clarke Electric and KebCo Precision Fabricators.

This is the fourth moment of The ELEVEN to be unveiled, and the first mural. In August, 2014 artist Michael Clapper presented the first moment, his 25-foot steel and glass sculpture The Birth of the NFL. In August, 2015 artist Gail Folwell delivered the second moment, her five bronze figure sculpture The NFL Draft. And just this June artist David Griggs installed his steel and granite sculpture The AFL/NFL Merger. “The eleven monumental pieces of public art will all be within walking distance of one another in downtown Canton,” says ArtsinStark Board Chair Max Deuble, “and our goal is to have all of them done by 2020 for the 100th anniversary of the NFL.”

Paul Collins created the 30-painting series “Other Voices- A Native American Tableau” which opened in New York and then went to Paris. Collins was commissioned by the Amway Japan Corporation to create paintings on the customs of the Japanese people. His “Voices of Israel” exhibit of 25 paintings on the history of Israel has toured all over the U.S. He was one of 23 painters commissioned by Anheuser Busch to create works celebrating African leaders, which led to him being featured in a TV commercial commemorating the original airing of “Roots.” He is the first African-American artist to paint the portrait of a sitting President of the United States.

BACKGROUND: ArtsinStark — Kids, Jobs, Communities. We are a 46 year old private, non-profit organization that gives out grants, manages the Cultural Center, 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 2016 the Campaign raised $1.7 million— to become the only united arts fund drive in America to ever make goal for 11 years in a row. (Over the last decade we have increased private sector giving to the arts by 85%.)

Harry Potter’s Birthday Celebration Movie Marathon!  

As difficult as it will be to believe, especially for the most devoted of Potterheads, the most famous boy wizard, Harry Potter, will turn 36 on July 31, 2016.

To celebrate this amazing fact, Fieldcrest Estate (1346 Easthill Street SE, North Canton) is hosting the Harry Potter’s Birthday Celebration Movie Marathon! Beginning with opening doors at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 31, the lodge will be the gathering place for chronologically watching all the films that put Harry on the map and in our hearts.

The movies are free and open to all. Children, 13 and under, must be accompanied by a chaperone. Meals and snacks, candy and butter beer will be available for sale throughout the 24 hour event, along with wizarding whims from the gift shop. Inflated pools, minus the water, are also available to rent for $20 (prior to the event) so friends and family members can cozy up in comfort. Call our office for details (330-966-2222) for details.

No food or drink will be permitted to be brought in.

The movie line-up and approximate start times are listed here:

Sunday @ 7 p.m.
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (2hr 39m )

Sunday @ 9:45 p.m.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2h 10m )

Monday @ 12:00 a.m.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2hr 22 )

Monday @ 2:30 a.m.
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire (2hr 37m )

Monday @ 5:15 a.m.
Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (2hr 18m )

Monday @ 7:45 a.m.
Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince (2hr 33m)

Monday @ 10:20 a.m.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 (2hr 10m )

Monday @ 12:40 p.m.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2hr 10 min)


20/20 Vision Louisville to Host Three Community Meetings

The public is invited to attend three community update meetings on ArtsinStark’s 20/20 Vision Louisville Program. The meetings will focus on how we are using arts and history programs to help revitalize downtown. The meetings will be chaired by Thomas Strouble who led the original planning process back in 2012. The objective is to both update the community on what 20/20 Vision Louisville has done to date, and to obtain input on the past, present, and future plans.

Meeting #1 will be 7 – 8 pm on Tuesday August 2, 2016 at the Education Center of Louisville (on Mill Street behind Edwards/Paumier Insurance). During this meeting we will hear from Robb Hankins, ArtsinStark CEO, on the strategy agreed to by the planning committee in 2012, and what has happened to date. All attendees will have the opportunity to express their thoughts.

Meeting #2 will 7 – 8 pm on Thursday August 11, 2016 at the Louisville Constitution Center. Copies of the plan and a written report on what has happened to date will be available and attendees can discuss any concerns and recommendations for improvement.

Meeting #3 will be 7 – 8 pm on Tuesday August 16 at the Louisville Constitution Center will be the final community meeting. The objective of this meeting will be to review any recommendations in an effort to improve future implementations.

People that can attend only one of the three meetings are welcome. We want to gather input and feedback from as many as possible. So please join us.

Canton Gypsy Market, July 30

In case your summer wasn’t full enough with community art scene, Saturday, July 30 features the Canton Gypsy Market at Merging Hearts Holistic Center. As the name suggests, the Gypsy Market will offer you a carefully selected group of around 50 vendors for your perusal. The sun will rise on some of Canton’s finest vendors for an open air pop up event! 

Gypsy Market is the love child of sister Keri and Kelly, local of course. At the age of 15, these twin sisters enjoyed time with their mother and grandmother who would instilled the love of craft and sewing. They taught the girls their appreciation of creating homemade items. Soon, they began daydreaming about their own boutique. Soon, they applied this love of handmade crafts to be more inclusive. They realized their calling just might be to feature the truly unique vendors and help their business grow. The Merging Hearts Holistic Center were able to continue their community outreach by pairing with the sisters K, to bring you this event. The Merging Hearts are very active in helping support non profit organizations and has a real love of community. 

There will be close to fifty truly incredible vendors, amongst them are names like Rockstar Rock Shop, PDP Studio, Sassy Trashionista, Bombshell Cupcakes—-check them out on Facebook before you head over and pick your own favorites!Think you might want to bring your wares to the Canton Gypsy Market? Founders Keri and Kelly  have been working at this for a long while. They travel to shows, visit with vendors, building complex and rich relationships with these small business owners. So, to be a part of Canton Gypsy Market, you have truly been vetted in a new kind of way, which makes this a bit more than just another pop up.

Keri and Kelly know that just fifty varied and quality vendors might not be enough to keep everyone enraptured. SO, there will also be a myriad of children’s activities, shopping & music, yoga and exposure to the community to the mission statement of Merging Hearts Holistic Center which gives opportunities to nurture the mind, heal the body and awaken the spirit.

Canton Gypsy Market

Saturday July 30th 10am to 4pm

Merging Hearts Holistic Center

3751 Burrshire Drive NW

Canton, OH 44709

The Best Man Opens This Weekend

In Gore Vidal’s classic 1960 play, The Best Man, two rival presidential candidates duke it out for the ex-president’s endorsement and to become their party’s nominee. Thankfully, if you’re tired of watching the real fights on TV, this night at the theatre includes no plagiarized speeches, e-mail scandals, or candidates by the name of Clinton and Trump. Instead, you’ll get a great satire on American politics that’s equal parts funny and dramatic.

My name is Scott Miesse, and I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to play the role of Joe Cantwell, a senator with plain naked ambition who will stop at nothing to win his party’s nomination. Sound familiar? Gore Vidal’s writing has stood the test of time, in large part because he was so prophetic about what politics was turning into; the issues he raises are incredibly timely. On the flip side, he had a good sense of what is timeless about human nature; Vidal was able to write intricate characters that are still so recognizable among today’s politicians. In the play Joe Cantwell’s opponent, William Russell, digs into him by noting that Joe is a self-made man who fights his way to the top, but how exactly he does it and who he clobbers to get there is not always in plain view. You might say there are characters who posses that kind of intensity and drive in recent presidential races, and we’re not always sure whether to admire their initiative or question what’s been going on behind the scenes. In a similar vein, there are characters, like Russell, who are intelligent, witty, and level-headed. You’d love to have them over for dinner, but you wonder if they have what it takes to be the leader of the free world. The tensions in both these men lead the play to ask who is the “best man” – and the answers it proposes are fascinating and complex. And maybe also a little scary, given today’s climate.

Our final production has come through weeks of rehearsal and it has been an absolute joy working with such professionals. Our director started our first four rehearsals with table work – sitting around a table together, reading and re-reading the play, talking about characters’ objectives and motivations. There have only been a few productions I have been a part of that utilize this kind of work before getting the actors up on the stage. During this time we broke down the play into units, or smaller segments. In a unit each character has a goal that encompasses another actor or actors onstage so it creates tension, needing something from someone else. Having done this work it is so helpful to then fully memorize the script with these details in mind that create a much more dynamic and interesting story.

The candidates are now in their corners ready to fight, and we hope you’ll join us for the main event. Lights, politics, action. This is a show down you do not want to miss.

The Best Man runs from July 29th through August 7th, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2 PM. The play is being performed at The Black Box Theatre at GlenOak High School, 1801 Schneider Street NE in Canton. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at


Massillon Museum to Offer Shadow Puppets Class

Children in grades five through eight are invited to attend Gary Spangler’s Shadow Puppets class at the Massillon Museum. The three-session class will meet on Tuesdays, August 2, 9, and 16, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Students will learn puppetry art by drawing, painting, and cutting to create their own puppets, then performing a puppet play.
The class fee—$45 ($40 per Museum member)—includes materials. Massillon Museum classes are open to the public. Pre-registration is required for this class by July 25. Students may register by phone, by mail, or in person using cash (exact change), checks, or credit cards. The Massillon Museum, as a Blue Star Museum, offers a 10% discount on classes for active military personnel and their families. For a detailed class schedule, call the Massillon Museum at 330-833-4061 or visit
Instructor Gary Spangler holds bachelor’s degrees in visual art: fibers and art education: K through 12 from Kent State University and a master’s degree in education from The University of Akron. He has taught art at Massillon City Schools, The University of Akron, Malone University, and the Massillon Museum. His teaching spans all ages and innumerable art forms including handcrafted books, photography, fibers, jewelry, enameling, origami, and ceramics.
The Massillon Museum receives operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark.
The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East (Ohio Route 172) in downtown Massillon.  Free parking is available on adjacent streets and in the nearby city lots and parking deck.

720 Market is Back!

by Jara Anton

Feel like the summer is already half over? It kind of is—-but there’s still time! This Saturday, July 23, from 10-4, RAIN OR SHINE, the 720 Market will make it’s followup appearance in the Hoover District Lot in North Canton. This carefully curated, open air market features close to 100 vendors and food trucks. The idea was to stay well-rounded and inclusive with a varied and daring mix of local artists, makers, and growers. 

A chat with the 720 Market creators Lynn and Dave Shipko revealed their labor of love—-they are both lifelong Stark County residents who grew weary of having to drive so far to other places to have access to an event like 720. So…they started their own! May 17 was the maiden voyage of the 720 Market and vendors that were involved were treated to an incredibly positive and profitable turnout. The July 720 Market has actually doubled its vendor list and maxed out their leased space!

The Shipko’s will manage, once again, to turn a boring ol’ parking lot into a shopper’s delight. Endless rows of tents will showcase the best local handmade goods, “makers, bakers, brewers, growers, builders, up-cyclers, jewelers” and so many more will be set up and ready for your consideration. You’ll see things you didn’t know existed but now somehow can’t live without. Food trucks will line the shopper’s oasis, offering all kinds of options no matter what your day plans. You could early-bird it and get some lunch or stop in late for dinner and a stroll. 

This Saturday’s 720 Market will also feature live music! Mary Pusateri & Friends (a folk inspired trio) will be on hand. Mary will have two of her students accompanying her on cello and keyboard. Akron’s COPALI, a funk fusion band, will start at 11:45 am and will continue until 1:45pm. Jimmy Chesterfield takes over from 2-3. Also, there will be a mid-day yoga stretch demo lead by Release Yoga. 

In case endlessly shopping isn’t really your first love—drop in for Stark Fresh’s Rain Barrel How-To Demo, or the demo by the Canton Quilters’ Guild. You can also check out the Make and Takes by some of the vendors, one word: 3D Printing! Ok, its more than one word—-but you get it…

So, pause your Saturday Morning Cartoons, put on some sunblock and get out and see what your community has for you!

720 Market

Saturday, July 23

Hoover District Lot

265 E Maple St, North Canton, OH 44720


Rain or Shine

For a full list of participating vendors, click here:

Massillon Museum Hosts Outdoor Movie TONIGHT!

The Massillon Museum, in collaboration with the Lincoln Theatre, will present an outdoor screening of Hotel for Dogs at 9:00 p.m. tonight (7/20), on the Museum lawn.

Guests should bring a chair or blanket for the family-friendly event. The party is free; donations will be welcome. Free art activities will be available from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. and refreshments will be offered for sale throughout the evening. Pets will be welcome. The Lincoln Theatre and the Massillon Museum will offer—during this event only—a joint membership at a special price.

In the 100-minute 2009 comedy, animals are strictly forbidden at the foster home where orphans Andi and her little brother Bruce live. They secretly care for Friday, an adorable dog, in a large abandoned hotel that Bruce transforms with his precocious engineering skills. In what becomes a paradise for dogs, Friday is joined by an assortment of canine friends whose barks soon alert the neighbors and the local pound, which has been puzzled by the disappearance of stray dogs. Andi and Bruce call on all their friends and their imaginations to keep their shelter’s secret from being divulged.

The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East (Ohio 172), in downtown Massillon. For more information, call the Massillon Museum at 330-833-4061 or visit

Stark County Artist Profile: Jay Spencer

by Stephen Ostertag

Stark County is home to a rare historic attraction, a 1920s era vaudeville and cinema theatre still in operation today. The majestic Canton Palace Theatre opens its doors regularly to show classic films, first run films, Canton Ballet performances, silent movies, theatrical performances, and concerts. If you’ve had the pleasure of attending the Palace anytime in the last twenty-two years, you’ve likely bared witness to two of the Palace Theatre’s gems; The “mighty” Kilgen Pipe Organ and its faithful organist Jay Spencer.

Before most Palace screenings begin the audience is treated to a Kilgen performance of classical and cinema music played live on stage. As the theatre lights dim, the Kilgen sinks out of sight and the screen comes to life. Through the combination of setting, cinema, and the Kilgen’s melodies guests of the Palace are lifted out of the now and experience the theatre just as the audiences of the 1920s.

You may ask yourself, what makes the Kilgen so special?

“It’s the last Kilgen theatre organ in the world still in its original home that is used regularly,” Spencer says, “It is very special.” Our Cantonian Kilgen is also one of only a few still being played in the U.S. Spencer adds, “Banks Kennedy was the original organist in 1926.  A psychic told me he was still there, and still plays along!  Let’s keep him happy.” It’s easy to believe stories of spirit activity given the opulent theatre interior and the flicker of the low warm lighting. Asked about any other out of this world experiences, Spencer added, “Of course, there was the time the strange ball of energy flew at me on stage.  We suppose it was one of the spirits telling me hello.  Who knows, but he missed me this time.”

Spencer, whose real life sounds like the plot for a TV crime show, works in the Canton City Police Forensics Lab and moonlights as the organist for the historic Palace Theatre. He has been playing the organ since age seven, and began at the Palace twenty-two years ago. “I should be better by now.” Jay says with a chuckle, then added, “I’ve been volunteering at the theatre for about thirty years. That’s crazy when you think about it, but I’ve loved almost every minute of it!” Volunteering at the Palace is a great way to get involved and support this highlight of our community, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Some events at the Palace have the ticket booth and concession stand swamped, “but it’s great to see so many people enjoying the theatre.”

Spencer has been noted for his fashionable socks when he takes to the organ, when asked about his variety of foot wear he said, “I have quite a few pairs of non-dark or non-white socks. I tend to like these oddly striped ones, but people seem to like the red ones best.” Spencer’s friendly chuckle bubbles up again and he adds, “I get comments on those more often.”

Spencer’s undeniable talent has taken him far since he took to the bench of the Kilgen. “Since I’ve played here, I’ve had the opportunity to perform in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Mansfield.” Spencer says adding, “All great theatre organs, I played for concerts and movies.” Asked if there were any pieces he’d like to play Spencer quickly replied, “I would love to play for the movie, WINGS, or Metropolis. Both very long, but maybe it’ll work out one of these days.” Thankfully, no matter how far he goes, he continues to return to the Palace.

Spencer has also been heavily involved in the local community theatre scene as an Actor, Director, Writer, and Producer. Asked about some of his favorite experiences, Spencer said, “I loved being in Into the Woods at Kent Stark. Phil Robb directed, and I had the best role, Narrator/Mysterious Man.” Another chortle, “Of course lots of people still know me as Father Mark, the drunken priest in Tony and Tina’s Wedding. One role I’d love to do sometime is the old man in Cabaret that sings the pineapple song and also the cop in Urinetown. ”

Spencer has also been a supporter and contributor to locally written new works. He says, “being a published playwright myself (Happy Anniversary Angel, Love Gino! Published thru Samuel French,) I love seeing new works being presented locally. I’ve written a couple, …Angel, Love Gino! was published and is still presented across America; the other I never submitted, but we took it to OCTA and it won a playwright award, Conversations at the Christopher Street Grille.” Spencer added, “I did We Rise, the Todd Walburn play performed at the Kathleen Howland in 2nd April.  LOTS of lines… but I felt it was good, and I acted well.”

“I’ve been in local theatre since the 1990s in one form or another.” He continued, “Like anything else, you get involved and it grows and builds, and develops into many parts of your life. I’m glad it did. I’ve met lots of wonderful people over the years. One of the first plays I directed, Neil Simon’s Fools at North Canton, was a youth production featuring ten teenagers. I still am involved in those kids’ lives, even though they are 35 years old now.” A smile spreads across his face as he adds, “Love each one of them, as if they were my own.”

Over his twenty plus years at the Palace, Spencer has earned some wonderful memories, “One night in about 1995,” he began, “Ashley Miller came into the theatre and played the Kilgen for pre-show. He was an original theatre organist from the 1920s, Ashley was a huge name in theatre organ circles, he has since died.” Asked about his favorite Palace programming, he quickly responds, “I love playing for the silent movies at the theatre! I wish we could get a bigger crowd for those. I don’t take any payment of doing them, it all goes to the organ fund to help maintain the Kilgen. I also really enjoy the Halloween movies like Nosferatu, and Phantom, and such. People like those! I also like the comedies, Keaton, Lloyd and Chaplin; all incredible films.”

“Second best is playing for First Friday,” Spencer adds, “when the kids are in the theatre, as I play the kids ring the orchestra pit, before I come up with the organ is the best. They look down at me, asking questions and wanting to know how I get in there. I know in 20 years they will all be saying…”Remember that old guy that used to play the organ at the Palace?” He chuckles, “My legacy!”

Spencer’s legacy at the Palace reaches beyond creating fond memories for the many guests of the Theatre, he is helping preserve history. When you take your seat at the Palace Theatre and the Kilgen begins you are experiencing history in the present, no imagination required. When you attend a silent movie screening, you are experiencing the cinema the way it was enjoyed in the 1920s. How can you help Jay Spencer preserve this cinematic experience? Attend films, theatre, concerts, ballet, and events at The Canton Palace Theatre and while you’re there find the donation jar for the Kilgen organ and drop your change. You can learn more about the Palace, the Kilgen, and the calendar of events at or by stopping by the Palace Theatre on the corner of Market and 6th Street in Downtown Canton.

Massillon Museum to Offer Mia Meow’s Art Adventures

Children ages four to six (accompanied by an adult) are invited to attend Mia Meow’s Art Adventures with artist BZTAT at the Massillon Museum. Participants will follow Mia Meow’s adventures as she tells stories and explores her world through art activities. Creative projects will reinforce learning during the summer months. Visit to learn more about the artist and her artwork.

The three-session class will meet on Sundays, July 24, 31, and August 7, from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m.

The class fee—$35 ($32 per Museum member)—includes materials. Massillon Museum classes are open to the public. Pre-registration is required for this class by July 19. Students may register by phone, by mail, or in person using cash (exact change), checks, or credit cards. The Massillon Museum, as a Blue Star Museum, offers a 10% discount on classes for active military personnel and their families. For a detailed class schedule, call the Massillon Museum at 330-833-4061 or visit

The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East (Ohio Route 172) in downtown Massillon. Free parking is available on adjacent streets and in the nearby city lots and parking deck.