Monthly Archives: December 2016

Albacete to Present Backstory of the Waltz

The guest presenter for the Canton Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) next ConverZations discussion on January 9 at noon will be M.J. Albacete, Executive Director Emeritus of the Canton Museum of Art.  ConverZations is a series of free public discussions, held at the Zimmermann Symphony Center (2331 17th Street NW), and features a variety of guest speakers who provide a pleasant and entertaining way for audience members to “get inside” the music. Sponsored by T. K. & Faye A. Heston and the Ada C. & Helen J. Rank Charitable Trust, the ConverZations Series will continue on the second Monday of every month until April 2017.

After a four-decade career with the Canton Museum of Art, M. J. Albacete retired in 2014 as Executive Director Emeritus.  For many years a member of the Ohio Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau, his lectures on art, music, and other topics number in the hundreds.  He served for a time as reviewer of Canton Symphony Orchestra concerts for The Repository, and a contributor to Fanfare Magazine.  At least once each season, he is on call to present a pre-concert lecture for the CSO, and has already made several appearances on the ConverZations series.  For the CSO’s recent “Music Takes Shape” education outreach program reaching almost 3,000 area students, M.J. designed a unique geometric construction project.  An Adjunct Professor at Kent State University Stark Campus, M.J. teaches a course on the history of architecture.

For the January 9 ConverZations, Albacete will explore the origins of the popular Viennese waltz and the evolution of the  popularity of the dance and several of its composers, mostly Johann Strauss and his sons, despite some critics warning that the waltz was immoral.  He will also touch on Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony.  The ConverZations topics are a direct link to the CSO’s January 28 MasterWorks concert which includes the Schubert symphony and several Strauss polkas and waltzes.

ConverZations attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch, and the orchestra provides coffee and a light dessert. For more information on upcoming ConverZations lectures and other events run by the Canton Symphony Orchestra, visit

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain residents of Stark County and beyond. The orchestra performs classical, holiday, casual, and a variety of educational programs in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, adjacent to the Zimmermann Symphony Center at 2323 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio, as well as other venues in Stark County. For more information, please visit or call (330)452-2094. Administrative offices are located at the Zimmermann Symphony Center 2331 17th Street NW, Canton OH 44708.

Canton Ballet Kicks Off Touchdowns & Tutus

A new fundraiser will bring gridiron to the dance floor!

Kickoff time for Canton Ballet’s inaugural fundraiser Touchdowns & Tutus is 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Umstaddt Performing Arts Hall on the Pro Football Hall of Fame campus. A performance event will pair local high school talents with Canton Ballet dancers before a panel of celebrity judges.

At 7:30 p.m. the VIP Tailgate Party, a meet and greet with the celebrities and performers and a tour of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will take place at the Pro Football HOF event center and will include specialty food, drinks and cash bar.

The Touchdowns & Tutus performance and the VIP after party are family friendly events.

Featured celebrities will include Cleveland Browns Daily analyst Matt Wilhelm; Sylvia (John) Mackey, Hall of Fame Class of 1992; two time Pro Bowler Vernon Davis of the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers; Emmy-nominated sports reporter Jamir Howerton; Tempy Moore, first female NFL-licensed professional artist for the Deacon Jones Foundation; renowned percussionist Elec Simon of the Cleveland Cavaliers Q-Stix and the Broadway touring company of STOMP; and Laura Alonso, international master ballet teacher and coach.

Dacia Biletnikoff, professional dancer and daughter of Oakland Raider legend and Class of 1988 Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff will perform with a surprise guest. Videos documenting the players’ journey with studio rehearsals, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews by sports journalist David Lee Morgan, Jr., will be shown. Morgan is author of LeBron James: The Rise of a Star.

The football players and their schools are Tyler Adams, Louisville; Chris Anthony, Massillon; Griffin Baumoel, Central Catholic; Gerard Berroteran, St. Vincent St. Mary; Nick Binnie, Hoover; Trey Carl, Minerva; Jaret Holzopfel, Perry; Francisco Pedrozo, St. Thomas Aquinas; Dean Sarris, GlenOak; and Clayton Tabler, McKinley.

Touchdowns & Tutus is conceived of and chaired by Ashley Bettis, a Canton Ballet alumna, former professional dancer and current member of the ballet’s board of trustees. Sponsorship chairs are Ben Biery and Sylvia Mackey. An advisory board includes Canton mayor Tom Bernabei, deputy mayor Fonda Williams, Lauren Capo of Q92 radio, Angela Biletnikoff, Aultcare Outreach Services VP Mike Gallina, Hall of Famer Mike Haynes, attorney Andrew Morton and Canton Repository special events reporter Todd Porter. Canton Ballet artistic and executive director is Cassandra Crowley.

Admission for the performance is $25 adult, $15 student and $35 preferred Gold Seating. The VIP Tailgate Party admission is $25 adult and $15 student. Tickets are available online at or call 330.455.7220.

Proceeds from Touchdowns & Tutus will benefit School of Canton Ballet financial aid, educational outreach and live music for all ballet classes. Canton Ballet studios and offices are located at the Cultural Center for the Arts in downtown Canton.

Canton Ballet receives funding in part from ArtsinStark, Ohio Arts Council and the National endowment for the Arts.

ArtsinStark Announces $1.1 million in Grants

At its December board meeting ArtsinStark’s Board of Directors approved $1,075, 000 in grants to 31 organizations and individual artists across Stark County. The grants were awarded in two categories: Operating and Special Projects. “Donors to the Annual Arts Campaign have made it possible over the last ten years for us to award $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,” says ArtsinStark board chair Emil Alecusan,” and another $1.5 million to 600 small non-profits, artists, and schools in every community in Stark County.” The programs supported by ArtsinStark grants reach more than 200,000 people a year, and is part of its mission to use the arts to create smarter kids, new jobs, and healthier communities. To see more information on ArtsinStark’s Grants Program and the list of this year’s award winners to date, please visit

The Operating Grants approved by the board for seven major arts organizations in Stark County total $1,039,835. “These are the crown jewels of our region,” says ArtsinStark board member Ed Levy, who is Chair of the Operating Grants Committee. “They operate at the highest professional level and are so important to attracting visitors to the region.”

Operating Grantee Amount Description
Canton Ballet $ 127,470 To host 10 performances of 3 major productions, do
school presentations, and offer hundreds of classes
to more than 300 students.
Canton Museum of Art $ 253,750 To host 10 exhibits, 2 major art shows, and 60
community events, classes and outreach programs
for more than 30,000 participants.
Canton Symphony $ 326,150 To host 7 classical concerts, 3 pops concerts, and a
range of intimate musical performances and
interactive programs for young audiences.
Massillon Museum $ 61,600 To host 6 Main Gallery exhibits, various permanent
collection and Studio M exhibits, 5 intimate concerts,
and numerous community lectures and workshops.
Palace Theatre $ 41,625 To provide over 100 movies and art films, live
concerts, dance performances and special events at
its historic theatre.
Players Guild Theatre $ 188,990 To present 8 major shows, touring productions for
K-12, along with classes and workshops.
Voices of Canton $ 40,250 To host 12 concerts by the adult chorus, and provide
educational outreach to schools.

The Special Project Grants go to 24 smaller arts organizations, non-profits, and individual artists and total $34,974. Ballet LaReve in Canal Fulton is taking dance programs to preschoolers. Keep Alliance Beautiful is creating a mural for a downtown mini-park. The Lions Lincoln Theatre in Massillon is establishing a young people’s theatre company. “These are special projects being run by organizations and individual artists that show us every day how art is changing lives all across Stark County,” says Special Projects Grants Committee Chair Vicki Conley. In the spring ArtsinStark will announce another round of Special Projects Grants for schools and Stark County downtowns. Here is the list of the Special Project Grants approved this week.

Organization/Artist Award City NewProject
1 Alliance for Children & Families 3,500 Alliance To offer math & music program for homeless families
2 Ballet LeReve 750 Canal Fulton To provide outreach performances to preschoolers
3 Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corp 2,500 Canton To produce a drum corp program to EnRichMent students
4 Bonilla, Lindsay 750 N. Canton To present a storytelling & music program at local libraries
5 Bowen, Ted 750 Alliance To offer summer juggling lessons in Alliance parks
6 Canton Calvary Mission 2,589 Canton To produce a fashion & dance exhibition with K – 12 students
7 Canton Tree Commission 750 Canton To hold a photo contest to celebrate Arbor Day
8 Early Childhood Resource Center 1,500 Canton To create interactive texture garden with artist Michele Waalkes
9 Joseph, Craig 750 Canton To produce a season of 7 plays promoting civic engagement
10 Keep Alliance Beautiful 750 Alliance To create a mural for a mini-park space in Alliance
11 Kent State University at Stark 3,500 Canton To produce “Guitar Weekend” with extended outreach
12 Knight, Jim 750 Countywide To provide dramatic readings at local libraries
13 Lions Lincoln Theatre 750 Massillon To create a youth theatre troupe
14 Malone University 3500 Canton To offer a Meadow Mural project to middle-schoolers
15 May, Margene 750 Canton To create an outdoor art mural promoting family unity
16 Pawsitive Ohio 750 N. Canton To raise awareness of homeless animals by creating art
17 Project REBUILD 1135 Canton To create classroom mural with at-risk students
18 Rossetti, Kristen 750 Canton To provide a literature & art class for children 2 – 10
19 Stark County UMADAOP 750 Canton To provide an art camp during Juneteenth Celebration
20 Stone, John 750 Canton To produce a photography exhibition showcasing Canton
21 Washington High Sch. Alumni Assoc 2000 Massillon To increase outreach for annual Messiah performance
22 Venegas, Raven 750 N. Canton To curate and design an exhibition of historical paintings
23 Vigil, Emily 750 N. Canton To create outdoor artwork for area garden sites
24 YMCA, Eric Snow Family 3500 Canton To host One Voice Gospel Choir program for youth 12 – 24

ArtsinStark Chair Wants to Connect All Downtowns to Village

Click here to listen to the WKSU interview

At its annual meeting, the ArtsinStark board elected Emil Alecusan, CFO of Brewster Cheese, as the chair of its 45-member board. It also brought on these new board members: Barry Adelman, Adrian Allison, Marty Chapman, Duncan Darby, Ron Ponder, Alan Rodriguez, and Kay Sanders. “Our downtowns are using the arts to reinvent themselves and to connect to the exciting dreams of the Hall of Fame Village,” says Alecusan. “Making our downtowns super creative places filled with live music and the arts is key to getting young professionals to live there, and visitors to the Village want to come experience them.” For the past 10 years downtown revitalization has been one of the County Arts Council’s primary strategies, not only in Canton but all across the county. Alecusan also noted that research shows that stronger downtowns contribute to stronger surrounding communities economically.

ArtsinStark has worked with the Special Improvement District to build the Arts District in downtown Canton, to install public art everywhere, and to host more than 100 First Fridays. In downtown Minerva, ArtsinStark and the Village of Minerva have spent the past five years creating “Market Street,” with the Art Spot Gallery, Roxy Theatre, and Hart Mansion. In Louisville, the City and ArtsinStark have been creating “Constitution Place” which includes the Ahh Gallery and Uptown Joes. In Alliance, the University of Mount Union and ArtsinStark are partnering to transform the old downtown into “The Crossing” with The Troll Hole, Jupiter Studios, and the Cat Museum. “Our support for the Massillon Museum and the Lion’s Lincoln Theatre is helping that downtown prepare for more tourists,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins, “and we’ve provided grants to North Canton, Hartville and Canal Fulton, among others, to start filling their downtowns with public art, special events, and festivals.”

The County Arts Council has also been working with Visit Canton to develop more cultural tourism experiences. They’ve hosted together “Live Music Downtown” grants to support more musical series downtown. They’ve partnered on a plan to develop and rebrand the 100 acres around the Cultural Center as “North Market” and seamlessly connect it to the Arts District to the south. “This is different from regular tourism,” says Alecusan, “because cultural tourists are so passionate about arts and history — that they stay longer and spend more money — which is exactly what we all want.”

SymphonyLand Adds Bilingual Component

While music is often described as the international language, spoken languages are our major means of communication.  The Canton Symphony Orchestra will use music to familiarize children to English and Spanish vocabulary through the SymphonyLand trio series.  The trios introduce children to the instruments of the orchestra in an interactive format based on a children’s storybook and created specifically to engage young listeners.  The series begins with the string trio on Wednesday, January 11 and Saturday, January 14 at 10am and 11am each day in Foundation Hall of the Zimmermann Symphony Center (2331 17th Street NW, Canton).  The woodwind trio follows on February 8 and 11 and the brass trio on March 8 and 11.  The series culminates with the full orchestra Kinder Concert in May.

The SymphonyLand trios and Kinder Concert will present four bilingual (Spanish/English) books as the source of the storytelling and programs.  All four are publications of Barefoot Books, written by Stella Blackstone and illustrated by Debbie Harter, and feature the child-friendly character, Bear.  The books will be read in English during the performances with additional Spanish vocabulary to coincide with the story.  The String Trio program in January is Bear at Home (Oso en Casa); Woodwind Trio in February is Bear In Sunshine (Oso bajo el sol); Brass Trio in March is Bear in a Square (Oso en un cuadrado); the Kinder Concert is Bear on a Bike (Oso en un Bicicleta).

All of the SymphonyLand and Kinder Concert programs are open to the public as well as school groups.  Admission is free due to support provided by Arts in Stark Smarts Grant, The Peter and Judith Shurman Charitable Fund at the Stark Community Foundation and The Hoover Foundation.   Reservations for groups of 10 or more are required and can be made online at or by calling the Canton Symphony box office at 330-452-2094 weekdays 9am – 5pm.  Reservations for smaller groups are recommended in order to ensure adequate seating.

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate, and entertain residents of Stark County and beyond. The orchestra performs classical, holiday, and a variety of educational programs in Umstattd Hall, 2323 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio, as well as other venues in Stark County. For more information, please visit or call (330)452-2094. Administrative offices are located at the Zimmermann Symphony Center, 2331 17th Street NW, Canton, OH  44708.

The Nutcracker Opens This Friday

Wondrous snowfall, astonishing illusions, extraordinary dancing.  Find out why everyone is saying “Few things are as quintessentially Christmas as The Nutcracker!”
The Nutcracker
December 9 & 10   7:30 p.m.
December 10 & 11   2 p.m.
Canton Palace Theatre
Tickets range from $15 to $25.

Downtown’s Gift Market Saturday at Winter Wonder Flea

40 Talented Makers and Vintage Finders for the 2nd Annual Winter Wonder Flea at The Auricle in the Canton Arts District Saturday 10-4! Here are a few of the vendors you can look forward to seeing.

SawdustPuppy has been a vendor with the Downtown Canton Flea and is bringing some pretty unique pieces for the the Winter Wonder Flea. From wall art to dog dishes, he’s got something for everyone in the house both inside and out! Come support this veteran owned company and talk to him about his custom work.

Lindsey Jo Scott has a little bit of everything and is coming to the flea from Akron. She will have a variety of her vibrant weavings, paintings and embroidery at the Winter Wonder Flea. Go say hello and find out where she gets her inspiration!

330 Paper Co is bringing back the art of stationery from her stickers for your calendar or planner to her all occassion greeting cards or journals. She has a variety of colorful pops to add to those holiday gifts or pick up a treat or two for yourself!

Cat Eye Jewelry is handcrafted by Reba featuring stone pieces to wear for increased strength, clarity, or just for an accessory. Each piece of jewelry is one-of-a-kind and each has its own personality and purpose. You’ll find many unique pieces for yourself or a loved one. Handle each piece with care, and it will do the same for you. Reba can also take special orders for that perfect holiday gift. Come see all the beauties she has this Saturday!

MNK Candles are all natural soy wax candles and are all handmade and handpoured into Ball Mason jars. These candles are all phthalate free and have zero dyes. Rustic design in mind they make great decor items along with giving off a beautiful clean and soft scent. No harsh chemical smell. Enjoy burning your MNK Candle knowing you are supporting small business and a healthier alternative candle.

Native Hill Coffee & The Local Frank filling your caffeine & food needs and don’t forget to grab a drink from the awesome bartenders at The Auricle. Support your local makers this holiday season!

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