Monthly Archives: February 2017

Westward Ho! to Open at the Massillon Museum

The Massillon Museum is promoting literacy and celebrating True Grit by Charles Portis during the Massillon community’s tenth annual NEA Big Read program. One of the 30 events planned to enhance readers’ enjoyment of the book will be an exhibition, Westward Ho! True Grit Themes in Costumes and Artifacts.

The exhibition will open in the second-floor gallery Saturday, March 11, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., during the NEA Big Read Kick-Off event. The exhibition includes costumes worn by stars of the 2010 film, True Grit, and Native American artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collection.

To visually capture the True Grit characters’ personalities, Academy Award Nominee Mary Zophres designed costumes for the Coen Brothers’ 2010 Paramount Pictures film True Grit. For the exhibition, Paramount Pictures has loaned four costumes designed by Mary Zophres and worn during filming by the main characters.

Actor Jeff Bridges wore the U.S. Marshall Ruben J. “Rooster” Cogburn costume that will appear in the exhibition, and Matt Damon wore the Texas Ranger La Beouf costume that will be displayed.  Two of the costumes worn by actress Hailee Steinfeld, who played Mattie, will be included.

The book is set in 1870s Arkansas and Oklahoma, when conflicts between American Indians and westward-bound settlers were frequent. Portis references the Choctaw nation several times in his book. Along with the costumes on loan from Paramount Pictures, many artifacts from the American Indian collection at the Massillon Museum will be displayed, including some from the Choctaw Nation, as well as artifacts from the Delaware and Shawnee tribes, who lived in Ohio.

Among the Native American artifacts to be included are implements made and used in the Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Woodland, Prehistoric, Mississippian, and Historic periods.  Especially interesting objects will include a stone animal effigy, hammerstones, a pestle, projectile points, and stone tools.

While the NEA Big Read extends only until April 25, the exhibition will continue through May 14. It can be seen during regular Museum hours: Tuesday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The keynote speaker for this year’s NEA Big Read will be Bobi Garland, who worked with Mary Zophres on the costuming for the film. The keynote event will take place on Thursday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m., at the Lincoln Theatre, immediately following a public reception at the Massillon Museum. For a complete list of all True Grit-related events, visit or pick up a free book and calendar bookmark at the Museum’s reception desk from March 11 until the supply is depleted.

Selected as the only community in Ohio to participate in the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read in 2017, the Massillon Museum is one of only 77 organizations nationally to receive NEA Big Read grant funding for the 2016–2017 cycle.

The Museum will distribute 1,700 free copies of True Grit, along with bookmarks, to local schools, organizations, and individuals. It has been selected to participate in the NEA Big Read since the second year of the national program. By the end of the Museum’s tenth Big Read project this year, the Museum will have distributed 23,535 free books to encourage reading among local residents.

In addition to the NEA grant, funding is provided by Massillon/North Canton Elks #2029, Rotary Club of Massillon, and ArtsinStark. Local organizations and individuals collaborating with the Massillon Museum include:  the Massillon Public Library, Stark Parks, Massillon/North Canton Elks Lodge #2029, The Artful Living Program, Walsh University Museum Studies Club, Washington High School Drama Department, Visit Canton, and many community volunteers. The Massillon Museum receives operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark to augment its primary local funding.

The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East (Ohio Route 172) in the heart of downtown Massillon.  Free and convenient street parking is available on adjacent streets.  A visit to the Massillon Museum is always free.

Canton Ballet’s Snow White Will Return in March

Canton Ballet will present its full length production of Snow White in two matinee performances March 18-19 at Canton’s Palace Theatre.  Performance times are 2:00 pm.  Snow White is sponsored by William and Sharon Luntz.

Premiered by the ballet’s choreographer in residence Angelo Lemmo in 2013, Snow White is a children’s narrative full length classical ballet in two acts which loosely follows the brothers Grimm fairy tale and promises to appeal to every member of the family.

Admission is $21-25 for adults and $15-17 for children.  There is a discount for groups of 20 or more.  All seating is reserved.

Tickets may be purchased online at and in person or by telephone at 330-455-7220.  Canton Ballet studios and offices are located in the west wing of the Cultural Center for the Arts, 1001 Market Avenue North in Canton.  Use the Cleveland Avenue entrance.  Office hours are 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.  The office is closed on Fridays and Sundays.

The beautifully restored historic Palace Theatre is located at 605 Market Avenue North 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.

Under the artistic and executive direction of Cassandra Crowley, Canton Ballet is funded in part by ArtsinStark, Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts with support by The Canton Repository, WHBC, My 101.7, Q92, Western Reserve Public Media and Yamaha.

For additional information visit or call the ballet office at 330-455-7220.

How-to Festival Returns to the North Canton Public Library

THIRTY-FIVE classes. ONE day. THIRTY minutes each.

 The North Canton Public Library will host its second annual How-to Festival Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The festival will offer 35 classes in six hours. Each class will be 30 minutes long, with as many as five intro level classes hosted in various library spaces concurrently each hour.

“The library hosted its first How-to Festival last year, with more than 1000 community members through our doors in just five hours,” said Christina Weyrick, community relations manager for the library. “It was a huge success, and this year, we’ve added a sixth hour of classes,” Weyrick explained.

Attendees will learn how to: keep bees, do chair yoga, use a 3D printer, keep backyard chickens, live peacefully with wildlife, prepare healthy foods, plan a Disney trip, train a cat, make duct tape crafts, pair wine with food, make safe cleaning products, container garden, twist balloons, use drumming for healing, stream video on their television, make cosplay armor, do nail art, play the hurdy gurdy, use essential oils, use, make an educational felt board, compost, use car seats safely, make origami, use a drone, teach a dog to walk on a leash, heal their body with whole foods, and more.

The festival extends through the lunch hour, and the library will provide a free brown bag lunch to the first 300 people to request them. The lunches are sponsored by Alex Wakefield’s State Farm office again this year. The library’s Teen Community Service volunteers will also host a bake sale to benefit Refuge of Hope during the event.

“The How-to Festival is one of our favorite events of the year. We love to watch the anticipation build before we announce the class schedule and to listen to people talking about which classes they are most excited to attend,” said Weyrick. “It’s really fun to bring so many experts into our building in just one day,” she added.

The How-to Festival is open to everyone. There is no registration required, and all classes are first come, first served. For additional information, please contact Christina Weyrick at 330.499.4712 x331 or

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.

To date featured celebrities will include Cleveland Browns Daily analyst Matt Wilhelm; Sylvia (John) Mackey, Hall of Fame Class of 1992; Oakland Raider legend and Class of 1988 Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff; 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 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.

Choreographers are Canton Ballet alumnae Ana Bettis, Ashley Bettis, Heather Hendrix, Tanya Mucci, Joy Raub, Megan Seaman and Canton Ballet choreographer in residence Angelo Lemmo. Canton Ballet alumnae Christy Monturo Donnelly and Menka Misheff are rehearsal directors.

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, Canton 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.

Downtown Classics Returns!

After an outpouring of positive reviews from last year, the Canton Symphony Orchestra has launched another series of Downtown Classics.  Downtown Classics lets patrons enjoy performances from small ensembles of Canton Symphony Orchestra musicians in the laid back casual atmosphere of their favorite hot spot.  It’s a combination of classic venues, classic food and classic music!  The series is funded through the generosity of Arts in Stark, Visit Canton, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Key Bank Foundation, and the Ada C. and Helen J. Rank Foundation.

The schedule for this year’s performances is:

  • February 14, 2017 at 7pm at Fronimo’s (315 Cleveland Ave. NW)
  • March 9, 2017 at 7pm at Canton Brewing Co. Speakeasy (225 Market Ave. N)
  • March 21, 2017 at 7pm at Lucca Downtown (228 4th St. NW)
  • April 6, 2017 at 6pm at Cultured Coffee & Waffles (309 Cleveland Ave. NW)
  • April 20, 2017 at 7pm at The Conestoga Grill (217 2nd St. NW)
  • May 3, 2017 at 7pm at Picciano’s Martini Lounge (410 Market Ave N)
  • May 17, 2017 at 7pm at Grapes in a Glass (575 Market Ave NW)
  • May 31, 2017 at 7pm at Canton Chophouse (218 Court Ave NW)

Come and enjoy a casual night out with some of the CSO musicians!  Seating is first come first served.  There is no cover charge.  Each performance will showcase different musicians and repertoire tailored to fit the venue.

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

Canton Palace Theatre Announces Local, Live Concert

A live music concert featuring 10 local acts in celebration of the Palace’s 90th Anniversary

The Canton Palace Theatre announces Local, Live Concert on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 7pm.  Local, Live will feature: Elec Simon & Patrick Masalko; Eric Brooke & Saxy Rob; Hey Monea; J.J. Vicars & Lare Sattler; Jeff Poulos & Nate Lupi; Karri Fedor & Kerosene; Ohio Rock Legends; Redneck Romeos; Savoy Big Band;  Travis Black & Cody J. Martin and an audience chosen All-Star band.  Tickets are $10 (General Admission) or $25 (VIP – General Admission) depending on your seat selection. $25 VIP ticket includes pre-show happy hour, with complimentary appetizers at the Canton Brewing Company from 5:30pm – 6:30pm and general seating in the first 10 rows of the center section.

Tickets are available at 24-hours a day, at the Canton Palace Theatre Box Office, Monday – Friday 10am to 4pm or over the phone at 330-454-8172 Monday – Friday 10am to 4pm.

This concert is part of a series of events to commemorate The Canton Palace Theatre’s 90th anniversary.  Throughout the night, the audience will have the opportunity to “vote” for the members of the All-Star Band that will close the show.  They will be voting by adding money to each individual performer’s donation container in the lobby, the night of the show.  The singer, bass player, drummer, etc., who receives the most votes will participate in the final few songs.  All proceeds will go to continuing the diverse programming at the Canton Palace Theatre.

About the Canton Palace Theatre

Completed in 1926, the Canton Palace Theatre is a downtown architectural jewel registered on the National Historic Registry. A prized community venue for classic, contemporary and art films, The Palace annually hosts more than 300 special events, concerts, recitals and Broadway-style productions. For more information, please visit

The Palace is located at 605 Market Avenue North in Canton, Ohio. Business and box office hours are Monday through Friday 10:00a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Business offices can be reached at (330) 454-8172 and a 24-Hour Recorded Event Information line is (330) 454-8171.

Enjoy MassMu Virtual Exhibits from Home

Do you wish you could see some of the Massillon Museum’s amazing collections, but you just don’t want to venture out in the winter weather? More than 160 virtual galleries can be seen on the Museum’s website ( from the warmth of your own home.
The Massillon Museum collects and preserves more than 60,000 photographs, most documenting Western Stark County people, places, and events. Because only a small portion of those images can be exhibited in the Museum’s galleries at one time, MassMu initiated the virtual galleries to help share local history consistently.
One virtual gallery is filled with aerial views photographed from planes and upper floors of buildings—landmarks such as the Stark Drive-In Theater, the original course of the Tuscarawas River, the Grand Theatre, and the old central firehouse can be seen. The “Buildings” gallery includes pictures of the Sugar Bowl, the Republic Steel office building, Massillon State Hospital castle-like buildings and landscaped grounds, Russell and Company, and the construction of the McClymonds Building. Another gallery features downtown Massillon through the decades. School buildings and classes fill another section.
Some galleries document important events in Massillon’s past:  the mid-century flood control project, parades, Coxey’s March, Labor Day celebrations, and the 1898 Merchants Street Fair. Extreme weather events are recorded in another gallery. Sports photographs fill yet another segment:  baseball, the professional Massillon Tigers, the Washington High School Tigers, and Paul Brown.
It is also possible to read Massillon City Council minutes from 1853 to 1870 or view samples of wallpaper used in local homes between 1870 and 1950.  One category is devoted to dog portraits.
Want a little more action?  Watch 38 local-interest videos posted by MassMu on YouTube ( Among them are The Greatest Generation:  Massillon in the 1930s” with narration by Bill Plotts, Herbert and Harold Schrader, Ruth Kane, and Mark Ross; “A Massillon Fire Department Run to Massillon State Hospital” in 1958, and “Massillon Memories” with Frank and Rudy Turkal from about 1970.
MassMu Archivist Mandy Pond, volunteers, and interns regularly add images to the virtual exhibits and the videos on YouTube. Like the physical galleries inside the Massillon Museum, there’s always something exciting to see.
Ready to brave the weather outside?  Visit the Museum to see:  Celebration in Art, St. Mary’s Church Restoration: Photography by Joe Albert (through February 19), Paul Brown and the Massillon Tiger Swing Band, Art 360°: Contemporary Art Hatching Across Ohio (through February 12), From the Drawing Board: Architectural Renderings from the Collection and the Immel Circus. A visit to the Massillon Museum is always free.
The Massillon Museum receives operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark.
The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East in downtown Massillon.  Free parking is available on adjacent streets and in nearby city lots. For more information, call the Massillon Museum at 330-833-4061 or visit

Cleveland International Piano Competition winner joins the CSO

The Canton Symphony Orchestra is honored to share the stage with the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition winner Nikita Mndoyants!  This delightful evening of piano music, as well as other orchestra favorites, is on February 25, 2017 at 8:00pm at Umstattd Performing Arts Hall at the Zimmermann Symphony Center.  This concert is sponsored in part by the generosity of William P. Blair III and Mark and Beverly Belgya.

27-year-old Nikita Mndoyants began to play piano and compose music at an early age. He has toured throughout China, Estonia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.S. Mr. Mndoyants won the Mixon First Prize at the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition, first prize at the Paderewsky International Piano Competition in 2007 and was a finalist at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He has performed in several festivals, including the Chopin Festival in Poland and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York. He also has been artist in residence at the International Music Festival in France since 2012.

Mr. Mndoyants has worked with renowned conductors including Leonard Slatkin, Eri Klas, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Charles Ansbacher, and Alexander Sladkovsky. Giving his first chamber performance with the Borodin Quartet in 2004, he has continued to cultivate his passion for chamber music, working with such ensembles as the Brentano, Eben, Zemlinsky and Szymanowsky Quartets.

The evening will start with The Yellow Princess Overture by Saint-Saëns, and then the orchestra will welcome Mr. Mndoyants for his performance of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto.  For the second half of the concert, the CSO will feature the tumultuous Fifth Symphony by Sibelius.  There will be a pre-concert lecture at 7pm with Dr. Rachel Waddell, Associate Conductor of the Canton Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets for the Canton Symphony Orchestra concert on January 28, 2017 range in price from $28-$48 and are available online at, by phone at 330-452-2094 or in person at the Canton Symphony Orchestra administrative offices in the Zimmermann Symphony Center at 2331 17th Street NW in Canton weekdays 9am-5pm.

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 Performing Arts 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.

Cleveland International Piano Competition President Speaks at ConverZations

The CSO is honored to have Pierre van der Westhuizen presenting on the ConverZations lecture scheduled for February 13, 2017.  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.

With performances described as showcasing the “utmost polish,” “impressive control” with a “broad stylistic spectrum” (Beeld, South Africa), South African pianist Pierre van der Westhuizen has established himself as an accomplished and versatile musician, with critically acclaimed and enthusiastically received performances across South Africa, the USA, and Europe. Mr. van der Westhuizen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, and he brings a multi-faceted experience and approach to his activities with this world-class organization.

Mr. van der Westhuizen joins us on February 13 to discuss the impact the Cleveland Piano Competition has on the music scene in North East Ohio.  This is a prelude to the CSO’s MasterWorks concert on Feb 25, which features the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition’s winner, Nikita Mndoyants.  He will talk in detail regarding the beginnings and growth of the competition, as well as the future ventures of the event.  Mr. van der Westhuizen will also touch on the impact the competition has on the careers of winners such as Mr. Mndoyants.

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.

Scared Scriptless presents Date Night with Saxy Rob, a 2-hour improvised comedy show at the Avenue Arts Marketplace & Theatre

Canton’s professional improv comedy troupe, Scared Scriptless, will perform their 10th Anniversary Show at the Avenue Arts Marketplace & Kathleen Howland Theatre on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.  This performance will entertain their 18-and-over-only audience for 2 hours with a 15-minute intermission.

Tickets for this show are $8 single ticket, $12 per couple, or buy 3 get one free for $24. Tickets can be purchased at the door, over the phone at (234) 410-3475, or online at:

This performance will be held at Avenue Arts Marketplace & Theatre, 324 Cleveland Avenue NW, Canton, Ohio. Upcoming improv performances are scheduled for the first Saturday of every month, with additional events throughout the year.  For a full list of dates, please visit the website:

This evening’s improv comedy performance will feature Justin Edenhofer, Kaylene Williams, Tim Carmany, Dave Sponhour, Moriah and John-Michael Roberts, and Ryan Lynn, with special musical guest, Saxy Rob. These unscripted shows depend on audience suggestions.

About Scared Scriptless:
Scared Scriptless has been performing since May 2006. In addition to their many Canton-area appearances (Akron Civic Theatre, First Friday, the Player’s Guild Theatre, the Kathleen Howland Theatre, The Auricle, First Row Centre for the Arts, Lions Lincoln Theatre), they have taught several workshops and classes to groups such as Stark County Job and Family Services, Leadership Stark County, Leadership Tuscarawas County, Dover Middle and High Schools, GlenOak High School drama groups. They have raised thousands of dollars for local non-profit organizations, including the Massillon Museum, the Walsh University Museum Studies Program, the Player’s Guild Theatre of Canton, and the historic Lions Lincoln Theatre in Massillon.

For more information about Scared Scriptless, visit their website: