Tag Archives: Cultural Center

Canton Ballet group hosts a Father Daughter dance

The Canton Ballet Barre Association has chosen a Beauty and the Beast storybook theme for Belle’s Ball, its annual Father Daughter dance on Saturday, February 10, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Great Court of the Cultural Center for the Arts at 1001 Market Avenue N. in Canton.


The evening will include dinner, dancing, basket raffles and photos.  Flowers will be available at the door for fathers to present to their daughters.


Reservations are due by February 1.  The cost per person is $20.   Flowers are $5 each and must be preordered.  To purchase tickets/flowers call or visit the ballet office at 330.455.7220.  Office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.  The office is located on the west side of the Cultural Center for the Arts.  Use the Cleveland Avenue entrance.


School of Canton Ballet operates a year round program in dance for all ages under the artistic and executive direction of Cassandra Crowley.  The Canton Ballet Barre Association is the ballet’s volunteer group which hosts numerous events yearly in support of the students and Canton Ballet company dancers.


Canton Ballet is funded in part by ArtsinStark, Ohio Arts Council and National endowment for the Arts.

School of Canton Ballet offers new classes in Hip Hop

A new eight-week class in hip hop is being offered by the School of Canton Ballet beginning Thursday, January 25, through March 15 at its studios in the Cultural Center for the Arts, 1001 Market Avenue N. in Canton.  The 8-week course will be led by instructor Ana Bettis.  Tuition is $90.  There is no registration fee.


Students will receive an introduction to the dance, style and attitude of hip hop.  The times are 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. for ages eight to 12 and 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. for ages 12 to 18.  The dress code is casual with jazz shoes, ballet slippers or black-soled athletic shoes.


Register online at cantonballet.com or call the ballet office at 330-455-7220.  Canton Ballet office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Canton Ballet’s Touchdowns and Tutus fundraiser returns with a new event

Kickoff time for Canton Ballet’s Touchdowns and Tutus fundraiser is 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at Umstaddt Performing Arts Hall on the Pro Football Hall of Fame campus.  Game Day Performance will feature local high school football talents paired with Canton Ballet dancers before a panel of celebrity judges.

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

A new event has been added to Touchdowns and Tutus—the VIP Pre Game Reception at 5:00 p.m. at the Zimmermann Symphony Center on the Hall of Fame campus includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a private concert.

Admission for the Game Day Performance is $25 adult, $15 student and $35 for premium seating.  The Tailgate After Party admission is $25 adult and $15 student.  The Pre Game Reception admission is $50 per person.  Tickets are available online at cantonballet.com or call 330.455.7220.

Touchdowns and Tutus is the only known fundraiser performance event that pairs football players and dancers in a competition.  Proceeds will benefit the School of Canton Ballet financial aid and educational outreach programs.

The fundraiser is sponsored by The Canton Repository, O92 radio and Krugliak Wilkins.  Canton Ballet alumna Ashley Bettis is founder and chair.

Canton Ballet studios and offices are located at the Cultural Center for the Arts in downtown Canton.

ArtsInStark to Host Flag Raising Ceremony this Saturday

Back in 1970 the Cultural Center for the Arts opened its doors and raised the American flag for the first time.  A boy scout named KC Laubacher helped do that.  “I remember there were three of us scouts from St John’s Troop 17 there,” says Laubacher, “me, Kevin Pelanda and Ken Tolin.”  This Saturday October 21, at 2 pm Laubacher will return to help raise a brand new American flag for a second time at the Cultural Center for the Arts.  He will be joined by County Commissioner Janet Weir Creighton speaking on “Three Great American Values: Courage, Unity, and Civility” — and the Fairless High School Marching Band. “The timing is right for this,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins, “because every day more organizations and people are joining in.”  Moretta Lawn and Landcare is bringing vintage army trucks and a collection of smaller American flags.  The drum line from ENRICHMENT is performing.  The Ca on Ballet is sending its dance students.  And now restaurants have started calling up to offer to bring food.   
ArtsinStark owns the Cultural Center which is home to the Canton Museum of Art, the Canton Ballet, the Players Guild Theatre, and Voices of Canton.  It is in the process of getting the facility ready for its 50th anniversary in 2020.  Three weeks ago Beaver Excavating took down the hills on the Cleveland Avenue side of the Cultural Center and so the flagpole had to be relocated.  “Next spring this new flat green space will be renamed Festival Park and will start offering an ongoing series of activities for families,” says ArtsinStark’s Board Chair Emil Alecusan.  “The flag raising ceremony this Saturday at 2 pm is also our way of introducing the Festival Park idea to the community.” 

Top American Artists Tackle the History of Football in New Exhibit

Scrimmage: Football in American Art from the Civil War to the Present is the first comprehensive assembly of work by prominent American artists focusing on football. This exciting new exhibition is on view August 1 – October 29, 2017 with a special public reception on August 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Scrimmage will allow audiences from around the country to discover and explore football and art in a community steeped in both. This special exhibition is organized by the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art (formerly the University Art Museum) at Colorado State University, and the Jorden Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon.

Through works assembled from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Figge Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, The Rockwell Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts – Houston, Yale University, Canton Museum of Art, and numerous other public and private collections, including paintings, prints, sculptures, and new media, Scrimmage details the history of football from the end of the Civil War to the present, exploring themes such as race, teamwork, and competition for viewers to examine today. Scrimmagefeatures 60 works from American artists including: Winslow Homer,Holiday in Camp, 1865; R. Tait McKenzie, The Onslaught, 1920; Thomas Hart Benton, Forward Pass, 1972; Andy Warhol, O.J. Simpson, 1977; and Ernie Barnes, Fumble in the Line, 1990.

Scrimmage Programming:
Along with the exhibit, several collaborative events are planned to bring Scrimmage to life over three months throughout the Canton community:

– Pro Football Hall of Fame (August 1 – 6) will connect Hall of Fame players to audiences with panel discussions of health issues, race in sports, and the linkage of football and art. Dates and times of the presentations will be announced as they are made available.

– Arts In Stark ‘The Eleven’ Art Project (August 4) will unveil the newest mural, Super Bowl III, by artist Dirk Rozich with a free public reception at the Cultural Center for the Arts.

– AULTCARE Family Field Day (September 9) will be a free event to engage in outdoor arts and sports activities, and explore theScrimmage exhibit through tours led by local high school football coaches at the Canton Museum of Art. 11AM-3PM

– Canton Ballet (August – October) will perform variations ofTouchdowns and Tutus, a program featuring high school football players paired with dancers to illustrate how players use ballet as a training technique, at various community events.

– Canton Symphony Orchestra (September 3) will present a Summer in the Park “Tailgating” concert reliving football in music from film and television in advance of NFL season kickoff.

– Massillon Museum (August – October) continues an exhibit series with its Paul Brown collection, celebrating Brown as the first coach of the Cleveland Browns and a leader in racial integration of football.

– Canton Palace Theatre (September 7 – 8) will present Football Film Days featuring time-honored football favorites from the movies.

– Stark District Library (August– October) will be working with the Museum to present programs based on the book “Rudy: My Story,” which was chosen for the Library’s One Book, One Community feature.

Scrimmage Origins
This exhibition developed as curators discovered that a host of prominent American artists had pictured aspects of football and the public culture surrounding the sport, yet no focused art historical study had examined these images; in fact, very little research has addressed the large body of artworks that engage with sports.

The exhibition is not meant to present a history of football – the development of rules and gradual changes in play, the history of teams or players – but instead offers a window to understanding themes central to American life, both past and current. As such, the exhibition explores these images from multiple perspectives and themes. The Canton Museum of Art invites visitors to engage in a dialogue – with works of important American artists as a springboard – about sports, art, and their roles in our history and culture, and to reflect on how these images reveal attitudes and transitions in American life. The exhibition is divided into eight sections:

Football: the Spectator Sport 
How did football, which began as a private extracurricular activity for a small group of young men, become the public spectacle we know today?  Early on the sport was embraced by college administrators who saw benefits, including the potential for financial gain – contributions from alumni and institutional giving loyalty – and increased interest from the press. This exhibition examines the public culture of football as spectator sport. Football soon developed a culture separate from play on the field – bands, cheerleaders, mascots, team colors, pep-rallies, homecoming, and parades –  were all introduced early in the history of the sport. These remain vital parts of the culture and have led to modern-day fan-driven activities like tail-gating, team merchandising, and extensive half-time extravaganzas brought to super-size scale at the Super Bowl.  Artists, as fascinated by these phenomena as the game itself, picture these American obsessions.

Class, Race and Ethnicity
Initially isolated to the campuses of the Ivy Leagues, football began as a sport for upper-class white Americans. The exhibition examines issues of class, race, and ethnicity and football’s transition from an Ivy League sport to a mass-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial phenomenon. How did this transition happen? Early and frequent press coverage brought football to a mass audience, broadening interest in the sport; at the turn of the century American immigrants began to engage in casual games as a means of assimilation into American life; and, as the American education system democratized, welcoming a wider-spectrum of students to campuses across the country, college football rosters began to reflect a more diverse population.  Despite this, the imagery of football reflects ongoing racial and ethnic prejudice and biases.  While African American and Native American players distinguished themselves on the football gridiron, their images are rarely seen in the early history of football art; instead they are reduced to racial stereotypes, or parodied in mascot imagery.

Football, Struggle, War and the “Strenuous Life”
President Theodore Roosevelt coined the term “strenuous life,” urging American men and boys to develop strength through athletics in preparation for “the rough work of the world.” In a 1900 article entitled “The American Boy” Roosevelt singled out football as a model. He admonished the American boy to engage in “manly exercises and to develop his body” and concluded by writing: “In short, in life, as in a foot-ball game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard!”  For Roosevelt, the “strenuous life” was also preparation for the necessity of war and keeping America strong.  This exhibit examines artists’ depictions that relate to the promotion of football as a model for masculinity and that suggest analogies to warfare.

Gender in Football: Women’s Roles
Despite Title IX legislation and attempts at developing women’s football leagues, women have not played a role on the gridiron. Yet women figure prominently in football imagery. The exhibition explores how images both perpetuate and challenge gender stereotypes. While Charles Dana Gibson’s The Coming Game: Yale vs. Vassar, 1895, places women as protagonists on the field, the majority of artists portray women in passive and objectified roles.  As adorned spectators, cheerleaders, drum majorettes, women serve as foils that clearly define play on the field as a masculine realm.

Football and Violence
Current discussions about long-term football injuries and the concussion crisis suggest that these concerns are new. Yet, as early as the colonial period, rudimentary forms of football were outlawed and condemned for their violent nature and for provoking incendiary behavior. And, in the early part of the 20th century, despite his love for football, Theodore Roosevelt bemoaned the lawless nature of the game. The troublesome nature of football, explored by artists from the 19th century through the contemporary period, emerged first in a score of illustrations.  In Scrimmage artists picture the extreme physical nature of the sport and its ramifications.

The American Sport
Yale Coach, Walter Camp (1859-1925), widely known as the “father of American football,” envisioned a game that mirrored a model of capitalism, industrial strength, and American ingenuity. Creating rules that clearly distinguished football from what he saw as its unruly English antecedents, Camp’s football imitated an American corporate structure with each player fulfilling a specific assignment, a hierarchy of positions, and managerial roles for quarterback and coaching staff.  In the exhibition, artwork reflects these ideas and other traditions specific to American ways of life, including the association of the Thanksgiving holiday with football, the quarterback as American hero, and the sport as a rite-of-passage.

Celebrity Culture and the Media
The rise of football as an American sport is directly tied to media coverage. In Scrimmage, a number of prints are displayed that were published and widely distributed through a popular press that brought the sport to wide attention. Michael Oriard’s books, Reading Football, and King Football, trace the arc of media coverage from these early prints, through the rise of radio, newsreels, and movies, to the advent of the televised game, chronicling how our mediated world has promoted the sport and its participants. The first televised game took place on December 28, 1958 and gradually, television coverage accentuated spectacle; the use of slow motion, instant replay, half-time interviews and locker room footage, turned the football contest into high drama, and heightened attention to the celebrity status of individual players. Television also transformed the way that football was seen – allowing fans to follow teams from the comfort of their own homes. In this section we examine artists reacting to celebrity culture and to mediated views of football.

The concept of “muscular Christianity” promoted in the late 19th and early 20th century suggested that vigorous exercise and participation in sports competition, developed positive moral characteristics. Popularized, in great part, because of fears that an urbanized workforce lacked physical fitness, the movement promoted strenuous activity.  Football was often a model.  Though not always aligned to the movement of “muscular Christianity” American leadership has repeatedly emphasized the need for physical fitness, athletic achievement, teamwork and sportsmanship.  Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy all stressed the need for improved physical condition; Eisenhower established the President’s Council on Youth Fitness in 1956 and Kennedy urged better physical fitness in light of Cold War competition with a fit Soviet populace.  Today, Michelle Obama promotes “Let’s Move” as a means towards a healthier, less sedentary life.  In this section we examine artists who celebrate the athletic prowess of athletes and the skill and beauty of athletics.

This special exhibition has been made possible with support in part by Stark Community Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, ArtsInStark, Aultcare, Visit Canton, and the Key Bank Foundation.

Media Images
High-resolution images can be downloaded via the provided link below.



About the Canton Museum of Art
The Canton Museum of Art (CMA) is one of Ohio’s premier museums for an exceptional visual arts experience. CMA is recognized for powerful national touring exhibits; dynamic CMA-original exhibits; an unrivaled Permanent Collection of American watercolors and contemporary ceramics; and innovative education outreach programs, in-Museum classes, and workshops. CMA is one of only two Stark County museums accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.For more information, including hours, exhibits, classes, and special events, call 330.453.7666, visit www.cantonart.org, Facebook at “Canton Museum of Art,” or @CantonMuseum on Twitter.

Admission: Regular admission is $8 Adults; $6 Seniors and Students (with valid I.D.); Museum Members are Free; and Children 12 and under, Free. Tickets are available at the Museum Ticket Office during Museum hours. For group visits, discounts, and tours, please call 330.453.7666 at least two weeks prior to your visit for reservations and/or to request a docent-led tour.

Canton Museum of Art Hours:
Hours – Monday: Closed; Tues – Thurs: 10am – 8pm; Fri – Sat: 10am – 5pm; Sun: 1 – 5pm

Location: The Canton Museum of Art is located in the Cultural Center for the Arts, 1001 Market Avenue North, Canton, Ohio 44702. Free onsite parking is available around the Museum. Call 330.453.7666 for information and directions or visit our website at www.cantonart.org.

ArtsinStark’s “Genius Project Rally” Set for April 27

ArtsinStark has spent the last nine years developing the SmArts Program.  Its goal is to integrate science and art in schools to supercharge learning.  Today SmArts is in every one of the 17 public school districts in Stark County and all the Catholic Middle and Elementary Schools.  “The county arts council has invested over $500,000 bringing SmArts to 30,000 kids,” says ArtsinStark board chair Emil Alecusan.  Three years ago the success of SmArts led to the birth of the Northeast Ohio Genius Project: an 8-week science, art, and financial literacy competition for middle schools.  On Thursday April 27, the Cultural Center for the Arts will host 70 teams from across the region competing in this year’s “Genius Rally.”  According to Dave Grabowsky, Chair of the 2017 Annual Arts Campaign, which has raised $1,075,000 to date, or 65% of its $1,650,000 goal, “Building America’s 21st century super-creative workforce is exactly what the arts are about.”  More information is available at www.artsinstark.com/donate  or 330-453-1075.

In February, 70 middle school teams received this year’s genius challenge in a box delivered to their school.  Inside were the written challenge, along with two bundles of raffia, bamboo sticks, rocks, clay, a coconut, acrylic paint, and a plastic bag.   Using only the materials in the box – plus their own scissors, pens, pencils, cell phones, and their library – students had to solve a challenge related to being marooned on a tropical island prone to heavy rain, wind, flooding, and many wild animals.  Students had to create the model for an elevated shelter, and find ways to gather food and protect themselves from the sun.  And for each part of the challenge, there were specific measurements for success.  For example, the team’s elevated shelter model had to be a minimum height and width, contain so many right angles, and be able to bear the weight of one coconut.

The importance of the Genius Project is supported by research that shows that scientists that win the Noble Prize are up to 25 times more likely to be involved in the arts.  The Genius Project helps teachers learn to integrate science and art.  “We believe in the power of the arts to develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities,” says Kimberly Phillips, ArtsinStark’s Director of Education.  “Every year our challenge, which is based on State of Ohio Learning Standards for Math, Science and Art — is meant to bring out the genius inside us all.”

BACKGROUND:  ArtsinStark — Kids, Jobs, Communities.   We are a 47 year old private, non-profit organization that gives out grants, manages the Cultural Center, and runs the Annual Arts Campaign — and much more (Canton Arts District, First Fridays, SmArts Program in the schools, 20/20 Vision, and the ELEVEN).  More at www.ArtsinStark.com.  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 became 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%.)

ArtsinStark Kicks Off $1,650,000 Annual Campaign

With the theme “You Hold the Key to Creativity,” ArtsinStark hosted its Annual Arts Campaign Kickoff Luncheon at the Cultural Center on Thursday.  The goal, to raise $1,650,000 million for the arts in Stark County by May 24.  “I’ve watched the impact of the Arts District on the neighborhood around my business,” says Campaign Chair David Grabowsky, Owner: Standard Plumbing & Heating. “Today we have 30 galleries, artist studios, theatres, shops, eateries, and clubs.” ArtsinStark board Chair Emil Alecusan, CFO of Brewster Cheese, emphasized that since “We are now also using art as the key to creating more genius-like schools, to growing tourism, and to building America’s 21st century workforce — making goal this year is more important than ever.”  More info at www.artsinstark.com/donate  or by calling 330-453-1075.

Over 150,000 people are reached each year by the seven largest arts organizations: the Canton Ballet, Canton Museum of Art, Canton Symphony, Massillon Museum, Palace Theatre, Players Guild and Voices of Canton.  Over the last 10 years ArtsinStark has awarded those organizations $10 million in grants.  “But we’re also about supporting small organizations and individual artists,” says ArtsinStark Vice President of Advancement Steve Kleiber, “so during that same time period we’ve given out another $1.5 million in 650 little grants to churches, Boys and Girls Clubs, universities, schools, festivals, hospitals, and individual artists.”

While, in Canton, ArtsinStark has produced over 100 monthly First Fridays for 175,000 people, it has also created programs and awarded grants for downtown revitalization in Alliance, Jackson, Louisville, Massillon, Minerva, Hartville, North Canton, and Canal Fulton.  The SmArts Program, which integrates arts and academics to supercharge learning, operates today in every one of the 17 public schools systems in Stark County — and all of the Catholic elementary and middle schools as well.

The County Arts Council is partnering with the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the new tourist attraction called The ELEVEN, a monumental public art series celebrating the 11 greatest moments in professional football history.  Four of the eleven artworks have been completed, with two more scheduled to be done this year.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of the thousands of donors to ArtsinStark’s annual arts campaign,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins, “and 92 cents of every dollar goes right out the door to support programs in schools, neighborhood, and downtowns that bring to life that little piece of genius that resides inside us all.”

BACKGROUND:  ArtsinStark — Kids, Jobs, Communities.   We are 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).  More at www.ArtsinStark.com.  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%.)


Voices of Canton 2017 Annual Auction and Fundraiser

Come celebrate Mardi Gras as the Voices of Canton hosts our Annual & Fundraiser. There will be a dinner, silent auction, buybacks, fine jewlery, raffles, referse raffles, and more!
Where might this great celebratiion be? In the Great Court at the Cultural Center for the Arts.
The Cost is $55 with dinner served promptly at 7:00 pm. However the doors open at 5:30 so you may look at all there is to offer!

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 www.ArtsinStark.com


Akron City and Plain Schools Are Genius Project Winners

More than 400 people came to the Cultural Center for the Arts in Canton on Monday night to watch 36 genius teams from school districts in Stark and Summit counties compete in the 2016 “Genius Rally.” There was free pizza, live music by the band “Hey Monea,” and lots of stress. In the end it was one of the teams from Oakwood Middle School in Plain Local Schools that won the “Best Genius Team” trophy, and the teams from Akron City Schools won the “Best School District” trophy. “There was so much excitement in the room,” says ArtsinStark Planning and Education Consultant Justy Boggs. “Teachers are already asking when they can start on next year’s challenge.” The Genius Project was created two years ago by ArtsinStark to demonstrate the power of teaching art and science together. The 2016 Genius Project in the Schools was sponsored by the Akron Community Foundation, FirstEnergy, KeyBank, and Kenan Advantage Group.

The genius challenge for schools is part science, part art, and part financial literacy. Back in January, ArtsinStark delivered 36 large, sealed boxes to participating middle schools teams in Akron City Schools, Canton City Schools, Lake Local Schools, Massillon City Schools, Plain Local Schools, and Tuslaw Local Schools. Inside each box was the genius challenge and the only materials — 0ther than scissors, a measuring stick, and a stopwatch (or cellphone) teams could use to solve the challenge. Student teams had nine weeks to build a free-standing, single-run marble roller coaster while keeping track to the penny of all the time and materials spent in making it. Then they also had to transform this science project — into a piece of sculpture — and make sure their marble could roll through it in less than ten seconds. Half way through the process an additional “Mystery Bonus Challenge” was announced. A second “Mystery Bonus Challenge” was given to the genius teams when they arrived at the Cultural Center on Monday night.

“The goals of the Genius Project are bold,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins, “To make every kid a genius, and make this the place every genius wants to live.” And it involves more than just schools. This year ArtsinStark is running Genius Projects both in schools and in companies in Stark and Summit counties. Companies will hold their “Corporate Genius Challenge” Rally on May 10. The plan next year is to extend the “Genius Project” into two more Northeast Ohio counties.

ArtsinStark is currently in the middle of its Annual Arts Campaign to raise $1.7 million for all the arts by May 25. The Campaign theme is “Art Changes Lives.” More information at www.ArtsinStark.com.