aroundkent magazine Vol 1 2013

Page 1

Reflecting on The Past; Kent State University’s

May 4 Visitors Center

Haymaker Farmers’ Market

Gearing up to Kick off its 21st Season!

15 60 75 The Numbers Band

The 43 Year Constant Pursuit of Musical Ideas


welcome by Cheryl Townsend



hen I first knew I was going to open a bookstore, I had no doubt where it had to be located … downtown Kent. For me, Kent has always been the home of culture. Not the hoity-toity, “Look what I did!” presumptuous airs bunk, but a flowing skirt, patchouli wafting, gonzo-haired, organic culture. One with dirt under the nails and maybe a little chicken poop in the grooves of a Birkenstock. A culture that nurtured the likes of Joe Walsh, The Raspberries, Chrissie Hynde, Alex Bevan, (tho not so much W.C. Fields and the Monte Carlo Girls) and even with venues dwindling, it still houses a bevy of stalwart and renovated music and poetry outlets . My earliest experience of Kent was when a friend and I were going into town but could not enter due to barriers blocking any drivable access. This, of course, was when May 4th became permanently tattooed into the hearts of most Portage Countiers. Growing up next door in Streetsboro, Kent was the place. It was hip, cool, happening. Kent was the place to go for all things worth being envied for. It had hairy-legged servers at The Red Radish, anti-war posters printed in the basement of Brady’s Café, the East Street Band at Filthy McNasty’s, and the best Halloween party north of New Orleans! It was, after all, a college town.

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Much of this history is available at (http://, thanks to the diligence of homeboy, Ken McGregor, who was my comrade in arms in the handful of artwalks we organized. And see, that’s another element. How many hardware stores do you know of that were part of an artwalk? It was a community. When things happened, they happened to and with everybody. People knew people. People helped people. It’s in the air, I swear. You go into Kent and you just want to reach out, help someone. Even if it’s as simple as a needed smile, you breathe in that intuition and you act on it. Ah, I really love you, man!

It has also always been known for its earthiness, being the impetus for the 1970 “burning river” battle, waged by a group of concerned townies dubbed the Kent Environmental Council, (KEC) – they started the waterfall to today’s vibrant river activities; a river walkway, hiking/biking trails, canoeing, plein air settings, and canoodling grottos, to name just a few. Tethering in awards for its drinking water and being a designated Tree City, hosting “Adopt A Spot” garden plots throughout downtown proper (and a few beyond) – Kent was known for its respect of our main mother. Organic before it became a logo, it still fertilizes a growing concern for the elements of tomorrow with the likes of Dr Green Bee’s and The Kent Co-op.


So I most vehemently applaud a magazine that can cover the many facets of such diverse offerings of cultures and the possibilities possible once the tracks into downtown Kent are crossed. Grab a cup of joe from any of the abundant java joints and dog-ear, underline and share the cornucopia of information you are about to partake of. Oh yummy me!

W.A.R.M. (Womens Art recognition Movement) Cheryl Townsend

content spring 2013


Matt Keffer 330.221.1274

sales director

Rich Weiss

art director

Susan Mackle contributing writers Laurie Michelle Caner Trenton Chavez Chris Cooper Kelly Ferry Deborah Frazier Margaret Garmon Ann Gosky Debra-Lynn Hook Mark Keffer Robert Kidney Matt Levar Heather Malarcik Tina Puckett Heidi Shaffer Diane Stresing Cheryl Townsend Lucy Wagener Rich Weiss Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or pictorial content of any manner is prohibited without written permission. aroundkent accepts no responsibility for solicited materials.

8 Campus Kitchens Project 12 H aymaker Farmers’ Market 16 M ay 4 Visitors Center 18 A Special Report; College Town, Kent 21 C an Employees Own Their Business? 24 T he Davey Tree Expert Company 27 A Special Report; Ohio Music Shop 28 H ey Mavis 30 1 5 60 75 The Numbers Band 31 L ocal Music Scene 32 Music Festivals Showcase Kent 33 R eggae Meltdown 34 V isual Art Showcase 40 I mpetuous Townsend 42 D -Stresing 45 K ent Yoga on the Cuyahoga 46 A ll About Hattie Larlham 48 T he Children’s Advocacy Center

12 42




of Portage County

50 I Know that I’m Home 52 S tanding Rock Cultural Arts 54 E veryone’s Downtown 55 W e Have What We Need 58 E ncouraging Activity 59 A Special Report; All Pro Sports Center On the Cover: May 4 Visitors Center Photo by Matt Keffer





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Kitchens P R O J E C T

Ann Gosky

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Kent State University is a member of the national Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) and as such, is a leader in community service for students and is the future of hunger relief. CKP at Kent State University is empowering the next generation of leaders to implement innovative models for combating hunger, developing food systems, and helping communities help themselves. Students repurpose leftover foods from area restaurants, dining halls, grocers and others into wholesome meals. The Campus Kitchen Project (CKP) at Kent State University engages students in service and in educational outreach to our local community serving four primary partners to alleviate hunger and provide nutrition education. Our mission is to: • strengthen bodies by using existing resources to meet hunger and nutritional needs in our community


images courtesy of aroundkent

• empower minds by providing leadership and service-learning opportunities to students, and educational benefits to adults, seniors, children, and families in need; • build communities by fostering a new generation of community-minded adults through resourceful and mutually beneficial partnerships among students, social service agencies, businesses and schools. Student volunteers develop partnerships, plan menus, run cooking shifts, organize drivers, glean, provide cooking demonstrations and teach nutrition education to children and families. Currently the CKP at Kent State University and the Nutrition Outreach program provides 180 dinner meals to the Center of Hope and Kent Social Services and provides a monthly nutrition education program at these sites. Through the BRIDGE program, they also create more than 100 bagged lunches each week

for the area’s homeless. The sack lunches are served each Friday under the Y-Bridge in Akron. In addition, they provide nutrition education programs at Portage Senior Center and the King Kennedy Community Center and have a weekly presence at the Haymaker Farmers’ Market.

transform those donations into meals for the area’s hungry. We thank all those in the community who have supported our work. For more information contact Ann Gosky at

Upcoming projects will include a backpack program for youth at a local school and expanding the food pantry to assist KSU students who are experiencing food insecurity. To date more than 2,000 volunteers have been engaged in the CKP and more than 60,000 meals created. We encourage local restaurants, grocers and others to contribute unused but reusable food to the Campus Kitchen where student volunteers will


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Haymaker FA R M E R S ’ M A R K E T

Kelly Ferry

Gearing up to kick off its 21st season! After celebrating the completion of our 20th season by extending the market throughout the winter at our nearby, indoor location (211 Cherry Street), Haymaker Farmers’ Market is looking forward to its most fruitful season yet. Started in 1992 with a handful of vendors on Saturdays in the parking lot south of the Haymaker overpass, growth for the Haymaker Farmers’ Market was slow for the first decade. Once the national local food fever caught on, members grew from ten to nearly 50 today. At our market, Kent shoppers can select from a wide variety of locally grown and produced foods. Our produce includes the conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and starts for the garden from both backyard market gardeners and farms, and four certified organic farms with many heirloom and ethnic varieties. The market has become nearly one-stop shopping for Kent, with fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and plants plus the addition of locally roasted coffee beans; fresh handmade pasta and pierogies; baked goods—including traditional, vegan, and gluten-free; goat and sheep milk cheese; cow milk cheese; pastured eggs, chicken, pork, beef, and lamb; certified organic dry beans, whole wheat flour, wheat berries, buckwheat flour, cornmeal, and corn

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images courtesy of aroundkent

polenta; salsa; jam, jelly and fruit butters; dry herb blends and dip mixes; hot and cold prepared foods—including traditional, vegetarian, and vegan; honey; maple syrup and maple products; all-natural soaps, lotions, and bath products and more, all in one market. Every Saturday during the outdoor season, the market runs from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the corner of Franklin Avenue and Summit Street. Free live, local music shows are held in front of the new market mural from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The music and art celebrate the area’s talented performers, artists, farmers and producers.

This recently completed mural project gives the market a true sense of place in Kent’s rapidly changing landscape, while beautifying an area that has previously appeared undernourished during the off-season, and reminding all who pass it that Kent has a remarkable asset in place that ensures nourishment for the entire community, year-round. For more information contact market manager, Kelly Ferry at haymakermarket@ or visit the market website

Certified Organic Farms Many market shoppers want to know that the food they purchase is certified organic, which in Ohio means that every step in the process of growing that food has been inspected and certified by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA). Haymaker Farmers’ Market has four OEFFA Certified Organic Farms offering a wide range of products. Birdsong Farm Matt Herbruck farms in Hiram Township where he runs a Community Supported Agriculture model (CSA), in addition to supplying organic produce to Haymaker Farmers’ Market and Chagrin Falls Farmers’ Market. Matt grows a wide variety of certified organic cut salad greens and heirloom vegetables, as well as herbs, dry beans, starts for the garden, and flowers. Breakneck Acres Ami Gignac and Tim Fox farm just a few miles away from Haymaker Farmers’ Market, in Ravenna Township,

where they grow produce, raise free-range hens for eggs, and grow heirloom dry beans and grains that they mill in -their hand-crafted Austrian grain mill, producing whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, cornmeal, corn polenta, and wheat berries for market. Their on-farm store is open on Wednesday afternoons, and Breakneck Acres’ certified organic products are sold at our Haymaker Farmers’ Market, and the Downtown Ravenna Farmers Market. Breakneck Acres Farm Stand The Farm Stand sells all of their products, including organically raised free range eggs and ODA inspected whole chicken (limited availability), at the farm on Wednesday afternoons. They also offer gift certificates and Farmers’ Market CSA shares. The Farm Stand serves as the weekly Online Farmers’ Market order pickup point on Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Location: 2743


Summit Rd., Ravenna, OH 44266; Hours: June 15-0ctober 15: Wednesdays, 3: 00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; October 16-June 14: Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. JP Organics Jon Smith grows acres of certified organic head lettuce, cooking greens, garlic, and celery on his muck farm in Franklin Township. His products can be found at Haymaker Farmers’ Market, Mustard Seed Market and Café, Whole Foods, the Hudson Farmers’ Market, and in the Hudson Schools lunchrooms. Rootstown Organic Farm Billy Pennell’s farm was the first OEFFA Certified Organic farm in Portage County, and Billy is a master composter. He grows heirloom vegetables, herbs, potatoes, and is well known throughout Northeast Ohio for his expertise with growing garlic. Billy runs a CSA in addition to his participation in Haymaker Farmers’ Market.

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own conclusions and form their own opinions,” Davis said.

May 4 J


ust over six months have gone by since the May 4 Visitors Center was opened to the public in October. In those months more than 3,000 visitors from across the United States and around the world have toured the Center, which commemorates the events of May 4, 1970.

In addition to local and regional news organizations, national media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, have written about the Center and its presentation of social, political, and cultural forces taking place throughout the nation leading up to May 4, 1970. On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired at demonstrators, wounding 13 Kent State students, four of them fatally. May 4 was marked as a turning point in the course of the Vietnam War and became an iconic moment in history that people remember as a “Where were you when?” event, according to Lori Hicks Boes, special assistant and researcher for the Center.

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Margaret Garmon

The Guard was called into Kent by Mayor Leroy Satrom after property damage to businesses in Kent the evening of May 1. While most people know that the shootings happened on May 4, 1970, they do not know the details, according to Laura Davis, Kent State English professor and director of the Center. The Center is a valued resource in adding to our collective knowledge about the events that shaped how the nation and world came to perceive Kent and Kent State. “The Center and walking tour of the historic May 4 site provide a documented and detailed account of events. The exhibit is set up in a way to present facts and allow people to draw their


The Center was funded in part through a $300,000 grant from National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), co-authored by Davis and Carole Barbato, a professor in the School of Communication Studies. The strength of the exhibit is the integration of multi-media formats past and present. Gallery I features vintage television sets showing filmed news coverage of events key to shaping our cultural views during the sixties decade: civil rights demonstrators rousted and rounded up by police, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, and news reports from the frontlines of the Vietnam War. The integration of the vintage TVs, music, magazines, newspapers, and photographs provide a sense of the political and social forces that were shaping public opinion. For visitors born after 1970, Gallery I introduces them to the sixties, according to Brian Katona, Kent State student intern. “I’ve heard people my age and younger say this explains how it

distance in understanding the story of May 4 and not over-sensationalizing the moments. Gallery III highlights how within the span of an hour Kent State went from being an ordinary university in an ordinary town in middle America to a place known the world over. National and international newspapers headlined the shootings, magazines put Kent State on the cover, and telegrams the world over expressed the shock, sorrow, and dismay of the shootings.

was. And older adults verify how accurate the gallery is, down to TV news, music and photos,” Katona said. People are most moved by the documentary film shown in Gallery II, Katona said. The documentary incorporates narration over archival film footage, photos, sounds, and news reports from the morning of May 4, 1970 and new animation sequences. The large-scale images projected onto one wall in an intimate setting allow viewers to sense what it would have been like to be present and caught up in the swirl of events.

Gallery III provides an opportunity for visitors to share their thoughts by answering four questions about their reactions to May 4, 1970. Selected answers are projected onto a continuous video scroll for other visitors to read. “Every single person – young or old – has a story and experience to share,” Davis said. In addition to the bricks and mortar part of the Center, visitors can take a walking tour of the locations around Taylor Hall. Interpretive trail markers placed around the Commons and Taylor Hall provide a visual explanation of what

happened and where on campus. Visitors can check out ipods and walk the route along with the visual markers. The 500 photos of what the campus looked like in 1970 and the changes over the years and narration by Julian Bond in an accompanying documentary provide a 1970 perspective of the events and the campus, according to Davis. Almost 43 years have gone by between the events of May 4, 1970, and the establishment of the Center. Public acceptance and involvement of hundreds of supporters from Kent State, the public, historical societies, scholars and the NEH, made the Center a reality at the right time. “The affirmation of so many made it possible for us to get to this place. It happened at the right time,” Boes said. For more information on hours, group tours, directions, and exhibit holdings, go to or call (330) 672-4660. On May 4, 2013, the University formally dedicated the Center during events featuring Gwen Ifill and Oliver Stone.

Visitors don’t expect the story to be told as effectively as it is. And they don’t realize the depth of feelings that will surface. Boes described how some visitors, Vietnam veterans included, are moved to tears. “Some want to talk. Some just want to go outside for a little while to collect their thoughts and then come back inside after a while.” The documentary strikes a balance between putting the viewer up close and next to the protagonists while still retaining a respectful images courtesy of aroundkent


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a special report Rich Weiss

Drawing New Visitors to Explore Our College Town, Kent

College Town Kent, the “Gateway to the Kent Experience,” is a new, pedestrian-friendly development offering convenient and high quality retail, dining, residential and office space, revitalizing sections of Kent, and circulating new, regular foot traffic throughout both new and historic Kent. In a March interview with aroundkent magazine, Regan Gettens, who heads up the College Town Kent revitalization project for Fairmount Properties, detailed his vision of what we will see, and what we won’t see, as College Town Kent develops: “It’s not cookie-cutter, where you’ve just got retail,” he said. “There’s professional office space … Class A office space … a T-shirt store, there’s a great mix of local, regional restaurant options.” Gettens continued, “It’s a place where we want people to feel comfortable that they can come and spend the day. And, at the same time, utilize College Town Kent and the balance of the downtown as a daily visit, whether it’s to pick up dry cleaning or grab a sub from Dave’s Cosmic Subs.” Even amidst the dust of construction, Kyle Brandall, a server at Panini’s Kent, is seeing exciting results: “I’m not actually from Kent, but this place is popping off. I’ll tell you that right now,” said Brandall. “It’s a completely different place, just walking in here,” he gestured around his Panini’s restaurant at the corner of South Water Street and 59. “As far as, like, the city, itself, coming in here and everything I see … my parents have been living over here for

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ten years, and the entire place looks different.” Brandall reported that, now, all his friends from outlying communities want to come to Kent when they go out. Mr. Gettens, College Town Kent, and its parent company, Fairmount Properties are betting that for every one of Brandall’s friends, there are many, many more. “The success of downtown and College Town Kent is really going to fall on our ability to draw people from not only Kent, but some of the areas this publication [aroundkent magazine] will reach – Rootstown, Aurora and Twinsburg for example. Why do we think they will come to Kent? Gettens said, “I think whether you’re parking at the site or you’re coming from the university, down the Esplanade, what you’ll see is activity. You’ll see a density of retail locations coming together, cooperatively within the context of the downtown, and we see this as a very engaging place – somewhere that you can shop, you can dine, you can recreate, you can entertain people – it’s a Live-Play-Work environment. Whether you’re in Acorn Alley or you’re at College Town Kent, there’s a mixed-use feel to it.” Gettens knows first-hand that a lot of people deserve to be proud of the collaboration and sweat equity they’ve invested in the Kent area. “I think it’s not only an exciting time, but also a time for everyone to look back and be proud of where we’ve been and how we’ve gotten to where we are today. Certainly there are many items and quite a bit of heavy lifting still to

be done – don’t get me wrong – but there’s a different kind of buzz downtown. I think if you asked local merchants, and certainly those that call College Town Kent “home,” I hope that they would communicate that you’re starting to see different types of people downtown. We’ve been very fortunate to have worked with and continue to work with Ametek and Davey Tree, The Resource Group – the fact that we have that density of office downtown, it certainly helps with daytime traffic … not only at the restaurants, but service providers and certainly the retailers in general. And we feel like the mix that we’ve brought to the downtown and College Town Kent hopefully fills a few voids in categories in Kent that previously weren’t available downtown. Dan Edmondson, General Manager of the recently opened Bar 145, gets excited when he thinks about Kent’s future. He said he can see the pull from outlying communities, already. According to Edmondson, “people are

coming to Kent, people are starting to notice, and people are reacting to the quality of the Bar 145 burgers.” He should know – he’s an expert on one outlying community, specifically; he said, “I’ve lived in Stow for ten years, I’ve been in Kent – my wife goes here – the past few years, and I’m anxious to see the rest of it get done.” Edmondson took a fresh look around Bar 145 and the development outside. “There’s a Bricco going in next door,” he said, as he pointed through the huge Bar 145 windows, overlooking the panoramic view of his end of College Town Kent, and the Esplanade in the making,“ … that’s going to be an apartment building, there” he pointed out College Town Kent Building C,“ – that’s going to be prime. We’re off the beaten path,” he explained. He turned his attention to the emerging Esplanade, “When they have it connected, this is going to connect to the campus.” Edmondson reported the same crystal-clear vision reported by so many others who, like him, are invested


in Kent’s future. There’s an entrepreneurial passion, a cooperative spirit, a big picture that includes all downtown Kent businesses – from the mom and pops to the corporate offices – that comes with a uniform ability to turn toward the current state of dust and construction, and visualize, and describe, as though standing in the Star Trek holodeck, this crystal-clear vision of the future. Edmondson seemed to go to that place when he described the Esplanade, coming to Bar 145’s doorstep. He looked at the construction, grinned, and said, “This street – that’s going to be an esplanade. It will be a gateway, and it’s going to lead up to a gateway right on campus.” Gettens is proud of his role in this shared, thoughtfully crafted, whole-Kent, big-picture vision, and he thinks this is a particularly exciting time for Kent. “Absolutely, you look at continued on next page

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continued from previous page visits by Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, people like that, all of the congressmen and congresswomen, the representatives that have been on site – whether it’s a ground-breaking or a grand opening, any celebratory event that we have – we’ve received great support and buy-in from not only a local level, but certainly state and national, as well,” he said. Fairmount Properties, the City of Kent, The Burbick Group, the Kent Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Portage County, Kent State, and all the historic mom and pop merchants – as well as many others who have doubled down on a shared vision of Kent’s future – are banking on this vision inspiring all of us – the Kent community – as the full Kent puzzle picture comes together with every piece that fits into place. And Gettens can’t wait to see it all materialize. He said, “The spirit of it is the community – we want this to be a gathering place – a live, shop, dine, work area … We’re far from complete.” Gettens seemed to start visualizing things, himself: “This is a big step, certainly, in the transformation of the downtown, but two weeks ago we broke ground and had a ribbon cutting on Building C – that whole residential component and Bricco Restaurant on the first floor – but there’s still a lot to be done.”

“There were always people down by campus, walking,” Brandall continued, “but now it’s just, like, everywhere – you know, everywhere you go, there are people walking everywhere, it’s going to be … I feel like it’s going to be good for the economy. It’s going to open a lot more jobs, cash-flow is coming into town, it seems like a lot more traffic.” He shook his head, and said, “I did hear that they wanted to make aspirations of being a big-city kind of environment … I didn’t believe it until I started working down here, and now I see that it really could be a big city type of environment.” How are we bringing a big city type of environment to the Kent we know and love? Mr. Gettens answered, “A great new bar that just recently opened – Newdle Bar – they’re featuring an extensive menu of sushi and other cuisine that we felt wasn’t adequately represented downtown. So, a lot of times we’re looking at our tenant mix, and how we play a cooperative role in Kent, and being a good partner downtown. We try to look at who we bring in to insure that.” He said College Town Kent is taking care to make sure each tenant is “going to fit within the context of what’s going on and, at the same time,” he added, “we’re very mindful that, you know, this is a project that

Things look pretty exciting to Brandall from his perspective at Panini’s: “Before, it just kind of looked almost like, there was downtown Kent, and that was it until you got to campus – it was almost like, you know, standing over on Water Street, or Franklin, and you look this way and there was nothing except for Kent Road streaming by, and now … it’s turning into a big city, slowly but surely.”

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needs to have the support of not only the students – they’re top-of-mind, they’re right in our back yard – but our goal is to really have the community embrace this project as their own, and feel comfortable being downtown.” “We want this to be a living, breathing district where, there’s not activity twenty-four hours a day, but, starting at 7:00 a.m., when people arrive for work … and 10:00 a.m., when the cooks and chefs are prepping for lunch service … and the retailers are opening … this is a district and a development,” Gettens interjected,“ – especially when our Building C comes online with the thirty-two residential units that will be available for rent, as well as the conference center and hotel that’s going to be opening up in support of this project,” he marveled at the thought. “There’s going to be quite a bit to do and see, and we want people to feel comfortable coming downtown and utilizing it.” When we asked Mr. Gettens what he would like to say to our readers all around Kent, he said, “Come on down and see what we’ve been up to. If you haven’t been down in a while, come give us another shot and see what you think of not only College Town Kent, but Downtown Kent as a whole.”

Chris Cooper

Their Business? C A N


Imagine owning (or working in) a company in which virtually all business metrics are better than those of your competitors. What kind of company would that be? The answer is an employee-owned company.

What is an employee-owned company? Depending on who one talks to, it can mean a number of things. Employees can own some or all of a company in a number of ways:


Stock Option/Bonus Plans This is common in publicly traded companies, though many privately-held companies implement these strategies as well. As part of an overall compensation package, a business will reward employees with stock or stock equivalents in the company in an effort to more closely tie individual performance with overall business performance.


Employee Owned Cooperatives A cooperative is specific type of business entity that is owned by the people who use or operate it. In our everyday life we know of many examples of different types of cooperatives. Credit unions, large agricultural cooperatives such as Land O’ Lakes and Ocean Spray, and day care cooperatives among others are all examples of continued on next page

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continued from previous page cooperative businesses. In the case of an employee owned cooperative, the company is owned by the employees who work in the business, and operates to market their labor and skills. Employee-owned cooperatives are relatively few in number (estimates tally around 300 or so across the US) but are gaining in interest as a form of business entity. Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) An ESOP is a very common form of employee ownership of all or part of a business. Unlike the other forms of employee ownership though, an ESOP is a less direct form of ownership, based on what is a federally regulated pension plan (the ESOP) that holds company stock (and its value) on behalf of the participating employees in the company. The monetary value of the

stock will be distributed to each employee participant when they retire or otherwise leave the company. Based on recent numbers, there are just under 11,000 companies across the US with an ESOP (or ESOP equivalent) in place, with more than 320 of those in Ohio. Nationally, the number of employee owners in these plans number over 10 million, and the value of assets held in trust for the employee participants is nearly $900 billion nationwide. In Ohio, employee net assets is in the range of $40 Billion.

How Does A Company Become Employee-Owned? Few employee-owned companies become so at the time of the formation of the business, though it is more common with worker-owned cooperatives. In the case of ESOPs, and with increasing frequency in worker-owned cooperatives, the structure is implemented during the active life of the business. This can be done for many reasons: 1) the owners want to diversify their personal wealth (most of which is often tied up in the business) by selling a portion of the business; 2) the owners would

like to reward the employees that helped them build their business by sharing a piece of the pie; 3) the current owners would like to motivate their employees by tying personal and business performance closer together; and 4) selling to the employees can be an appealing option when the owners decide it is time to retire or otherwise move on to other things. Of the four, the most common reason is for the implementation to be part of ownership transition, or in the lingo of the profession, business succession planning. Key incentives for doing so are: With a sale of at least 30% of the company to the employees, the seller can take advantage of a deferral of capital gains on the proceeds, with the potential of a capital gains-free transfer of wealth to the next generation (ESOP and Co-op). Ability to deduct both interest and principal on the loan transaction (which will finance all or part of the transaction), and the potential for the business to become a 100% income taxfree corporation as it moves forward (ESOP)

What Does It Mean To Be An Employee-Owned Company?

image by sketch studio of kent

It varies on the strategy and structure of the employee-owned business. In the case of a company with a stock option or bonus plan, the answer is that each employee owner can share in the financial success of the business based on the value of their stock increasing as the value of the business increases. However, an individual employee who owns stock will rarely own a sufficient quantity of stock to exercise any specific control of the business as an owner (as opposed to whatever their employee role at the business may be.) An employee-owned cooperative is virtually the opposite scenario. In such a cooperative

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each employee owner or member owns and controls an equal share of the business. This means that each shareholder/employee/member votes for the company’s Board of Directors, on the basis of one share, one vote. Most cooperative statutes also require that a majority of the board members also be members (in this case employees) of the cooperative. This means that, by default, a worker cooperative (and all cooperatives for that matter) are much more democratic and participatory than the standard corporation. This type of structure can be very appealing for many, so much so that some cooperatives have chosen what can be termed a “consensus” or “collective” structure, which virtually eliminates managerial layers within the company. This type of structure has been utilized in some professional service firms (such as with architects or designers) that were familiar with similar partnership structures. The ESOP can best be described as a hybrid that can mimic either model, or anywhere in between. The default setting for an ESOP is similar to the stockholder model of a stock option or bonus plan. Since the ESOP is technically a retirement plan, it can be treated as such; in other words just like any other part of an overall compensation strategy (like a 401k or profit sharing plan.) An actual shareholder pass-through vote is only required in certain rare situations such as a sale of the business. However, even with that default setting, an ESOP can be structured and governed virtually like a worker cooperative, with the same level of democratic participation. In practice, though, most ESOPs are structured somewhere in the broad middle area. Though few will choose a cooperative-style route, more and more ESOPs are moving towards increasing employee participation. The primary reason is due to research making

The Employee Owners and Friends of Evergreen Cooperative Laundry in Cleveland celebrate their 5th anniversary of operations.

the business case for doing so. The research has shown (and this is true across all forms of employee ownership) that when you combine shared equity in the business with what can be termed an “ownership culture,” virtually all business metrics improve. On average, in an employee-owned company productivity and profitability go up, employee turnover rates go down, and wages, benefits and retirement savings are higher. The latest research has even shown that employeeowned companies with a participatory culture weathered the Great Recession better than their conventionally-owned counterparts. For these and other reasons, employee ownership can be a powerful tool for individual business owners, communities searching for revitalization, and for the country as we look


for ways to strengthen and grow our economic strength. Chris Cooper, Program Coordinator at the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University

The Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC), a non-profit outreach center of Kent State University, supports the development of business across Ohio and around the world by its efforts that are proven to save jobs, create wealth, and grow the economy. The OEOC’s work rests on a simple philosophy: broader ownership of productive assets is a good thing for employees and the companies they work for, our local communities, and the country. The OEOC can assist interested parties in any of the areas discussed in this article. More information can be found at

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An employee-owned company exists in our backyard

Trenton Chavez

An employee-owned company exists right here in Kent, Ohio. In fact, it’s the fourth-largest 100 percent employee-owned company in North America, according to The National Center for Employee Ownership.

Tree T H E


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The rankings are based on total number of employees, and The Davey Tree Expert Company’s 7,400 employees throughout North America placed it high on the list. The Employee Ownership 100 list can be found at NCEO’s website at “Employee ownership at Davey has been an essential piece of our company’s success,” Karl Warnke, Davey’s chairman, president and CEO, said.

How Davey Tree became Employee-Owned In November 1977, the Davey family announced its intention to sell Davey Tree. While the Davey family agreed that the employees would be the preferred buyers, it doubted that the employees could obtain

image courtesy of aroundkent sufficient funds to finance the purchase and to provide additional capital needed to operate the business. In 1979, after arduous negotiations and employees’ determination, a total of 113 employees purchased Davey and more than 400 participated in the ESOP. Employeeowners have since seen a significant return on investment. “Employee ownership at Davey has been a tradition for the past 30 years,” Warnke said. “Even more importantly, our commitment to employee ownership serves as a catalyst for Davey’s future endeavors and growth.”

Karl Warnke, Davey’s Chairman, President and CEO


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a special report

Rich Weiss

Ohio Music Shop Woody James Played Along with Joe Walsh in Kent

When aroundkent magazine arrived at Ohio Music Shop, we found Woody James in the middle of restringing an acoustic guitar. Every activity has its place in this shop, and James seemed like a fixture, quite comfortable crafting at the workbench/sales counter area, against a backdrop of acoustic guitar strings. This countertop is clearly delineated from the beautifully finished, curved, rough wood bar top, against a beer fridge backdrop, with stools dotting its winding path along one edge of the intimate performance space, leading to several rows of theater seats. James effortlessly wove a fresh steel string across the fret board and tightened it, raising its pitch. As he did, he revealed a piece of Kent music history, when James, the founding member of the Motley Odds, along with their bass player Bobby Sepulveda were playing at the fall mixer at Eastway Center on the KSU Campus. The two were approached by Joe Walsh and Buddy Bennett. They were invited to join their band The Measles. The Measles were fronted by Joe Walsh from 1965 until 1969. Bobby stayed from 1965 to 1967 then he was drafted. James returned to his band The Motley Odds until 1970 when he left for England.

James said, “Joe played here in a band called The Chancellors first, and then he was with The Measles right up until he went into The James Gang.” lists Walsh’s name along with Phil Keaggy, Joe Vitale, Rich Underwood, Larry Lewis, Chas Madonino, Mike Delaney, Jim Perry, Freddie Salem, The Lime, Devo, The Turnkeys, Glass Harp and The Measles, as talented musicians bred in, or attracted to, Northeast Ohio during the late 1960s. The Ohio Music Shop, having annexed its way into the neighboring storefront to accommodate the seating for the shop’s frequent transformation into a mini concert hall. The shop, itself, seems built to incubate our next generation of musicians.

image courtesy of Rich Weiss

As for Walsh’s transition from The Measles to The James Gang, “The James Gang was an existing band,” according to James, “they had a lead guitar player named Glenn Schwartz, and Glen was one of the guys that’s—” James tightened another string, “—every bit as good as Walsh. He was just kind of a strange dude … so they got rid of him and put Joe in his place.” When today’s shop began, in 2006, a few of the founders of the Ohio Music Shop were each


in bands, playing over one hundred gigs each year. The Ohio Music Shop’s staff of working pros, themselves, offer lessons, guitar setups, repairs to vintage instruments, and advice for learning and gigging musicians. The shop caters to budding and working pro musicians. Its website proudly defines the shop as “a single location where you can look, chat, buy, Rent-to-Own, jam, rehearse, or just BEGIN YOUR DREAMS!”

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of “Appalachian Americana”. We have banjo, fiddle, upright bass, guitar, kick drum and harmonica, and I love the way we can easily move from a softly orchestrated lullaby to a raw and raucous love song. After our summer 2012 tour out west (with original bassist, Sarah Benn), during which Hey Mavis achieved notoriety as a finalist in the highly acclaimed Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, we started working with Cleveland songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Brent Kirby and upright bassist and percussionist, Bryan Thomas.

Laurie Michelle Caner

I am just beginning to realize the significance of what I do. When I first started playing banjo and writing songs on the front porch of my beloved little apartment on South Mantua Street in Kent some 17 years ago, my only goal was to be able to play a song or two around a campfire. Now, with three kids, a husband, a house and an awesome band, I have unexpectedly become an inspiration to the very women who inspire me. “…this crew could single handedly ignite a whole new folk music scare. Killer stuff” – Midwest Record “…an Appalachian Americana Roots group who take this genre to new heights.” – House of Mercy, London

CD cover artwork designed by Leandra Drumm

With quotes like this, the buzz surrounding our recent release, Honey Man, seems to be getting louder. It is not just local music fans paying attention anymore. Hey Mavis released Honey Man (our second CD) to a sold-out crowd at Happy Days Lodge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park just two months ago. In the short amount of time since the release, tracks off of the new CD are getting airplay in London, the Netherlands, and all across the US. If you are unfamiliar with the music of Hey Mavis, maybe it is time you entered our world

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Brent Kirby is a one-man-band on stage. He plays guitar, kick-drum, harmonica and sings, all with the enthusiasm and conviction of a man who knows he is exactly where he should be. Brent’s vocals are smooth and soulful and convey his endless dedication to his music. I am in complete agreement with Brent when he said, “We’ve only scratched the surface of the songwriting and performing potential of this band”. Indeed, we have. Bryan Thomas steals the show every time we play out. The groove he lays down is the heartbeat of the band. His playing is like this wonderful body-rhythm-bass conversation, accented by his homemade “Chank-o-matic 6000”, a vintage, weathered tambourine affixed to a stand and pedal. Eddie Caner (who is both my husband and fiddle player) always amazes the audience with what he can make his fiddle and viola do. He can soar beautifully over our vocals or play a dirgey riff that perfectly sets the mood for a somber tune. Even after traveling the globe and sharing the stage with an endless list of successful and talented musicians (including Jimmy Page and Luciano Pavarotti), Eddie says, “This is the best band I’ve ever played with. I have never felt so liberated, and have never been able to express myself musically in such an honest way as with Hey Mavis”.

I play banjo, sing and write most of the songs. Lately, Brent and I have been dipping our feet in the world of co-writing and the water feels pretty good so far. I often get the question about which songs are autobiographical. They all are, and … none of them are. It’s like pulling a thread out of your own sweater, gathering some other material and weaving it all together into this wonderful, warm blanket. Did you weave the blanket from your own sweater? No, but you can still see the thread of your own emotions right there, smack dab in the middle of it. Honey Man is an accomplishment that was not easily won. Not long after the release of our first CD, Red Wine – which had it’s own successes on the national Folk Radio charts and finished the year at #12 in Folk Alley’s “Top CD’s of 2010” – a series of events left Eddie and me with little energy to keep our heads above water. I found out I was pregnant with baby #3. Eddie fell on the ice, seriously injuring his left hand. Then, a few months later, we were devastated by the suicide of a close relative. The pressure of balancing family, Eddie’s full-time job at Case Western Reserve University and a music career was becoming more than we could handle. We felt like something needed to give, and that something had to be our music.

and honed her other passion, painting. Her paintings are stunning. Don and Marti still write and play music together, and they were the first people we turned to for help. So, last July we ate some crackers and hummus on their back patio. The sunlight streamed in through the cracks of their fence. They told us how important it is to keep playing music and writing songs … that it really is worth something. Sounds like such simple advice, right? Simple advice, given with utter conviction and love, from people we greatly respect and love, was exactly what we needed at that precise moment in our lives. So back to our instruments we went, with a renewed commitment to keep playing music. At our first band rehearsal with Brent and Bryan, we stood in our living room, played through some tunes and I felt myself being lifted up out of my musical doldrums. Honey Man was recorded shortly thereafter.

this act of balancing family, home and artistic passion work? Well, sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes (actually, at least once a week) I feel as though I should quit music and completely focus on my family. And just like our timely discussion with Don and Marti, I usually get exactly what I need at those stressed-out moments of doubt: a mom will tell me that I inspire her to not let her own artistic aspirations get swept away in the tide of mothering and domestic responsibility. This holds great significance for me. These moms are very passionate about mothering – and so am I. The way they nurture and care for their children helps me to be a better mom. Their words remind me that playing my songs on stage for people is a gift I give to my children, and to myself, everyday. My kids will carry it with them for the rest of their lives. What a beautiful and unexpected consequence of plunking out tunes on a cheap banjo.

Now we have this great CD that we feel could really go somewhere. Now what? How does image courtesy of Shane Wynn Photography

And then there was the bowl of hummus… Do you remember Joe Cocker singing, “I Can Hear the River”? Our good friend and producer Don Dixon wrote it and many other wonderful songs. His production credits include REM, Red Clay Ramblers, The Smithereens, Hootie and the Blowfish and many more. He is an amazing songwriter and a gem to work with in the studio (Don produced both Red Wine and Honey Man). His beautiful wife, Marti Jones, had a successful singing career in the jangle pop era of the 80’s, then set music aside to become a mom. She then took another career turn


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15 60 75 The Numbers Band

Robert Kidney

I’d like to thank the people from aroundkent for having an interest in the band and for offering me this opportunity. Now in its 43rd year, I’m frequently asked how I explain the longevity. Two basic reasons: one is the loyalty and appreciation of our music by people and the media, the other is the band’s constant pursuit of new songs and musical ideas. People who come to hear our music are special in the sense that they’re looking for something unusual and many have been coming to hear the band for years. I’m often told that they’ve heard the same song many, many, times and yet each time there is something different about it. This is because our commitment to the moment and improvisation. There’s a lot of exciting things happening for us right now; it’s

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an unusually active time. A duet CD that my brother and I recorded in 1997, Coal Tattoo, is finally being released on April 2nd. It was beautifully packaged and includes a lyric booklet. Our original LP, that was released in 1976, entitled Jimmy Bell’s Still In Town, is going to be re-released as an LP by Exit Stencil Records. It has been re-mastered and will include new recordings from the same era. It will be a gate-fold double vinyl album with new artwork and liner notes on the inside. In December of 2012 we were also honored by WVIZ television to appear with Dee Perry on her show Applause. The performance can still be viewed on the WVIZ website. I’m also speaking with Steve Etherton of Reedurban Records, who is responsible for most of our


recorded work and CD releases. We have a backlog of live recordings and we are considering some kind of historical compilation. An ongoing documentary, which is a huge undertaking by film maker and historian, Jason Prufer, spanning our forty year history is now in its second year. And of course we are still creating and playing locally frequently. 15 60 75 The Numbers. If you’re unfamiliar with the band and are interested in finding out about it, the history, band schedule, and recordings are all available at You can email me there at

scene LO C A L M U S I C

Shivering Timbers

Mo Mojo

Hey Mavis

The Numbers Band

Tres Space Beefs

Patrick Sweany

Peggy & Brad

The TwistOffs

Hive Robbers Craig Martin Rio Neon

Roger Hoover

Xtra Crispy

Smokin Fez Monkeys



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The city of Kent has long been known as a gathering place for musicians and music lovers. In the 1940s, the night club and dance pavilion at Brady Lake brought in famous big bands. But it was in the 1960s, when Joe Shannon opened The Fifth Quarter, and shortly following that, The Deck and The Townhouse Lounge, that Kent became a musical hotbed. Walter’s Café, The Kove, JBs, Mother’s Junction, Water Street Saloon, The Dome and many other clubs served as a magnet, bringing people into Kent for quality local performers and national touring acts.

Music Festivals Showcase Kent Deborah Frazier

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Kent is also home of two respected music stores as well as a luthier shop. The Ohio Guitar Shop and Stage, formerly known as Ohio Music Shop, is the home of Woody James guitars. Its stage, complete with bar, provides yet another place for live music performances. Woodsy’s Music is known throughout Northeast Ohio and beyond for its world class selection of instruments and sound equipment. Thurman Guitar & Violin Repair helps to maintain the music tradition alive in town with luthier arts. Clientele around Kent, and around the nation, keep these music businesses busy year-round. Kent’s music festivals are playing an increasing role in showcasing the city’s musical offerings. Three years ago, Charlie Thomas, owner of Ray’s Place in Kent, put together the first Reggae Meltdown. Thomas, a big fan of events such as the Kent State Folk Festival and the Kent Blues Fest, wanted to contribute something to the community and have a good time in the process.

Kent’s entertainment scene has certainly continued to change with the times, but the city has remained a destination for music lovers of all kinds. Today many restaurants and clubs regularly feature live music. The city of Kent has been known as a destination for musicians and music fans for decades, and that rich history continues today.

Reggae was a natural choice, as Thomas has a long history of presenting the Jamaican staple at his establishments. Popular Northeast Ohio reggae bands such as I-Tal and First Light were regulars at Mother’s Junction, as the upstairs area of Ray’s Place used to be called. From the late 70s through the 80s, reggae bands drew big crowds to “Mother’s,” as it was known.

Venues such JBs, Water Street Tavern, Mugs Brew Pub, Ohio Guitar Shop, Brewhouse, Zephyr Pub, and, of course, The Kent Stage, offer live music regularly. The newly opened Bar 145, part of the town’s recent renewal, is committed to presenting live music as part of its mission. Kent State University’s School of Music on campus brings in talent from all over the world.

“We were the first place outside of Cleveland that I-Tal played on a regular basis, and they would draw 500 people a night,” Thomas said. “We eventually became their home away from home.”


Last year Thomas decided to expand the horizons of the festival by including feel-good party music from the islands – from Put-In-Bay to Key West and beyond.

“By broadening our focus, we’re able to have more venues participate,” Thomas explained. “We had a wide range of great artists with reggae from Outlaws I & I, steel drum music from Flash in the Pan, and other island songs from Alex Bevan and Colin John, so folks have a great time. There is pretty much something for everybody.” Also last year, Thomas partnered with the Crooked River Arts Council, the group that presents the popular Kent Blues Fest each July, to help put on the reggae event. The nonprofit organization is best known for the annual popular Kent Blues Fest which will present its fifth offering this year. ”We were thrilled to be able to work with Charlie Thomas again this year on another fun event for the city of Kent,” said Crooked River Arts Council president Bob Burford. “Reggae Meltdown was Charlie’s brainchild, and we think it’s another great opportunity to build on Kent’s reputation for live music to showcase the town, make a positive impact on the local economy and to put smiles on faces all over town.” “Kent’s Reggae Meltdown was an outstanding event,” said Packy Malley, founder and promoter of the area’s Mid West Reggae Fest for the past 21 years. “We made it to 12 venues and caught 12 acts all in one night. Incredible time! It was the best bar hopping experience I have ever been on. Kent is a great town. I need to hang there more often.” “Events such as the Reggae Meltdown, the Kent State Folk Festival and The Kent Blues Fest all underscore the City of Kent as a destination,” Burford continued. “It already is a destination for the university, for outdoor activities, speakers and concerts. With the new development downtown, Kent is becoming more of a dining and entertainment destination.”

“When I expanded my business in 2007, one of the primary motivations was to have a space for live music,” said Mike Beder, owner of Water Street Tavern. “Live music brings people together and creates a great social environment. Participating in music festivals such as Reggae Meltdown or the Kent Blues Fest is not only a lot of fun, it also makes good business sense, as we get lots of first-time patrons during those events. Plus, since we feature live music every week, the music festivals provide us the opportunity to remind folks what we do year round.” Kent’s Reggae Meltdown will return next April, but you needn’t wait until then to join the party – because there is music in town every week, and more festivals coming up this year. The Kent Blues Fest returns July 19 and 20. The Brighter Side band from Canton will open the event with a free live performance at the new Acorn Plaza. The Brighter Side is a group of five young, talented musicians. And we do mean young, as most members are still in their middle-teens! But don’t let their tender ages worry you, because these are some talented musicians, having won numerous blues competitions, including the 2013 NE Ohio International Blues Challenge. The Brighter Side band describe their music as “an eclectic mix of sound that is both retro and modern, with an old style that is both raw and refined.” These young men are clearly going places. The fifth annual Kent Blues Fest will also feature free live, hot, rockin’ blues from The Juke Hounds, Blue Lunch, Memphis Cradle, and many more performers. Past headliners have included blues harmonica legend James Cotton, Detroit soul singer Mitch Ryder, and Southside Johnny of The Asbury Jukes.


A complete schedule will be available by early June at This year, the venerable Kent State Folk Festival begins a new tradition as the Kent State Around Town Music Festival, reflecting an expanded musical focus. Burford helped develop the current model for Kent’s music festivals while managing the Kent State Folk Festival, as part of that event’s town-gown initiative. “The Around Town night of the folk festival quickly became one of its most popular offerings,” Burford said. “People love that it is free, allowing folks to park once and visit venues all around downtown. We used that as the model for both the Kent Blues Fest and the recent reggae event.” Kent’s music festivals spread a lot more than just good vibrations – they are important economically as well. “The economic impact of these events is significant,” said Cass Mayfield, owner of the Black Squirrel Gallery and McKay Bricker Framing. “Patrons often visit our restaurants and shops during these events. We definitely see an increase in business, and we occasionally adjust our hours to take advantage of additional foot traffic.” Mayfield appreciates what music means for business, but as someone who remembers the “good old days” of the Kent scene, she loves seeing things flourish again. Reggae Meltdown, the Kent Blues Fest and the Kent State Around Town Music Festival showcase the wonderful new developments in the city of Kent. They build on the city’s strong music legacy and highlight the city as a destination for music, dining and entertainment.

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Visual Art


Kent, Ohio has a long and rich history of creative output of all kinds. The visual arts are particularly well-represented by generations of individuals who have been involved in this community. Obviously, the presence of Kent State University serves as a kind of anchor for the cultural endeavors and influence here, but many others live and work independently of the storied institution. There is an ever-evolving and wide-ranging group of artists that keeps the value and meaning of art alive. Some remain here, some relocate regionally, some take their Kent experience to great distances beyond. To focus on a half-dozen such artists here does not scratch the surface, but might start to convey the artistic depth and diversity that Kent has seen and continues to see.

Mark Keffer KSU Class of ‘88

Mint Green from the Gestures series. (fine silver, enamel, brass, sterling silver, 2 x 1.5 x .5”) Amputee’s Purple Heart (fine silver, brass, enamel, ribbon, steel, 6 x 3.5 x .75”)

N I K K I Nikki Couppee is from Pensacola Beach, Florida and received her M.F.A. in Jewelry/ Metals from Kent State University and her B.F.A. from the University of Georgia. She has taught metals and enameling techniques at Kent State University and the Cleveland Institute of Art and shows her work nationally and internationally. Gestures Series: “This work is an investigation of body language and hands and their ability to subtly convey emotions through gestures. Delicately rendered in cloisonné wire the gestures of bad habits such as smoking and

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nail biting are captured and elevated through their material, settings, and process. The painterly handling of the enamel captures these moments that are loosely inspired by Art Nouveau and Faberge Jewelry.” Amputee’s Purple Heart: “This piece came from my investigation in the advance development of prosthetic limbs. I am fascinated by the body’s ability to adapt physically and the person’s mental adaptation as well. Inspired by the soldiers who decorate their prosthetics with stickers and personal touches, I made a Purple Heart badge specifically to commemorate the


lost limb. The image drawn with cloisonné wire depicts the new prosthetic limb on the leg that is wrapped with the symbolic yellow ribbon and a fig leaf covering the genitals in reference to daguerreotypes of injured soldiers from WWI. The brain pinned on the ribbon is painted with military fatigue to reference the dedication and sacrifice that is made by the individual.” Explore more fine jewelry and sculptural work at

digital print, 14 x 11”

digital print, 14 x 11”

R O B E R T Robert Wood is a Kent icon. It is unclear what will live on longer, his well-known, idiosyncratic persona or the art he created. One thing that makes his work richer, but doesn’t necessarily clarify its overall understanding and impact is its extreme diversity. There is no signature style to a Robert Wood work. Numerous sketchbooks show a passionate, even obsessive, artist of great imagination and considerable skill; figurative scenes play out in ways that defy logic. Other works showcase a mind that few could keep up with. Some work is remarkably humble in nature, with no high art pretenses, despite his having a Master of Fine Arts degree. There is no neat way to define Robert Wood. The depth of his knowledge of myriad aspects of art and culture was singular and awe-inspiring.


An excerpt of Robert’s thoughts on his computer generated art, as conveyed by his friend and archivist Frederick John Kluth (FJKluth Gallery): “I wish to examine the computer’s potential as an art making medium. But not through programming or instructions. I wish to treat the computer as another ‘mind’. Is the computer a prosthetic extension of the central nervous system? Is it all activities of my own cerebral cortex? Can I graft my own creativity onto a sophisticated digital technology? I am troubled by the inevitable interfacing with the minds of the programmers. Do they provide an over-determined mediation that displaces the author of thought? Who is the subject when the computer communicates? Does the computer program displace the traditional


concerns with the ‘expressive’, ‘spiritual’ and the idiosyncratically personal? Are we left with the impersonal and conventional – i.e. signifying languages and encryption? Prometheus, guide me with your guile to corrupt a file in the computer’s memory. Then I can compound these techniques for mutation and metamorphosis. ... These images I take from the computer are not from my mind; they are from the mind of the computer.”

Robert E. Wood 1943-2012

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Visual Art


ink on paper, 6 x 4”, 2013

ink on paper, 6 x 4”, 2013

C R A I G Long-time Kent resident Craig Martin has worked in a variety of directions for many years. Since receiving his BFA in 1988 from the University of Toledo and doing graduate work at Ohio University (he also attended KSU for a time in the mid ‘80s), he has produced extensive bodies of work in painting, drawing, sculpture (at times in combination) and songwriting. His most recent work involves modestly scaled ink drawings. This series sets up an engaging array of balances. There is a tendency toward abstraction, while remaining clearly representational. There is a keen sense of wit and humor that is not without a significant degree of seriousness.

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There aren’t obvious connections to current directions in art, but the work still makes sense in a contemporary context. Is this ‘high art’ or illustration? (Or is that distinction entirely irrelevant?) One distinct quality that appears consistently in the drawings is a stylized kind of lettering. It produces something like a pictogram, but of a kinetic form or even a sound. This defies simple logic and produces a sense of synesthesia that works wonderfully in the context of the more directly representational images. A wide range of influences shows up in this work, including cartooning (George Herriman


and R. Crumb are favorites), entomological photography and illustration, Da Vinci and Durer drawings, as well as old Dutch landscapes, among others. These influences come together in a way that forms something new, something that is not easily defined. The result is Martin’s own brand of visual poetry. With the subtle and economical nature of his approach, it is not unlike the Japanese tradition of Haiku.

Amassed Growth #3. 2010, Digital photograph, screen printed paper, birch plywood box, 8 x 9 x 10”

Proliferate. 2010, Digital photograph, screen printed papers, 18 x 24”

E M I L Y Emily Sullivan’s work is interdisciplinary and is constructed from a hybrid of screen printing, sculpture and digital photography. The pieces focus on issues of consumerism, marketing practices and the act of personalizing one’s environment. She states: “My work engages in a dialogue of concerns about the human propensity toward personalizing the world around them and thereby gaining status. The methods employed include use of contemporary


marketing practice to elicit desire in the viewer. These pieces represent the cultural propensity toward customizing, through artificial means, personal and public spaces to the point of their demise. The work is generally presented in two formats: 1) digital images 2) small scale installations contained in wooden boxes. These methods present a multi-faceted experience of the similarly minded systems, engaging both the physical and psychological viewer to activate the work.”


Sullivan attended Kent State University (MFA, 2010) and is an adjunct faculty member at KSU and The College of Wooster. Her most recent exhibitions include: Gold at the Sandusky Cultural Center in Sandusky OH, Metaphorically Speaking, at the Link Gallery in Warren, OH, and Dimensional at the William Busta Gallery in Cleveland, OH. She also has an artist book in the collection of the Frans Masereel Centrum, Kasterlee, Belgium.

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Visual Art


Subterranean Resurgence. 2009. Dimensions variable. Digital video installation, using edited footage recorded from the lower level of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge. It was projected onto one of the stairwells that are now filled with underground spring water. The video evokes the past, present and inevitability of change by interweaving and juxtaposing patterns, colors, sights and the stillness of the lower level in contrast to the continuous energy expended along the upper level, the river below and the surrounding city. Created for the Ingenuity Festival 2009 Bridge Project.

Unbounded. 2009. Dimensions variable. Screen 5’ x 7’. Digital video, wood, porcelain, slip, kaolin, poem (the text is impressed into the screen surface). This installation is based on observations of our contemporary world together with a fascination with cyclic systems of creation and annihilation contained in various mythologies. Political upheavals, social unrest, economic peaks and plunges recur continuously. The human impulse to realize the next potential inevitably brings with it an element of destruction or loss – a process that reflects grand schemes of beginnings and ends. Unbounded poses the question of the possible reality of these unfathomable cycles. The video combines recorded footage of building construction, deconstruction, highway travel, books, radar turning and other spinning devices.

L A I L A Through accumulation and juxtaposition Laila Voss explores urban as well as psychological landscapes. She has exhibited multi-media installations, performances, sculptures, and drawings in the United States and abroad. She has been the recipient of numerous commissions, residencies, and grants including several awards from the Ohio Arts Council, the University of Akron Myers School of Art, and the Headlands Center for the Arts. This June, Voss will also be mounting an exhibition of unrealized project proposals at the William Busta Gallery in downtown Cleveland.

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Laila Voss has completed several public art projects one of which is Hyacinth Park Gardens in Slavic Village, Cleveland. In addition, she recently installed a private outdoor sculpture commission, Garden Noir, Jardin du Jour, in Cleveland Heights. Voss received her BFA from Ohio University and her MFA from Kent State University. Currently she is a SPACES board member and a senior lecturer at the University of Akron Myers School of Art. She states of her work: “I create multimedia installations, objects, and images that


are inspired by the urban environment, the creative cycle, or the interior landscape of the human psyche. I use a broad range of materials from asphalt and water to lead and found objects along with a variety of methods such as composing soundscapes with ambient sounds or welding steel sculptures. When I create site-specific, temporary work, time and space also become materials that I explore and manipulate. This multi-faceted approach to art making also reflects my concerns with physical and psychological cycles, junctures, renewal, and decay.”

Yes Indeedy. oil on canvas, 14 x 14”, 2012

Spider Spinning Daydreams. oil on canvas, 18 x 18”, 2012

D A V I D The paintings of David Aylsworth are personal, unrestricted explorations of visual forms that spring from fundamental human impulses. A process of action and response on the canvas pushes an evolutionary development in which colored shapes take root and declare themselves and their function in relation to one other. Various shades of white in recent work serve to edit imagery, but in so doing become presences themselves. This sets up an ambiguous and engaging spatial relationship between the various layered forms. White areas can serve as distant background, foreground planes or any level in between, with bumps and ridges evident from previous decisions. Within the arena of the painted surface, whimsy and austerity coexist simultaneously. The works’ titles lean toward whimsy, being generally


taken from lyrics of show tunes. Took Tea with Gertrude and Alice, Into the Hush of Falling Shadows and That Brass Harmony Growing are a few. This tactic is a beautiful foil for the substantial weight that these paintings possess. “Words make you think a thought, music makes you feel a feeling, but a song makes you feel a thought.” – E. “Yip” Harburg, songwriter “A finished painting is an expression of a felt thought.” – David Aylsworth David Aylsworth (born 1966, Tiffin, OH) lives and works in Houston, Texas. He earned a B.F.A. from Kent State University in 1989 and was an artist resident at the Core Program, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from 1989-1991. Aylsworth’s paintings are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts,


Houston; the Dallas Museum of Art; the El Paso Museum of Art; and the Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi. His recent solo exhibitions include The Thing That Makes Vines Prefer To Cling, Holly Johnson Gallery, Dallas (2010); Marie Antoinette with or Without Napoleon, Inman Gallery (2009); and Fugue for Tinhorns Sound Like Frère Jacques, Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin, Odessa (2008). In 2011 his paintings were included in the group exhibitions Soft Math, Bryan Miller Gallery, Houston, and Working in the Abstract: Rethinking the Literal , Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has had seven solo exhibitions with the Inman Gallery, Houston,Texas.

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Cheryl Townsend

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Impetuous T O W N S E N D


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Diane Stresing

TA K E A W A L K O N K E N T ’ S W I L D S I D E

Spending more time than you should at work, in coffee shops, or at the library? Rarely look up from your phone or laptop? At the risk of sounding like your mother, maybe you should go outside and play. The real world – and specifically, the natural world – is good for you.

Fortunately, Portage County is rich in terms of parks, unspoiled land, and natural spaces. Whether you’re looking for a romantic outdoor spot, want to plan a family outing, like a good ghost story, or just want to unplug, you’re in luck: you can get all of those things, not far from here.

Quick Hits When a fix of fresh air is just what you need, but you only have a few minutes, Kent City Parks have your back. Two spots close to downtown offer not only peace and tranquility, they are also historically significant. John Brown Tannery Park, off Summit Street (the summer home of Crooked River Adventures) boasts a long stretch of newly paved trail leading southwest to Fred Fuller Park and north to Franklin Mills Riveredge Park. While Kent’s railroad history is apparent – the train station, now the Pufferbelly Restaurant,

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still shakes with excitement when the whistles blow – the town’s role on the Underground Railroad is less obvious.

Great Blue Herons frequently stop to fish here, and if you’re lucky (and quiet, and patient) you may get to see an otter playing in the river.

From 1835–1839, the abolitionist John Brown operated a tannery on the banks of the Cuyahoga. He was one of many active abolitionists in Kent. Brown, of course, made history textbooks because of his 1859 raid at Harper’s Ferry, an armed uprising which is said to have hastened the beginning of the Civil War.

Short, Romantic (or Rustic) Road Trips

(Don’t worry; there’s no history quiz at the end of this article. This exercise is really all about, well, exercise - and de-stessing.) Upstream from John Brown Tannery Park, past the restructured dam and under Haymaker Bridge, you’ll find a marker identifying Brady’s Leap at the approximate spot where Captain Samuel Brady set the long jump record in 1780. (Not exactly; see sidebar.) Known as Riveredge Trail in the city of Kent, this path is part of The Portage, which stretches from Ravenna’s east side to Route 261 on the western edge of Kent. But don’t worry about going the distance right now. The most important thing about Riveredge Trail is that it’s serene, quiet, and dotted with benches and other spots to relax, literally just steps from downtown’s bustling bars, shops, and eateries.


While Kent offers lots of natural beauty, sometimes you want to get out of town – and there’s certainly something to be said for a road trip with a special someone. Two of my favorite spots for romantic getaways (close to home) are West Branch and Quail Hollow State Park. Here’s why: In my opinion, few things say “couples quality time” like a sunset stroll. But let’s be honest, mud can be a turnoff. No worries – there’s no mud on Michael J. Kirwan Dam’s paved, twomile causeway. A walk across the dam offers a sweeping view of the reservoir and glorious sunsets. (You’re welcome.) To reach the dam, located inside the state park, travel east on State Route 5 about 15 minutes past Ravenna, then turn right on Wayland, heading south for another 10 minute or so to the visitor center and dam. If more rugged hiking – or mountain biking – is what fuels your romantic fire, you’ll find the 12 miles of mountain bike trails at West Branch to your liking. The trails offer a bonus for couples that like ghost stories.

image courtesy of aroundkent

A small family cemetery is located near the mountain bike trails along Cable Line Road. Local lore includes reports of an apparition – the ghost of a witch – who is sometimes seen on the trails. Some of the tales refer to the burial site as a witch’s grave, saying that she was put to death after she was accused of being a witch. So if you see a woman floating through the woods, wearing a long dress and a dark scarf, it’s probably her. If hiking and biking sound nice, but you’d prefer to avoid a ghostly encounter, Quail Hollow is probably a good destination for you. About a 20-minute drive south of Kent on State Route 43, Quail Hollow State Park features five

miles of mountain bike trails, several miles of wooded hiking trails, a historic manor home (now a visitor and nature center), and an herb garden.

Family Affairs If you live in Kent with kids, you’ve probably logged some good times at Fred Fuller Park. The city’s largest park hosts the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Hayrides, Art in the Park, and is home to several preschool programs. While the special events are awesome, the park is open year ‘round – and smart families visit often for unstructured playtime. If you go, be warned: the playground equipment, rolling

hills, and towering trees have been known to cause grownups to scream, “No fair! I wanna be a kid again!” When you feel like taking a short road trip with the family, I highly recommend F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm. Located off Smith Road in Akron – about a 20-minute drive from Kent – Nature Realm boasts a LEED-certified visitors center, an herb garden, arboretum, and family-friendly hiking trails. Inside the nature center, kids can get to know a variety of Ohio’s native amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals. Puppet shows, concerts, and other programs are scheduled weekly. continued on next page


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image courtesy of aroundkent

continued from previous page Rather not get gassed up and leave town? Cycling families can pedal for miles on The Portage, or just pick a short stretch to test some new training wheels. (See the Portage Park District website for a map, including trailhead parking lots.) While I think the whole trail has great appeal, I have to admit I get a little rush when I ride across the “big blue bridge” over State Route 261. Hey, that’s the way I roll. Well, what are you waiting for? More scientific evidence that nature is good for you? That mythical someday when everything on your to-do list is marked “done?” Look, tomorrow is a theoretical possibility. Today is real, and I just gave you a list of places to enjoy it, right here in Kent and close by. Your phone has an off button, right? Press it, and see what happens. Diane Stresing has called Kent home since 1999. She is a business consultant, copywriter, and the author of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Cleveland. From Brady’s Leap to Railroad Ties

Legend has it that Captain Samuel Brady leapt across the Cuyahoga to escape from Indians in 1780. The river is narrow on the north edge of town, but at approximately 21 feet across, it’s still too wide for a mere mortal to make it in a single bound. While Brady’s mighty leap makes for a good story – some versions say he didn’t leap, but instead ducked under the water and breathed through a reed to evade the angry natives – we’ll never know how much is fact and how much is fiction. We can be certain that the river was the primary draw for early settlers to the area, however. In 1805, the Haymaker family built the first dam here, in order to power a gristmill. Soon several other mills were built, and the town was known as Franklin Mills. As part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, the town was fairly well established by the time the canal came through in the early 1830s. By the 1850s, however, railroads were turning canals into history. Marvin Kent, who operated the Franklin and Warren Railroad, worked some political magic to convince the competing Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad to build its maintenance yards and shops in town in 1864, thus ensuring that the town would continue to grow. Residents were so tickled about the deal they agreed to name the town Kent in his honor.

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Kent Yoga photo by KLM-Photographics


Heidi Shaffer

Tall pines are framed in the five east-facing windows. The morning sun warms the vintage wood floors as a dozen bodies of all shapes and sizes move, stretch and breathe. The soundscape includes birdsong, the rush of moving water, soft music, and passing trains chanting “om”. An ever-changing, Japaneseinspired garden follows the path to Kent Yoga’s front door at the historic and newly renovated Silk Mill. Although the studio is spacious and light, warm and welcoming, what calls people of all ages and abilities to the practice is that it works. Kent Yoga’s health and wellness-focused classes are taught at various levels of intensity throughout the week by rigorously certified and experienced teachers. Awareness is a higher value than trendiness at Kent Yoga. The result of an appropriate and steady practice is a stronger, more resilient mind and body, and a deeper connection to one’s inner being and purpose in life. At Kent Yoga, we learn and teach tools that help people find better balance in modern life.

Kent Yoga also offers six weekly strengthtraining classes with an certified personal trainer, expertly taught Pilates mat classes, monthly meditation instruction, and specialty classes such as prenatal, postnatal, kid’s yoga and chair yoga. Since 2001, Kent Yoga has registered nearly 2,000 students. Some students attend faithfully, and some reappear during a challenging life change. Kent Yoga has a unique business model – a teaching cooperative – that precludes offering “unlimited” classes. Instead, the studio offers packages of 5 or 10 passes that students can purchase for use in the 12 weekly drop-in classes. Dependency is not the goal. Kent Yoga strives to inspire and empower both inside and outside of class. The roots of Kent Yoga run deep. Studio co-founder Margot Milcetich is celebrating 30 years of teaching hatha yoga. She taught yoga in churches and schools, at Kent State’s faculty wellness program and at NEOMED. I have taught for 16 years in locations across


Portage County, including Robinson Hospital, assisted living centers, and in downtown Kent. In 1997, Margot brought Joseph LePage of Integrative Yoga Therapy to certify a group of teachers, greatly widening the therapeutic yoga community in Northeast Ohio and in Kent. Margot has since developed her own teacher training, Brahmrishi Yoga. The Kent Yoga Teacher’s Association, our attempt to create a more conscious yoga community in the Kent area, evolved into the Kent Yoga Center in 2001. Among the first in the region, Kent Yoga Center at University Plaza was a destination studio. Now, alternatives including “hot yoga” are springing up nearby. The need to keep yoga real and affordable, and a vision of extending this healing practice to special populations may lead Kent Yoga to become a non-profit in the future. Today, Kent Yoga enjoys a relaxed community yoga studio vibe across from downtown Kent in a beautiful, serene setting next to the Cuyahoga River.

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AllAbout H AT T I E L A R L H A M

Matt Levar

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For more than 50 years, one of Portage County’s largest employers has been taking care of and developing new services for Northeast Ohio’s children and adults with developmental disabilities. Hattie Larlham is named for the woman whose work started the organization. In 1961, she was a registered nurse who left her job to take care of a neighbor’s child born with a disability. At the time, there was little assistance for children with disabilities and word about the impact Mrs. Larlham was making quickly spread.

three shifts of dedicated professionals and caring staff provide health care and therapy services as well as prepare meals, wash and fold laundry and maintain the grounds.

Today, the organization provides medical, social, vocational and recreational services to more than 1,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Mrs. Larlham’s vision of around-the-clock care for children and young adults is realized at the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities on Diagonal Road in Mantua, Ohio. The center is home to 130 people with developmental disabilities. Seven days a week, 24 hours a day,

The most recent addition to the organization’s services is Hattie’s Preschool, a new, yearlong public preschool that expands Hattie Larlham’s child care services to include area children ages 3 to 5 years old without developmental disabilities. Preschoolers have access to some of the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities’ amenities including the swimming pool, an outdoor playground and a 7,000-square-foot indoor play area. These


features are used during Hattie Larlham’s summer camps, which also serve community children with and without developmental disabilities. Preschoolers also benefit from educational technology, like iPads. One of Hattie Larlham’s other unique programs, Creative Arts, is located at the Mantua facility. The program pairs artists with disabilities with staff, themselves professional artists, to create unique works of art. Staff serves as a conduit through which the person with a disability can sculpt, paint, take photographs or compose music. Staff is careful not to leave their imprint on the completed art. Art from this program is available for sale to the public, with the proceeds benefiting the artist. Hattie Larlham’s volunteer program also works from the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities. There are volunteer opportunities for children, adults and seniors to come to Hattie Larlham individually or as a group. To meet the socialization and employment needs of people with developmental disabilities as they grow older, Hattie Larlham developed several social enterprises through which adults with developmental disabilities gain valuable workplace training and experience. The first of these social enterprises was a coffee and sandwich shop called Hattie’s Café & Gifts. Employees with disabilities greet customers and take and fulfill orders. The café also sells gift baskets and freshly baked cookies in its stores and online. Hattie’s Café & Gifts has grown to seven locations throughout the area. To further expand employment and training for people with disabilities, the organization started Hattie’s Doggie Day Care & Boarding. Adults with developmental disabilities learn to care for dogs while pet owners are out of town. Hattie’s Doggie Day Care & Boarding has

daytime services as well as overnight boarding options. Professional grooming is also available. Hattie’s Garden is a sustainable agriculture program. Adults with disabilities work alongside job coaches to plant, raise and harvest local, chemical-free produce. Produce grown at Hattie’s Garden is used at Hattie’s Café & Gifts and is for sale at area famers’ markets. Hattie’s Garden employees get to take home the fruits of their labor, too. Constant Companions is a day program that explores the beneficial interaction between

Today, the organization provides medical, social, vocational and recreational services to more than 1,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities.

innovate and develop exciting new programs and services that meet the changing needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities in our community. You can support people with developmental disabilities and Hattie Larlham’s mission with a donation to its foundation. The Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities is in Mantua, only 20 minutes north of Kent. Hattie Larlham’s executive offices are located in Twinsburg, Ohio. The organization operates social enterprises, programs and residential services throughout Northeast Ohio. For more information or to make a donation, become an employee or find a volunteer opportunity, visit image by sketch studio of kent

people with developmental disabilities and domestic animals. Program participants learn to nurture and care for the animals, socialize and go on fieldtrips. The program is exploring services for senior citizens with dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well. Hattie Larlham also provides residential services for adults with developmental disabilities at community homes in neighborhoods throughout Northeast Ohio. The level of staff and support is determined by the needs of the people that live in each home. Through these services and a commitment to a mission of comfort, joy and achievement, Hattie Larlham enhances the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. The organization continues to


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Lucy Wagener



Center O F P O R TAG E CO U N T Y

Isolation by Chuck Slonaker acrylic on canvas


ost people have no idea how prevalent child sexual abuse is. It lives in our neighborhoods. It affects many people we know. It crosses all socio-economic ranges. It appears in high, middle, and low income homes; in well-educated and under-educated homes. The problem is that it’s a silent devastation for most children. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be abused by their 18th birthday, yet only 10-12% of this abuse gets reported. In large part this is because 90% of the abusers are trusted adults who know the child well. Many children live with or are related to the abuser.

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Abusers often work their way to a child by gaining the child’s trust before convincing him or her that their actions are okay. Some begin when the child is too young to know it is wrong. Abusers may also gain the trust of adults in the child’s life before the abuse occurs, leaving the child even more vulnerable. On the flip side, many abusers don’t bother to gain the child’s trust. They hurt the child or threaten with bad consequences if the child tells or doesn’t comply: “I’ll hurt you”…”I’ll hurt someone you love”…“No one will believe you”… ”I’ll tell them it’s your fault”…”I’ll go to jail”… “They will take you away from your family”… Some take advantage of teens with self-image


issues, making the teen believe that initiating sex is a compliment. The consequences of letting this abuse go unreported and carefully investigated are dire. Millions of adult survivors of child sexual abuse suffer with severe problems: depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, suicide risk, addiction, relationship issues, eating disorders, and more. Children are being sexually abused all over the world. Portage County is no exception. Since 1998 hundreds of Portage County children have been referred for concerns of sexual abuse to The Children’s Advocacy Center of

Portage County, a non-profit organization located in donated space in Robinson Memorial Hospital. The bad news is that so many children have been abused. The good news is that the Center offers coordinated services designed to minimize that trauma throughout disclosure, investigation, and prosecution. It provides a physically and psychologically safe setting where the child can disclose if he or she is ready. Specially trained nurses provide sensitive interviews, medical assessment, and specialized exams and treatment. Trained advocates offer compassionate support, personalized service referral, and advocacy for children and non-offending caregivers.

Providing child interviews at the Center in coordination with investigators minimizes repeated interviews, thus reducing trauma for the child. To improve the timeliness and effectiveness of investigation and prosecution

the Center facilitates coordinated case review with prosecution, child protection, law enforcement, and medical, mental health, and advocacy professionals. People in our communities need to know about this resource. Children and teens need to know there is a safe place to disclose to someone who will understand. Non-offending caregivers, often devastated by the knowledge that someone has hurt their loved one, need to know that trained professionals are available to stand by them as they support the child through disclosure, investigation, and prosecution. There are many ways for you to help stop child sexual abuse or minimize its effects: • Educate others about its presence in our communities and ways that it hides among us • Attend one of the Center’s trainings on child sexual abuse recognition, response, and


prevention: “Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children” • Prevent abuse: Minimize the times a child is alone with an adult or teen; if it happens talk to the child about his or her experiences • Report any suspicion of child abuse: Call (330)296-2273 (296-CARE) • Tell people about The Children’s Advocacy Center • Make a donation to support the Center’s work • Participate in the Center’s major annual fundraiser, Bowl Against Abuse. This fun community event is held at Kent Lanes. Event sponsors contribute before the event; teams gather donations to bring to the event. T o learn more about The Children’s Advocacy Center and ways that you can improve our community’s response to child abuse, call (330)297-8838 or send an email to

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Southern-born Debra-Lynn digs deep to find new roots in northeast Ohio

By the time I moved to Kent in 1997 with my husband and three young children, I had already relocated a dozen times: Four in South Carolina. Three in Louisiana. One each in North Carolina, Florida, Missouri, California and Ohio. I was tired of being uprooted, first as a child whose parents moved often, then as the “trailing spouse” of a college professor. I was tired of pining away for the last place I lived while memorizing new street names. I did not want to ask a stranger yet again: Where’s the grocery store, who’s the soccer coach and do you get much snow here? Luckily, in this case, I like snow.

Debra-Lynn B. Hook

When you’re a child growing up in the South, you like snow most especially because you can’t have it. Sometimes you get a little. But what you get mostly is the threat, which leaves you and your little face plastered against the window, scanning the skies for the single flake that will foreshadow a school-closing, a sledding party and Mama’s snow ice cream. Even into March in Kent every year, even 15 winters later, sorry, I admit it, I still find myself scanning the skies when the temperature drops – while also marveling that nobody here ever dies of claustrophobia in the winter. We all know the (true) story of the Ravenna arsenal: Winters are so cloudy in the region that during the Cold War, the U.S. military chose Ravenna as

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the site for a secret munitions plant because no Russian satellite could find it through the clouds. Kent didn’t seem like any college town I knew. It had the best fashion school in the Western Hemisphere. And Gabriel Brothers. It had an internationally renowned history. And an ordinance against too many bars. I couldn’t figure out all the surrounding M towns. Massillon. Mantua. Mentor, Medina, Macedonia, Millersburg.
I couldn’t figure out Kent’s identity – whether it was a college town or a town in rural Ohio that happened to have a college in it. I was dug in, determined not to forgive the 13th place I unpacked a U-Haul. But then one summer a few years after moving here, I came back from two weeks in New Orleans where my family lives, where the temperature was 100 degrees six days straight and the mosquitos flew at me big as macaws. And instead of sulking like I always do after a trip to the land of music, muffulettas and mayhem, I found myself relieved to be back in this familiar, easy place where the climate is temperate; where the town takes five minutes to traverse end-to-end; where the crime rate is off the charts – on the low end.

Suddenly I was taking note of other amenities. Like Towner’s Woods and the KSU sled hill. Like the full-scale, state-of-the-art university five minutes from my house where I got to see the president of the United States. Like the charming local businesses that line the streets I was finally beginning to remember: McKay Bricker Gallery. Kent Natural Foods Co-Op. The Kent Stage. Woody’s Music. Taco Tonto’s. Ray’s Place. I remember soon after that trip to New Orleans, my youngest child being asked to sing in Hal Walker’s 2006 Bicentennial Choir. By osmosis, I also memorized the lyrics he was asked to learn. After that, whenever our family pulled into town from vacation, I’d wait until we crossed the line into Kent. I’d plug in the CD. And I’d lead the family in singing: “Kent, Ohio. Well, I know that I’m home when I’m home in Kent, O.Hi.O!”

But when you move around a lot, sometimes you have to make a conscious choice to bloom where you’re planted. Or die on the vine. Until one day when you find the choice is no longer forced. I am not a cheerleader for Kent. Nobody is paying me to write a profoundly promotional story about the town they used to call Franklin Mills. I will still complain about the fact that Kent doesn’t have a Whole Foods store or a vegetarian restaurant and whose idea was it to lease Lake Rockwell to the city of Akron anyway? Meanwhile, I think of Kent and I think of something my wise daughter once said: “The cool thing about living in Kent is that the identity isn’t set in stone. You don’t have to be hip like people in Seattle or stressed like people in New York. You can become who you want to be in Kent.”

Sappy, I know. Debra-Lynn can often be seen around town with her camera, photographing the people, places and things that make Kent her home now. Here, she captures students from Kent Roosevelt High School, dressed for Kent’s 2012 Tree Lighting Festival as Cindy Lou from “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”

This is why I love Kent. You can stay in your house and pine away like I did those first few years. Or you can go outside and start a photography business like I also did. You can be a soccer mom because God knows there are a lot of soccer fields here. Or you can volunteer at Kent Natural Foods. You can become a mover-shaker in the Kent Community TimeBank. Or you can start a sandwich shop. Or an alley full of sandwich shops. I have pretty much decided I will not relocate a 14th time. Instead, I will stay put right here, in this best-kept-secret of an undefinable little town with corn fields in one direction and Cleveland in the other, a town that is neither rural nor suburban but something different than either word describes. It is an easy place, a familiar place now, where I finally got to lay roots for myself and so, too, for my children, a place I look forward to returning to every time I leave, a place where, every winter, I get to see all the snow I ever could have wanted, and then some. The “tundra,” I have heard Kent called. “Yankee Land,” my Southern-belle mama dubbed it when she was still alive. Call it what you will. I call it home. Debra-Lynn is a journalist, a nationally syndicated columnist and a photographer, whose work has been on exhibit in Kent at Starbucks, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent, Taco Tonto’s Restaurant and most recently the winter Haymaker Farmers’ Market. She is also a devotee of the macrobiotic way of life, which she chronicles on her increasingly popular “Going Macro” Facebook site. Look for Debra-Lynn’s page at


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Tina Puckett

Cultural Arts S T A N D I N G


For additional information on our Organization and any upcoming events, please visit our website at, our Facebook Page (, or our Twitter (

The Authority Original Theatrical Production written by The New World Children’s Theatre, African Community Theatre, Oscar Ritchie Hall, KSU, May 20, 2012

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Standing Rock Cultural Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit cultural arts organization in Kent, Ohio. We received our status in 2000 and we are housed in the North Water Street Gallery, which has been in existence under the ownership of our Executive Director, Jeff Ingram, since 1992. SRCA offers an array of art, literary, and community activities within our local region. Events are open to all (except in rare cases of age restrictions) and most are free to the public! We believe in making arts readily accessible to all of the community and in promoting the work of both emerging and established artists and writers through art exhibitions, film festivals, children’s theater productions, workshops, poetry readings, and more. Chances are that if you actively attend events in downtown Kent, you’ve been to an event produced by Standing Rock Cultural Arts! We also invite opportunities to collaborate with or consult other arts organizations, schools/universities, and area social service/support organizations. SRCA truly appreciates its sponsors and donors, whom without we could not offer our diverse arts and education programming. All donations are taxdeductible and we always welcome donations and in-kind support, which help defray our expenses and provide scholarships to those in need so that all people have access to quality arts education and opportunities. We are proud to say that no one is ever turned away from a program due to income limitations.

Art builds community! Thank you for supporting the arts!


Hours Routine Gallery Hours: Thurs-Sat, 1pm – 5pm, sometimes open at other times; Call for appointment outside of routine gallery hours, 330-673-4970.

Introduction to The Pursuit Work by Pap Souleye Fall, North Water Street Gallery, August 4, 2012 Pap Souleye Fall is a 17 year old artist who is fluent in French and English and who currently resides in Connecticut.

Handicap Accessible Wheelchair ramp Ticket information Most events are free with donations gratefully accepted. Ticketed events will be advertised with information on how/ where to obtain tickets. Students, Seniors, and SRCA Support Members receive discounts on most ticket purchases. Student discounts Yes Senior discounts Yes Parking On-street (free) What makes this community special? Our community is full of creative, artistic individuals that are invested in a strong community and arts network. Also, our community is environmentally and sustainability-driven, a goal that we promote and uphold through our events.

April 6, 8pm Environmental Art Exhibition April 12, 8pm Open Poetry with Maj Ragain Last Exit Books April 17-22 7th Annual “Who’s Your Mama?” Earth Day and Environmental Film Festival 2013 April 19 Environmental Film Festival, KIVA Auditorium, KSU Campus April 20 Main Street Block Party Downtown Kent, OH

April 22 Vegan Iron Chef V Akron Aeros Stadium May 3, 4, 5 28th Annual Jawbone Open Poetry Reading with Maj Ragain Last Exit Books, John Brown Tannery Park May 2-June 1 Ingrid Westberg, Art Exhibition May 17-19 New World Children’s Theatre Performances African Community Theatre, Oscar Ritchie Hall, KSU


Dice Events At The Hometown Bank Plaza June 28, Friday, Dusk Sidewalk Cinema July 26, Friday, Dusk Sidewalk Cinema August 10, Saturday, 1-4pm Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social August 30, Friday, Dusk Sidewalk Cinema October 19, Saturday, 1-4pm Cider Festival

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Talk about a double meaning.

Heather Malarcik

1. (Possessive) “Downtown Kent is for everyone” – it sure is! Now more than ever, there is something for everyone in our downtown – art galleries and studios, a farmers’ market, dining options galore, kayaking, shops featuring local art, fair trade, gifts, clothing, toys, shoes, and gear of all sorts, children’s theatre, yarn bombs, yoga and dance studios, live music indoors and out, year round events showcasing food, music and community … which is why … 2. (Whereabouts) “Everyone is downtown.“ There was a time when our downtown didn’t have much to offer beyond bars, restaurants, and a few shops. Now when you take a look around, you see families, college kids, dogs, townies, folks from neighboring communities, hippies, Kent State staff … and more times than not, people are smiling. They’re smiling because they’re happy to be here, and happy to be a part of what makes this place Kent. In 2006, a group of concerned people got together at The Kent Stage to discuss ideas on how to improve a stagnant downtown Kent. I think they were onto something. It had been discussed for many years that something had to change, that Kent needed new life,

investment, business, repair, collaboration, and added character. Ron Burbick was at that meeting, and he is a DOer. He started the ball rolling by doing some key things: organizing the start up of Main Street Kent and developing Acorn Alley. That ball started to roll (and obviously hasn’t stopped) thanks to so many smart, willing and able people. Main Street Kent is happy to be a part of the revitalization of downtown Kent, and continues to provide downtown businesses with marketing and training opportunities, collaborative advertising efforts, and year-round events that drive foot traffic to their doors. We also manage programs to help keep our downtown beautiful, such as litter clean-up, the Adopt-A-Spot flower bed program, and façade restoration. Cheers to an always awesome, but now new-and-improved Kent! Heather Malarcik Executive Director Main Street Kent

Everyone’s D O W N T O W N

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aybe you’ve heard about this strange new thing in Kent called Time Banking, but have no idea what it means. Many people think it’s a bartering system, but that’s not it at all. Time banking is strengthening and rebuilding communities in this country and all around the world, by recognizing that all work is equal as we exchange our time and talent as individuals, and also by working together to reach goals of social justice and sustainability. The Kent Community Time Bank (KCTB) was founded in 2010 by Abby Greer, who has long believed in the idea that in our community, we have what we need when we use what we have. KCTB’s website states that their mission is to “provide a system of exchange where individuals and groups with needs and wants are answered by members with services, skills, and resources, for the purpose of building community.” One hour of service earns the member one time credit, which can then be spent on one hour of service – all in a wide variety of categories ranging from transportation, gardening, education, wellness, in home help with cooking, cleaning, childcare, and organizing, to business services including tax preparation, financial advising, legal services, computer training, and so much more.



We Need Since its launch in April of 2010, KCTB members have logged just under 14,000 hours of service. Members currently number 450, a count which is growing weekly. The range of services exchanged grows along with it, as new people bring their unique talents and passions to the table. Now businesses and organizations are joining the time bank, offering discounts on purchases, or straight time credit exchanges. Group projects allow for larger goals to be met, such as the Haymaker Farmers’ Market Mural project, which logged more than 300 hours in bridge prep and painting. Or the recent house painting and fence staining at Miller House and Freedom House, that Family & Community Services paid many individual members a total of 90 time credits to complete.

my time being just as valuable as your time, of using what we have to get what we need are growing strong roots in Kent and beyond. The strength of this system offers support for the abundance of constant new growth. There’s always room for more in the system, so if you’re curious about time banking, check out and plan to attend a monthly information meeting. What do you have to offer? What do you need? There’s room for both in the Kent Community Time Bank.

Kelly Ferry

Other Time Banks, one in Akron and a new one in Twinsburg offer support and collaboration, each bank also being a member of the other banks. The ideas of all work being equal, of


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E N C O U R A G I N G – it also exercises the mind. Like playing a musical instrument, choreographed routines can help to develop pattern recognition, improve memory skills and more.

These days, there is no shortage of after-school recreational options available for children here in Kent. But few offer the unique and long-lasting benefits of dance instruction.

Courtney Watt

Whether pursuing traditional dance forms like ballet, pointe, jazz and tap, or more modern styles like hip-hop, contemporary and cheer dance, students of all ages can gain invaluable physical and mental skills that they can carry throughout their lives – while having fun in the process. Because dance promotes fitness while contributing to general well being, it’s an excellent activity to begin at a young age and to hold onto throughout one’s life. Here’s a look at some notable benefits of dance education:

photo by Kristen Milius/Courtesy of Franklin School of Dance

Increasing flexibility and strength

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Dancing stealthily provides a full-body workout for young and old alike. While students are focusing on moving to music, their bodies are building strength and growing more limber. Most dance classes begin with stretching exercises to encourage full range of motion for major muscle groups, and the activity of dancing itself requires the body to bend and stretch – increasing flexibility in the process. By forcing muscles to resist against a dancer’s own body weight, dancing makes bodies stronger at the same time.

Boosting mental and physical endurance Physical exercise builds endurance. By working through dance routines, muscles are trained to work harder and longer with less fatigue. Dancing doesn’t just exercise the body though


Building self-esteem and confidence Studies have shown that having strong social ties and playing with friends lead children to develop a more positive outlook on life. Dance classes provide opportunities to meet other people and socialize in an encouraging environment. And in group classes, students learn to work with others toward a common goal. This socialization also helps to build selfesteem, as does the sense of achievement that comes with developing a skill and performing in front of an audience.

Developing coordination and sense of rhythm Dancing stimulates growth of individuals’ motor skills and sense of rhythm. While some people can appear well coordinated by nature, others may need a little more assistance and practice. And that’s okay! A good instructor takes the time and effort to help students improve their capacity to feel music and exert body control gracefully.

Having fun Last but certainly not least, dance classes give children and adults alike an opportunity to let loose, grow more comfortable in their own skin and simply have a good time while making new friends that can last a lifetime. Fun and fitness, happiness and health. They just go hand in hand. Courtney Watt is owner and lead instructor at Franklin School of Dance, which is located at 152 N. Water St. in downtown Kent. To learn more, visit or call 330-673-5419.

a special report

All Pro Sports Center

Rich Weiss

A Lifetime of Kent Memories

“You know what I remember as a child growing up with All Pro in downtown Kent?” Tami Van Dyne, owner of All Pro Sports Center, hearkened back, then continued, “The Halloween … and eating pizza … and watching the costumes go by. Van Dyne is picturing the store’s first location, before the store moved to its current location in University Plaza, at 160 Cherry Street. She’s picturing a time when she was not quite a teenager, but the prime positioning of her father’s storefront window – right on East Main Street in downtown Kent – bestowed upon her the title of Judge by the age of 13. “We’re inside the front window – we actually were judges for the college kids who walked by in their costumes. I was probably 12, 13 … It was awesome! By the age of 15 or 16, Van Dyne had made the career move from judge/mannequin to fullfledged store employee. She grew up knowing the athletic supply business and the vitally important relationships with recreation centers, colleges, and schools. Van Dyne squinted, as if peering through the racks of clothes, the sports equipment, the shelving units of spirit wear, the store walls, until she could see clear through to another time, and then continued, “Many shops have a

season they need to gear up for, or a process that requires all-hands-on-deck. Ours would be numbering.” Numbering? She explained the short-hand term: “Numbering jerseys…heatpressing the baseball uniforms for the kids to wear … yeah. We did have silk screening, we do here as well, but it was pretty much numbering the uniforms for the community games – press numbering for all the community and park rec. games,” Van Dyne paused, “ … this takes me back!” When walking in the front door of All Pro Sports Center, it is hard not to be struck by the abundant inventory of sportswear and sports equipment, the smell of baseball glove leather and every imaginable size and shape of sporting gear. Less noticeable is the full-service nature of this sporting goods store, and its plethora of sports services, including custom screen-printing, sewing and embroidery. Even less noticeable is the ecosystem of team sports around Kent depending on All Pro Sports Center for their every need. There is something else special about this shop. Though it is palpable when walking in the door, it’s difficult to put a finger on, and, for Van Dyne, it’s difficult to articulate. She felt it was an important point to communicate during this exclusive interview with aroundkent


magazine, so Van Dyne drew a breath, and, though her eyes welled and her throat tried to close off each word, she persevered to say, “I think I want people to know that it’s still a memoir to my dad.” Her father, Ed Waller, opened All-Pro Sports Center in 1970. Waller felt the weighty responsibility of providing a lifeline of sustaining sports equipment to the many Kent-area athletic programs he loved – not just for kids, but for all ages. He felt so strongly about it that Waller came out of retirement in 2010 to help his daughter and son-in-law, Wayne Van Dyne, open the store’s new location in University Plaza. Waller died recently, on December 3, 2012. There is something else special about this shop – Waller’s presence here is still palpable. After a pause, Van Dyne summarized her and her husband’s work by saying, “His daughter and son-in-law are still promoting All Pro in a memorial, and fighting the good fight to keep my father’s dream alive.” All Pro Sports Center is located in University Plaza, at 160 Cherry Street, and is open Monday and Thursday: 10am - 7pm, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 10am - 6pm, and Saturday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. The store is closed on Sunday. For more information, please call 330-673-1968.

spring 2013 •