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First Friday back and BIGGER than ever in 2012!

2012 Downtown Event Schedule Downtown Canton’s stre etscape comes alive with fun fe stivals!


irst Friday, the arts, music and entertainment festival that transforms downtown Canton on the First Friday of each month, is back with its fifth year of monthly art rendezvous in the Arts District!

Each month, the art galleries and studios of downtown Canton welcome you to experience a night of creativity, the local restaurants cook up heavenly cuisine, and the shops are hopping. Live theatre, poetry slams, public art demonstrations, painting experiments, improv comedy, children’s activities and gallery openings abound, as do opportunities to get to know the artists, craftsmen and entrepreneurs who are making the revitalization of our center city a reality. Mark you calendar now for the exciting lineup of themes coming in 2012 – and make sure you come back downtown throughout the month for even more to see and do in the Canton Arts District and surrounding community.

First Friday of every month

Wednesdays in Feb. and Mar. M a rk your calendar and plan to atte n d !

SAVE THE DATE NOW 2012 LINE-UP January 6th February 3rd March 2nd April 6th May 4th June 1st July 6th August 3rd September 7th October 5th November 2nd December 7th

Ice! Ice! Baby Get a Clue. Music Madness! Sew Artistic It’s a Zoo Art There Chalk the Walk All That Jazz Carnival of Art Now We’re Cooking Once Upon a Time Zombie ArtVasion BeBop & Shop

Coming Up!


Hear the rip roaring sounds of chainsaws as world champion ice carver Aaron Costic and his team compete in a First Friday Ice Carving Competition, alongside other local ice masters and artists, who will carve crystal canvases and sculpt snowy silhouettes at Ice! Ice! Baby First Friday on Jan. 6. Get sprayed by live ice sculpting demonstrations, rock out with bands like the Misery Jackals, Viva Le Vox, The Most Beautiful Losers, and more at Buzzbin Magazine’s Froth Fest. Sip hot chocolate and bite into gooey s’mores as you take in the many glistening and impressive ice sculptures that will sparkle downtown.

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT GUEST COLUMN LOOKING INSIDE SPECIAL FEATURES • First Friday Line Up • SID Annual Report • Downtown Camp a i g n • Gove rnor’s Art Awa rd • Downtown Deals WHATWHEREWHEN

We will help you investigate the mystery of the downtown Canton Arts District with the Feb. 3 Get a Clue First Friday. Travel to the five downtown galleries or into some of the delectable restaurants on an informal tour of the district, while searching for the candlestick, the revolver, and some rope, and you might just cross paths with Miss Scarlet or Professor Plum. Find clues that will help you learn more about our artists and galleries, and if you can solve the mystery, you’ll be rewarded in the end. For the most up-to-date First Friday information, visit First Friday is celebrated every first Friday of the month from 6 to 10 p.m. in downtown Canton. First Friday is presented by ArtsinStark, the County Arts Council, and the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District.

Downtown Developments is published bi-monthly by Canton Development Partnership, a department of Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with Downtown Canton Special Improvement District

by Michael P. Gill, director, Canton Development Partnership

A Strong 2012 We hope that everyone enjoyed the holiday season and is ready to embark upon a new year. There are many signs that suggest 2012 will be stronger economically than last year. One of the subjects that seems to be part of everyone’s conversation is the role that oil and gas exploration will play in our region. There is a growing consensus that this industry will grow rapidly and have a substantial impact on our regional economy and on our downtown. We look forward to this positive trend. 222 Market Ave. N. Canton, OH 44702 (330) 456-0468 fax (330) 452-7786

Dennis P. Saunier President & CEO Michael P. Gill Director Annette Rosenberger Office Manager Denise Burton Membership Director Jessica Bennett Marketing Director & Editor Sarah Lutz Bhatia Graphics Manager

The Canton Development Part n e rship is a coalition of area development organizations and city g ove rn m en t that share an interest in downtown C a n ton’s continual imp rovement, revitalization, image, and quality of life for its citizens. Its mission is to support and coordinate the activities and programs of its partner organizations in order to encourage and sustain community and economic development in downtown Canton. The partnering organizations include: Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Canton Special Improvement District, Downtown Canton Land Bank, Canton Tomorrow, Inc., and City of Canton. Information regarding downtown events and news can be submitted for reprint at the discretion of the Partnership director and publication editor. The Canton Development Partnership reserves the right to edit all copy. Deadlines are the 15th of the month, two months prior to publication (i.e., May 15 for the July/August issue). Statements of fact and opinion within Downtown Developments are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply the opinion of the members of Canton Development Partnership or its partnering organizations. Advertising rates and specifications are available by contacting the Chamber sales department at (330) 458-2067.

In 2012, we look forward to presenting our “Big 5” d ow n town fest i vals, and our Canton Fa rm e rs ' Market. In addition, we will continue to experiment with some new special events and programs. We look forward to supporting new art walks and food tours downtown. And, of course, we are proud to partner with ArtsinStark for another year of First Fridays!

Look for our new downtown marketing campaign, highlighting arts, dining, entertainment, shopping and attractions, early in the year. Get more information about all of the exciting events happening in our town at our new website and in the center spread of this issue of D ow n tow n Developments!

The CDP began a committee effort in late 2011 to study the need for downtown housing units. To date, the committee has inventoried current apartment units downtown and has reviewed possible sites for new units and buildings that could be repurposed as living spaces. The goal of the committee is to develop a housing plan and complete some housing units in our downtown area in 2012.

2012 promises to be a year of growth for our center city. We hope that this growth, coupled with our strategic plans, will continue to move our downtown ahead in 2012.

We look forward to pursuing our mission of bringing more business downtown this year. Last year, business inquiries definitely increased from the previous period. In 2011, we experienced the completion of a major housing unit, welcomed new companies to our center city, viewed the improvements made to a number of buildings downtown, and saw a number of buildings receive new ownership and a commitment to rehabilitation. We expect economic development activity to increase even more in 2012.

Remember, during these winter months to please support our retail, restaurant and arts venues. As always, thank you for your support of our downtown.


SID board elections & annual re p o rt

The Downtown Canton Special Improvement District’s annual meeting was held Thursday, Nov. 17. At the meeting, the following individuals were elected to its board of directors for a two-year term:

The Old Eagles Club 104 Sixth Street S.W. in downtown Canton Hours: After Hours on Fridays & Saturdays from 2:30 to 6 a.m. and for special events and performances Ever wonder where everyone heads after the bars close? Now there’s a place for the late-night crowd to enjoy live entertainment – The Old Eagles Club in downtown Canton! The new after hours hot spot, known to those in the know as simply “The OEC,” is downtown Canton’s high-energy BYOB dance spot. Open until 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, owner Mike Harrer opened the historic club with big plans for live entertainment and after hours fun! Harrer, who has been a deejay for 21 years, in addition to vast restaurant management experience, believes he has something truly unique in The OEC. “We are the only BYOB after hours location in Stark County open until 6am. We feature DJs that will play mash up, house, funk, old school and martini vibe music,” said Harrer. The OEC was built in 1927 and was the first Eagles Club in Ohio. They promise to take you back in time to the 1930s and 50s, with tribute performers of Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Elton John and many, many more, along with “unplugged” local artists. The organization is also the new home of the Canton Comedy Series, and will be featuring comedy acts twice a month. Teen Dance nights beginning at 7 p.m. are happening throughout the week. More acts and performers are coming soon, visit for more details about all upcoming events and to buy tickets in advance. Regular after hours cover charges are $15, with a special discounted price of just $10 for members of

the service industry. Evening show tickets are additional, and memberships to the club are available and selling quickly. Memberships include personal locker, discounted pricing on special events and shows, reserved parking space, private entry, and much more! The venue can accommodate up to 200 guests for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and corporate events and is booking fast for 2012. Think about having your next event in this beautifully preserved, historic venue! Visit for information about joining the club, tickets and upcoming shows.

Timothy S. Belden, owner, Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography David T. Beule, CEO, Appalachian Basin, CPAs Robert J. Hankins, president and CEO, ArtsinStark Michael E. King, owner, King Properties Rodney W. Meadows, owner, Motter & Meadows Architects Michael E. Williams, executive director, Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority Michael P. Gill is the president of the SID. In addition, the organization recognized Josh Schory, Lucca Restaurant; Mike Nasvadi, Buzzbin Magazine Art & Music Shop; Nick Brewer, The Auricle; Greg Ouimet, VXI Global Solutions; Mike King, 4th Street lights project; and Scott Woodruff, Canton Charge, for their commitment and investment in downtown Canton. For more information about the year’s developments, and a look back at the programming in 2011, visit or stop by the Canton Development Partnership for your copy of the 2011 Downtown Canton Special Improvement District Annual Report.

Yep, it’s down here: Downtown Canton marketing campaign launches New Website continues to grow and promotional campaign takes off!


he Downtown Canton Special Improvement District began rolling out their comprehensive downtown Canton brand awareness campaign in December, with a slate of print ads and radio commercials pro-

moting the art galleries and restaurants in downtown Canton. Later this month and into the coming year, you’ll see a strategic, all-encompassing campaign – promoting downtown Canton attractions, shopping, festivals, events and more, through print, outdoor, radio and online media. “The goal of our campaign is to promote downtown Canton as a true one-stop destination, top to bottom, for arts, entertainment, dining and more,” said Mike Gill, director of the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District. “As we work toward a strategic housing plan for downtown Canton, it becomes imperative that we showcase all of the things to do in the center city.” The launch of the new go-to guide to downtown Canton,, has already generated a great deal of traffic, and new features and expanded listings are planned for next month. The site includes custom listings for businesses, organizations, attractions, and venues – as well as events – in downtown Canton, complete with photos and details, online wayfinding maps for all listings and events, user reviews, comments and social media sharing. Make sure your business or event is listed by visiting and clicking on “Add a Listing” or “Add an Event,” or contact Jessica Bennett at for assistance. In addition, a new set of wayfinding maps are in development to direct visitors to the arts, dining, parking and attractions downtown. The Downtown Canton Special Improvement District will also be working to promote NEW! upcoming art walks and food tours. Look for more details in an upcoming issue of Downtown Developments newsletter. For the latest news and development information, visit

Ads from the ongoing downtown Canton awareness campaign.


New go-to guide to downtown at

ArtsinStark receives the 2012 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio


rtsinStark has received the 2012 Governor’s Award for the

Arts in Ohio for community development and participation. The award will be presented at

About ArtsinStark: The organization now called ArtsinStark was formed in 1968 to build the Cultural Center for the Arts in Canton. More than 40 ye a rs later, ArtsinStark has become the county arts council for Stark County, serving its nearly 300,000 residents with a commitment to creating smarter kids, new jobs and healthier communities.

a luncheon ceremony honoring the winners and members of the Ohio Legislature at noon on We d n e s d ay, May 9, at the Columbus Athenaeum in downtown Columbus. The luncheon is hosted by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. The 2012 Governor’s Awards Selection Committee consisted of seven Ohio Arts Council board members and three non-board members who were selected by Ohio Citizens for the Arts. The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. The Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation provides information to all Ohioans about the arts, and promotes their value to a high quality of life, a strong economy and the achievement of educational excellence. More information about the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio, including a full list of past winners, is available on the Ohio Arts Council website here:

While ArtsinStark continues to manage the 330,000-square-foot Cultural Arts Center, the nonprofit organization also distributes more than $1.2 million in operating, special projects and community arts grants to hundreds of organizations and individuals each year. The first $1 million in operating support goes to the seven largest arts organizations in Stark County: the Canton Ballet, Canton Museum of Art, Canton Palace Theatre, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Massillon Museum, Players Guild Theater and Voices of Canton. In addition, ArtsinSta rk also awa rds $200,000 in smaller grants annually to 100 county nonprofits and artists.

economic impact. In 2012, ArtsinStark will unveil 20/20 Vision—a 10-year plan for arts and economic development in Stark County. Equally important is the nonprofit’s focus on improving learning. In 2006, ArtsinStark launched the SmArts Program to help “supercharge learning” by integrating arts and academics. In the last six ye a rs, the SmArts Program has invested $250,000 to host 100 SmArts projects for 15,000 kids. In what has been called an “arts explosion,” the d i re c tors, staff and vo l u n teers that make up ArtsinStark are successfully incorporating art into every part of the community, reshaping the face of Stark County and changing the lives of those who live here.

Nearly 99 percent of ArtsinStark’s $2.6 million annual budget comes from the private sector. In 2011, the campaign raised a record high of more than $1.5 million, with 91 cents of every dollar raised going directly back to the community. This funding helps to support the burgeoning cultural industry in Sta rk County, which represents more than 500 jobs and $18 million in economic impact. In fact, using the creative sector for economic development is a key st ra tegy for ArtsinStark, from partnering with the Canton Regional Chamber to cre a te the Canton Arts District, to co-hosting a blockbuster exhibit with the Canton Museum of Art that generated $6 million in

Dine downtown on Wednesdays for deals at your favorite restaurants! From Feb. 1 through March 28, the Downtown Special Improvement District will once again be hosting the “Downtown Deals Wednesday” promotion. Diners to the participating downtown Canton restaurants will receive one halfpriced entrée for each entrée they purchase at regular price. Select downtown restaurants will offer this special discount to diners every Wednesday in February and March. The discount is valid after 5 p.m. only. In order to receive the discount, a coupon must be presented at time of purchase. Clip yours from this article, look for your coupon in an upcoming issue of The Repository, or go online to to download your coupon. Downtown Deals will feature 11 downtown Canton restaurants, including: • Arcadia Grille • • Bender’s Tavern • • Desert Inn • • Napoli’s Italian Eatery • • Pete’s Grill & Pizza • • Peter Shears Downtown • • Picciano’s Martini Bar • • Primo’s • • Sports Therapy Bar and Grill • • Thatsa Wrapp • • Thorpe’s Grill at the McKinley Grand •

“The Downtown Deals Wednesday promotion is an excellent opportunity to experience some of the incredible local restaurants in downtown Canton,” said Mike Gill, director of the Downtown Special Improvement District. “Diners can experience all types of cuisines and enjoy both casual and fine dining with this exciting promotion.” For details about Dow n town Deals Wednesday, visit, or contact Annette Rosenberger at or (330) 458-2092.

Looking inside
... MOLA Gallery As we ring in the New Year, Julia Dick, owner of MOLA Gallery in the downtown Canton Arts District, is celebrating a milestone of her own – her one year anniversary!

excited to bring this exquisite craft to Canton,” explained Dick of both her gallery collection as well as her personal collection, which she estimates at nearly 500 pieces.

Growing up in Panama, it makes sense that Dick would specialize in the unique, eclectic MOLA textile art by the Kuna people of Panama, along with art from other indigenous people of Panama and Central America. The Kuna live simple, beautiful lives on archipelago islands off the northern coast of Panama.

MOLA patterns largely reflect the world and experiences of daily life, from the sea, animals, birds and fish, to the sun and moon, the rain dance, the tree of life, and sand dollars, all of which figure prominently in the MOLA designs. At the same time, the Kuna are very whimsical, often incorporating Bugs Bunny and other characters into their art. Likewise, the Kuna have ventured away from strictly creating MOLA art in panel or wearable form, now producing “indigenous creations” such as pillows and purses in the MOLA technique.

“I have known so many of the wonderful Kuna people, and I’ve been to the islands so often that I feel I’ve been collecting these works my entire life,” said Dick. She purchases works directly from the Kuna, along with other collectors and friends who live in Panama. “MOLA” is the Kuna word for blouse, and the textile art is something that the Kuna have been incorporating into their daily dress for generations. What evo lved from body paint when early tra d e rs brought textiles to the island is now evolving further as tourism increases in the area and MOLA becomes more sought after throughout Panama. MOLA textiles are a specific size, and are created during a unique process known as reverse appliqué, where instead of layering upon textiles as in traditional appliqué, the Kuna produce their colorful patterns by cutting through the textile to reveal the layers underneath and stitching detail. “I love this work, it’s so colorful, incredibly creative and absolutely unique to these people. I fell in love with the Kuna when I was very young, and I’m so

In addition to the gallery’s namesake works, Dick shares her space with local artist Rick Huggett, who helps her hang a monthly show of artists from Stark County and Ohio. Dick has been waiting for this gallery to become a reality for several years, and in addition to running the gallery, she owns MOLA Productions, an advertising, marketing and PR firm in Canton, and is part owner of the inaugural Canton Marathon, coming in June 2012. “I absolutely love Canton – I’ve lived here for 17 years, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the Downtown Arts District – the art, the restaurants, the music, and the revitalization are so important and I’m excited to do my part,” said Dick. (Right): MOLA textile art from MOLA Gallery

MOLA Info 336 Fourth Street NW in downtown Canton Hours: Saturdays Noon to 4 p.m., Thursdays 4 to 6 p.m., during First Fridays and other downtown events and by appointment (330) 232-6199


Want to advertise here? Contact Denise Burton, 330.458.2067. Cost is $75 per issue.

January 1



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(through Jan. 21) Exhibit: Beth Moon Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography (through March 4) Exhibits: Focus Fiber-2011, Body Language - Selections from the Permanent Collection, Ted Lawson - A Moment in Time, Martin Bertman - Evocations Canton Museum of Art (through May 4) Exhibit: Rising to the Occasion National First Ladies’ Library First Friday – Ice! Ice! Baby Downtown Canton First Friday Family Movie Canton Palace Theatre Required Reading Translations Gallery at Anderson Creative Scared Scriptless Improv Comedy 2nd April Galerie & Studios Aultman Primetime Series Canton Symphony The Rabbit Hole Kathleen Howland Theatre Rapunzel Players Guild Theatre Soup at Six: The Civil War-The 23rd Ohio Voluntary Infantry & William McKinley McKinley Presidential Library & Museum Blues Night at the Palace Canton Palace Theatre


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Raising Angelina Kathleen Howland Theatre Museum Auxiliary Luncheon & Program Arm Chair Walking Tour of West Lawn Cemetery McKinley Presidential Library & Museum Niffer Clarke: Beyond the Ingenue Kathleen Howland Theatre Masterworks Concert: Winter Dreams Canton Symphony McKinley Day McKinley Presidential Library & Museum Exhibit: Twice as Good – Artwork by Eric Velasquez, the William Powell Story Canton Museum of Art

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Jim Brickman: The Romanza Tour Canton Palace Theatre “Love is Eternal” National First Ladies’ Library The Love Concert Canton Palace Theatre President’s Day Activities! McKinley Presidential Library & Museum Little Women –The Musical Players Guild Theatre Masterworks Concert: Student and Teacher Canton Symphony

February 1-10

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Exhibit: Twice as Good – Artwork by Eric Velasquez, the William Powell Story Canton Museum of Art First Friday – Get a Clue. Downtown Canton First Friday Family Movie Canton Palace Theatre Revisionist Histories by Chad Hansen Translations Gallery at Anderson Creative Scared Scriptless Improv Comedy 2nd April Galerie & Studios Aultman Primetime Series Canton Symphony Exhibit Opening: That’s Entertainment! McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

More event information at


First Friday is celebrated every first Friday of the month from 6 to 10 p.m. in downtown Canton. First Friday is presented by ArtsinStark, t...