Page 1






The Devil’s Dozen


What’s the Big Idea behind Radio Free Akron?

11 Torchbearers celebrate 14 years


14 34

14 Photographer Sarah Treanor creates through loss 12 E. Exchange Street 2nd Floor Akron, Ohio 44308

16 Knight Arts Challenge winner spotlight: Curated Storefronts 17 Confront reality at

Publisher: Chris “no carny-handed mango man” Horne Email: Phone: 330-555-GHOSTBUSTERS Art Director: Alesa “doesn’t sleep” Upholzer, Talented and Patient Managing Editor: M. Sophie “Has Many Names, Wears Many Hats” Franchi Visuals Editor: Svetla “The Balkan Comrade” Morrison Director of Sales & Distribution: TJ "is in fact a Newsie, hat and all" Masterson

Balch Street Theatre

28 17

CULTURE CLUB 18 She’s New and he’s Native 19 Meet Monte


22 Why your dad can’t learn

AKROPRENEURS 24 How Pedro A. Avalos, II is building a bobblehead empire

table of contents 11

26 What Jill Bacon Madden wishes Staff Writers, Columnists & The A/V Club: Kristina “Urban Explorer” Aiad-Toss; Emily “Lady Beer Drinker” Anderson; Melanie “newbie for now” Anderson; Brett “The Red-bearded Intern” Auerbach; Holly “The Wanderer” Brown; Kyle “Needs a Whimsical Nickname” Brown; Sam "Buzzkilling Feminist" DePaul; Emily “Potty Perfectionist” Dressler and Marissa Marangoni, Bathroom Culture Enthusiast; Brian “Wemlo Twinge” Dunphy; Dan “The Akron Knight” Gorman; Paul “I don’t write but I can draw” Hoffman; Sarah “The Queen of Akron Comedy” Jones; Ted “Super No Bueno” Lehr; Jacob Luther, the Towny Townie Toonist; TJ “Don’t Call Me Shirley” Masterson; Krissy "Someone make me a real fish taco before I go insane" O'Connor; Atticus “Wreckage” Pamer; Lia “Just One More Slice” Pietrolungo; Roger Riddle, Wears the Purple Pants; Amanda "That Crazy Cat Lady" Sedlak-Hevener; Thomas Skala, Glazed and Confused; Lenny “Where’s Squiggy?” Spengler; Dawson “Digs the Music” Steeber; Nicole “likes the way Akron sounds” Stempak; Steve “is not a zombie” Van Auken; Patrick “Pattycakes” Worden; and The Shane Wynn Supremacy


she knew



28 Buffets are non-denominational


31 LBD checks out the new brewery on the block

THE SCENE 33 Six Akron bands we think you should know 34 Relaxer’s had a sonic revolution



———————————————————— The Devil Strip is published bi-monthly by Random Family, LLC. Akron Distribution: The Devil Strip is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. Copyright: The entire contents of The Devil Strip are copyright 2017 by Random Family, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above.


Jamal is sweet and just as cute as could be! He is a mini lop/lion head mix and was born November 10, 2016. He’d love to hop right into a new home! Stop by



CONTACT US: Office ............................................(330) 842-6606 General Info Advertising .................. Distribution ............. Website .......................... Facebook .......... Twitter .........................................@akrondevilstrip Instagram ........................................@thedevilstrip


and see him at the Humane Society of Summit County! He is neutered and his adoption fee is $60. Mumble is around 4-5 years old and weighs about 60 pounds. He loves toys of all kinds but has a wonderful off switch and will snuggle right up for some pets. He seems to get along well with most other dogs but needs a home with no cats. Don't stumble when trying to get here to meet Mumble you may miss out on this babe! PAWSibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron 7996 Darrow Rd., Twinsburg, OH 44087 | 1.888.588.8436 | 330.487.0333 | |

MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3 /

THE Devil Strip |


Pub Notes

Pub Notes >>

This issue is a milestone for The Devil Strip. We’re two years old now! Yet, just like when my kid turned two, I’m suddenly realizing that while this publication is still practically a baby, it’s growing up fast. It’s taken me almost two years to understand what The Devil Strip can become. From the beginning, I knew a publication like ours could create a common space where Akron-lovin’

Photo credit: Shane Wynn

“Journalists in the United States are at a critical point in the history of their craft. Threatened on one side by declining readership and new economic pressures in the media industry, they face a different kind of threat from the fraying of community ties, the rising disgust with politics, and a spreading sense of impotence and hopelessness among Americans frustrated by the failures of their democratic system. If this second threat isn’t noticed and taken seriously, American journalism may lose control of its future, which is bound up with the strength of public life in all of its forms.” — Davis “Buzz” Merritt and Jay Rosen, “Public Journalism: Theory and Practice” (1997)

people could connect. So, I expected this to be a conduit, but I figured the mag itself would stay small, just me and a few freelancers. That

part of that “grow-up or die” mission.

on and so forth.

Why? Frankly, I want to be an advocate for Now look at that quote about journalism by people being happy. I think The Devil Strip has a Merritt and Rosen. It’s 20 years old but just role to play in that by fostering a virtuous cycle

as relevant now, if not practically prophetic.

built around the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Specifically, about how we see Akron and our place in it.

That’s why I included it here. We’ve practiced journalism with the mindset that it should connect people to each other, to this city and to

Humans are wired to connect and cooperate. This is our chief advantage over other species because it increased our ancestors’ chances

a greater sense of purpose. It that grandiose? Abso-freakin’-lutely. But why aim low? I think it’s obvious that Jack Knight, who launched an empire of community-centric newspapers from

wasn’t just silly; it was the biggest mistake I’ve made. (So far.)

of survival. We benefit by being connected to here in Akron, viewed journalism with a similar other people, which is why our brains reward us mix of optimism and serious responsibility. with the release of feel-good chemicals when

Now, I’m on a “grow-up or die” mission.

we make friends. Which is why I’m so hellbent on building community.

Fundamentally, we will continue to tell stories about the people who make Akron unique. There’ll just be more of them. We’re adding

People can connect through place, and Akronites are steeped in civic pride. Witnessing staff. We’re going to post new stories — verbal, that love gave me the confidence to try this magazine. I knew thousands of people care aural and visual — daily online, expanding deeply about this place. More could. The best our scope in the process then digesting them way to drawing more folks into the fold is by monthly in the magazine while including a creating the fold, bringing together Akronites few print-first pieces. It won’t be a barrage of

Today, as I write this, Mayor Dan Horrigan, launched a “Why not Akron?” campaign. It’s about seeing the city differently. If we see the city for what it is — ripe with potential, rife with opportunity and loaded with the kinds of people who can help us cultivate both — then we can change our fate. Sometimes, the first step is just removing the limit. Writers have an expression: Show, don’t

“content” driven by a bloodthirst for clicks, views and shares. These stories will be meant

who are already the most active and engaged.

tell. That’s what The Devil Strip has been all

for the long haul.

We’ve been trying to help build that fold with the people who make this city unique by

about. “Look! There’s cool stuff being done by cool people. RIGHT. HERE.” I think the City’s campaign makes a ton of sense in the same

When? ...soon. But it’ll take time. Entering

focusing on the arts, through music, culture and entertainment. Why? The drive to create — whether it’s art, music, cakes, bobbleheads, videos or magazines — is born from the instinct to connect. You make, you share, you connect, you cooperate, you survive and hopefully thrive.

our third year, my goal is to remake The Devil Strip as a community-owned consumer co-op. Whether I get hit by a bus, move or lose my mind, I want this publication to always operate with Akron’s best interests in mind and at heart. The best way, I think, for this to remain a community-minded, community-building effort is for the community to own it. That means you can have a lot more input than just making comments on a story or Facebook post. There’s more, of course, but those are the broad strokes. For the past year, I’ve been researching, talking to folks, getting feedback and playing with the structure. This is what I want to do. It’s

So, with that in mind, that aforementioned virtuous cycle goes like this: Love the arts, culture, music, food, orgs, entertainment and history that make Akron unique; connect with the people who make Akron unique; love Akron; get involved; engage the civic life; become part of what makes Akron unique; be happy; love Akron some more; rinse, repeat, so

About the Cover

way because we won’t become a growing, thriving Akron by accident. It takes people getting involved. We’ve filled hundreds and hundreds of pages with stories about those kinds of people — people who define Akronite as more than just a matter of residency but rather as those whose love of this place moves them to action. The reason we share those stories is simple. If you’re like those Akronites, we want you to know you’re not alone, and if you’re not yet like them, e want you to be one of them too.


“Frieda” by Patricia Zinsmeister Parker Mixed media on Canvas, 24 x 18 ———————————

This painting is part of the series entitled “Hommage Les Peintres Femmes,” in which Patricia Zinsmeister Parker recognizes and acknowledges those risk-takers who came before her. “My most current body of work is a suite of portraits of women who have inspired me as a painter,” Zinsmeister Parker says. “Some images reference family members and friends but others represent a group of bold, fearless female painters whose unique visual language has earned them a place in the pantheon of art history.” The series is inspired some of the artist’s greatest influences, such as Ree Morton, Eva Hesse, Maria Lassnig, Paula ModersohnBecker, Agnus Martin, Mary Cassatt, and Sonia Delaunay. “Because of these remarkable women, I will continue to talk about their salient contributions to the art world and to hold them in the highest regard as great painters without reference to their gender which I only use to distinguish them from their male counterparts,” Zinsmeister Parker says.



| THE Devil Strip / MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3

“Emerging Stories” featuring new paintings by Wendy

Harris Stanton Gallery

Chazin and Patricia Zinsmeister Parker Thursday, March 16 –Saturday, April 22, 2017 Opening Reception: Thursday, March 16, 5:30 – 8 pm

2301 West Market St, Akron, OH 44313 | Gallery Hours: Tue – Fri 10:30am – 5:30pm, Sat 10 – 4pm


the agenda

è ê




î ç



Thursday, March 2 – July 16

Light”. Joining Coup De Grace will be some familiar Akron sounds from Jeff Klemm & The

Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St To all you rebels out there who feel the need to break galleries strict “No-Touch” policies! It looks like you’ll need to be more creative in maintaining that bad boy image for this exhibit. The exhibition Please Touch offers a unique experience in asking visitors to engage in the art with more than meets the eye. Please Touch provides a hands-on experience perfect for audiences of all ages. The Akron Art Museum commissioned a group of talented regional

Letters and The Brothers Band. If live music and alcohol still has you on the fence, Skuda Productions is throwing a psychedelic light show into the mix. Still not sold? How about some live painting & visual arts by Bex Moss and Anadono? Best part – tickets are only $8. Are

å Art Exhibit – Please Touch

artists, all in which have different influences: Erin Guido, Jordan Elise and Christopher Lees. Come check them out for yourself! Visit for more information

Friday, March 3 – March 10

ç Moving Connections Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Verb Ballets and the Akron Art Museum invite you to “Moving Connections”, a movement workshop catered to the senior community. The wellness program encourages creativity, social interaction and is designed to expand one’s appreciation of the arts. Led by professional dancers and movement experts, the program aims to develop flexibility and increase cognitive function by meditative and mindfulness exercises. An additional session will be offered the following Friday, March 10. Registration required. For more information, contact Desmond Davis, Verb Ballets Education and Outreach Coordinator, at ddavis@verbballets. org or (216)-397-3757.

you kidding!!?? This is why Akron is great! All ages welcome. For tickets and more information, visit

é Crafty Mart Beach Party Fundraiser with The Dreemers Studio 526, 526 Grant St • 7 – 10 pm Find your Spring fever remedy at the Crafty

Saturday, 2 pm & 7 pm / Sunday, 2 pm

with Akron’s most famous animal celebrities.

Watch your favorite childhood story in 3D – the

Just Zoo It will showcase the quality and care provided to the animals by a series of challenges designed to highlight the Akron

kind of 3D that doesn’t require goggles. That’s right folks I am talking about real life! Ballet Excel Ohio invites you to the classic adventure

Zoo’s model called “HELPR”: Husbandry, Enrichment, Learning, Play, Relate

under the sea. The opening Ballet, “USO Radio Show 1942” was choreographed by Francis

Show is free for current Akron Zoo members.

Patrelle and takes place in Akron Ohio. For

Just show your pass at the door! For nonmembers, tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For additional information visit

tickets please visit

Wednesday, March 8 Freddy Cole Quartet: “85 Years of Swinging” BLU Jazz+, 47 E Market St • 8 – 11 pm Three –time Grammy nominated vocalist & pianist is making a pit stop in the Rubber City at Blu Jazz+. Brother of legendary Nat

Saturday, March 18

ì Paws Vegas: Black Ties and Tails Todaro’s Party Center, 1820 Akron Peninsula Rd • 6 pm Cure your St. Pattie’s Day hangover with a little hair of the dog - literally! Make sure your Uber driver is cool with pets in their vehicle, because this event not only includes adoptable pets, but an open bar as well! Vegas style games, auctions, raffles and food is on the agenda tool! First impressions matter, so make sure to fully immerse your potential foster pet into your lavish lifestyle. All proceeds go to the animals of Paws and Prayers. Tickets are available at Ticket prices: Single - $60/Couple - $110


Saturday, March 18

need a little encouragement. Tickets are $35 at

Friday, March 10

Hive Mind, 373 W Exchange St • 8 pm Trivia night returns to Hive Mind! Quiz Master Dave Daly will do his best to stump you with all original questions covering an array of topics.

î March Trivia Night

ë The 10th Annual Art & Ale

Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St • 6 – 9 pm Monday, March 6 Locally crafted brews and fantastic art work! This event should take very little convincing. è Cosplay and Crafting Night Akron Makerspace, 48 S Summit St • 7 – 10 pm Participating brewers include: Thirsty Dog Looking for space to design your newest Brewing Company, Ohio Brewing Company, cosplay project or lacking the equipment to do so? Stop by the Akron Makerspace – they have multiple sewing machines, vinyl cuter and general crafting equipment! Do yourself a favor, get on Instagram and search cosplay under public posts. The creativity put into each

µ Coup De Grace Album Release Show w/ Jeff Klemm & The Letters and The



Stop in early for a meet and greet in the lobby

multiple contests and raffles are on the agenda. Oh! Almost forgot – cash bar for those who

Friday, March 3

De Grace’s first album release titled “Walk In


King Cole, Freddy will wind back the clock in celebration of 85 years of swing music. Blu Mart Beach Party! Bring your appetite and some Jazz+ pays respect to the jazz scene entirely dancing shoes because they’ll be whipping and emphasizes the importance of jazz in the up some tacos as you’re entertained with live city of Akron. According to Blu Jazz+, blue is music from The Dreemers. To makes things more than a color, it’s an attitude. To further official, Sweet Mary’s Bakery will be providing understand, it’s recommended you pop a squat dessert. As if live music and grub isn’t enough, in the tasteful, industrious jazz club. For tickets

costume is rapidly gaining recognition among the arts and fashion industry. This event is FREE and open to the public. For more information,

Brothers Band Musica, 51 E Market St • Doors open at 8 pm Central 8 Studio invites you to celebrate Coup


ê The Akron Zoo presents “JUST ZOO It” Animal Show Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St • 2:30 pm

Hoppin’ Frog Brewery, Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery, Scenic Brewing Company, The Canton Brewing Company, and Market Garden Brewery. I know what you’re all thinking – what about the fixins? Not to worry, this event

This is team trivia so be prepared to meet some new friends if you come alone or bring along your smartest companions to ensure victory! Team size is limited to 5-7 people. For more info, questions, etc...check out facebook. com/events/139102426592394/. Donations accepted at the door. Prizes awarded. BYOB.

will be accompanied with some of the areas favorite food. More information to come! For

Thursday, March 23

tickets visit

Hive Mind, 375 W Exchange St • 8 pm Ahead of his next album, well-traveled MC and

Saturday, March 11 - Sunday, March 12

Akron newcomer Floco Torres takes his gritty, powerful brand of hip-hop to local DIY linchpin Hive Mind where he pairs up with Boy Kudzi, an Akronite whose fluid flow and fun performance clinch this show’s must-see status.

í Ballet Excel Ohio presents THE LITTLE MERMAID and USO RADIO SHOW 1942 Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St

ï Floco Torres and Boy Kudzi

MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3 /

THE Devil Strip |


the agenda

There's Nothing to Do in Akron The Devil Strip’s comprehensive, monthly argument that there’s plenty of fun to be had in Akron

St. Patrick’s Day Thursday, March 2 - July 16 Monday, March 6 Exhibit – Please Touch The Akron Zoo presents Friday, March 17 Art Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St. “JUST ZOO It” Animal Show See Devil’s Dozen. Walking in Circles On Tap at the Harbor, 562 Portage Lakes Dr. // 8 pm – 12 am // Irish drinking songs, great grub and $5 Irish Car Bombs. No cover.

See Devil’s Dozen.

Friday, March 3 - April 8

Art Exhibit – Evolving Landscapes Summit Artspace, 140 E Market St //

ShamRock-N-Roll with Devilstrip The Empire Concert Club & Bar, 1305 E

Summit Artspace invites you to the Evolving Landscapes exhibit. The exhibit was prompted by a landscape competition for local artists.

Tallmadge Ave // 8 pm – 1 am // Special guests include Highway 4, Line of Defense and Pistol Whip!

Watch as Summit Artspace announces the winners on March 3, 5-8 pm. Event is free.

Friday, March 3 - March 10 Moving Connections Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 11:30 am – 12:30 pm // See Devil’s Dozen.

Friday, March 3 Crafty Mart Beach Party Fundraiser Studio 526, 526 Grant St // 7 – 10 pm See Devil’s Dozen. Coup De Grace Album Release Show w/ Jeff Klem & The letters and The Brothers Band Musica, 51 E Market St // Doors open at 8 pm See Devil’s Dozen.

The Club at the Civic Presents Lowrey w/ Ryan Humbert Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St // 8-11 pm // Former member of The Zac Brown Band, Levi Lowrey will be at the Civic this month w/ Akron Native Ryan Humbert opening the show.

Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St // 2:30 pm

Saturday, March 4 Benefit Show: Wish You Were Here “Animals” 40th Anniversary Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St // 8-11pm

Cosplay and Crafting Night Akron Makerspace, 48 S Summit St // 7-10pm See Devil’s Dozen.

Tuesday, March 7

Thursday, March 9 Yoga in the Galleries Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 6:30pm // Grab your mat and head to the museum for a yoga lesson located in the galleries of the Akron Art Museum. Consider the Source w/ Felix Martin Musica, 51 E Market St // 9 pm // Tickets are $10

Gum Dip Theatre presents

Friday, March 10

"Exploring Our Past: Story Circle" Firestone Park Branch Library, 1486 Aster Ave. 6 pm // The first of a three-part series of story circles that focuses on group sharing and

The 10th Annual Art & Ale Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 6 – 9 pm // Locally crafted brews and fantastic art work! This event should take very little convincing.

personal connection so neighbors can reflect on the shared history of Firestone Park through structured storytelling prompts. Pre-registration

See Devils Dozen.

can be made by calling (330) 724-2126 or emailing

METHOD & Mississippi Gun Club The Empire Concert Club, 1305 E Tallmadge Ave // Doors at 7 pm // Tickets are $7 in advance/$10 at door.

Wednesday, March 8 Arty Party at Nauti Vine Nauti Vine, 3950 S Main St // 8 pm // Tickets are $25 – all supplies and canvas included Freddy Cole Quartet: “85 Years of Swinging” BLU Jazz +, 47 E Market St // 8-11pm See Devil’s Dozen.

A Punch’s Pilot w/ DAYOLDHATE, FATAL

Saturday, March 11 & Sunday, March 12 Ballet Excel Ohio presents THE LITTLE MERMAID and USO RADIO SHOW 1942 Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St // Sat, 2pm & 7pm / Sunday, 2pm // See Devil’s Dozen


// Rewind in time and fully enjoy the nostalgic Pink Floyd “Animals” album from start to finish, performed by Pink Floyd Tribute band, “Wish You Were Here.” All proceeds will go to Akron Children’s Hospital Palliative Care Center. Tickets start at $15.

Sunday, March 5 Now through May 7 Now through April 22 “Color Theories” art exhibit Nine Muses Art Gallery, 584 Tuscarawas Ave,

Loserheart Records Special Saint Patrick’s Humane Society Benefit Show The Rialto Theatre, 1000 Kenmore Blvd // 8pm

Gretchen Pleuss The Mustard Seed Market & Café, 3885 W

– 12 am // Special guests include Murphy’s Children, Trunk Ride, Gary & Bonerz, Radiatrix and To the Fall. All proceeds to benefit the

Market St, Montrose // 11:30 am - 2:30 pm One of Akron’s most active and talented singersongwriters brings a vibe all her own. Fresh

Summit County Humane Society.

food and fresh music, need we say more?


| THE Devil Strip / MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3

Barberton // “Color Theories” presents a rich contrast of color and texture between the works of two regional artists. The work of northeast Ohio artists Patricia Roggenkamp and Michael Greenwald explore how the two artists engage color and strive to seek a perfection that leads them to create bold or nuanced works. //

Art Exhibit - Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // Popular Art Magazine Hi-Fructose celebrates 10 years this month by showcasing over 50 contemporary artists in their “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-fructose” exhibit. This is the only Midwest showing of the exhibit. Experience the original artwork outside the magazine’s perspective and gain a larger appreciation for this multifaceted display of excellence.


the agenda

Tuesday, March 14

Edo G E. J. Thomas Hall, 198 Hill St // 8pm // Keepers of the Art present Hip-Hop legend Edo G as part of the Classic Emcee Concert Series. General admission is $15. Purchase tickets at (See the story on pg. 34) Trivia Night Hive Mind, 373 W Exchange St // 8:00 pm // Trivia night returns to Hive Mind! Quiz Master Dave Daly will do his best to stump you with all


The Roaring Revival April 1, 2017 • 1-6pm

The Alcazar Building 627 W. Market St. Akron, OH

original questions covering an array of topics. This is team trivia so bring along your smartest companions to ensure victory! Team size is Build your own Wine Rack night

limited to 5-7 people. Donations accepted at the door. Prizes awarded. BYOB. For more info, Prime 93, 4315 Manchester Rd // 6-9pm // Get hammered at Prime 93 and build your own wine rack. No woodworking skills necessary and materials will be provided.

Sunday, March 19

Wednesday, March 15 The United States Navy Concert Band Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St // 7 pm // The United States Navy Concert Band will be visiting the Akron Civic Theatre this month. Come out and show your support! This event is FREE.

Showcasing vintage Highland Square Tour the 1927 renovated building and enjoy Local artists. Designers. Music apertifs

Thursday, March 16 Student All-Stars Concert Series presents: Boardman High School BLU Jazz +, 47 E Market St // 7 – 8:30 pm Tickets at Teddy Pantelas Trio BLU Jazz +, 47 E Market St // 9 – 11 pm Tickets at

Saturday, March 18

Birchwood Supply, The Steam Trunk and other local vendors. The Choir, Wide Eye Wonder Tour Musica, 51 E Market St // 6:30 – 7 pm // VIP acoustic performance at 5:30 pm including Q&A session and autographed merchandise! For tickets visit or

Wednesday, March 22 Succulent Terrarium/Distressed Wood Tapered Square w/ Plant Night Akron Barmacy Bar & Grill, 1714 Merriman Rd. Flat Tire Repair Clinic Blimp City Bike & Hike, 1675 Merriman Rd 11 am – 1:30 pm // Whelp, it doesn’t get more Akron than this folks. Nothing pays homage more to the city of Akron than a flat tire repair

Plant Night Akron invites you to Barmacy Bar & Grill to create your own unique, tapered squareterrarium. Make you reservation by purchasing tickets at events/view/akron/10005299

clinic – this is the Rubber city after all! Do yourself a favor and get your bike ready for spring.

Thursday, March 23

Paws Vegas: Black Ties and Tails

Start Writing Fiction Barberton Public Library, 602 W. Park Ave

Todaro’s Party Center, 1820 Akron Peninsula Rd 6 pm // See Devil’s Dozen.

6 – 7:30 pm // Join this FREE online learning circle course emphasizing in fictionstyled writing skills. To register please visit

Fuze! Del Sol String Quartet & didgeridoo virtuoso Stephen Kent Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 7 pm // Knitting 101 with Harps and Thistles

Listen as the Del Sol String Quartet and Stephen Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 6:30 – 8:30 pm // Learn the basics to knitting at Kent pay homage to one of Australia’s most this workshop! Tickets are $15 for Akron Art celebrated composers, Peter Sculthorpe. Single tickets are $25 and can be purchased at

Museum members/$20 for nonmembers. For tickets visit (continued on page 9)


the agenda

What’s the big idea behind Radio Free Akron? Name/Age: Kenneth Averiett / 28 Occupation: Freelance Writer & Content Marketer Hometown: Akron, Ohio Current Neighborhood: Highland Square WHAT IS YOUR BIG IDEA? Radio Free Akron. It’s non-profit, non-commercial radio for low power communities. RFA isn’t my idea actually. I’ve been the station manager for less than 6 months. My primary focus is finding voices from the nooks and crannies of Akron that are willing to lend themselves to RFA, so we can polish it up a bit, and serve home grown content. Akron has so much going on, so trying to curate as much Akron stuff as possible is going to be tough, but it’s going to be worth it. WHY PURSUE IT? Akron is pretty culturally dense. The casual person walking around North Hill probably isn’t hip to the diverse selection of food in restaurants, corner stores, or farmers markets offered by immigrants in that part of town, or downtown Akron’s constantly evolving music scene that’s hosting one of the most fertile DIY collectives in the Midwest. (I’m not being hyperbolic, I promise! lol). If we’re talking logistics, Akron is one of the most affordable towns to live in per a handful of real estate data bases. That makes it ideal for anyone to take any extra income and put it towards passion projects or hobbies, which explains a lot about why our city is the way it is!


WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOUR BIG IDEA WAS A GOOD IDEA? Honestly, I wasn’t there when Radio Free Akron was in its creative infancy. I remember sitting in on my first board meeting, and thinking “Man, I wonder if they know how cool this really is?” Then I just got excited with the possibilities. Having spent the majority of my life around some of Akron’s DIY, underground, grassroots initiatives, or whatever you want to call it, I knew this would be a fantastic way to bridge connections and bring new eyes and ears to what’s going on in this city. HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR BIG IDEA HELPS AKRON GROW? I just want it to give people who don’t have them the resources to showcase something we haven’t seen or heard before in this city. Like I said, there’s so much going on, and it’s constantly evolving. I hope we can keep up with the changes, and bring them to the hearts and minds of anyone who cares to pay attention.

Why Is It Called Vernon Odom Boulevard?

by Amanda Sedlak-Hevener

Vernon Odom Boulevard. The street’s name barely fits on a road sign, to the point that most have it listed as “V. Odom.” It’s still quite a mouthful, but worth it, when you consider the person behind the name. Vernon Odom Sr. was a civil rights pioneer who was associated with Martin Luther King, Jr.

Vernon Odom, Senior, whom the street is named after, was born in 1921. His father was

for the Community Service Center and Urban League. He championed the need for equal

a born a slave in Mississippi, prior to the start of the U.S. Civil War. Odom was born in the state as well, but traveled to Cleveland to finish high

rights, education, and employment, and, prior to his death in 1996, was awarded the Bert Polsky Humanitarian Award.

school, living with his sister while doing so. Odom went to Morehouse College with Martin

Once known as Wooster Avenue, Vernon Odom Boulevard runs from east to west. This stretch of road changes names from Opportunity Parkway east of Route 59 and goes until it becomes Wadsworth Road to the west in nearby Barberton.

Luther King, Junior. At the time, Odom was older than King, having fought in World War II before finishing his college degree. He majored

| THE Devil Strip / MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3

road that fittingly intersects with that of Martin Luther King, Junior.

in sociology and economics, and later received a // Amanda Sedlak-Hevener is a local freelance writer master’s degree in social work. Upon his return and historian. She has an M.A. in History from the University of Akron, and is currently enrolled in the to Akron, Odom served as a program director, associate director, and later executive director


Vernon Odom, Senior may not have a holiday named after him, but he does have a stretch of

MLIS Museum Studies program at Kent State.


the Agenda

Just Outside Akron

(continued from page 7)

Friday, March 24

Donut and Beer Pairing Scenic Brewing Company, 7253 Whipple Ave NW, North Canton // 11am – 12:30pm

Tuesday, March 21

Thursday, March 30

2017 Women & Wisdom Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce // The Wine Mill, 4964 Akron Cleveland Rd, Peninsula // 5-7pm // The Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Western Reserve Hospital and Four Corner Promotions invites you

330 Day: Reimagined // The Kent Stage, 175 East Main St. Kent // Doors open at 6 pm / Show at 7 pm // The Summit invites you to a free evening of music featuring 20 of Northeast Ohio’s finest musicians celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Summit’s newest streaming

330-768-7788. Tickets are $15.

to a night of public speakers, networking, professional development and wine of course!

audio channel, “The 330.” “The 330” primarily highlights local music in the North East Ohio

Free to all women business leaders - men


Thursday, March 30

Tickets get you free access to the Akron Art Museum. Tickets available at and

Saturday, March 25

Reserve your table by calling the brewery at

The Maker Session #3:

3Divas: Sherrie Maricle, Jackie Warren, Amy Shook BLU Jazz +, 47 E Market St // 8-11 pm // Come get your swing on! Tickets at

Selling Your Idea w/ Crafty Mart Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 6-9 pm Imagine “Shark Tank” for all of Akron’s hand-crafted goods. Crafty Mart invites you to a panel highlighting how to maximize social media, branding and design. Bring all of your

promotional materials and prepare a pitch.

into reality.

Thursday, April 27 Feast of Ideas Fundraiser Firestone Triangle Building, 1880 S. Main St TomTod Ideas' annual Feast of Ideas is a fundraising gala to empower middle school

Monday, March 27

Saturday, March 4 Blood sugar low? If not, grab your EpiPen because this is totally worth the risk! Peace, Love and Little Donuts is coordinating with the Scenic Brewing Company to host a donut and Beer Pairing event. Walk-ins are NOT accepted.

their imaginations

Fools 50k & 25K Training #1 // Pine Hollow Trail Head, Peninsula // 8-11am // Get your ass in shape and ready for race day. This is this first of two training opportunities to familiarize

are welcome to attend. Cash bar available. To RSVP email Kathy Romito @ kromito@

The Ferdy Mayne // Buzzbin Art & Music yourself with the 12-15 miles Cuyahoga Valley National Park loop. The trail head can be can be Shop, 331 Cleveland Ave NW, Canton // 8 – 11:59 pm // For tickets visit accessed on Quick Rd. – parking lot available.

Kid Runner w/ Royal Vasa Musica, 51 E Market St // 9 pm – 1 am // All Ages show - Under 21 charged a $2 fee // Presale $8/$10 day of

Engaging middle school students and helping turn

Sunday, March 5

Friday, March 31 Lil Wyte w/ Beautiful Soulz The Vortex, 1167 Brittain Rd // 6 – 11:55pm // Tickets at

the students that are leading the way, and a ways to enhance the common good. This year’s one-of-a-kind giving opportunity. More info and camp theme is examining the international RSVP at refugee crisis and creating ideas that provide

Peter & Will Anderson Trio BLU Jazz +, 47 E Market St // 8 – 11 pm

Saturday, April 1

Camp What If

relief to those in need. Camp What If: Wilds ........................June 5 - 9 Camp Carl near Ravenna, OH

Summer camp just got a little more innovative. Camp What If, a summer camp for middle schoolers from the nonprofit TomTod Ideas,

Camp What If: Masters ................June 19 - 23 Malone University in Canton, OH Camp What If: Canton .................. July 10 - 15

Akron Alcazar Apartments, 627 W Market St 1 – 6 pm // This historic 1927 apartment building has been completely renovated to

Summer 2017

amplifies the imagination in a world of social innovation, design thinking, and traditional

summer camp fun. Middle schoolers at Camp students to explore innovation and launch their What If have a blast exploring the great dreams into reality. Enjoy tasty food, stories from outdoors while learning from experts to design

downtown Canton For detailed information regarding camping arrangements please visit:

Alcazar Grand Opening Party

showcase its vintage Highland Square beauty. Local artists will have their work on display, and several local businesses are slated to decorate select apartments to display an authentic 1920s style. Check it out before you head downtown for the Akron Art Walk.


Wim Delvoye, Cement Truck (detail), 2010, laser-cut stainless steel, 32 x 78 x 17 in., Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Perrotin © Studio Wim Delvoye


Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose is organized by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Generous funding is provided by the City of Virginia Beach, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Tourism Corporation, as well as other MOCA supporters. Its presentation in Akron is supported by Ohio Arts Council, the Calhoun Charitable Trust, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs and the Akron / Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau. Media sponsorship is provided by Western Reserve PBS and 91.3 The Summit.

One South High I Akron, OH 44308 I


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the agenda

Chasing Spring Love Big Love 2017: Bounce Beyond by Deborah Dockery

For those of you eagerly awaiting the annual rite of spring with Big Love, your anticipatory angst will have a little bit of a cliffhanger as

parents alike with a children’s room and some surprises.

than community and connection, introducing ourselves one to another as Akron citizens and sharing idealism in a fun and adventurous

The event will take place this year at “The Well,” a new entrepreneurial enterprise in the Middlebury area of Akron. There will be plenty

the annual Big Love Festival has taken a leap forward from early March to April 1. With a change of date and venue, The Big Love

“Bounce Beyond” is the theme of this year’s festival. The core team of Big Love Network Akron, consisting of Beth Vild, Zach Freidhof,

learning environment?

of parking in and around the festival with trolley stops to take attendees to the festival.

Network Akron has expanded their offerings to include all of the eclectic eccentricities we have grown to love and cherish with some new twists.

David Swirsky, Caitlin Boyle, Kelly McHood and Fran Ugalde, says this theme “allows for deeper connections to ourselves and others as we explore through art installations, music, healing arts, workshops, panel board discussions and community.”

has doubled in attendance every year. Numbers don’t lie, and Akron keeps coming back for healthy food and sustainability with an aim at as close to zero waste as possible.

This huge undertaking is no small task, and a $5.00 suggested donation will be greatly appreciated and used for future Big Love Akron events throughout the year.

Local vendors will be on site with food booths and trucks, and local businesses and volunteers will work together to organize the event.

Come as you are with an open heart, and Love On Akron.

With the standard diverse music the fest has become known for at past Big Love events, this year promises to tantalize singles, kids and

Is there anything we need more of right now

The Big Love Festival, now in its fourth year,

// Photo courtesy of

April 1, 2017

The Well CDC 647 E Market Street 10am - 10pm If you are a musician, artist, healing practitioner, gardener, permaculturist, marketplace vendor, non-profit organization, or just want to help out through one of The Big Love Network volunteer positions, please visit the Big Love Festival website, or “like” The Big Love Network on Facebook & say you are “going” to the event to stay up to date on details as The Big Love Network dashes to the finish line for The Big Love Festival 2017.

// Art Work by Shannon Miller of Lovers and Trees


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the agenda

Celebrates 14 years of strengthening the Akron community words and photos by Brett Auerbach

This year kicks off Torchbearers’ 14th year of service after being founded in 2003. Comprising of 100+ members, Torchbearers’ objective is to strengthen the connection

Health, Poverty and Shelter, and much more. With the addition of 42 members in 2017, Torchbearers is making strides to better the Akron community and showing no signs of

have tangible proof of doing so.

between Akron-area nonprofits and emerging leaders, as well as to further efforts to attract and retain emerging leaders in Greater Akron. The organization is a bridge between established leadership of the community and leaders of the future.

slowing down.

In 2016, Torchbearers completed over 3,500 service hours to the greater Akron community

When assessing the Torchbearers organization, something that makes this crowd great is the diversity and willingness from their members. Members come from a variety of backgrounds ranging from Applied Sciences and Business, to Social Sciences and Hospitality Management— and everything in-between. This is not your

expanding their social network to connect the Akron community. I think it’s safe to say Torchbearers is exceeding all expectations having worked with 150+ local organizations including, The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, PorchRokr, ACCESS, Inc, The Akron Snow Angels, Downtown Akron Partnership, the International Institute of Akron, Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, Akron Children’s

Family Friend of Young leaders Award. The awards were distributed during Torchbearers 2017 Anniversary Celebration which included a state of the organization address and seated dinner. In addition, the anniversary served purpose in warmly welcoming the 42 new members into the organization and encouraging non-members to get involved.

by volunteering for 150+ local organizations catered to Animals & Environment, Arts &

stereotypical adult fraternity looking to relive the glory days and reminisce about college.

Hosptial, Akron Rotary Camp, Big Love, Summit Metro Parks, United Way of Summit County,

Interested in becoming a member? Please visit or

Culture, Community Impact, Education,

Quite frankly, they are getting shit done and

and many more.

United Way of Summit County

Torchbearers is a legitimate hodgepodge of people eager to better our community by

This year Torchbearers honored alumni Betsy Bare Hartschuh and Kyle Kutuchief and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Read

TOGEThEr wE caN rEwrITE ThE fUTUrE sTOry fOr ThE chILDrEN Of sUMMIT cOUNTy United way’s imagination Library provides free books from birth to age five and improves early childhood literacy across summit County.


whaT ThIs pLacE NEEDs Is EarLy rEaDErs.

great things happen when we LIVE UNITED! United Way of Summit County UwsUMMIT.OrG


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{March Comics}


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Tara McPherson is coming to the Akron Art Museum for a one-day-only Pop-up Shop. // See page 16 for more details. AKRON MUSIC, ART & CULTURE

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the palette // Photo by Sarah Treanor, printed with her permission.

Creation through loss by Kyle Brown

Some artists may suffer for their art, but Sarah Treanor makes art from her suffering. She uses writing, painting and photography to share her stories of grief, beginning with the loss of her mother when she was 9 years old. “That was a huge change in my world,” she said. “That was the time I started to use creativity as kind of an escape from the things that were going on.” Initially, she wrote and drew to help give herself space from the pain she felt. Then, in 2012, when her fiancé suddenly died, she turned again to her art to help her process her grief. Sarah started a blog detailing weekly where she stood at that moment. In addition to her writing, she began using her photography to express her feelings more visually and specifically. “My main motivation for starting the grief photography after he died was because I wasn’t able to find anything like that out there. There were tons of books about grief, but I’m a visual person and I wanted to see what it looked like,” she said. The project, “Still, Life,” ( stilllifeproject/) developed into a way for Sarah to explore those feelings and show the hard parts of processing grief, she said. When she started, she didn’t have any particular goal to even show resolution or a redeeming conclusion. She just let the project unfold as it did, one black and white photograph and essay at a time. What she found was that with each post, she heard more from other people who had dealt with similar experiences. Being able to use her photography and writing to help other people express their feelings gave her even more purpose in her work and her loss. “Just hearing people and what they got out of


Inside the studio

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it too, and how it made them feel less alone in what they were going through – that gave so much meaning to his death for me,” she said. “It helped me with healing and working through things, knowing that in a way he’s still here, and he’s still continuing to help me do new things that help other people.” One piece that speaks to both Sarah and her readers is a black-and-white photograph called “Sanctuary,” in which she curls up deep inside (continued on page 37)




The Palette

On Exhibit:

Hidden Beasts of Barberton Zentangle-Inspired Art

Saturday, March 25 at 8 pm Umstattd Performing Arts Hall

Go back to the time of Beethoven with this thrilling all-orchestral concert. It will feature excerpts from The Ruins of Athens, Berwald’s Symphony No. 3, Liszt’s Les Préludes and the ever-popular Rossini’s William Tell Overture. Tickets $28 to $48


photos and words by Claude Christensen

Earlier this month, I drove down to the Nine Muses

On display are 14 pieces, all approximately the size

Art Gallery in Barberton with my four-year old sister to see a new

Performances by small ensembles of Canton Symphony Orchestra musicians in laid back downtown hot spots. Canton Brewing Company Speakeasy - March 9 at 7 pm Lucca Downtown - March 21 at 7 pm

of a sheet of document paper, each hand drawn in thin-point black

exhibit by Akron artist April Couch, "Tangled Bestiary." Nine Muses Gallery shares space with the Kave Coffee Bar. A handful of locals comfortably populated the cafe. I had to ask the barista to point out the exhibit, which is hidden in the corner in what is ostensibly an office meeting space. The people working the cafe were very friendly—my little sister munched on a free cookie while I perused "Tangled


marker. Among the patterned menagerie I found a lion, a sort of sting ray, and an owl. The drawings are for sale between $45 and $65. “Tangled Bestiary” is showing through March 18.

(Information about The Zentangle® Method from // Claude Christensen is taking a working break after 18 years in school, catching up on all the things he's


never read.

The Summit ArtSpace website describes the exhibition as a display of "real and imagined animals." Seemingly simple at first, Couch's

// Artwork courtesy of Summit Artspace. Photos by Claude Christensen

drawings are actually quite intricate. Couch utilizes a repetition of simple patterns within the silhouette or form of an animal to create pieces that have a beautifully detailed and mesmerizing quality. • 330.835.9945

Though the Summit Artspace claims that Couch utilizes "Zentangle...currently a phenomenally popular art form," Couch in fact uses a style that can only be called her own. The Zentangle® Method is not an art form, but a branded method of art-meditation. While Couch's

Tangled Bestiary (FREE)

animal silhouettes do incorporate the Zentangle Method's use of simple, repetitive forms, she does not follow the Method's rule against

584 W Tuscarawas Ave, Barberton, OH

having a "preconceived idea of [a] final result."

February 10 - March 18 Nine Muses Art Gallery

For more information, visit

While you’re at Nine Muses taking in Tangled Bestiary,

make sure to check out Color Theories art by Priscilla Theories,

Roggenkamp and Michael Greenwald, also showing at the gallery now through April 22.


the palette

Knight Arts Forces Combined

Q&A with Shane Wynn

KNIGHT ARTS CHALLENGE WINNER SPOTLIGHT The Curated Storefront by Amanda Sedlak-Hevener

Photographer and Knight Arts Challenge winner Shane Wynn is working with Knight Arts Challenge winner and The Curated Storefront mastermind Richard Rogers to bring the empty storefronts in downtown Akron back to life. We wanted to know more about the partnership. HOW ARE YOU COLLABORATING WITH THE CURATED STOREFRONT TO BRING ART TO THE STREETS OF DOWNTOWN AKRON? I am so fortunate to collaborate

There are currently two storefronts filled with art as a part of this project. They include the High and Market Street Deck, which has lit-up signage art by Dana L. Depew, and the United 1 Building, which features portraits by numerous artists. Michael Marras, Charles Beneke, Melissa Markwald, Ericailcane, Casey Vogt, and Vasily Shulzhenko are the national and international artists featured here. The artworks will be in

a handful of very generous property owners who have made their spaces available for this project. The project has involved coordination across a variety of stakeholders—artists, property owners, a production team, etc. This has been challenging but rewarding.”

place for a set period of time before they will be rotated out in favor of new exhibits. This keeps the area looking fresh and well-cared for,

culture and a venue in which local artists can experiment, push new ideas, and engage with the history and urban fabric of our city.” In ten

the University Akron's Meyer's Art Gallery, for instance—but there is still a lot of underutilized

and provides even more artists with a chance to show their work off to the people of Akron.

years, he would like to see the downtown area even more vibrant, and filled with residents

our ideas had similar elements.

space that is ripe for transformation. Through The Curated Storefront, we hope to animate these areas and attract more foot-traffic to

who appreciate everything that the city has to offer. He sums up the project in three words: “Art activates Akron.”


The Curated Storefront currently receives funding through the Knight Arts Challenge

downtown, giving people added incentive to visit the heart of our city. Ultimately, we

grant that they received, as well as grants from other local foundations, donations, and

hope that businesses, restaurants, and cultural institutions will recognize the potential of downtown and re-seed Main Street with vibrant cultural and commercial activity.”

even a Kickstarter campaign. Finding the right (currently empty) storefronts hasn’t been easy, but it is possible. As Rogers puts it, “We have been very lucky to be able to work with

The Curated Storefront, run by Richard Rogers, brings a little life to the abandoned storefronts in downtown Akron. The Knights Arts Challenge grant-winning program is run by Richard Rogers. Rogers created The Curated Storefront in order to fill a void in the city. According to him, “Akron once had a vibrant downtown with many commercial attractions. Today, we have some great cultural assets—the Akron Art Museum, the Public Library, Summit Art Space,

Rogers hopes that his project revives part of downtown, “creating a public forum for

// Amanda Sedlak-Hevener is a local historian and freelance writer. She has an M.A. from the University of Akron, and is working on an M.L.I.S. at Kent State University. // Photos by M. Sophie Franchi/The Devil Strip

with The Curated Storefront. My Knight proposal included displaying my portraits in outward facing windows along Main street. I would have had a real hurdle in transforming a space myself and it was a very lucky coincidence that Rick’s project proposed to do this very thing. Fortunately they accepted my work through their curation process, and I will benefit from their previous experience curating a storefront in Akron. I think that there is a trend to make artwork more accessible, so I am not surprised that both of

COME ABOUT? When I read the other Knight winners' proposals and learned of Rick’s idea I immediately thought of my own proposal and how a collaboration seemed to be a fit. I later contacted Rick to have a conversation to describe what I was working on but was unsure if our timelines would (continued on page 38)

Acclaimed Artist Tara McPherson to Visit Akron Art Museum for a Pop-Up Shop and Members-Only Q&A

Sunday, March 12

the group exhibition “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose.” The artist utilizes a

Following the Pop-Up Shop at 4:00 p.m. the artist will join Assistant Curator Elizabeth

Pop-up Shop: 2 - 4 pm Members-only Q&A: 4 pm For one day only, the Akron Art Museum will

signature style with a palette of teals, pinks and black to create paintings, prints and drawings of women that reference nature, science and

Carney in the art museum’s auditorium for a members-only Q&A. The Q&A is free,

hold a Pop-Up Shop of artist Tara McPherson’s prints and merchandise. McPherson will be available to sign items purchased at the Pop-Up

mythology. She is also known for sought-after gig poster designs for popular musical artists, including Beck, Modest Mouse and Death

Shop, which is free to attend and open to the public.

Cab for Cutie. McPherson’s artwork has been exhibited in fine art galleries worldwide and

but registration is required and seating is limited. Registration is available online at To see more of McPherson’s work, visit

featured in publications such as “The New York McPherson’s painting “Wandering Luminations” Times,” “Hi-Fructose,” and “Punk Planet,” as is currently on view at the Akron Art Museum in well as the Oscar award-winning film, “Juno.”


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the palette

Confronting Reality: Theatre on Balch Street by Josy Jones

This place is not like walking into an orthodox, auditorium theater. It’s intimate, it’s personal and the seating is liable to be rearranged every time you attend. It is the personification of

The Balch Street Theatre is a pioneer for social awareness in the Akron community. NWPL recently participated in the Ghostlight Project, a national theatre movement for theaters to

uncertainty where you can be certain you will be expected to confront social climate, history, and reexamine self. Welcome to the Balch

“be a light.” Balch has a light that stays on to symbolize a pledge to be an inclusive, safe environment for all, regardless of race, religion,

Street Theatre (BST).

sexual orientation, and any other group that may experience oppression. As a participant in the Ghostlight Project, it is no surprise that the Balch Street Theatre has a ready supply of difficult subjects available for its audiences.

The BST is a beautiful model for how communities and governments can help theatre thrive. The building, formerly the Jewish Community Center, is currently owned by the city and the county. Although the building is being utilized as a hub for nonprofits and the health center, the theater was vacant until 2011 when the New World Performance Lab stepped in to bring new life to this unused space.

Ma’Sue focuses on new work that explores “the African-American cultural experience.” In February, their original production of “Or Does It Explode…?” did just that. “Or Does It Explode?” uses poetry, dialogue, Hip-Hop, and an ensemble of four men to explore social and

The former Jewish Community Center is now

economic pressures, tackle the current social

home to Ma’Sue Productions and New World Performance Lab (NWPL), two very different theatre collectives with a similar knack for presenting the reality of untold experiences

climate, pose questions about the adverse relationships within the African American community and more, all from the perspective of Black men. No subject was too taboo for

and challenging its audiences to confront them. Under the umbrella of Center for

writer and director John Dayo-Aliya. After stirring up sadness, frustration, and difficulties

Applied Theatre and Active Culture (CATAC), the two groups create a forum for community discussion.

that come with presenting such a controversial, authentic experience to a racially mixed audience, they opened a discussion with the

community about what they experienced. Pictured above: NWPL Company in Industrial Valley (Photo by Dale Dong); Pictured right: Jairo Cuesta in Death of a Man (Photo by Brian Dotin)

NWPL is turning 25 years old this year. In their 25th year they are premiering the “Devil’s // Josy is a Cleveland native, recently moved to A kron from Macon, GA. She enjoys theatre and rubber Milk Trilogy,” tackling the truths about Akron’s beloved rubber industry. Unbeknownst to many, ducks. the search for natural rubber came at the cost of many lives in the Congo and the Amazon, NWPL along with mistreatment of African Americans 220 S Balch Street, Akron OH 44302 here in Akron. Much of what we champion For more info visit: about the rubber industry is “built on blood,” and NWPL explores this and invites you to Follow Ma’Sue Production on Facebook, confront this difficult reality too. Twitter, and Instagram @Ma’SueProductions Don’t be afraid. Leap at the opportunity to be challenged by art. Welcome to the Balch Street Theatre. Prepare yourself to confront reality.

for auditions and upcoming productions.

THE DEVIL’S MILK TRILOGY Part I: Death of a Man ..................... March 30, 31: April 1, 6, 7, 8 at 8pm // April 2, 9 at 2pm Part II: Goosetown ..........................April 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 at 8pm // April 23, 30 at 2pm Part III: Industrial Valley................... May 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 8pm // May 14, 21 at 2pm

An Evening with

George Saunders The Main Event Speaker Series words by Lia Pietrolungo From the Main Event Speaker Series comes An Evening with George Saunders, on Thursday, April 6 at 7 pm in the Akron Summit County Public Library Main Branch Auditorium. As the recipient of the 2006 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (“Genius” Award), Saunders was dubbed “the best short story writer in English” by “Time” magazine. He is the author of four collections of short stories, a novella, a book of essays, and an award-winning children’s book. In his highly anticipated, first full length novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo”, Saunders delivers an unparalleled story of familial love and loss during the American Civil War. Following the death of his young son, Willie, Abraham Lincoln’s grief leads him to the cemetery to mourn over Willie’s body. Set in the graveyard over the course of one night, “Lincoln in the Bardo” transcends the expected and tumbles into the supernatural sphere where Lincoln is caught in a transitional realm—a bardo—between the living and the dead. Saunders will read from and discuss the unprecedented novel, and there will be a Q&A following the presentation. The program is free and doors are at 6:30 pm. Books will be available for purchase. // Photo courtesy of George Saunders.


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culture club

James Thomas Talbert

Christy Bolingbroke Occupation:

Founding Executive / Artistic Director, National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron (NCCAkron)



Neighborhood: Downtown Akron When did you fall for Akron? I first came Photo courtesy of by Andrew Weeks

for my interview in June 2016. But Akron and I were just meeting for the first time back then. After accepting the job offer, I came

What do you wish was more on Akronites’ radar? The NCCAkron, but we're just getting started, so it's okay we're barely a blip. That seems about right. But heads

back to look for somewhere to live in August and caught one of the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival performances in the

up, we hope to highlight how research and development practices apply to the performing arts, especially dance, and share the creative

cemetery. That's when I fell for Akron. Free outdoor shows in the summer are a

process with everyone.

favorite experience of mine.

What is your favorite local cultural asset? I'm kind of enamored with the Akron Civic

So while my relationship with Akron was still nascent, that's when I knew things would work out between us.

Seeing an Indiana Jones movie there one weekend and a concert dance show the next hits a sweet spot with me too. I love anything that can embrace the high brow as well as the

My apartment is my own private escape right now. Relocating from San Francisco where you scramble for one fourth of a house-share, I'm basking in a place of my own to cook and nest.

Where in Akron do you like to escape?


The Snyder Avenue Neighborhood of Barberton

Neighborhood: Firestone Park has been home to me for as long as I can

What do you wish was more on Akronites' radar? I wish more Akronites were aware of the rich history and opportunity that exists in our city.


Civic Solutions Lab – Field Journal Since 2015, Leadership Akron has been pursuing a strategic priority to more proactively and directly connect the leaders we serve to community needs. As an effort related to this priority, Leadership Akron secured support from the Knight Foundation to develop the Civic Solutions Lab. This new experience is intense and extensive – similar in scope to Leadership Akron’s well-known Signature Program. The Civic Solutions Lab convenes

remember. Home for me is where the heart is. I've always loved this great city and I always will. Where in Akron do you like to escape? My escape and favorite location in the city of Akron is Monty's Shop, which is the most

What is your favorite local cultural asset?

incredible barbershop in the world. It's located on W Exchange and provides to its customers stimulating conversation, inclusive community,

My favorite local cultural

and the best haircuts in the city.

asset would be a new Community Development Corporation called The Well

Why should everyone try your favorite local restaurant? Everyone should go to

in the historical Middlebury Swensons because Lebron says so. neighborhood of Akron. The mission of the well is to make a community aware of the dignity, How do you hope Akron will be different value, and worth that is inherent to them as human beings through advocating for housing, economy and place making.

When did you fall for Akron? I was born (continued on page 37) and raised in Akron. However, I This area

low brow.

in five years? I believe that the City of Akron is at a pivotal place in its history from an economic, social, and spiritual standpoint, I hope in the next 5 years the next generation of leaders arise and lead the people of our city into all goodness.

will make new discoveries and hone their practices as change leaders. The Opening Retreat gave the class an opportunity to set their frame of mind and build relationships that they will draw upon to work together in the months to come. There were three goals set for the retreat:

Akron to develop a model of Collaborative Civic Leadership, facilitated a series of afternoon discussion and activities around this framework that will be an ongoing lens for the Civic Lab’s work.

GOAL ONE: Set Frame of Mind - introduce a collaborative leadership framework, explore models of change and their components, and tone civic problem-solving muscles.

space) through role play. “The role-playing exercise was eye-opening. It brought to the surface relevant but not so obvious aspects of the topic,” shared one participant.

Day two focused on exploring personal perspectives and assumptions (and those of others in the early childhood

Over the course of

a cross-section of

the experience, there

community leaders to focus on a particular community need. Through the work of a design team of Akron’s thought leaders (and

will be difficulty in consensus-building, but the class acknowledges the importance of this as well as honoring different perspectives.

action leaders too, for that matter!), the issue of Early Childhood Education was selected as the Year 1 focus area for the Lab. Over the course of the next nine months, The Devil Strip will follow this community leadership experience with perspectives from class participants as well as the program’s facilitator, Tina Ughrin, and findings from the class research. How will this cross-section of leaders look at this issue differently? What connections will be made? How will this impact Akron?


Pastor at Citizens Akron Church (


New / Native

Theater. From the outside, with it's odd placement and how it wraps around Lock 4 while the inside is magical and otherworldly.


GOAL TWO: Lay Groundwork - establish a foundation for Civic Solutions Lab, identify diversity of Civic Lab

They must strike a balance of valuing input and making decisions as a group. Lab participants will continue to grapple with understanding the context of the system,

perspectives and assumptions, set growth goals, and

asking compelling questions that help uncover potential

brainstorm questions GOAL THREE: Build Relationships - get to know one another, play together, agree on norms of interaction

opportunities, and building trust with one another and with potential partners. “I don't think there was one thing we could have done without. The exercises were vital to trust building, and the information was key for

Christine Mayer, President of GAR Foundation and Civic

understanding how the lab will work and starting to lay the foundation for our collective understanding of early childhood education and its importance.”

The first session, held in January, was a two-day retreat. The class consists of a cross-section of participants who

Solutions Lab Design Team leader, opened the retreat by walking through the process of identifying Early Childhood Education as the focus of the Civic Lab’s inaugural year. Two exercises completed the morning, not only promoting

represent a combination of seasoned eyes and fresh eyes on the challenge: to improve early childhood education/

working in teams, but providing tactile experiences with concepts of collaboration and civic systems.

will heighten their grasp on our local community’s early childhood landscape. From there, they will benchmark to

kindergarten readiness in the Akron area. As the class wrestles with this challenge in the year to come, they

Chris Thompson, who has worked closely with Leadership

other communities and consider ideas and strategies that may translate well to Akron.

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The next steps for the Lab involve a deep download of the local landscape, including data, stories, and analysis that


culture club

Faces of the Homeless by Lisa Kane and Erin Victor

It’s interview day. We decide to drive around Downtown Akron to find someone we have never met before. We see someone on nearly every corner but spot a gentleman whom we are not familiar with. We park in a nearby lot, walk across the street and introduce ourselves. He says he is a private man, but after talking with us for a few minutes he agrees to let us interview him. One of the first things he says is, “I wasn’t always like this. I had a good job. I had a wife and a child. This wasn’t always me. I had a ‘regular’ life.”

Meet Monte.

Name / Age: Monte / 55 Hometown: Perry, OH in Lake County WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO AKRON? Homelessness!! After a extended hospital stay for severe depression I lost everything. They literally dropped me off in front of the Haven of Rest with just the

few weeks. My biggest fear is not surviving. I didn’t mean to put all this on you!! I’m not looking for sympathy. I just wanted to answer honestly. Not surviving this cancer is my biggest fear.

WHAT 3 WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE BEING HOMELESS? I can give you one word to describe it, LOW!! As

clothes on my back. That was in 2008. I’ve been here, homeless, ever since.

low as a person can get. Frustrating!!! It is also very frustrating.

OCCUPATION/PREVIOUS OCCUPATION/ SOURCE OF INCOME? I had a great job for a hardware distributor. I made good money. 45k per year! My only source of income now is panhandling. I’m a hard worker. I did a lot of physical labor in the past too. I just can’t do it anymore. I’m too weak and tired. I’ve got to walk everywhere. It’s really hard. I can’t find any jobs making more than $8/hr. I just can’t bring myself to do it! As bad as this (panhandling) is, and it’s BAD, I still chose to do this.

DO YOU GET LONELY? I really don’t! I’m a very private person, an introvert. I’m not a lonely person. Being out here changes you. I would rather just be alone and not be around a lot of people. I’m really private, but you girls are so nice and I said I would answer your questions. It’s really nice to talk to you, to have an actual conversation with someone. It REALLY is!!! I appreciate it. That’s why I’m doing this, answering very private questions.



Like I said, I have severe depression. I don’t tell many people this, I had to spend time

are not enough jobs with decent wages.

in a mental hospital to deal with it. I lost everything. I can’t even put it into words…….. it is just debilitating!! When I was released, I

DO MOST PEOPLE SHOW YOU KINDNESS OR TREAT YOU RUDELY? You wouldn’t believe the things I see out here! I could tell you

was just dropped off here in Akron.

so many stories. This is HARD. It changes you. After being out here for a while you start to

DO YOU HAVE FAMILY? Yes. They have their own lives and problems. I’ve burned bridges with some of them. I’m hard headed. I’m not going to bother them to help me.

learn how to survive like this. I’ve had people jump out of their car and come over to beat me up!! For no reason!!! Just because I was standing out here with my sign. I’ve also had people stop that were in cars that weren’t

WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT? I stay in a trailer that has no heat or water, but I’m

real nice. People who had to open the door, because the window didn’t roll down. I have to

out of the elements at night. HOW MANY HOURS OF SLEEP DO YOU

tell you, It really does bother me when people drive up in these really expensive, fancy cars and are rude to me.

GET A NIGHT? Usually around 3 hours. I just can’t relax. That’s the reason I started to have


a drink at night. It made me able to sleep. You know, it can just numb things for a while. I am ALWAYS in a state of fight or flight. From the

HAPPENED TO YOU THIS WEEK? [Long pause] Well...I don’t want to be like this, but nothing really. Being able to have a drink before

minute I wake up...I’m in survival mode and it’s exhausting.

bed is probably the best thing.

An Oscar-Nominated Doc, Now Playing.

“What white people have to do is try and find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place…” ~James Baldwin




Want to give your business a boost in 2017?

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU REALLY WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR? Well, I haven’t really told anyone this, but I have cancer. I found out about a month ago. I have to go in and have part of my lung removed in a


NEED RIGHT NOW? Well, where do I start [laughing]? You know what I could really use? Some fingernail clippers! When you’re out here (continued on page 37)

Find out how to reach Akron's most loyal customers by contacting TJ at 330-329-5757 or Ads start at as little as $150 a month.

culture club

Peace and Solidarity in North Hill “It is so Akron of us to be meeting here, and to be supporting our refugee populations,” Noor Hindi says to a group of protesters gathered at the Akron Peace March for Refugees, Immigrants and Muslims. Hundreds of concerned citizens

gathered to show their solidarity. Before reading “Home” by Warsan Shire, she continued, “I called this last week because I was infuriated and also I wanted to show love to our refugee, immigrant and Muslim populations in Akron. My dad was a Palestinian refugee and I am Muslim myself. We immigrated here when I was two years old. Thank you for showing your love and your support.” // Photos by M. Sophie Franchi Pictured clockwise from top left: Protesters gathering at Patterson Park Community Center, where the march began; Family holds signs at Patterson Park while waiting to begin marching; Protester holds sign while waiting for march to begin; Protesters marching to Temple Square


| THE Devil Strip / MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3


culture club

North Hill Welcomes

Congressman Tim Ryan TO THE TABLE

Last month, Congressman Tim Ryan joined the International Institute of Akron for a discussion on the economic contributions of immigrants in Ohio Congressional District 13 and the critical need for immigration reform. Spearheaded by New American Economy (NAE) and International Institute of Akron, the event marks the launch of “Map the Impact”—new research on America’s foreign-born population in all fifty states plus Washington, D.C., 50 metro areas, and 435 Congressional Districts. The roundtable discussion addressed data on Ohio Congressional District 13’s foreign-born population, tax contributions, spending power, home ownership, voting power and personal stories with New Americans in Akron.

“I think once you connect the dots...our actions have led to what is happening now—we dropped the first domino and they started to fall. For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. And I think if you connect those dots, you can appeal to...the humanitarian side and say, ‘wait a minute...we started this whole thing...we had no business going into Iraq, and that evolved...and they cut the Sunnis out of the government, and that led to ISIS, and ISIS led to what you see now in the last few years with the terrorism that’s been going we are making progress in there now...but yes, I think we could get more people to be aware and be more sympathetic if they were aware that some of our government’s actions caused a lot of this in the first place.” - Congressman Tim Ryan on whether people would be more sympathetic and open to accept refugees if they understood that US foreign policy in many ways caused the refugee crisis.

Photo by Todd Biss Productions

“...What I think...holistically, both as an immigration attorney and someone who has spent my whole career working with people that are undocumented and also people that are fleeing torture and persecution from other countries—those individuals arrive through the resettlement process, but sometimes they arrive at our borders and we do have humane immigration laws in place that already...Those laws are going to be tested now, and our values as a country are going to be tested. Do we stand behind the notion that we are...signatories to these international treaties and want to provide protection to people who come to our borders? But ultimately, there’s an imbalance. I think we need to have immigration reform. It’s time, because there are people in this country who are already financially contributing through taxes to our economies. They’re operating small businesses. They need to have complete protections as well, but avenues need to be created for their family members who are here and might be undocumented.” - Madhu Sharma, immigration attorney and Director of Immigrant Services at the International Institute of Akron.

Ready to fight your addiction? We’ve got your back. Call the ADM Addiction Helpline to connect with treatment and join the 23 million Americans in recovery. No one fights alone. CALL 330.940.1133. Recovery Starts Here | AKRON MUSIC, ART & CULTURE

MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3 /

THE Devil Strip |


culture Club

ATTN: Entrepreneurs>

The Trouble with Old People Why Your Dad Can't Learn

Mark your calendars for these local events Leveraging LinkedIn Presented by The Women's Network // March 7 at 11:30 am at 350 Opportunity Pkwy, Akron //

column by Steven Van Auken If there is an older person in your life— assuming they haven't wandered off somewhere—you might wonder why they can't

micronite filter, refines away harsh flavor. Refines "Parliament gives you ...extra margin! The away hot taste. It makes the taste of a cigarette filter's recessed and made to stay a neat, clean mild as a balmy day in the month of May!" quarter-inch away! So no filter-feedback can

remember anything you teach them. How many times have you demonstrated how to program Some guy in an ad agency in New York the DVR, or add an app to their Smartphone, or invented the word "micronite" and then went

spoil the taste! Tobacco tastes best when the filter's recessed. Smoke Parliament!"

use streaming on Netflix? Only to find that, ten off to his three-martini lunch, satisfied with a minutes later, they are asking you the very same good morning's work. Everybody in the 1950s

Believe me, I do try to pay attention to what you're telling me. But as my brain struggles to


liked words that sounded scientific. So the part of my brain that should absorb real science and

absorb the new technology that it can find no space for, the chorus of over-learned messages

There is a reason this is happening. It is because of cigarette commercials. Our memory banks are filled with debris from our childhood.

technology today, is full of "ad science."

becomes more insistent.

As you try to point out the many, many ways

"Taste me, taste me! That's all Doral asks!"

Cigarette commercials were everywhere in the 1950s. They were all over TV, radio, magazines, billboards. We kids couldn't escape them.

that my Smartphone can improve my life— beyond the making of phone calls, which I am now finally able to do some of the time—the Ad Voice comes to me. It reminds me that,

Of course cigarette ads by themselves cannot gulp down all my mental energy. It would be unfair to blame the tobacco lobby for all my

(We didn't even know we should escape them. Smoke-friendly images were everywhere. I remember seeing a newspaper story, with

"Montclair's last puff tastes as fresh as the first puff! Because Montclair's menthol is in the tip, not in our fine tobaccos! Smoke Montclair's

repeated failures to learn the new technology. There is plenty of blame to go around. There is, for example, the wagon-train-deep ruts left in

photo, about a five-year-old boy who had taken up smoking. His parents, finding this cute, fastened an ashtray to his tricycle handle-bar so he wouldn't get ash all over the house. Editors, finding this cute, put the story in newspapers all over the country. I'm not making this up.)

modern cigarettes! Smoke Montclair's modern the mud of my mind by old TV cowboy shows. cigarettes!" (Anything "modern" was also a big deal in the 1950s.) Do you know how long it took me to learn all the theme songs to "Maverick," "Bronco As you attempt to explain, yet again, the Lane," and "Sugarfoot"? I don't know either workings of my phone, you notice the tell-tale and I don't want to know. But I can sing them glazing of my eyes. You suspect I am beginning for you now. Or wait, maybe you'd rather to dissociate. You are correct. But you do not hear "Law Man." Or "The Rifle Man." Or surrender. You were not raised to be a quitter. "Rawhide." Or "Have Gun Will Travel," or You know that this technology has the potential Well, some other time then. to bring a bounty of happiness and sense of purpose into my life, and you want to bless me Now see, right there! That's the look. That look

So during this time of life when our minds were most sponge-like, we were busy soaking up all the cigarette jingles that the Ad Men could give us. Today, songs promoting brands of cigarettes that are long gone from everywhere—maybe even North Carolina—come to me in the still of the night.

This workshop will help you craft the most advantageous language and teach you how to use LinkedIn to your professional advantage. Know what it takes to reach “all-star” status, and other strategies to get the most out of LinkedIn. For details or to register, visit How to Write a Business Plan March 9 at 10am – 12pm // Akron Global Business Accelerator // 526 S Main St., "M" Floor Rm. #904 // This workshop will teach you how to write a business plan, l show you the value of having a business plan and keeping it current. Seminar is free, but advance registration is required: please call 330.375.2111, or email Buzz Session: Who, Me? Stressed? Presented by The Women's Network // March 29 at 5:30pm at Mustard Seed (Montrose) // Do you know what actually causes your stress? Learn to identify and acknowledge your stressors and multiple ways to lighten your mental load. Hosted by Cynthia Mathis, owner of Cynthia Mathis Coaching & Consulting.

Crafty Mart: The Maker Sessions Session #3: Selling Your Idea // March 30 at 6 pm, Akron Art Museum // Are you an artist or maker who wants to turn your efforts into a sustainable income? Their expert panel will help you build your brand with a discussion on promo materials, websites, branding, design, customer with it. You also know that if I can't somehow in your eye that says, "Why can't I be anywhere service and even business pitch to your peers. be made to absorb this stuff I will keep plaguing but here?" That's the look I have whenever you For details, visit you with the same dumb-ass questions until the pick up the Smartphone that I inherited and say,

They also come to me when you are explaining, yet again, how to use Netflix or some new

end of time. And so you persist.

app. About the time you get to the part where you use the word "download," I can feel it happening. A tape from the part of my brain that is right next to the part that is supposed to be learning this wonderful new stuff, starts

But it's too late. The Ad Voice in my head has become a roaring chorus.

downloading its own, alternative lesson.

dual-filter Tareyton!"

"You'll feel better about smoking with the taste of Kent," the voice assures me, "Kent with the

“You get a lot to like with a Marlboro. Filter, flavor, flip-top box!"

"The Tareyton ring marks the real thing! In mildness and fine tobacco taste! Dual-filter,

"Let me just show you one thing about your phone. It's easy. You'll thank me for it later." Maybe. But right now, instead of focusing on watching your fingers dance over the keys, my attention is shifting to the opening bars to the theme for "Lincoln Vale of the Everglades." I'll

Business Basics April 5 at 4–7pm // Akron Global Business Accelerator // 526 S Main St., "M" Floor Rm. #904 // Interested in starting your own business? Did you recently start a business? Learn about the planning process,

initial financial projections, ownership options, review of the required forms, licensing, loan just hum it softly to myself. Don't let me disturb options and more. Participants will receive the you. Let me know when you're done. We could business plan outline during the session. Seminar watch a Netflix. The mailman streams them is free, but advance registration is required: right into my mailbox. 330.375.2111, or email



Collectibles Antiques Nostalgia

intage intage ault ault

1900 W. Market St. Akron, Oh. 44313

216-513-0918 Sunday and Monday 12p - 5p • Tuesday - Saturday 10a - 5p Located in the Pat Catan's parking lot

20% off jewelry in March


| THE Devil Strip / MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3


Akropreneurs AKRON BIZ


ap arnie’s public house

// Photos by Meghan Goetz.

SparkAK Event Culminates in Shark-Tank-Like Pitch Session by Amanda Sedlak-Hevener


aunch League’s weekend-long SparkAK event ended on Sunday, February 19, 2017, with a pitch session straight out of the television show “Shark Tank.” Five out of six groups of local entrepreneurs presented their business ideas for a trio of judges that consisted of Drew Holland, owner of eyemg, Phil Brennan, CEO of Echogen Power Systems, and Dan Collins, owner of Wastebits. Prizes were awarded in six different categories.

These ideas were presented the next day, giving the attendees experience at asking for funding and working through their plans.

Launch League is an organization aimed at

Five of the six groups formed on February 18 went before the judges at the Nightlight Theatre on S. High Street in downtown Akron. Their ideas included Shoebox, an app that holds all your home information in one place, from manuals to warranties and Not Yo’ Daddy’s Mexican Hot Sauce, a creamy hot sauce made from an old family recipe consisting of fresh

scalable startups in the Akron area. It provides mentorship and help to people who want to start small businesses in the community through a series of workshops and other options. SparkAK, called a “hackathon for your own

ingredients. Another was Rubber City Tales, an independent bookstore and meeting place. Two more ideas were aimed at the tech community: Maker Duet, a program aimed at tech employee retention, and, a combination

ideas” by Executive Director Courtney Gras, started early in the morning on February 18.

website for professional technical trainers and an online community marketplace.

The attendees—some of whom didn’t know each other prior to the event—formed small groups and came up with ideas for business.

After each group presented their ideas, the judges had a few minutes for questions, most

A Bite out of Akron: Peaceful Fruits Finds Success Following Shark Tank words by Lia Pietrolungo

Following a pitch for a $75,000 investment by Peaceful Fruits founder, Evan Delahanty, on ABC’s Shark Tank on Friday, February 10, the Akron startup has received


Elegantly Casual Dining featuring Modern Twists on Your Favorite Comfort Foods and Classic Cocktails 1682 W. Market St at Westgate Plaza in Akron

of which revolved around marketability, pricing, and adaptability. At the end of the event, the judges conferred in a back room before emerging and announcing the awards. There were no cash prizes. Instead, the groups won things that

330-867-0154 Open 7 days a week 11:00am-2:30am

will help them develop their businesses. Not Yo’ Daddy’s Hot Sauce won design and development help from MAGNET, while the University of Akron iCorps program gave one program seat to the Maker Duet group. YourSensei received one free month of coworking from the OSC Tech Lab, Rubber City Tales won a business plan coaching session, and Shoebox was award-


2.3139 in x 12.75 in OUR NE OF

ed one technical consulting session from Coffee and Code. The team that didn’t present, Urban Buzz, received one hour of marketing consulting from HeyNow Media. // Amanda Sedlak-Hevener is a local historian and freelance writer. She has an M.A. from the University of Akron, and is working on an M.L.I.S. at Kent State University.

more than 3,000 online orders, totaling more

groups, and Hattie’s Food Hub added a 2nd

than $75,000 in sales. This widespread support

shift. In partnership with the local communities

has helped Peaceful Fruits to create 10 fullwage jobs for adults with disabilities through the Blick Center and Hattie Larlham in Akron. Delahanty’s partnership with the Blick Center and Hattie’s Food Hub, a work-training program at Hattie Larham, enables him to employ individuals with disabilities in Akron to help produce the fruit snacks. Due to the increase in demand for Peaceful Fruits, the Blick Center added additional work

in the Amazon Rainforest, Peaceful Fruits ethically harvests their fruit with sustainability in mind so that those nibbling on these tasty snacks can do so with peace of mind. 2017 will feature new partnerships and expansion through the region. Keep your eyes peeled for the launch of new flavors and a new product in the spring, which will include mango, peach acai, blueberry acai, strawberry acai, as well as the new acai granola strip. Episode 16, featuring Peaceful Fruits can be streamed online at

Akron’s Home of the All Day Breakfast featuring a Bloody Mary Menu, Mimosas and much more... 1688 W. Market St at Westgate Plaza in Akron 330-867-1114 Open 7 days a week 6:30am-3:00pm Sundays 8:00am-3:00pm




Hometown: Chatsworth, CA

Title: Founder of Bobblehead Addicts

Current city/neighborhood: East Akron. Not quite Ellet, but not quite Goodyear Heights. Day job: Akron City Hospital — Facilities Engineering General Mechanic. My work consists of plumbing, electrical, HVAC, carpentry and lots of walking! (WI). Without their help, the group wouldn't run as smooth

and Pedro's t-ball team for WABL (West Akron Baseball & Softball League), or traveling to

I can remember only having about seven bobbleheads or so and Sara complaining about

as it does.

a new/different stadium to either watch the

them because I would display them in our living

Dodgers, or collect more bobbleheads, of course! How did Bobblehead Addicts start?

room. If we only knew then, what those few bobbles would blossom into. I never imagined that all of this would happen nor did I ever picture myself doing this for a living, but I am

North Hill. I never had an interest in visiting Ohio, as bad as that may sound. Fast forward

Bobblehead Addicts, which was founded on May 25, 2014, was started due to the fact

loving every minute of it and I hope to make this my only full time job in the future. Plus,

eight years and two kids later (Amara now 7 & Pedro III now 5), we visited Akron in June 2013 and I fell in love. I

that there was no other group on Facebook where I would be able to trade non-Dodgers

Sara has since started her own collection. Who would have thought?

So… how did you end up in Akron? In 2005, I started dating my now wife, Sara, who was raised on The Devil Strip recently launched its new video series by filmmaker Ilenia Pezzaniti about local creatives whose talents led them on a journey of entrepreneurship. In the newest episode, we visit with Pedro Avalos of Bobblehead Addicts. Watch it at

loved it so much that we were living in Akron four months later! We have

“You will also have people out there that will try to slow you down and won't want to see you succeed. Don't pay attention to them. Just remember there is always somebody out there that does want to see you make it.”

What’s that entail? Aside from producing merchandise (t-shirts, stickers, pins, etc), I am always on the lookout for potential bobblehead

since purchased our home and have added to our family. Sara gave birth to our twin daughters, Azul

projects. Once I've discovered what I believe would be a fun project and/or a good seller,

and Lourdes, who will turn 2 next month.

I reach out the person, team or organization in hopes of producing a bobbleheads of them or for them. When it comes to the Addicts

Are you enjoying it here? Spring and summer

Facebook group, I have to give credit to my admin team: Bobby Myers (GA), Chris Hayes (GA), Greg Dabkowski (MA) Matt Rostowfske

consist of baseball and softball. Whether it be us attending a Racers game, RubberDucks game, me coaching Amara's softball team


| THE Devil Strip / MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3

bobbleheads to acquire newer Dodgers bobbleheads. It certainly started off as a hobby, but since has become a full-time job of sorts.

What advice would you give someone trying to juggle their side hustle and their day job? Never give up! If it's something


akropreneurs you're truly passionate about, you will make it happen. There will be times when you just want to give up and say "F this! I give up!",

(Ohio Bobblehead Connect), so it was only right that we host Bobble Con here. After this last turn out, we certainly hope to grow it. I mean, it's already grown from 20ish people at our last one, to easily over 80 people this time! First we'll start off with securing a larger venue, then reach out to local teams & businesses in hopes of securing sponsorships. We even tossed the

but keep at it. The only person that can stop you, is you. You will also have people out there that will try to slow you down and won't want to see you succeed. Don't pay attention to them. Just remember there is always somebody

idea around of including a commemorative bobblehead for the next Bobble Con, which we hope to host this fall.

out there that does want to see you make it. Be it your family, friends or people you meet in line at baseball games.

Where do you hope to be in five years? I hope to still be in Akron. With the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum getting

Do you think this will become something that you do full-time as your primary job? I really hope so! As stressful as it can get, I can really see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I already do this 24/7, why not make it my

closer to establishing a forever home, I don't know what that will mean for me. Maybe move to Milwaukee? I honestly don't know as of now, but I hope that Bobblehead Addicts is

one and only "9-5"? Walk us through how you custom make a

send to the client. If they're happy with it,

How has Akron treated you? Is there any

something every bobblehead collector around

bobblehead doll. The way our process works is, I first search for a potential client. This can be online, watching TV, reading books or a

we move on to the production stage, which generally takes about 90 to be completed. The rendering is sent to the factory and they create

advantage for you running your business here? Akron has been great. Since moving here, I have not looked back. I don't even care

the world will be familiar with and maybe even have one of our bobbleheads in their own personal collection.

place we're visiting. My focus is somebody or something that's fun, popular, interesting and/ or has a good cause. Once I've found that, I reach out to the person, team or organization

a mold for the bobblehead. Once the molds are made, they're painted, boxed up, then shipped out. Throughout the production, we are sent pictures of each stage to be sure that it's

to go back to California, as crazy as that may sound to some people. Of course, we still have family there, so the occasional visit is required.

and ask if they would be interested or have ever coming out just the way our client wants. considered having a bobblehead made of them or for them. What's something most folks don't If they like the idea, we then discuss quantity. We always aim for 500 or more, but we can do less if that seems to be too high or we/ they simply don't think that many would sell. After that, we move on to the next stage which would be the design. Most of the time, this would be when I refer them to Phil Sklar (CEO & Co-Founder of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum) but I try to stay in the loop as much as possible. They send us their ideas about how they would like the bobblehead and the box to look. We always aim to include every little detail they want. Once they've decided on a design, we have a digital rendering made up which we then

What do you wish you knew way back when you got started? What this would actually turn into, so I could have planned it out

There are certainly advantages to running a business here. Aside from the affordability, Akron is so rich in history. Definitely something

better! It certainly isn't easy working my "real" full time job, doing what I'm actually passionate about (bobbleheads) and finding the time to be with my family.

Bobblehead collectors are all around you, from

I hope to add to in the future. I mean, how awesome is it to be able to say, Bobblehead Addicts was founded in the same place where Goodyear, Firestone, Goodrich, General Tire & General Mills started among other things, and is home to LeBron James? Also, we have so many teams surrounding us, such as the Akron Racers, Akron RubberDucks, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Lake County Captains, Lake Erie Crushers, Lake Erie Monsters, Canton Charge, Indians, Cavs and Browns. Why wouldn't you want to be here? Especially if you're a sports fan.

little kids to grandparents. They're lawyers, police officers, teachers, students, mechanics, athletes, all different types of backgrounds. When it comes to bobbleheads, none of that matters. All we see are collectors, people just like us.

What led to hosting the BobbleCon here? Do you have aspirations to grow it even larger? Bobblehead Addicts started here, which // Photos courtesy of Ilenia Pezzaniti then led to us creating our own Ohio group

know about bobbleheads? The history of bobbleheads. They've been around for centuries, but have become really popular in the last few years. The first bobblehead SGA (stadium giveaway) is said to be the Willie Mays, given out by the San Francisco Giants in 1999, but recently we found out that it might have been a bobblehead given out by the Oakland A's a season or two before that. This is something we are trying to confirm.

If I could just add one more thing. I would like to thank my wife, the mother of our four children, my rock, Sara. Without her, I wouldn't be where I am today. Her continued support has pushed me to strive for more and has brought the best out of me. Confidence I never knew I had. Without her by my side, Bobblehead Addicts wouldn't be what it is today. // The Devil Strip’s small business and entrepreneur reporting has been made possible thanks to the support of The Fund for Our Economic Future and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. You can learn more about being an Akron entrepreneur by visiting


ust ere


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THE Devil Strip |



Jill Bacon Madden


Occupation: Chief Vibe Officer, Jilly’s Music Room & Community Builder Hometown: Jackson, Michigan Current: Akron, Ohio

Bathrooms are a bar-trepreneur’s double-edged sword How did you get into the work you do?

sites survey in our hometown — I logged 100s

What are some of the best lessons — in

Everything that I do seems to flow from what came before. My parents involved me, from an early age, in their arts and culture activities.

of miles and hours walking and documenting homes and buildings, exploring our city — and seeing it in ways that I never had before. So, to

Our house was always filled with music and musicians. I spent a lot of time in museums and with artists. We participated and volunteered. I naturally gravitated in that direction as I

answer your question, it’s my parents’ fault.

business or for life — you've learned from being your own boss? • You can do anything you put your mind to. • You don’t know what you don’t know.

• The only constant is change — be flexible. • Get outside of yourself — be involved. • Lead with kindness. Be kind in your actions and interactions. Always.

What do you wish you knew when you got started?

• Be open to new and different ideas and perspectives, it’s ok to ask for help and advice.

• Lead by example. • Be a member of your own team. • Sometimes, things don’t work or go your

ventured into the world of adulting. I’ve been involved in community arts and music, events, and other creative pursuits for my entire

There’s something that will involve a urinal and/or toilet every day.

way, dust yourself off and keep trying. • Wisdom is born from bad decisions. You’re going to screw up, it’s ok. Own it. Move on.

life. I also have a soft spot for buildings and neighborhoods and cities. That began when my mother forced me to volunteer for an historic

What are you glad that you didn’t know? There’s something that will involve a urinal and/ or toilet every day.

• Do what you love — or find things to love about what you do. • It’s ok to be afraid, but don’t let your fear win — harness it.

if it involves a urinal and/or toilet.

• Every task, no matter how small, is important — know how to do or deal with them, even

PODCAST PULLQUOTE Taking Tenacity to Heart: The Artist and Entrepreneur as One “If we’re not happy, if we’re not living, if we’re not thriving, then we’re only focused on our work. Our work in the world is one thing. It’s one facet of what each of us does, but, really, living your life as art is what everybody’s life really is. Everyone’s an artist, whether they know it or not. Somebody told me that along the way, and it was really guiding for me because it’s just these expressions of who you are and what you do, what lights you up. That’s really important, and I encourage people to seek that. Whether it’s a painting class, a yoga class, going for a hike, singing in a rock and roll band, creating a community event, or whatever it is. All of these things are part of me and therefore they become part of my work.” Akro- preneurs is a series hosted by Roger Riddle that features the stories behind creative locals whose talents led them into business where they’ve been shaping the city and our culture with their entrepreneurial mindset. In Episode 2 of Akro- preneurs, Karen Starr tours us down the path that led to the opening of Hazel Tree Interiors and shares her thoughts on navigating the big challenges of starting small businesses.



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| THE Devil Strip / MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3

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The Dish



AKRON PIZZA TASK FORCE Leonardo’s Pizza by Stephanie Baker, Kevin Wirth and Justin Lyons (@akronpizzatf)

Leonardo’s Pizza, 103 Ghent Rd., is conveniently located right by Summit Mall; skip the food court and grab a pizza on your way home. There aren’t many specialty pizzas on the menu, but Leonardo’s does have a white sauce. We tried their cheese pizza with red sauce and a cheese and tomato with garlic sauce (pictured right). The crusts on both pizza were fluffy and cooked perfectly. The crust also doesn't collapse under the sauce like you commonly see. The cheese pizza had just the right amount of cheese. The crust was nice and thick and perfectly held up a generous amount of sauce and cheese. We found the sauce itself to be a little sweet but not overly sweet. If you love plain cheese we think this pizza is for you. The cheese, tomato and garlic pizza was up next. The tomato was diced and evenly distributed over it. The cheese was thick and covered edge to edge more than the red sauce pizza. Some white pizza has a lot of oil that pools over top but this wasn't a problem with this pie. Overall, Leonardo’s is a solid choice. We have visited a fair share of Akron’s finest and we had nothing but good experience with Leonardo's. // Akron Pizza Task Force - All hail pizza!

Tweet us @akronpizzatf We want to hear from you! What are your favorite toppings, Akron? Pictured left: Leonardo’s, Every Pizza is a Work of Art; “Leonardo’s Cheese." Photos by Stephanie Baker

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MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3 /

THE Devil Strip |


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{The Dish}

The best way to learn more about our city is to ask the people who eat, drink and breathe here. With Spring around the corner (officially starts March 20!), we can't help thinking about how nice it is to dine outside. So we asked our readers which local eateries they are most excited to have open up their patios and decks again? If they have a favorite dish (or drink) that can make their whole day better when they enjoy it outdoors?

The Importance of Eating Ernest Thomas and Sarah experience the Cathedral Buffet

Here’s what they had to say.

"Fish tacos and mojitos on the balcony at Edgar's. The roof at The Lockview." — Kate Budd

by Thomas Skala and Sarah Jones // All photos by Thomas Skala

(Photo by Thomas Webb)

“Margarita flights and the potato chorizo burrito. The bar on the rooftop is really nice.” — Nick Mancuso (Photo courtesy of Nick Mancuso)

“I hereby cast my vote for the rooftop at Lockview. Knocking down some goldfish crackers while enjoying a frosty IPA and the very occasional live band up there is one of my favorite ways to spend a sunny afternoon. (Actually, my first choice is probably any seat at Canal Park during an Akron RubberDucks game with a dog and a beer, but the Lockview is a fantastic spot in it's own right.)” — Christian Odadzin (Photo courtesy of Christian Odadzin)

“Breakfast at Valley Cafe... Eggs Benedict or the breakfast bowl .” — Emily Foley (Photo courtesy of Emily Foley)

“Gasoline Alley...Hmmm.... probably the Reuben! Their mac & cheese and pizza are good too!” — Matt Askea (Photo courtesy of Matt Askea)

Sat., March 25 3-7 pm @ Lock 3 Inside space has tripled in size!



$33 in advance $40 at the door $10 DD tickets


30+ Ohio Breweries!!

Tickets at Try Ohio’s best Beer, Cider, Mead, and Kumbacha! 400 Pre-sale tickets with day of sales at the door. Event sold out last year - do not wait! Lock 3 Food menu along with 2 Food Trucks. Live music from the Dixieland Band and the Rhodes Street Rude Boys


| THE Devil Strip / MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3

Experience Akron’s newest community for climbing, yoga & fitness 677 Carroll St. Akron, OH. 44304



the dish PROS: Much-need roughage; Great place to meet singles CON: Not much to talk about.

12:34 pm (Bring an appetite) This is a no-frills American buffet: steamed vegetables, pasta, meats, carbs, sweets, and beans. “Please take all you want but eat all you take,” instructs a sign. The gravy on the pork loin has parsley flakes (little touches). The vat of mashed potatoes looks like it weighs as much as a Labrador that thinks it’s a lap dog. We load up and head back to our two-top. It’s what you’d expect from a large American buffet. Sarah likes the fried chicken and wishes she were also eating alone so that she wouldn’t have to blot the grease from her lips. It’s at this time that Sarah points out there is no music. Accent lighting is provided by icicle lights procured in a dorm room or Five Below store. PRO: You can eat as much as you want in silence CONS: Silence invites introspection and you’ll realize you’re eating too much; Needs more butter

1:07 pm (Getting my money’s worth) I’m going up for seconds because I’m doing this for you. Sarah, on the other hand, has dignity. The chef restocking a tray asks, “How ya doing, buddy?” in a friendly tone. I’m on cloud nine because both sides of the garlic bread are buttered (little touches). While Sarah is eating chocolate cake and decent drinking coffee, I’m at the beverage station. There are flavored syrups: caramel, vanilla, and WILD raspberry. Get soda water and add syrup, creating a flavored La Croix type thing. You’re welcome for this pro tip. PRO: Custom sodas CON: Gluttony is a sin.

1:24 pm (Not dead yet) Time for dessert. I’ve picked a small bowl with a softballsized portion of something that I’ve expertly determined to be chocolate. I dig in and discover that it’s fudge topping with enough bits of cake in it to give it a semblance of structural integrity (little touches). It’s good, but I don’t think it would be wise to finish all of it. CHEAT DAY! We finish, stopping at the gift shop on the way out. PRO: Dying in a ministry building CON: Death by chocolate

This started as an offbeat dining review. Our intention was not to talk about the ministry but we were brought back to that

11:58 am (In the shadow of giants) We park and exit the vehicle. We stand in the looming shadow of what was once supposed to be a rotating restaurant. There’s no restaurant and the locals have given it a priapic nickname.

point during our final interaction with Cathedral staff. Northeast Ohioans have an opinion about Ernest Angley. Our direct experience is that congregation members who work at Cathedral Buffet are a caring group of people. They are also cautious. When a manager found out we were with a publication, she informed us taking photos of the

This bodes well. After passing a small gift shop and paying for tickets, we enter the dining room. The eating area is as large as a children’s T-ball field with room for banquets, private dining, and a stage. It is adequately heated [read: “warm”]. It’s lunch rush and about 10 percent of

food line is usually not allowed. She said, “People come here to hurt us.” Clearly, assumption is a two-way street.

the people eating are alone (but with God, are you ever alone?). We’re the only patrons in our thirties. We are comfortable and the regulars know each other by name.

We chatted about the sense of community within the restaurant. Eating alone can be awkward. Not the case for those who include a Cathedral lunch as part of their daily routine. Comfort, consistency, and familiar faces make the buffet a social anchor. Considerately, the recipes cater to

12:14 pm (Green Party) We start with salads. I (Thomas) haven’t eaten a fresh vegetable in two weeks. The website describes the salad bar as “the talk of the town.” It’s circular, filled with basic offerings, and crowned by globe lights. To make it seem more

salad-y and less like a UFO, plastic ivy has been tossed on top of the lights. We didn’t try the soups, but they looked promising.


the generally older crowd who make up the bulk of patrons. But without a doubt, all customers are greeted with sincere appreciation. Remember: buffets are non-denominational. Don’t let uncertainty ruin a good bowl of mashed potatoes.

The Cathedral Buffet 2690 State Rd, Cuyahoga Falls

MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3 /

THE Devil Strip |


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L u

Founder Stories, Challenges and Success Panel focuses on Summit County’s

‘FOOD ENTREPRENEURSHIP’ u We’ve all seen it on TV — from chefs reigning over their crazed kitchens to restaurant and bar makeovers — but what’s it actually like to start a business around food? That’s where the Hudson Library & Historical Society steps in this month, hosting a panel discussion featuring several Northeast Ohio food entrepreneurs as part of the organization’s Winter/Spring 2017 Entrepreneurship Series. On Thursday, March 23 at 6:30 pm, WKSU’s Quick Bites host Vivian Goodman will

Montrose, Solon and Highland Square in Akron. Brian Gura owns Cleveland Tofu, which was developed for American palates and is closer to the texture of meatloaf as opposed to the paté style of Asian tofu. Linda Coleman is the owner of Olive my Heart, a family-run business located in Hudson that offers vinegars and olive oils from around the world. Chill Pop Shop cofounders Elizabeth Pryor and Maggie Pryor produce frozen fruit pops with real fruit and natural, fresh ingredients that can be found in more than 60 stores throughout the MidAtlantic and Eastern region.

moderate a who’s who of the area’s food biz founders to hear their stories and learn from The Entrepreneurship Series is sponsored by their challenges and successes. Akron’s own the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. You Abraham Nabors (Mustard Seed Market & Café) can register for this free program online at




"Creative take on traditional fare - e.g. Pickled peach & goat cheese, or fennel, bacon, hazel nut guacamole; the atmosphere is dressy casual, and the food innovative and flavorful. I had the cobia (fish special). Wonderful combination of flavors w fish, Peruvian blue potato, arugula salad. Subtle flavors with a mild kick in the potato cake. Looking forward to my next visit (this was my second)."

54 East Mill St. Akron 44308 (330) 762-8000 Hours: M-Th 11-10, F 11-11, Sat 3-11

will be joined by Brian Gura (Cleveland Tofu, or call 330.653.6658

International Specialty Produce), Linda Coleman (Olive My Heart), and Elizabeth and Maggie Pryor (Chill Pop Shop).

x1010. For more information, contact Jodie M. DeLamatre at 330.653.6658 x1010 or jodie.

Abraham Nabors is the Director of Education

Pictured above: The Nabors Family, owners of

& Standards and a second generation owner of the “locally owned and family grown” Mustard Seed Market & Café with stores in

Mustard Seed Market and Cafe: Abraham, Phillip, Margaret and Gabriel

Tuesday, March 14

BUILD YOUR OWN WINE RACK NIGHT Prime 93 // 4315 Manchester Rd 6 – 9pm Get hammered at Prime 93 and build your own wine rack. No woodworking skills necessary and materials will be provided. Wine is not included, but its retail wine night and food will be on the menu. Registration must be finished before March 7. Contact Prime 93 to sign up at 330-6442239.Registration is $45.




ld your kills

vided. wine u.

e March 30-644-

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LADY BEER DRINKER HIHO BREWING IS “HAPPINESS, COMMUNITY AND CRAFT” by Emily Anderson Most people know that the craft brewing scene in Colorado and on

in the summer. The floorplan is completely open. The bar sits in

the West Coast is really flourishing. Not only is there a

the middle of the space, in front of the stainless

successful brewery in virtually every neighborhood, these breweries have become a hub for togetherness amongst local residents. Out

steel brewing equipment. One corner has a few couches and a TV – perfect for watching the

West, hanging out at the local brewpub is an integrated part of the active, healthy lifestyle that has become so popular. Craft breweries are not viewed as just a place to go get super drunk with your bros, but as a place to take the wife and kids on a Sunday afternoon, or hold a community meeting.

huge space is filled with long tables and stools – perfect for a corporate event or big birthday party.

game with a few friends. The other side of the

30 CRAFT BEER TAPS RUSTIC AMERICAN FOOD M-TH: 4-11pm • FRI: 4-12am • SAT: 2-12am • SUN: Closed



Now, they have an amazing space and a beautiful plan, but do they deliver on the most important element of a brewery – the beer? The answer is yes, they most definitely do. When I

This attitude is exactly what married couple Ali and Jon Hovan hope to bring to the Akron area with their new brewery, HiHo Brewing Co., right on Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls. They

visited just a few weeks after the opening, they had seven original beers. Obviously, I tried them all. It was immediately evident that they were all skillfully brewed. While some brewers are

grew up in Hudson, but have been teaching for the last few years in Colorado. They were

overly daring, the Hovan’s vision was to make a lineup of brews that are simple, all natural,

inspired by the craft brewing lifestyle out there, and decided to bring it back to Akron with them. Following their mantra, “Happiness, Community, Craft,” Jon brews the beer and Ali

approachable, and clean. With a couple SMASH (Single Malt, Single Hop) ales, a few stouts, an IPA, and a Winter Warmer, there’s a little something for everyone here. They also serve

runs the business side of things. They are both incredibly informed and share the same dream

Blake’s cider and a selection of wines for glutenfree customers, and Norka Soda and Salute

of running the most responsible, sustainable brewery possible.

Kombucha for the kiddos and sober friends.

The space where they brew and serve their beer is an industrial-style building with brick walls, concrete floors, and metal furniture. The wall facing the Cuyahoga River is lined with garage doors that will be able to open up

Overall, I am exceptionally impressed with HiHo Brewing Co. The space and the beer are great, but the best two things about this brewery are the owners. Ali and Jon have this positive, energetic, ambitious attitude that guarantees they’ll succeed in providing this community with high quality product and a taste of the West Coast lifestyle. I’m so glad they brought their talents back here to Akron, and can’t wait to go back to see what they’ll brew

Th eB

e r a u rewpub in Highland Sq


IRISH FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS Our Double Irish Red seasonal beer on tap!




St. Patty's Day

up next.


Pictured left: Jon and Ali Hovan (Photo by M. Sophie Franchi/The Devil Strip) Pictured above: HiHo brewery interior (Photo by Emily Anderson/The Devil Strip)

For details visit or 804 W. Market Street, Akron, OH 44303 • (234) 208-6797


(at the corner of Highland Ave and W. Market St.) NEW Winter Hours: M-W 3pm-midnight, TH 3pm-Close, Fri-Sat 11:30-Close, Sun Noon-Midnight

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nother St. Patrick’s day is near, and as a bartender, I have anxiety attacks even thinking about this day. It’s a holiday that both irritates and confuses me on numerous levels. You would think I would treat it as fun day of celebration and lucrative tips. Nope! For me it’s nightmarish. Worse than those Leprechaun movies. How can someone like The Bar Crawler hate on St. Patty’s Day, you ask? This must be confusing to you, the reader. Allow me to explain.

Much of this is personal preference, so I hope you take this all with a grain of salt. I’m not big into bagpipes and face painting, so there’s that. The rest is my disdain for amatuer drinkers. You know the type. Whether they are puking in the urinal, spilling their drink on you, backing into your car in the parking lot and driving off or just being an obnoxious pain in the ass, this is the day when they come out in droves. It’s a day that starts with kegs and eggs at 6 am and the delusion that somehow (continued below)

Manny's Pub

The Score Draft Room

Gridiron Bar and Grille

Istocki's Pub/Euro Gyro

Brubaker's Pub

394 Brown St 330-379-1010

426 E Exchange St 330-535-4844

456 E Exchange St 330-535-9464

444 E Exchange St 330-434-4976

357 S Main St 330-253-7160


University of Akron

University of Akron

University of Akron

University of Akron







Late 90s


3 - 7pm

11am - 7pm

Every hour

2 - 5pm

3 - 7pm


Bud Lt. / Ameson

Miller High Life / Crown Apple

Coors Lt. / Fireball

Bud Lt. / Crown Royal

Great Lakes d/ Patron


Karaoke / D.J.s / Pool

DJ / Pool


D.J.s / Pool / Darts

Pool / Darts


Full Menu

Full Menu

Full Menu

Full Menu

Full Menu


Until recently, there were houses here.

Magoo's / Pints / Panini's


Was Euro Gyro without the bar in an old house

New building


Ozzie Newsome meets Taylor Swift

Michael Brantley meets Ricky Martin

Franco Harris meets Amy Winehouse

Dennis Franz meets Dick Butkus

Corey Feldman meets Corey Hart


Your standard college bar. Manny's used to be located where the football stadium is now.

The building/bar has been here for decades. I recall getting wasted here on Firewater back in the 90s. That was also the last time I drank Firewater.

Love watching the Browns lose every game of the season? They show every loss here. Whoop!

I worked here about 25 years ago. I still have nightmares about gyros.

Is it just me, or does every Brubaker’s give you the impression that it was trying to be the bar in Cheers?


they will be able to pace themselves for the next 12 to 18 hours. It’s like cramming a three day bender into one day. No good story starts with a salad, sure, but dealing with people who can barely speak but are trying to communicate with you is not a whole lot of fun for a bartender. It’s one thing when it’s “amatuer night.” It’s another thing when it’s “amatuer all day” and at every bar. Enough said. Now what confuses me: people who have no Irish blood in them claiming a nationality that is not their own, or just barely. It’s a phenomen! Where and when does this happen anywhere else? But on March 17, there will be people with an Irish step parent or an Irish Setter that think that this qualifies them, and they’ll be celebrating their so-called heritage. I know there’s a strong Irish presence in this town dating back well over a hundred years. Dublin Street on the east side was named for Irish immigrants who worked on the nearby canal. Yes, back then immigrants were welcome here and they helped build, protect, educate and inspire this fine city of ours. It wasn’t just the Irish, though. In short, I would like to see all the other nationalities have their big day of celebration as well. It would give us more days per year to get completely plastered and and not have to cram all of our drinking into one day. Erin Go Bragh that you are Irish when you are really not,

Cheers and enjoy responsibly, Leslie Nostradamus Nielsen


Tuesday........................... Check Out Bourbon Night Wednesday ................. Enjoy Discount Wine Night Friday/Saturday ........... $5 Moscow Mules until 9 1947 W. Market Street Find us right behind the CVS


| THE Devil Strip / MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3

Adopt-a-bar Klub Kryptonite

Area of Akron: University of Akron Address: 663 Carroll St. It would have been cool if there was a rival bar nearby called Superman, but there wasn't. I'm thinking this placed was named for the 3 Doors Down song of the same name that came out in 2000. The central location near the University of Akron gives me hope for this bar. My suggestion for this place? Show 1970s disaster films like Airport or Black Sunday on the T.V.s all the time. This will cause anxiety in all the patrons and result in them drinking more to cope with the horror of such films.


The Scene





... Six Akron bands we think you should know by Floco Torres

å My Mouth Is the Speaker Danny, Max, Ryan and Rob started the Indie Punk outfit My Mouth Is the Speaker in 2008. In 2014, they released their EP “In Focus”


on Escapist Records featuring stand out tune “Worst Case Scenario.” “In Focus” has an energy and big sound that most music fans think can only be created in million dollar studios with *insert big music executive*. They ended 2016 with a big show at Musica with a packed lineup of talent. They're currently working on a new record and have been playing shows recently, as they joined Taking Meds and Dark Spring in Lakewood in early February. (Photo courtesy of My Mouth Is the Speaker:

ç Red Rose Panic Red Rose Panic began as a duo Hip-Hop band in 2013 formed by songwriter Luminari and producer/guitarist Styxx. They added more musicians later on in an effort to elevate their overall sound. Blending Hip-Hop, Electronic, Jazz, Rock and Pop may seem like


a lot, but their five track project “One Night Standard” really shows the strength in their versatility. Luminari lyrically steers the ship with ease while Styxx provides an impressive soundtrack to accent the mood (See “Danger Zone”). The band premiered new song “Wonder Year” at a show in January and has been on the move since. Their next show is March 23 at The Federal in Youngstown, Ohio. (Photo courtesy of Red Rose Panic:

é COOP A new hardcore band has emerged in Akron and they go by the name of COOP. Marcus, Anthony, Ryan and Zach were inspired by Standing Room alum WallCreeper to form in 2016. Their five song EP “Dessert” was released in January and is a collection of singles inspired by 80s movies. “The Thing” features a hard hitting bassline and slide guitar that sounds like the soundtrack to someone stalking you in a horror flick. COOP played their first show in February and are playing in Akron on March 10th at the Sure Man House with WallCreeper, so don’t miss this one. (Photo courtesy of COOP)

è Samantha Grace Samantha Grace is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with an amiable voice. Her Ukelele tune “Mon Petit Chou” is an


easy song to not realize that you’ve listened to it three or four times in a row. Samantha is also one half of the duo Saint Joan with Hannelore Berken. Sam played at Hive Mind in February and is continuing to put work into her solo project. (Photo courtesy of Samantha Grace:

ê Posture Eric Vaught aka Posture is an indie musician that can’t really be placed in a genre per se. His 3 song EP “EXOSKELETONS” ranges from pop rock to electronic to acoustic and back again. Lyrically, Posture is just trying to make sense of it all like the rest of us. On “Saturn,” lines like "Though I haven't proof I do believe, we're more than accidents and bastard machines" find Eric trying to think the best of our flawed human race. Early in February, he proclaimed that he was eating chana masala in a clean lavender smelling apartment and the mixes for his new EP were “done done done done.” (Photo courtesy of Posture:


ë Cabin Fever James Maher is a singer-songwriter that recently changed his name to Cabin Fever. He played his first show under the new name at It’s a Kling Thing! house in February. In an effort to fully rebrand, he has wiped a lot of his self-titled work from the internet except for a few video performances like “Beautiful Nightmare” which was dedicated to an ex-girlfriend. We’re excited to see what comes of the new direction. (Photo courtesy of Cabin Fever)

330 DAY:

ë REIMAGINED Thursday, March 30


The Kent Stage 175 East Main St. Kent, Ohio Doors open at 6 pm/Show at 7 pm The Summit invites you to a free evening of music featuring 20 of Northeast Ohio’s finest musicians celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Summit’s newest streaming audio channel, “The 330”. “The 330” primarily highlights local music in the North East Ohio region!

MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3 /

THE Devil Strip |


the scene

Highland Square


LINEUP Friday, 3/3 • 8:30 – 11:30pm Dan Wilson Trio – Eclectic

ON STAGE WITH RELAXER “ accompanied by smoke machines and trippy light shows”

Sunday, 3/5 • 12 – 3pm Operations – Soul, Jazz, & Reggae Friday, 3/10 • 8:30 – 11:30pm Duchess – Classic Country Saturday, 3/11 • 8:30 – 11:30pm Jen Maurer Project – Original Roots Sunday, 3/12 • 12 – 3pm Anne E. Dechant – Pop, Rock, & Folk Friday, 3/17 • 8:30 – 11:30pm Ozone – Funk & Roll, Rock & Soul Saturday, 3/18 • 8:30 – 11:30pm DJ Kevin Richards – Hip-Hop, Indie, & Soul Sunday, 3/19 • 12 – 3pm Little Steve O – Blues Friday, 3/24 • 8:30 – 11:30pm Erin Nicole Neal & The Chill Factors – Blues, Rock, Pop, Jazz & Soul Saturday, 3/25 • 8:30 – 11:30pm Copali – An Instrumental Funk Fusion Sunday, 3/26 • 12 – 3pm Art & Tom – Acoustic Favorites & Originals Friday, 3/31 • 8:30 – 11:30pm Phil Anderson Trio – R&B and Soul *NO COVER CHARGE HIGHLAND SQUARE: 867 West Market Street Akron, Ohio, 44303 • 330-434-7333

by Brittany Nader


hen describing local band Relaxer’s sound, “passive progressive” —

Joe Scott, known as the mastermind behind another local band, White Pines, lends his

larger-than-life synth. Stillman serves as the band’s only original member, recruiting Scott,

though said in jest by founding member Jamie Stillman — may actually be the most astute way to describe it. With a healthy mix of synth,

vocals, lyrics and guitar to Relaxer. The group is a bit of a mishmash of long-established Akron bands, perhaps a supergroup of sorts,

who was admittedly afraid to sing on his own without having his guitar in tow, and eventually Thorla, whom Stillman and Scott both credit

heavy riffs and echoic vocals, the prog-rock, psychedelic aspects of this foursome’s sound are highly prominent, coupled with a specific

comprised of members of nostalgic ensembles such as Party of Helicopters, Drummer (Patrick Carney’s former band), Duunes, Houseguest

as contributing heavily to Relaxer’s current musical style. Haren then joined as bass player, which his bandmates find ironic considering

type of laid-back vibe that’s marked by each member’s years of mastering their skills and cutting their teeth in other local bands. The mix of larger-than-life performance and slacker sensibilities offstage makes for quite the interesting contrast.

and so on. Each musician, from drummer Bradley Thorla to bassist Corey Haren, brings a wide range of virtuosity with their respected instruments, paired with the experience and varied stylistic sensibilities to create a new and interesting sound with Relaxer.

he is probably the best guitar player out of the bunch. Nonetheless, the quartet has an easygoing dynamic that both meshes well and results in tremendous live performances that are evidence of each member’s individual influences and prowess.

Three-fourths of the members spend their days working at EarthQuaker Devices, where Stillman serves as founder and master builder, and on several nightly occasions they join forces to create the type of music that sounds best

While Scott acknowledges Stillman’s assessment of the band’s current sound — something difficult to determine without comparing to other established bands — he jokingly describes it: “It’s like if Yes couldn’t play their

Last summer, Relaxer finished recording their new album, “Unreal Cities” — their latest since 2014’s “Lasers.” The new release was recorded by Ben Vehorn at Akron’s own

accompanied by smoke machines and trippy light shows.


“I think over the years we have morphed from Pink Floyd to Black Sabbath,” Stillman says

Relaxer has seen its fair share of sonic evolution over the past six years, with much of what made the group distinct early on having come

about Relaxer’s sound.

from former keyboard player Steve Clements’

Preserving Hip-Hop culture with Keepers of the Art by Floco Torres

>>>>>>> Your grandmother knows who Snoop Dogg is. In 39 years since its creation, Hip-Hop culture has socially and economically grown into the most influential and shared culture on the planet today. However, social and economic growth usually comes with some sort of separation from its origin. Akron based

Tangerine Studios and is slated to be out for public consumption this May. Relaxer’s writing process has gotten easier over the years, the band agrees, with a relatively simple formula of perfecting all instrumentation first, then moving on to Scott’s lyric writing and vocal arrangements.

(continued on page 37)

organization Keepers of the Art are here to In 2016, KOTA was one of the Knight bridge the gap between Hip-Hop’s rich past and Foundation Art Challenge Winners and on its fruitful future. March 18, they’ll begin an Indiegogo campaign to raise the matching funds for the “Hip-Hop Formed in 2006 by Ismail Al-Amin, Brandon

Preservation Project” with Hip-Hop legend Edo

Buckner, Monty Buckner, Donovan Rogers, and Bay Shaun Seay, Keepers of the Art started as a Hip-Hop advocacy organization. Having grown up on “Golden Age Hip-Hop” like Grandmaster Flash, (whom they came to work with in 2016), they noticed a void in outlets representing Golden Age Hip-Hop in Akron. From creating the first indie ALL Hip-hop format radio show called “Hip-Hop Flavors” in

G performing at the Stage Door at EJ Thomas Hall. The “Hip-Hop Preservation Project” will feature concerts, lectures, discussions and more at select venues in Akron for an entire weekend in September. Founding member Ismail Al-Amin says “In the Hip-Hop community it’s our duty to tell the story of our history” and KOTA continues to do just that. Catch the Classic Emcee Concert Series featuring Hip-Hop legend Edo G on Saturday, March 18 at the Stage Door

2006, to an Annual Hip-Hop festival in Lock 3 where they worked with the Mayor to bring

at EJ Thomas Hall. General admission is $15. Purchase tickets at For

legends like Dougie Fresh and Slick Rick, KOTA has taken on the responsibility of re-educating the community on Hip-Hop’s history.

more information of Keepers of the Art, visit



Saturday, 3/4 • 8:30 – 11:30pm DJ Naeno – Funky Dance Party

Photo courtesy of Facebook event page for Duchess at BLU Jazz+


GREAT NEW RELEASES In March from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Soundgarden, The Shins, and many more.

words and photo by Brett Auerbach

It only took one evening for New York basedvocal trio, Duchess to make their mark in Akron after performing not one, but two seemingly flawless sets at Blu Jazz+ last

while still presenting an original image.

month. Reputable jazz vocalists, Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardener and Melissa Stylianou tastefully flaunted their endless harmonizing skills in an evening full of swing music and witty humor. “I may be the first musician in history to say

accompany them. Oh! And the occasional

this, but can I get a little less reverb...” Hilary Gardener humorously stated after performing

kazoo of course!

Speaking of powerful, this bunch is not shy in addressing social issues and incorporating political stances into their music. A large part of their commentary throughout the evening focused on gender inequality. As Hilary Gardner introduced the band, she began trolling media outlets by humorously integrating the key differences found in music reviews between men and women.

In a digital world full of auto-tune, vocal

their first song. And by all means should her The sound of Duchess is best comparable to a opinion be taken seriously, as even the finest of 50 – year scotch, comprised of all the essential musicians would fail to catch a sour note during ingredients left to simmer and recreate all that

phasers and processors, finding tone in one’s voice has become a technical skill set opposed to natural. Contrary, those equipped with raw,

their set.

was great into something unknown. Smooth yet undeniably powerful and capable of taking

unadorned, no-nonsense talent are a dying commodity. Therefore, catching a live Duchess

Duchess is a completely authentic experience— no special effects or tampering required for this bunch, simply just a three piece band to

your soul hostage for the evening. Reflecting a hodgepodge of classical and contemporary influences, Duchess pays homage to the greats

show should be on your “to-do list” next time they are in town.








the scene

by Floco Torres


n the summer

Phil planted the seed in Hr3’s head (and gifted him the MPC) to remix

of 2015, Akron’s experimental R&B

Bluelight’s EP for his debut project “Points Of View.”

quintet, Bluelight, released their debut self-titled EP led by musician/arranger/ composer/*the list goes on* Phil Anderson. All the songs were written and produced by Phil and they feature an insanely talented list of collaborators, one of them being drummer/beatmaker Holbrook Riles III aka Hr3. In 2016,

Join Hollow Bones Records

Saturday, April 22nd

On “Points Of View,” Hr3 did more than remix a collection of previous works, he created a world within a vast universe. Bluelight’s EP is a journey through this universe and “Points Of View” cultivates more life in it. Hr3’s attention to detail within songs breeds this new life between the two projects. The single “Sip Slow” featuring Jul Big Green exists from a short saxophone riff in Bluelight’s contemporary jazz tune “Mirrors,” which is flipped into a Hip-Hop record reminiscent of Kanye’s first album. Although the lyrics gave it away, it took me three (continued on page 38)

2721 W. Market Street • Fairlawn

(234) 334-7484 Mon Closed Tue-Sat 10am-8pm • Sun 12pm-5pm



I Am Not Your Negro:

a documentary on the history of race relations in the U.S. by Ted Zep

Just like this advertisement, we are right next to The Nightlight Get beans, bags and toast at 30 N. High Street

Rating: PG-13 Runtime: 1 hr. 35 min. Genre: Documentary Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin Directed by Raoul Peck and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the documentary is based on Remember This House, an unfinished novel by James Baldwin about Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Medgar Evers. It is an intense and unapologetic look at the history of race relations in the United States. "Nothing can be changed until it is faced."

of his youth. The oafish stereotype played by Mantan Moreland is contrasted to iconic "hero" John Wayne, who, in turn, is compared to the talented but unthreatening Sidney Poitier, to show the limitations shackled upon portrayals of African-Americans. The film doesn't shy away from examining the tension in the Civil Rights Movement itself. The footage of Malcolm X calling out Martin Luther King Jr. for essentially not being confrontational enough to persecutors is just as prickly now as it was 50+ years ago. Some of the strongest moments feature Baldwin himself, speaking his own words. Culled from an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, Baldwin's passionate indignance is palpable. He perceptibly quivers as he makes his case to a divided nation.

The charm—and inherent potency—of the film lies in the fact that it has viewers staring down the proverbial "barrel of a gun" for the entirety of the picture. It is informative, thoughtprovoking, and compelling—but it is neither sugar-coated nor intentionally comfortable. The history of race relations in the United States

I Am Not Your Negro is informative, eye-

is examined unflinchingly from James Baldwin's elegantly prescient, yet outraged point of view. Baldwin's words, as voiced by Samuel L.

opening, and unabashedly unrepentant about its politics. While the source material was written decades before the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, or, hell, before Donald

Jackson, belie his weariness and anger at a country that has treated his people so

Trump was a twinkle in the eyes of a segment of voters, it feels incredibly modern and of the

criminally. Jackson's rich, metered delivery moment. It is also optimistic in a manner that provides punctuation to the often disturbing or only those who have known true sorrow and inflammatory images that appear on the screen. oppression may be. Both insolent and angry, James Baldwin reaches through time in an One powerful illustrator throughout the picture is the use of film clips to elucidate the country's

attempt to open the eyes and hearts of a new generation of people.

attitude toward race throughout the decades. Baldwin says that he felt lied to about the world - Ted Zep he knew based on the cartoonish and insulting portrayal of black characters on the silver screen


back of the book (continued from page 14) a large bird’s nest, a visual representation of being in the middle of her grief, she said.

essays, and has shown her work worldwide, from her original hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, to Rome. But she’s not done reaching

“You feel very fragile, almost like you’re a child,” she said. “You’re trying to figure out

out to help others. She currently teaches an e-course called “Meaningful Making,” where she walks students through using art to cope

how to navigate this whole new world.” (continued from page 34) “There’s a lot of notes going on when we play, so I have to be careful about how I add vocals to it,” Scott says.

Pictured above: Drummer Bradley Thorla, bass player Corey Haren, guitarist Jamie Stillman and vocalist/ guitarist Joe Scott of local band, Relaxer, chill out inside the EarthQuaker Devices headquarters. (Photo by Chris Tran)

Stillman says the writing process for the new album was easier than years past, where the

release shows. Relaxer has enjoyed playing venues like the Grog Shop and Beachland Tavern in Cleveland but noted Annabell’s and

band would jam and demo various sketches of

Musica as favorite local staples. They are still numerous songs but only consider about 12 tracks they feel are actually complete. Recording up in the air about where to hold their album release shows, but they will be performing this album felt much more focused, he says, in Kent, Cleveland and Columbus in and many of the songs organically came upcoming months. together at a more rapid pace. Thorla says the band spent a weekend tracking and just a day

Relaxer will play the following shows this spring:

The photo resonates with her personally because of the hard physical work that went

with loss. She also works with Soaring Spirits International, a community for widowed people, and has been invited to present her work at their fall conference in Toronto.

into it, collecting grapevines and building the nest herself over the course of about four days in the hot Texas sun.

“I’ve always wanted to work with other people who maybe aren’t in touch with creativity to

“There was something that mimicked the

teach them how to use it, because it’s helped me,” Sarah said.

whole process of grieving there, and it made me think about the idea of how, when we’re

Sarah’s work and information about her

in a very vulnerable place, it’s an active process, upcoming shows and courses are available at building that nest,” she said. “It’s not just going her website, at to appear around you.” // Kyle Brown is a freelance journalist who tries

Sarah, who now lives in Akron, finished her work with “Still, Life” after 40 images and

very hard to understand art. He is available at

April 24 Beachland Tavern with A Place to Bury Strangers May 19 Columbus Psych Fest

(continued from page 18) Why should everyone try your favorite local restaurant? It's a tie between Chill ice

Stillman says. “Writing without one now is a little faster. It seems infinitely easier.”

Stay up-to-date with Relaxer’s latest shows and releases at

cream and Nuevo, but both of them have so much to offer in terms of great ingredients and fresh ideas. I feel like Chill overhauls all

discovery. I grew up on (and love) Tex-Mex which highlights the fried and the spicy. The modern Mex-style at Nuevo brings the heat, but keeps it healthier with their pickled vegetables

Their latest album, “Unreal Cities,” will be available for purchase this May at Square Records, My Mind’s Eye Records (Cleveland) and on iTunes and

32 flavors regularly, making it hard to develop a singular favorite. Half the fun is going there and getting to try so many options before you have to commit to one (or let's be honest—at least two). And Nuevo was such a wonderful

How do you hope Akron will be different

Though Clements has taken time off from Relaxer to focus on family and other musical endeavors, the band members collectively say he will likely join them on stage for their album

We enjoyed our conversation too, Monte. #spreadthewarmth

make sure that since they interviewing him and taking him away from his panhandling that he got something out of it. The way they look at it is that they are taking them away from his job.

or two mixing, followed by Scott taking a week in between to do his vocals without having the looming pressure of studio time. “I noticed writing with a synth with Steve is awesome, but it takes a lot of time if you want to do something interesting with the synth,”

(continued from page 19) for long it really does change people. You just stop taking care of yourself. DO YOU NEED A HAIRCUT? WE COULD TAKE YOU ACROSS THE STREET TO GET ONE? Yes but, no, please don’t do that. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been able to bathe in a week. I wouldn’t want them to see my hair. We left Monte and came back in order to give


March 18 Stone Tavern at Michel’s with Turbeaux and Birthday Noose

him a bag with some supplies, including some fingernail clippers & a bite to eat. Monte’s reaction was touching. He was extremely thankful. “You don’t realize how much this means to me!” he said. “You are going to make me cry

Visit to find a list of items to donate and the donation drop off locations. Currently, ASA is in need of

and root fries.

in five years? Five years from now, I hope even more people will be dancing - watching, thinking and talking about dance.

ASA is staffed with volunteers for the rest of this season, but if you’d like to get on the

and I haven’t cried in a LONG time. It was so

monetary donations which can be sent to: PO Box 107, Cuyahoga Falls, Oh 44222. ASA will

nice having a conversation with you and having someone listen. Nice to talk to people who are not ‘street’ people. I appreciate it so much.” use monetary donations for special requests and purchasing dinner for those in need, in circumstances like this interview. ASA wanted to

list for upcoming opportunities, please email

MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3 /

THE Devil Strip |


back of book

Urine Luck: Yellow, Spring!: Springfield Bog Metro Park

crafty looking “Home Sweet Home” sign.

The Springfield Bog Metro Park really is in Akron—I promise—but it feels other-

The Prairie trail is a leisurely 1.6 miles full of plants, butterflies and birds. On a muchneeded sunshiney warm day in February, it was mostly mud, but it had just the Vitamin D that I needed. After my muddy walk, I was glad to see those Metro Park bathrooms waiting by the parking lot. Park bathrooms are great because they are often housed in buildings that look like quaint tiny homes or sheds surrounded by blue skies and grass. Someone should hang up a rustic,

Yello, Yellow!: A Convenient Little Space at a Convenient Little Place in Once

often the facilities are re-stocked and where

Upon leaving the restroom on a bright, sunny

park officials keep the extra supplies. Does a park ranger or maintenance worker drive around delivering rolls of toilet paper or are the

day, you might feel like a pirate leaving the dark cabin of his ship and walking into the glaring sun. This is why they wore eye patches, but you

rolls kept in a secure location? And what about the hand sanitizer inventory? Can I just job shadow someone here?

should probably check because I might be making that up.

The toilet is a chemical toilet or maybe a urinediversion rehydration toilet (I’m sorry this is so disgusting) without a flush. Unless it does flush and I was simply too nervous to touch things unnecessarily, but I’m pretty sure there was no flusher. If there is, sorry! Are pre-fab port-a-pot toilet seats scaled-down versions of regular toilet seats? They seem smaller and it’s probably weird to tell you that I like the sturdy

baby in a 10 pound car seat didn’t keep me down. Babies grow fast; mine grows really fast—so clothes he needs, and to the local resale shop we went.

Anyone else struck down

a Child offers a public bathroom. Sure, it might seem like it should be a given that a store for small people and parents has a bathroom for

going around? Me, too. As a result, you’re in luck that there is a UL review from me this month because I’ve been sick with a sick baby and husband for about a

small people and parents to use, but that isn’t the case a lot of the time. Once Upon a Child, however, obviously understands the need to

month now. But, when Once Upon a Child in

pee while on the go, and thank the heavens

Fairlawn says, “Stuff as much clothing as you can in a bag and give us $15 for it,” even a headache from hell and hauling a 21 pound

for that. They also seem to understand that a bathroom in such a store requires enough area to park a small carseat in addition to the toilet Much like the Bluelight EP, “Points Of View” is beautifully arranged, while mixing Jazz, Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul and tasteful hints of Rock. The

Bluelight’s song “Lenses” on his song “The View Between Part 2.” And

project covers a lot of ground

these are just a few of the flips that I DID catch.

stations outside of public restrooms. I was happy to see this one.

toilet paper, which got me to wondering how

which has a handicap accessible sign, is bare bones. The floor might have a gray epoxy paint. It looked shiny, but maybe it was wet all over, which is of course pleasant to think about.

(continued from page 35) listens to catch the keys Hr3 sampled from

the purell and go on your merry way. There is a trash can below the Purell dispenser, which seems like a nice extra step. And just think of all the times I’ve complained about extra Purell

a-pot, because you can at least breathe and it is not stifling hot. The women’s restroom,

First thing’s first, here: I sincerely appreciate the fact that Once Upon

in just under 30 minutes and doesn’t feel jumbled. Hr3 used almost every inch of the

Hr3, who’s been drumming since he was nine, has a drumming style that never overpowers the

universe Bluelight created and successfully built a solid body of work. For his first EP, “Points of View” is a

message musically or lyrically. On “Negative Tone,” the groove shows his range and the

hell of an introduction as the star of the show.

vibe is so infectious that you find yourself slightly pissed that it’s only a minute long. As a beatmaker, I’d like to think that the sound of “Sleep Re-Beat” and “Dusk and Dawn” pay homage to the house that J Dilla built.


and efficient look. Take a close look next time you see one, you’ll see what I mean. They just look nice.

different. It’s better than a port-

by Marissa Marangoni

by the delightful cold/ flu combo that’s been

by Emily Dressler and Marissa Marangoni

A lot of park bathrooms are prefab port-a-pots, and the facilities On what I imagine was a busy day at the park, at the Springfield Bog are no the restroom was well stocked with two rolls of

by Emily Dressler

wordly. It’s hard to say where it actually belongs. I hope Summit Metro Parks takes over the world soon.

Springing Streams

The light in the women’s room is a bit unnerving. It’s not just the creepy policedetective-room glow it casts, but rather that it

The restrooms at the Springfield Bog earn a whopping 3.5 out of 5, because location, location, location.

casts its glow on such a dismal picture. I really did have to pee, so I’m trying not to sound like a whiner about this bathroom. I’m very thankful

1400 Portage Line Rd. Springfield Township, Ohio 44312

for how great it was and for our parks.

Open Daily 6 am - 11 pm

If you’re looking for a sink, princess, just use

area. This has been a problem for me before in stores, but not here. I hauled that carseat right into the space, didn’t have to worry about the door smacking into my baby, and was able to get down to business without fearing toilet flush splashback onto his delicate skin. The one bathroom at OUC in Fairlawn is marked “Family.” I think that’s cool. Dudes who are dads or nannies or just dudes minding a kid

it comes to hauling a baby into a bathroom, I’ll take it happily. This facility gets a four out of five toilets for existing. If you need to get your kid some clothes for a cheaper price and contribute to making less waste on the earth by getting some of those pre-loved clothes, I recommend Once Upon a Child in Fairlawn. Not only will you be able to clothe your babe for less, you can change its

don’t have to feel uncomfortable going into this butt if it needs that while you’re shopping. Or, you know, pee yourself. Not pee yourself, pee. space ‘cause they’re welcome to do it. In the bathroom. And not in your pants. There’s a changing table, tiled floor, a sink and a toilet. Everything works. The walls are yellow and bright and make the space a little cheery in an otherwise dark hallway. Really, you can’t ask for much more. Some art on the walls would be nice, but plain Jane is what you get--and when (continued from page 16) mesh (I only had several finished pieces at the time). I then later connected with Courtney Cable who was helping with the curation process and sent along my finished series. She accepted my work and we quickly began to work out details from there. She is a dynamo. DO YOU KNOW WHERE (IN WHICH STOREFRONTS) YOUR ART WILL

3750 W Market St. Fairlawn, OH 44333 Open: M-F 10am - 8pm; Sat. 10am - 7pm; Sun. 10am - 5pm

Your Knight Arts Challenge winning project, #Overlooked features portraits of Akron women leaders set against backgrounds of underused or abandoned spaces, in particular old factories and empty storefronts. Will some of the photos on display with The Curated Storefront contain backdrops of the very same empty storefronts in which they're being displayed? (Or is that too meta? Haha.)

BE DISPLAYED? Yes. The work will be displayed in the O’Neils Building storefronts. In another coincidence, I proposed a series of exactly nine portraits as the space I initially

Not those exact spaces, but spaces very nearby. I did initially scout the O’Neils building interior but it was more modern than the spaces I was searching for. I photographed in the nearby

Stream/Buy “Points Of View” at:

scouted for the pieces were the nine windows in front of the O’Neils building. When Courtney approached me to ask which windows I had my

White Law building and the Savings and Loans

// Floco Torres is a recording artist and lover of words

eye on, they were already in talks to transform

building. They have more of the distressed look. I like to create a more layered and visually dynamic backdrop for the photographs.

so here we are.

that exact space. I got really lucky again.

// Photo of Baluki Kgosidialwa by Shane Wynn.

| THE Devil Strip / MARCH 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #3



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WKSU, an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, is committed to attaining excellence through the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. 16-UR-00310-126

Ohio Shakespeare Festival's Tess Burgler and Joe Pine are storytellers at heart, and that's why they believe that great theatre requires exactly three things: a script, the actors, and an audience. With these ingredients in the forefront of their storytelling, they help bring classic, inspiring, and accessible live theatre to Akron between their year-round work at Stan Hywet Hall and Greystone Halls. Find out why these two Shakespeare-nerds will be the first to tell you: don't read Shakespeare! Joe has been an Ohio Shakespeare Festival company member as an actor and carpenter for 8 years. With the addition of the Greystone theatre, OSF is finally able to make many of the “maybe someday” dreams of its company members a reality. For Joe, that dream was to provide educational outreach in the form of Shakespeare productions and workshops for students. He believes strongly that ShakesFEAR sets in when students are first exposed to Shakespeare in English class, sitting and reading Will’s scripts as novels. Imagine your favorite film or TV show and the joy you experience watching it. Now imagine yourself sitting quietly and reading the screenplay. Is there any chance that would be nearly as engaging? Probably not. It’s no different with these plays. Shakespeare’s text was never meant to be read–it was meant to be experienced live. Joe is passionate about bringing live, exciting Shakespeare into schools across Ohio.

Tess was a founding company member with OSF at age 14, playing the unforgettable Shakespearean role of Third-Musician-from-the-Left. Throughout the following 16 years, her love for the company grew into a lifetime passion. In that time, she has designed and managed the box office system, supported customer service operations, managed website and social media content, developed and directed (and sometimes written) the Greenshows, and appeared in many roles onstage.

Vol. 3, Issue 3 - March 2017  

Celebrate two years of The Devil Strip with us but not by flashing-back to all the cool stories we've published. As usual, we're looking at...

Vol. 3, Issue 3 - March 2017  

Celebrate two years of The Devil Strip with us but not by flashing-back to all the cool stories we've published. As usual, we're looking at...