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AGENDA 12 E. Exchange Street • 2nd Floor Akron, Ohio 44308 Publisher: Chris “No diggity” 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 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; Drew “is kind of a big deal in Haiti” Dawson; 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; Josy “is everywhere already” 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; Lia “Just One More Slice” Pietrolungo; Amanda "That Crazy Cat Lady" Sedlak-Hevener; Nicole “likes the way Akron sounds” Stempak; Bradley “The Early Warning System” Thorla; Floco “no wonder he’s a lover and a writer” Torres; Steve “is not a zombie” Van Auken; Patrick “Pattycakes” Worden; and The Shane Wynn Supremacy ————————————————————


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


The Devil’s Dozen


Showing off Akron to the Naysaying Out-of-Towners

THE PALETTE 12 In the (New) Studio with Rubber City Prints 13 Deterioration and Vibrancy at the

13 33



BOX Gallery 14 Super No Bueno at Akron’s Pop Culture Con



table of contents

19 What’s up with The Well? 21 Meet Cherokee. 22 She’s New and She’s Native


12 23 19

23 What Troy and Tavares Wish They Knew 24 State Lawmakers Tour Akron Breweries

THE DISH 28 The Wanderer Welcomes Spring


29 Lady Beer Drinker’s Favorite Beer Fest

THE SCENE 32 Six Akron Bands we Think You Should Know 33 Seeing Double with See Creatures 34 On Stage with the Sounds of Future Past, also Known as Stems



About the Cover

addition to her abstract paintings and prints, Lindsey

Spring in Ohio is all about color. From hot pink blossoming trees to lime green fresh leaves to that

Jo also crafts modern handwoven wall hangings and is currently building her illustration and pattern design portfolio. A selection of her woven works are currently available at the Canton Museum of Art

bright blue May sky—it’s all a much needed, vibrant reprieve from the grey days of winter. So when we

and at the Akron Municipal Building in the Mayor’s office. Lindsey Jo’s work will be for sale this summer

began our search for May’s cover, I knew it needed to be colorful. Then, one morning as I was scrolling through Instagram, I saw a pop of color that caught

at the Northside Market on Saturdays June 3, July 1 and August 5 and at Crafty Mart at Canton’s First Friday on July 7.

my attention, and of course it was the work of one of my friends whose attitude I believe personifies Spring: Lindsey Jo Scott.

The image on this month’s cover is cropped from a larger work called “The Thing About Chaos is

Lindsey Jo lives and works in Akron and describes herself as a “color obsessed artist and designer.” In

Finding the Calm.” It’s acrylic on canvas. Learn more about Lindsey Jo at — M. Sophie Franchi

MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5 /

THE Devil Strip |


Pub Notes>>>

Can local media change a city’s narrative? Why you don’t read the comments

It’s hard to appreciate the volume of phone calls that come into even a small-sized local newsroom. Most are complaints, often things outside your control, like whatever the President, city council or the weather just did. Some are plain weird. Several are just questions that should be Googled, like, “When is the game on TV tonight?” or, “What’s my zip code?” Callers share (yell) theories about which political party “the media” is helping. You may hear four compliments in a year, but if you’re

readers and viewers. Now consider how much coverage goes to crime, conflict, accidents, disasters and assorted tragedies. How long before you transfer those feelings about your audience over to your feelings about the community as a whole? In Georgia, it wasn’t a problem because I was deeply engaged. That was my balance. But when I was new here and still working in Cleveland, it wore me down. The toil of callers and commenters on how local journalists feel about the communities they cover is worth exploring, but I’d rather discuss the toil local coverage has

really lucky, a couple of sweet, lonely regulars will call when you’ve got downtime because they need an ear to bend.

on the way communities feel about themselves.

As a reporter, you field fewer calls because you’re working a beat or enterprising a story.

commenters with local news. This is how your perspective is affected by how much contact you have with the news. On one hand, it’s

Plus, the cranks and complainers are lost amongst the interactions you have with other human beings in person. That caller-to-real life ratio determines your opinion about the audience. Really, over the last few years, it’s the ratio of real people to callers and online commenters. As I moved from reporter to editor and then managment, my caller and commenter interaction increased bigly, which degraded my judgment about our

For a moment, trade places with the reporter in that scenario then swap callers and

fodder for conversation with our family, friends and peers — “Did you see that story?!” But it’s also because we’re subject to recency bias, which means you give your most recent experience more credibility. That can stretch over the years and bridge across generations, passed along as received wisdom. For example, the last time my dad saw a snake at the lake, it was on the left side of the dock.

Naturally, we were only allowed to swim on the right side of the dock because he never saw a snake there. If my daughter wanted to swim there now, I’d say, “Fine, but stay on the right side!” Pictured left: A t-shirt design by The Social

the same fate that features reporting — think human interest, arts, culture, community — has suffered. That means, in most places, the community’s mirror is cracked, warped and tarnished. Of course we want more investigative reporting and accountability journalism, but cities get into trouble because overall the coverage is out of balance with reality in the places where we live.

Dept., based in Akron

If your story is that your community is poorly In a more serious context, this is how neighborhoods

educated, crime-ridden and jobless, it will prevent you from seeing what’s really there. When we can’t see the good as readily as

become the bad part of town. Something awful happens there. You forget the dozens

we see the bad, we don’t commit and won’t engage. You move on. When Jack and Jim Knight took over the

of good, decent people who live there but hang on to the news. I’m guilty of it too. As soon as I heard about the

Beacon Journal, it was still early in The Great Depression and yet they staffed up at the paper, an approach they took at every paper they

stabbings at UT-Austin, I immediately crossed

bought. The private owners and corporations

it off the campus visit list for Maddy, who is currently in kindergarten.

who control the local outlets in Northeast Ohio are unlikely to follow the Knights’ lead.

This makes local news dangerous now. Its impact is lasting but its resources are lacking.

Right now, until other options are available, you should inoculate yourself against broken stories. The best way is to get involved. Do something.

Peyton Anderson, the publisher of the daily paper in my hometown, was once asked what he thought the paper’s role was. His answer: To be a mirror for the community.

We build each issue of this magazine to be a how-to guide for civic engagement. So, find something you love and connect to other folks who care about it too. They’ll keep you balanced.

Over the last two decades, newsroom staff positions have been nearly halved by layoffs, buyouts and attrition. That damages the quality but also the community connection outlets once enjoyed. The part we overlook is that hard news, though clipped, was spared

Oh, and don't read the comments.


GIVES AKRON EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS A PLATFORM words and photos by M. Sophie Franchi It's great to meet teenagers who care about

Each student had two minutes to speak in

social justice and current events, and it seems

front of an audience at Akron Summit County Public Library Main Branch. Their topics ranged

as though it's becoming more and more commonplace since the election. Today's youth wants to be sure they have a bright future that is welcoming and inclusive to people from all walks of life, of all genders, races, sexualities and ethnicities. On April 19, Akron Early College High School hosted Project Soapbox, which gave some of these forward-thinking students a chance to speak their minds in an effort to open minds and hearts to the issues facing America's youth.


from body shaming to dating violence to improvement of the education system. There were two awards: Judges' Choice, which went to 11th grader Krista Nisly for her speech which explained why the All Lives Matter movement isn't really a movement. Audience Choice went to 10th Grader Maria Finney for her speech on sexual abuse within the church. All the students did an amazing job and were awarded medals for their hard work.

| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

Pictured (clockwise from top): Winners Maria Finney (left) and Krista Nisly (right); Akron Early College High School students watch as their peers present; Maria Finney speaking on sexual abuse in the church; Krista Nisly speaking on #BLM vs #ALM movements


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



Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 7:30pm For one very special night, Jim Brickman will return to Canton for a benefit performance with the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Concert proceeds will support the Canton Symphony Orchestra Endowment – ensuring the future of Stark County’s flagship arts organization.


“Rarely has reality needed so much to be imagined.” ~~ Chris Marker

330.452.2094 USE CODE DEVILSTRIP FOR 10% OFF Serving up fresh cinema, seven days a week, right next to our friends at Akron Coffee Roasters.




the agenda








î ïå


OUR PICKS FOR THE 12 BEST CHOICES YOU CAN MAKE THIS MONTH Ongoing – June 10 µ Expressive Journey: The First 100 Days, Artists Respond // Nine Muses Art Gallery, 584 W Tuscarawas Ave, Barberton // Tired of reading political Facebook rants? Switch it up this month as “Artists Respond” will feature artists from Barberton and adjacent communities using art to share their responses to national events following the inauguration of Donald Trump. This event is sponsored by H.O.P.E. (Hope, Opportunity, Peace, Equality) in cooperation with Summit Artspace. Nine Muses is operated by Summit Artspace, the community arts center for Summit County and the surrounding area. Visit for more information.

Friday, May 5 å PechaKucha Akron, Volume VII

Saturday, May 6 é Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird

// John S Knight Center, 77 E Mill St // 10am5pm // The Oddmall is back in Akron. Oddmall is part art fair, part craft show, part comic con, part gaming festival, part cosplay extravaganza, part toy show, part antique show, part vintage fashion show, part geeksplosion, part music fest, part magic show and part various undefinable othernesses. If it’s fun, artsy, geeky, crafty or odd, chances are it can be found at Oddmall. It’s the Emporium of the Weird. Admission is free. For additional information visit

Sunday, May 7 è 2017 GCEF Annual Gathering: We Are ONE - Spring Forward // Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 2-5:30pm // Join the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation for its annual


Greystone Hall, 103 S High St, Akron // Enjoy complimentary refreshments and a cash bar as some of Akron’s most creative visionaries showcase their passion, ideologies, artwork and much more. Doors open at 7 pm and the show starts promptly at 8 pm, key word being “promptly,” as each speaker will present 20 slides that last for 20 seconds each. RSVP is required to ensure you have a seat. Tickets are $5. Limited free are tickets available. For more information, visit

ç Akron Rubberducks Pride Night

// Canal Park, 300 S Main St // 6:35 – 10pm Show your Pride and support the Akron Rubber Ducks this month. As if a ballgame isn’t entertaining enough, a George Michael tribute fireworks display is on the agenda as well. Grab a cold drink and lather that ball park dog in Akron’s delicious stadium mustard. Then it’s time to finally kick your feet back and roast in the sun – hopefully. The mission of Akron Pride is to unify and affirm the LGBTQ

gathering to celebrate the fund's impact in the community and recognize its most recent grant recipients. This year's featured speaker is Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, public education director for Freedom for All Americans, whose work in developing nondiscrimination messaging has helped build public support of

Forget Netflix, this is the real deal. Come get

at Seating is limited.

your learning on at Akron's first official TEDx Event. TEDx is a local self-organized event that

Tuesday, May 9 ë Blood on the Mountain - Akron Premiere // Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St // 7-10pm // Wasted Talent Media presents an exclusive Akron premiere of the nationally acclaimed film by Akronite Mari-Lynn Evans, “Blood on the Mountain.” “Blood on the Mountain” is an historical documentary investigating economic and environmental injustices that have resulted from industrial control in West Virginia. This special event includes a panel discussion of the film including the production team and guest appearances from individuals profiled in the film. The film will open with a special performance by Akron's

brings people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDxAkron, TEDTalks Video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connections in an intimate environment. The widely known quote: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room” is highly applicable to this event. Expand your knowledge, Akron! Get tickets at

ï Torchbearers 11th Annual AkRun & Crawl // Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail through Merriman Valley // 9pm // This afterdark glow 5K Race follows the scenic Ohio &

Erie Canal Towpath Trail through the Merriman Valley and is followed by a pub crawl through the Valley Bar District. Expect loads of music Saturday, May 13 and accessories. As if a beer at the finish line í The Mom and Pop Shoppe // Downtown isn’t motivation enough, the first 300 runners Akron, 11am-5pm // Celebrate Mother’s day will receive an AKRun & Crawl T-shirt. Early

own Angie Haze Project.

perusing downtown through miscellaneous craft shops. Thanks to Crafty Mart, 65 vendors will scatter across three venues in downtown Akron: Musica, Akron Art Museum and Summit Artspace. Of course food and drinks are in the mix. The event is free and open to the public.

registration is $35 for both the run and crawl or $20 for the crawl only. Prices will increase after May 10. Please support Torchbearers in one of their largest fundraisers of the year. For additional information and registration, please visit:

transgender Americans and defend against anti-LGBT legislation. A transgender man and Brown University alumnus, Heng-Lehtinen is an expert in LGBT policy and advocacy. Hors

ì The Big Big Mess Featuring McGlynn/

Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28 ‹ Nepali Applause: An Open Air

d'oeuvres and beverages will be served; cash

Culliton/Wilson // Annabell’ s Bar & Lounge,

Market/Performance Festival // Exchange

bar available. Tickets to the event are $40 for individuals or $75 for couples and can be purchased at or by calling 330-376-8522.

784 W Market St // 6:30-9pm // The Big Big Mess reading series is back in Annabell’s basement this month with a poetry-filled

House Akron, 760 Elma St // 12-6pm both days // Celebrate diversity in Akron at this multidisciplinary event that illustrates the

reading. Take this as an opportunity to enjoy Annabell’s nostalgic atmosphere exempt from the typical aromas emanating from body sweat

rich history of the New American population in North Hill. The festival will showcase works of art, dance and music, and includes

of numerous moshers. Alternatively, use this as an opportunity to mosh at a poetry reading because what’s Annabell’s without a mosh pit?

performances led by professional and New American artists to create a bilingual variety show. The festival will also feature an open air

This month’s featured readers include: Karyna McGlynn, Patrick Culliton and Nicole Wilson.

market in the parking lot behind the Exchange House. As a Knight Arts Challenge Winner of $10,000, Nepali Applause must raise a

ê Brewed: Coffee, Beer & Coffee Beer HiHO Brewing Company, 1707 Front St, Cuyahoga Falls // 1-2:30pm // HiHO Brewing Company and Akron Roasters combine for a special tasting event. Join Head Brewer Jon Hovan and Roast Master Albert Masco as they

share some of their best kept secrets in creating community and allies in celebrating our diversity a delicious beverage and demonstrate how the two can be perfectly paired. The event includes and recognizing our likeness. We will promote eight tastings, local German style baked goods acceptance of all individuals by defending and a special event glass to take home. Tickets human equality. Let’s rally together!


are $30 and must be purchased ahead of time

| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

For early bird tickets visit

Saturday, May 20 î TedxAkron 2017 //

matching $10,000 to implement the project. To donate visit

The Goodyear Theater, 1201 East Market St // 12-5pm //




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

Ongoing through June 10

blankets, crib sheets, newborn diapers, infant spoons, toddler spoons & forks, books, toys,

Saturday, May 6

roads are turning yellow this month. Get your tickets at

Expressive Journey: The First 100 Days, Artists Respond Nine Muses Art Gallery, 584 W Tuscarawas Ave, Barberton // “Artists Respond” will feature artists from Barberton

maternity tops & bottoms, nursing nighties, hygiene products, baby monitors and sippy cups.

Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird // John S Knight Center, 77 E Mill St // 10am-5pm // Oddmall is part art fair, part craft show, part comic con, part gaming festival, part cosplay

2017 GCEF Annual Gathering: We Are ONE Spring Forward Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 2-5:30pm // Join the Gay Community

and adjacent communities using art to share their responses to national events following the inauguration of Donald Trump. See Devil’s

Friday, May 5

extravaganza, part toy show, part antique show, Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation for its annual gathering to celebrate part vintage fashion show, part geeksplosion, the fund's impact in the community and part music fest, part magic show and part recognize its most recent grant recipients. See various undefinable othernesses. See Devil’s


Thursday, May 4 Blu Jazz Big Band Residency: “Exploring Ellington” Blu Jazz +, 47 E Market St // 7-11pm // Come out for a very special edition of the Blue Jazz big band residency – two groups plus an internationally renowned special guest trumpeter, Dominick Farinacci. Get your tickets today at Gemini Syndrome The Empire Concert Club & Bar, 1305 E Tallmadge Ave // 8pm-1am Tickets: $15 adv/ $18 door // Special guests include: Bones of Giants, Devilstrip and Mettal Maffia.

College Night Rock Mill Climbing, Yoga & Fitness, 677 Carroll St // 4-10pm // Pregame on an entirely new level! Take a break from the books on the first Friday of each month and climb the stress away. Admission is $10 including rentals (must have valid college ID). PechaKucha Akron, Volume VII Greystone Hall, 103 S High St, Akron // Enjoy complimentary refreshments and a cash bar as some of Akron’s most creative visionaries showcase their passion, ideologies, artwork and much more. See Devil’s Dozen. pechakucha. org/cities/akron


Devil’s Dozen.

“This is Trash” Opening Reception

Monday, May 8

22 High Street Gallery, 22 N High St // 5-9pm // “This is Trash” features a new series of large scale woodcuts by emerging artist Chad Uehlein. Graduating from The University of Akron’s Myers School of Art this Spring with a BFA in Printmaking, Uehlein exhibits his own humorous take on motivational posters. Rather than uplift, “This is Trash” is upfront and honest, telling the viewer exactly what to do and how to feel. Check it out May 1 through May 13.

“Chicago” E.J. Thomas Hall and UA Events, 198 Hill St // 7:30pm // Broadway visits The University of Akron. Grab your tickets at

9pm-2am // You can expect more Cosby sweaters than a thrift store at this show.

thermometers, sample size lotions, baby

Just Outside Akron

Blood on the Mountain - Akron Premiere The Admirables Present: The High Street Hop High St. Hop House, 20 N High St //

402 // Please consider supporting Pregnancy Solutions & Services as they could use your assistance. Items needed: summer clothing for boys & girls NB-3years , shoes NB-size 5, socks NB-24 months, winter mittens, infant

Akron Rubberducks Pride Night Canal Park, 300 S Main St // 6:35-10pm // Show your Pride and support the Akron Rubber Ducks

7:30-11pm // Music and Brews. Nuff said! $5 cover.

this month. As if a ballgame isn’t entertaining enough, a George Michael tribute fireworks display is on the agenda as well! See Devil’s Dozen.

Friday, May 5-Sunday, May 7

Like Tyrants w/ Special Guests Musica, E Market St // 9pm-12am // Tickets: $10

Summit County Fairgrounds 229 E Howe Rd, Tallmadge // 10am-4pm // Ohio Makers Market is a unique craft and vendor show,

Jane’s Walk Akron Multiple Times & Locations // Jane’s Walk is a series of citizenled neighborhood walking tours. Jane’s Walk

adv/$12 door // Special guests include Tropic Bombs, Darling Waste and Hell & Highwater

inspired by three small-shop Mamas. This event

cultivates a broad understanding of how

features local makers, vendors, food trucks, live music,and much much more. ohiomakersmkt

cities develop, function, and thrive. It works to advance walkable neighborhoods, increase urban literacy, and promote neighborhood cohesion, civic engagement and leadership.

Sunday, May 7

Participating neighborhoods include Middlebury, Wallhaven, Highland Square, West Akron (Copley Road), Downtown Akron,

Cuyahoga Falls // 1-2:30pm // HiHO Brewing Company and Akron Roasters combine for a special tasting event. See Devil’s Dozen.


Cascade Valley, and North Hill. Visit janeswalk. org/united-states/akron-oh to learn more, including exact dates, times, locations, and themes. Interested in leading a walk? Visit the website to sign up!

Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St // 7-10pm // Wasted Talent Media presents an exclusive Akron premiere of the nationally acclaimed film by Akronite Mari-Lynn Evans, “Blood on the Mountain.” See Devil’s Dozen.

Thursday, May 11

Saturday, May 6

Brewed: Coffee, Beer & Coffee Beer HiHO Brewing Company, 1707 Front St,

Reiki Flow w/ Special Musical Guest The Well Community Development Corporation, 647 E Market Street // 7-8:30pm // Class is $10. Entrance is restricted after 7:10 pm, so be on time, peeps.

Tuesday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 10th Golden Bear, Automatic Orchids, Birthday Noose Thursday’s Lounge, 306 E Exchange St

MOM’s Group – PSS Baby Shower Maranatha Bible Church, 1424 Killian Rd, Room

Rooted Akron Be Still: A Harmonious Yoga

May Neighborhood Town Hall Innes Community Learning Center, 1999 East Ave

Sunday, May 7

// 6-7:15pm // Please join Mayor Horrigan as he discusses his vision for Akron and responds to questions and concerns from community members. If you are unable to attend, the Town Hall will also be livestreaming from their Facebook page for others to participate and post questions online. This might be your first and last opportunity to troll the mayor of Akron

“The Wizard of Oz” Presented By Ballet Theatre of Ohio Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St // 2-5pm // Akron’s nostalgic brick

live on Facebook.

MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5 /

(continued on page 8)

THE Devil Strip |


agenda (continued from page 7)

Friday, May 12

Food Truck Fridays Frenzy Child Guidance & Family Solutions, 18 N Forge St // 4-8pm

reading series is back in Annabell’s basement this month. See Devil’s Dozen. bigbigmess.

project “Seven Summers.” Shaun Martin has

Friday, May 19

Hammond and many more.

Dread Engine The Vortex, 1167 Brittain Rd //

Monday, May 22

7:30pm // Special guests include: In the Wake, DAYOLDHATE, In a Broken World and Twysted Asylum. Tickets are $10.

// Heck yes: Local food trucks, vendors and live music! Participating trucks and vendors TedxAkron 2017 The Goodyear Theater, 1201 will donate a portion of their earnings to Child Guidance & Family Solutions. Come out and get East Market St // 12-5pm // Forget Netflix, this is the real deal. Come get your learning your first sunburn of the year. on at Akron's first official TEDx Event! TEDx is a local self-organized event that brings people together to share a TED-like experience. See The Mom and Pop Shoppe Downtown Devil’s Dozen.

Saturday, May 20

Saturday, May 13

Akron 11am-5pm // Celebrate Mother’s day perusing downtown through miscellaneous craft shops. Thanks to Crafty Mart, 65 vendors

Torchbearers 11th Annual AkRun & Crawl

will scatter across three venues in downtown Akron: Musica, Akron Art Museum and Summit Artspace. Of course food and drinks are in the mix. The event is free and open to the public.

glow 5K Race follows the scenic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail through the Merriman

For early bird tickets visit

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail through Merriman Valley // 9pm // This after-dark

been playing, creating and collaborating for most of his life with artists such as Kirk Franklin, Snarky Puppy, Erykah Badu, Chaka Kahn, Fred

Mother’s Day 5K 2017 Munroe Falls Metro Park, 521 S River Rd, Munroe Falls // 8am // Get Ma a new pair of

dinner. Visit for more details.

Mother’s Day Brunch Tangier Event & Entertainment Center, 532 W Market St // 10:30am-3pm // Moms deserve

Friday, May 26

a fancy brunch. Adults: $27/Children: $13.99

Bones of Giants EP Release Party The Empire Concert Club & Bar, 1305 E Tallmadge Ave // 8pm-1am // Forget hitting the club. Rock out on your Friday night. Ticket prices TBA.

Saturday, May 27

Mother’s Day Bend, Brunch & Brew Lock 15 Brewing Company, 21 W North St // 10am-12:30pm // Bend: Yoga class suitable for all levels (mats not required); Brunch: Prepared by Rix Bistro; Brew: Sampling four of

Valley and is followed by a pub crawl through the Valley Bar District. See Devil’s Dozen. Juke Joint 2.0 The Rialto Theatre, 1000 Kenmore Blvd // 9pm // Get ready for the New Urban Hang Suite experience. Sight Sound & Word is hosting a night of old school R&B, Souls, House, Hip Hop and more. Come out for a night to unwind, get loose and...DANCE. DJ Roger Riddle and DJ Vinnie G will be setting

Sunday, May 14

running shoes and lace up for the 6th Annual Sibling Revelry Beer Dinner w/ Crave Crave, Mother’s Day 5K hosted by the Summit Metro 57 E Market St // 6-8pm // Sibling Revelry and Parks Foundation. Crave will team up to host a five-course beer

Lock 15 Brewing Co.’s craft beers. Tickets: $40

DIY Beeswax Candle with Urban Buzz Summit Artspace, 140 E Market St // 2-4pm // Get your candle making on in this workshop. Enjoy the scent of lavender & mint as you pour your own oils and hot Ohio beeswax into a 4 oz tin. For tickets visit

Mother’s Day

Color Vibe 5K Downtown Akron, 200 S main St // 9am // Brighten up Akron! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to local charities. Register at

Mother’s Day Tea Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 11am3pm // Mimosas, lunch, tea and full access to the galleries & gardens. Members $25/Nonmembers $35.

the vibe. Tickets are $7 and available through Eventbrite.

Sunday, May 21 DIY Block Prints Summit Artspace, 140 E Rubber City Pop Culture Fest The Goodyear Theater, 1201 E Market St // 10am-6pm

Market St // 11:30am-1:30pm // Akron educator and self-proclaimed craft dude David Pluck invites you to explore the printing and design process by creating crafty prints using the block print method. Tickets at

// Comics, toys, games, music – celebrate everything pop culture!

Mom & Me Yoga Workshop One Love Yoga Boutique, 295 Water St, Suite 108, Kent // 1-2pm // Feel better about pigging out at brunch and head to the One

Shaun Martin at BLU Jazz+ BLU Jazz+, 47

E Market St // 6-9pm // Seven-time Grammy award winning gospel and jazz pianist and The Big Big Mess Featuring McGlynn/ Culliton/Wilson Annabell’ s Bar & Lounge, 784 producer, Shaun Martin, will make his BLU W Market St // 6:30-9pm // The Big Big Mess Jazz+ debut with his very own high-energy

Taylor Carano/Brothers Band/Joe Risdon Musica, 51 E Market St // 9pm-12am // Tickets: $8 adv/$10 door // Amazing what $10 can get you in Akron.

Love Yoga Boutique to burn some calories. This class is for kids ages 4-12 and their moms. Workshop Price: Mom $10/kid $5

SOUTH ST MINISTRIES - SO MUCH SPRING! South St Ministries - So Much Spring! 130 W South St, Akron, OH 44311 // There is a lot happening at South Street Ministries this season. From Faithful Servant clinics to South Street Studio

the Front Porch Cafe for breakfast or lunch,

Summer will be here before you know it.

Monday through Friday, 7 am - 3 pm.

Here are the two LARGEST ministry needs over the summer:

meals, we will share the present and future ways to get involved with South Street Ministries. DONATE TO SOUTH STREET MINISTRIES South Street Studio needs meals!

Bike Shop will begin on June 5 and run

HOW TO GET INVOLVED Support: This is a growing year for the

Girls Studio is a nine week program for middle school/high school Summit Lake

every Monday and Wednesday, 6 - 8 pm through the summer. Summer volunteers

ministers of the South Street staff. Please consider a monthly gift to support and stabilize our ongoing ministry in Summit

girls on Monday nights from 6:15 - 8:30 at the Front Porch Café. The program starts on Monday, March 27 and runs through

should be able to commit (as best as possible) to coming one day a week throughout the summer.

Lake and South Akron.

May 29. Sign up to prepare and bring a meal for the teens and mentors. Email Amber at

Summer Camp will begin on June 19 and run Monday through Thursday from 3 pm

Front Porch Cafe: The easiest way to be a part of the South Street family is to visit


| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

to 5 pm for nine weeks.


the agenda


words and photos by Lindsey Jo Scott


from the vendors. “Where else can you shop, drink coffee, listen to music, and all within a

don’t know about you, but when I have out-of-town friends come to visit, I am

National Park?” she said.

always eager to show off Akron in all her glory. Recently, we hosted my brother and his girlfriend who came to town for a family


We wandered from booth to booth for a bit, admiring the abundance of asparagus, broccoli,

wedding celebration. Despite the fact that, like me, my brother grew up in Northeast Ohio, he has since moved out of the state and has come to dislike the area, based solely on principle, I’m sure. The time had come to impress him and I was up for the challenge to show them the real Akron—beautiful, creative, witty—just like any metropolis, but with a unique Akron flavor all her own. I had a handful of favorite spots in mind, but lucky for me, the weekend was full of awesome

spinach, and ramps, among other items, stopping along the way to eye gluten free pastries, try samples and take in the smell of coffee brewing. After finalizing our selections, we made our way through the windy roads along the towpath and back to our home. The visit to the Farmer’s Market was everything I had hoped it would be and a great way to honor Earth Day and show off some of the beautiful parks and people of Akron. Later in the day, we made our way to the North side of town to Bluff Blue Door Gallery to celebrate National Poetry Month with a reading

Akron events, too full, in fact, that we could organized by Poetry in Akron. We gathered not attend them all. For starters, we visited the grand opening of the Countryside Conservancy’s together in the eclectic backyard space, greeted with the soft smoky scent of bonfire wafting, Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow. The Countryside Conservancy Market opened two weeks early this year and will continue through October 28. The market is held every Saturday

and cookies and coffee waiting on the picnic table. The hilarious Chad Weaver emceed the event, and had us laughing all night. As we all

from 9 am to noon at Howe Meadow located at 4040 Riverview Road. Guests to future markets can anticipate a full market with 70

huddled together, listening to the words and rhymes and brave, honest stories of the six poets and authors who shared, I felt enlivened and even more in love with Akron. Thank you to Abi

vendors including some of my favorites, Ms. Julie’s Kitchen, Popsmith, Hattie Larlham, Akron Coffee Roasters, Morningside Farm, Brighton

Bechtel, Andrew Wehmann, Aumaine Gruich, AKeemjamal Rollins, Sarah Dravec, and Bekey Hewit, for sharing and reading your work.

Wool & Honey, and more. The Farmers’ Market returns to Highland Square on Thursdays from 4 Overlooking the construction and city horizon, pm to 7 pm beginning May 18. we watched the sky turn from pale blue to gray to pink and orange and I remembered all at Pictured from top left: Farmers Market and Morningside Farms; Poetry Reading; Friends from out once that truly, it is the people, not the places, of town; Poetry Reading that make a city a home. I had set out to show off Akron to my brother, hoping to convince him The morning was brisk, but the sky warm and of her stature in places and events, but Akron all bright, and upon our arrival, we were greeted with the sweet smells of fresh produce and

along has been showing off to me. The weird, wonderful, creative, compassionate, intelligent

the sounds of happy horns making music. A kind woman welcomed us and gave a brief introduction about the market, explaining how all of the produce and goods sold come directly

folks of Akron are, after all, what I’m always eager for my out-of-town guests to see.

Break out your scrunchies and parachute pants! Join us June 17 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. for our 80s-themed Brew at the Zoo event! Buy tickets now at



MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5 /

THE Devil Strip |


Jodi Leigh Berg


Leading with Passion Wednesday, May 24, Tangier Doors open at 11 am for Meet the CEO Register at by May 17 co-hosted by:

presenting partner:

print partner:

media partners:

Free AAA Membership Renewal Sprint will pay for your annual AAA membership renewal fee for as long as you remain a Sprint customer. Free AAA Classic or Basic membership. Renewal reqs. 1 active phone line of svc, AAA member number, and req. reg. at w/in 30 days of phone activ.

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The Palette



YUGE student-powered, ‘Kaleidoscope’ Art Bomb goes up downtown Organizers to host big reveal throwdown on May 11


or this “colossal” public art project, the University of Akron’s Art Bomb Brigade

The Brigade and Echogen want more than just to pretty up the side of a building. They aim

Brigade, which has already installed murals at the Downtown Laundromat, Chill and the To learn more about the Art Bomb Brigade, visit,

looked inward for the talent to develop the 2,400 square foot mural they’re installing at Echogen Power Systems. In all, nearly two dozen Myers School of Art students worked

to help redefine the restaurant and bar district of downtown Akron that’s home to Diamond Deli, 69 Taps, Davinici’s, Bricco, Woody’s and Cilantro.

and while you’re at it, consider supporting the Brigade by texting “ArtBomb” to 41444.

with art educators and administrators to design the enormous mural going up at the

Akron Sustainer, will work through early May on the mural before hosting an unveiling party on Thursday, May 11, from 5 pm to 9 pm, featuring live music by Red Rose Panic and local eats from Square Scul-

“We believe it is important be an active

lery, Western Fruit Basket and Akron

corner of Exchange and Water Street on Lock 1.

participant in our community and to support the development and celebration of the arts, whenever possible,” Philip Brennan, CEO of

Coffee Roasters, as well as area arts, craft and clothing vendors.

“I am so excited to lead my peers in creating a prominent landmark for our city,” says Lindsey Mitchel, whose design is part of the mural.

Echogen, says.

For more info about Echogen, go to For details about the Myers School of Art, check out uak-


The Knight Arts Challenge-winning Art Bomb

MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5 /

THE Devil Strip |


the palette

Hive Mind Hosts Curated Set of Experimental Musicians, Visual Artists


by Brittany Nader

The beauty of DIY spaces, especially those thriving venues in Akron, is the guarantee that attendees will share a blended experience of diverse, experimental sounds and visuals on any given night.

Inside the Artist's Studio

Boaz Bair, a founding member of Hive Mind, has curated an event sure to live up to that expectation and yet surpass any

Rubber City Prints settles into its new home

preconceived notions about what a DIY show in Akron might be like. This particular

by Sam DePaul


n the far-stretched main room of a West Hill

house, there is a fireplace supporting mason jars filled with well-loved brushes stained of paint, as well as piece after print made by local artists from all paths and inspirations. Beside the fireplace sits the current live-in artist, Veronica Ceci, casually working on her next project: Un-America. She’s preparing multiple cutouts in the shape of our country which will soon complete a puzzle. On one side, Akronites will draw or design something they find joyful about living in our country, and on the other side, something they find challenging. This is Rubber City Prints (RCP), a local printmaking studio run by Krista Rickert and Pamela Testa, two Akronites who hope the studio will help keep recently graduated printmakers and artists in the area. Upon outgrowing the ground of Summit Art Space, RCP moved to 467 West Market Street, where they found a house to convert into a space for people to create, workshop and buy pieces by Akronite printmakers.

brought to life,” Rickert says. Collected, with a slight buzz in her eye, Rickert explains what

RCP is all about. Printmaking is a process where ink is transferred from a matrix or plate to a piece of paper with the aide of pressure. The image is created on a matrix, usually of wood, metal or stone, and can then be inked many times to print many impressions of the same image. And Rickert, among other local artists, wanders a house they renovated for artists to use with unlimited hours, as she rightfully claims the best time for

to such a startup, and now here she is, adorned in her denim apron with a precise excitement to share what she does as an Akron artist. Pictured right: Veronica Ceci hangs a stencil she cut. Photos


Pictured above: Krista Rickert prepares to make a print. Pictured

right: Krista Rickert works on the details for her print. Photos by M. Sophie Franchi

Rickert is convinced that Akron is just the right location for an artist the thrive. “Akron loves to celebrate and knows how to party,” Rickert says. “Don’t we Akron? It’s a

tend to have private studios where they work. Printmakers share space in a shop.”

start their own lives,” she says. “We noticed Akron artists did not have access to the facilities

hunk of steel to others, but printmakers use this gadget to see how an image is coming along while still

the musicians he has invited to the West Exchange Street venue Thursday, May 25. Hive Mind will host Chicago-based experimental rock trio Mako Sica, along with Youngstown’s NRML GRL — a.k.a. Alyssa D’Amico, a video collage performer and live mixing artist — who will enact an interactive performance art set. While D’Amico will present a special installation that allows participants to share their own emotions and have a personal, custom song created from those expressed feelings, Mako Sica will deliver an electrifying contrast of booming sounds and deliberate negative space that will invite the listener to be part of the music in an unexpected way.

place people want to be.”

“Printmaking tends to be a communal process because of the nature of the studio,” Rickert says. “Painters, sculptors, illustrators, etc.

required to use printmaking in art—it just makes sense that we would want to be located where such action is.”

Filling out the set are two Akron acts: Gov Naim, who incorporates video and audio elements from TV and movies into their performance, as well as pop-alternative trio Glenn Lazear, consisting of prolific local players Bob Ethington, Jacob Trombetta and Mike Wilkinson, aptly described as “middlemanagement-collar rock.” The show starts at 8 pm with a $5 to $10 suggested donation accepted at the door.

Quite fitting for the city we live in, RCP isn’t just a studio or fixed up house. It’s a home. It isn’t just a temporary space for artists such as Veronica. It’s welcoming and ever-changing—a mark of community in itself.

in process. “The press weighs about 200 pounds, so you

definitely will get a great upper body workout using it,” Rickert says. “I think many people would agree,

by M. Sophie Franchi

“I saw a void that needed filled within the organization and noticed that Rubber City Prints’ mission was my dream

This is a sentiment that can resonate with and inspire any artist visiting RCP.

Rickert believes that Akron has a lot of potential, but emphasizes that we need to keep fine art graduates here. “There is a lot of struggle once students get out of school and

But the most enticing–and maybe unexpected– aspect of RCP is the melding of modern minds of her start with the studio. After she graduated with ancient tools and techniques. A few from Kent State University in 2013 with a BA in steps from the side door to the house rests an 1800’s proof press—a mere Printmaking (as well as a felt she had a lot to offer

saves and romanticizes these antique tools and techniques.”

an artist’s inspiration is night.

“It has been a whirlwind of excitement and changes,” says Executive Director Krista Rickert

BA in Psychology), Rickert

event will grant the audience a more significant role in the performance with

including RCP members, that artists are continually using [antique] equipment or forgotten processes. It somehow

| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

Rubber City Prints 467 West Market Street 330-269-9837 Anyone interested in renting the Artist Caretaker room may apply through email at

Hive Mind • 375 W Exchange St WWW.THEDEVILSTRIP.COM

the palette

Stories told through vibrant photography at The BOX Gallery

sts of l

by Josy Jones



f you’re thinking about going to see the exhibit currently up at the BOX Gallery, prepare to travel to another country and

ose tee


up y Y cular

h st y 25.

g with ssa d live active ll s ns and

from ll ming hat music

Gov io r e

local a and ddle-




and a cup of iced coffee—during the steps of their decaying process. After talking to the artist, I realized that the works were much more

explore the human condition. BOX Gallery is showing Aimee Lambes’ “Cuba: An Education” and Shannon Star’s “Vibrant Deterioration.”

I had carried mine into the exhibit hall. Her opportunity turned into a learning experience where she says she met “really amazing people

personal than they originally seemed. They are what I’ve been calling metaphoric self-portraits; instead of taking pictures of herself, the artist

I thought it was a cool choice to put these two exhibits together. They complimented

in a really amazing place.” Those who see the can use non-human objects to reflect on exhibit will get to experience the vibrancy of the her emotions.

one another very well. Although the exhibits share two strong themes—deterioration and

culture, gain a new perspective on Cuba and be challenged to reexamine their own values all

vibrancy—they were otherwise completely unalike and told two very separate stories.

at once.

As humans, we cope with sadness and negative

The deterioration in Star’s exhibit “Vibrant

thoughts in complex ways, such as pretending that nothing’s wrong. The sadder you are on the inside, the more jubilant you may appear

The deterioration in Lambes’ exhibit “Cuba An Education” is seen in the infrastructure of Havana, Cuba. Many of the buildings in Lambes’ photographs reveal the decay of

Deterioration” is much more literal than in Lambes’ exhibit. In fact, Star’s exhibit literally examines objects as they decay. Like Lambes’, Star’s photographs explore vibrancy and its

on the outside to mask your true emotions. Star uses color to reflect the vibrant masks some may use to hide the fact that they are breaking down on the inside. The more you deteriorate

a city that once thrived. The once beautiful buildings in these photographs are kissed with fading blues, pinks and yellows and are now

connection to the human condition. The exhibit featured three subjects—a match, a flower

mentally, the more vibrant you appear to (continued on page 36)

embellished with rust, peeling paint and holes in walls and ceilings. The deterioration was in nearly every picture, and yet it was not the first thing I noticed. Against the decaying backdrop, a love for life shouts from these pictures. The oldest car in Cuba is from 1958. Lambes explains that “…there’s not really any technology” in Cuba; they were just starting to get the internet a year ago. Yet, I looked at the people in these photographs and saw people dancing and smiling. They have everything they need; they have each other. Friends, family, and joy are bursting at the seams of their culture despite the deteriorating infrastructure and the lack of technology. “Cuba: An Education” is a fitting title for the exhibit. I remember looking at some of the

United Way’s Bold Goals are a new, more targeted approach to solving the problems facing Greater Akron and will guide United Way’s mission across Summit County in the coming years. GoAl 1: GoAl 2:

10 oor.


pictures and arrogantly thinking, “how are they so happy?” Lambes admittedly carried her American arrogance into Cuba, just as

GoAl 3: GoAl 4:

65% of APS third-graders reading at or above grade level (Currently at 38%) 90% of APS high-schoolers graduating in 4 years, with 60% college/ career ready (Currently at 75% and 21% respectively) Financially empower* 11,000 people (Currently 42,000 people in Akron are considered to be “working poor”)

*With the skills, knowledge and resources to budget and save, manage debt, build credit and access banking services

Reduce ER Visits due to drug overdoses to 1000 (Currently at 2,400 annually)

Ultimately, United Way of Summit County envisions a future where EVERYONE has the tools to be financially empowered, where every student has the skills to succeed in the classroom and beyond and where no family is devastated by addiction. As we work toward the future, these Bold Goals for 2025 will serve as concrete benchmarks for our success and hold us accountable to our community.


Get involved At UWSUmmit.orG


volUnteer. AdvoCAte. Give.

MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5 /

THE Devil Strip |


the palette

Super No Bueno

Rubber City Pop Culture Fest is all about that nerd life by Ted Zep,

“Empire Strikes Back” was It doesn’t take long to figure out that Dan Gorman is a passionate guy. Whether it is comic released. My favorite movie when I was 5-years-old was books, movies or television, he clearly has the “Jaws.” I became a huge fan “bug” that afflicts those rife with an insatiable of the comic strip “Garfield” appetite for popular culture. And like anyone around that same time, and who fervently loves something, he wants to contribute. That’s why Gorman and his partner, Jason Miller, are hosting Rubber City Pop Culture Fest,

I thought I might become a syndicated cartoonist. When I was 12-years-old, I discovered comic books,

on the scale we envisioned. And then an opportunity presented itself to us.

One of our business associates was involved with the Rubber City Sports Group. They were looking for events to run in the East End Facility, and after

success. We have known many of the guests, vendors, and exhibitors for many years. As a first-time event, what experience do you hope RCPCF delivers for attendees? Jason and I hope that the show provides a convention experience that is up-tempo, exciting, and fun from the second it opens to the second it closes. We want you to have fun meeting and supporting the artists,

May 26-28, at Goodyear Hall (1201 Ohio 18, Akron, OH, 44305).

and the rest, as they say, is history.

Featuring actors Stephen Vinning and Tom Proctor of “The Walking Dead,” artists Matt Horak and Shawn Cos, and local author/pop culture authority Joanna Wilson (just to name

What is the origin of the idea for Rubber City Pop Culture Fest (RCPCF)? How long have you and your partner been working on it?

host our event there. So we set to work, re-branded our event to make it more fan and family friendly, and Rubber City Pop Culture Fest was born.

every Memorial Day Weekend for years to come — and fan participation will go a long way in making that happen. We want this to be YOUR pop culture convention, and a destination for

a few), the event is shaping up to be both an interactive and entertaining weekend. Vendors such as EarthQuaker Devices, Nerdy Taco,

Way back in the late-1990s, my partner Jason Miller and I had a shared dream about running a bonafide comic book convention in Akron.

RCPCF organizers have taken a broad approach to the genres represented in the

you each and every year. We can't wait to see everyone at the First Annual Rubber City Pop Culture Fest!

Defunct FX, Inked Earth and Blimp City Jewelry and Gifts will be on hand for conventioneers’ convenience.

We were going to call it "Rubber City Comicon: The Greatest Show in Con-Dom." However, the timing and the opportunity never really presented itself for us to be able to run the

show. Horror, comic books, and television are each prominent. What were the criteria for selecting guests? To be honest, guest selection was based on our

The Devil Strip: My first love as a child was professional wrestling. What was your entry point into the vast ocean of pop culture fandom? Daniel Gorman: I have been a fan of science fiction from the earliest time I can remember. I loved watching “The Hulk,” “Wonder Woman,” “Buck Rogers” and “Battlestar

event we really wanted to run. Flash forward 15 years, and the guys behind Akron Comicon beat us to the punch. We immediately got behind their show and wanted to help them realize the vision THEY had for a real convention for the city. The success of Akron Comicon also proved to us that our vision wasn't that off-base, and that the city

collective network of friends and celebrities we had worked with over the last 20 years. As an artist who has been exhibiting in Artist Alleys around the country since 2006, I had built a pretty solid network of talent who I either had worked with, worked for, or had become friends with through the course of business. Jason has also built a diverse network, so together we had a number of friends we could

could--and would--support a pop culture event

count on to help us make this convention a

Galactica” on television when I was very little. I fell in love with “Star Wars” around the time

taking one look at the place we knew we could

vendors, and guests. We want every attendee to participate in the events and leave wanting more. We want this event to be a celebration

Visit for event and ticket information.


an Interview with filmmakers Mari-Lynn Evans and Jordan Freeman by Ted Zep //NOTE: This interview has been excerpted. The full version is online at

Mari-Lynn Evans, an Akron native, and Jordan Freeman are two such voices. “Blood on the Mountain,” the filmmakers’ recent documentary effort, focuses on political and ethical corruption in West Virginia’s coal industry. Told with passion and unflinching

honesty, the duo are attempting to make a


he United States is many things, but fair is always not one of them. For all the dreams

difference. It debuts locally at the Akron Civic Theatre on May 9 at 7 pm, hosted by Wasted

Talent Media, with a performance by the Angie

Mari-Lynn Evans: I grew up in West Virginia. After our farm was taken by the government, it

was always bittersweet to go back there. I never TZ: Coming off a particularly charged imagined that I, too, would hear the siren's call election season, the country feels more of home. I never imagined being a documentary vocal and active than it has in decades. filmmaker. I became one to tell the story of With your documentary debuting my own people who have never been fairly on Netflix this month, it will receive represented in the media. "The Appalachians" unprecedented exposure. How can those was my first documentary, followed by who are touched and inspired by the film "Coal Country," which supported a national begin to participate? movement to end MTR. In many ways, I see my own life unveiled through my documentaries.

JF: There are two major ways to participate:

Jordan Freeman: My relationship is

inside and outside the coalfields. Outside Appalachia, we believe strongly that we have to hold on to unions, and resist fascism and

realized in the Land of Opportunity, civil rights are still being squashed, liberties are still being trampled and virtues are still being

Haze Project. The event is free but requires a ticket. Ticket information can be found at

compromised. While the planet is exploited for profit, the lives and livelihoods of workers are endangered. It takes brave, loud voices to

Ted Zep: How would you describe your relationship with the Appalachian region

complicated. It’s the best and the worst there. It is a place full of slow quiet suffering, industrial death at the hands of indifferent, and distant

combat the storm.

of the United States?

corporations. It’s also a place of incredible


| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

beauty and peace.

corporate control in our communities. The forces at play in the coalfields are present (continued on page 36)


Top: Andy Warhol, Electric Chairs, 1971, screenprints on paper, 35 1/2 x 47 7/8 in. (each) Collection of the Akron Art Museum. Gift of Peter M. Brant; Middle: Karl Blossfeldt, Wundegarten Der Natur (Magic Garden of Nature), 1932, photogravures, 11 x 8 1/2 in. (each) Collection of the Akron Art Museum. Museum Acquisition Fund; Bottom: Robert Indiana, Numbers, 1968, screenprints on paper, 25 1/2 x 19 3/4 in. (each) Collection of the Akron Art Museum. Museum Acquisition Fund


AKRON ART MUSEUM • Opening Party: Friday, June 2 • 7:30 pm Artists sometimes create works of art that are meant to be viewed as isolated, individual masterpieces. They also make artwork with Serial Intent. While they stand alone as works of art, individuals within a series also consciously relate to one another. Together they express additional meaning or concepts that are not apparent in any single component. Serial Intent presents ten of Andy Warhol’s Electric Chair prints as well as groupings from several print, drawing and photography series held in the Akron Art Museum collection. Artists include Robert Indiana, Jacob Lawrence, Sol LeWitt, Michael Loderstedt, Craig Lucas and Karl Blossfeldt, among others. Serial Intent is organized by the Akron Art Museum.











the palette

|| The Black Box ||

I DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T LIKE SHAKESPEARE: A month of Shakespeare with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival by Josy Jones


’ll be honest with you, friend. I don’t care if you like Shakespeare. In fact, if you don’t

Student Spotlight Jonathan Wlodarski Is Weird by Claude Christensen Jonathan Wlodarski writes what he terms “reality ±1 fiction.”

Pictured above: Headshot of NEOMFA student Jonathan Wlodarski. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Wlodarski)

Wlodarski is a second-year graduate student studying creative writing in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program (NEOMFA). He hails from Hubbard, a suburb of Youngstown, and has authored such short stories as “Dead Day” and the Pushcartnominated “The Cake.” In Wlodarski’s “reality ±1 fiction” a commonplace setting is altered to include something fantastical, something truly and unsettlingly weird. Drawing from his own personal experiences, Wlodarski can twist the idea of a funeral cake into a story about an obsessive, murder-inciting addiction, and the image of a “blurry person” into an unsettling dating-app chat that tests the very notion of individuality.

Wlodarski chose the NEOMFA program in order to study with his mentor, published author and faculty member Christopher Barzak, and to take advantage of the collective resources of the program’s four member universities. In the ambitiously creative environment of the NEOMFA program, Wlodarski finds that the constant expectation to produce new material and seek feedback from his peers has helped him to dramatically improve his own uniquely strange writing. In the future, Wlodarski hopes to teach in a university-setting. He wants to remain in a creative, engaging atmosphere. Writing needs a supportive community to thrive. And, well, an abundance of good writing is just as necessary

for the good health of any community. As Wlodarski so eloquently puts it, “What else The inspiration for these stories is often commonplace: an episode of one of Wlodarski’s would people do when they’re bored of mowing their lawns?” favorite shows, a discussion of death at the dinner table, the unanticipated death of a squirrel. The mundane is Wlodarski’s muse and material; the uncanny and fantastic a means

They might, if his stories are any guide, find something truly strange to do.

for piercing through the superficial gloss of the everyday.

like Shakespeare, I challenge you to give it a chance. Why? Because I did, and I would never encourage you to try something I wouldn’t. I’ll even walk you through my experience at the Ohio Shakespeare Festival for their run of “The Comedy of Errors” and hopefully it’ll convince

with outlandish situations, characters and physical action. It is a style that requires a lot of exaggerated—yet particular—physical or vocal actions to hit the comedic points. At times, the particulars of this style drove me to tiny temper tantrums and a few choice words. Fortunately, the director was patient with my fits.

Here’s the kicker: you’re expected to nail the language and style, and all the while the stage is bare. Occasionally you get lucky and there’s a “The Comedy of Errors” is my first perforchair, but that’s all you get. There’s no elaborate mance in Akron since I moved here. For some set to hide behind. The show depends on you odd reason, I chose Shakespeare as my first production. Don’t ask me why. Maybe I'm crazy. and your cast members. Scary, right? In my defense, I didn’t expect to be cast as such The company members at the Ohio Shakean important role. As a newbie, I just knew I speare Festival are talented. They have an was going to have to earn my stripes before they trusted me and I was alright with that. So, array of aptitudes. In many cases, there were when I found out I was playing Adriana (one of company members serving two (sometimes three) different roles. Imagine an assistant stage the main female roles) I was elated. Unfortumanager as an actor, an actor as the managing nately, that happiness was short-lived. director, a set-builder as an actor and even an you to see a show.

My excitement quickly turned into panic. “Shakespeare? When’s the last time you read Shakespeare, Josy?” and “You’ve never been in

actor as a costume designer. WHOO! If you thought learning this new language was difficult, try being in two places at once. Neverthe-

a full Shakespeare production! You’re obviously out of your mind!” That panicking inner scream

less, they do it all, and they do it well.

haunted me throughout the rehearsal process. After the show opened, I gained a new respect for Shakespeare and what the company at Ohio Shakespeare Festival is able to do.

After experiencing how hard they work to put up shows for our community, I really don’t care if you like Shakespeare. You don’t have to audition—unless you feel so inclined—but you should attend a show even if it’s only to help

Firstly, Shakespeare is hard in every way you’ve

them celebrate the hard work they put into each production.

considered and a few you haven’t. The obvious struggle is the language. Shakespeare is its own language, so before you’re able to act, you translate. Then you must figure out how to get the audience to understand this language that you’ve recently gotten a semi-decent hold on.

And lastly, to my new theatre buds at OSF, congratulations on your first show in your new home. And thank you for welcoming me with open arms.

(continued on page 39)

Pictured above: Full OSF company

Feeding an appetite for the writing of others encourages Wlodarski to continue writing his own stories, he says, and he often reads works associated with the weird and slipstream genres. Some of his favorite authors of the moment include Aimee Bender, Alexander Chee, and Lesley Nneka Arimah, all authors who twist reality with odd, fantastical elements.


picture. Photo by Scott Custer // After a preparatory 10-mile hike, Claude Christensen

Let’s pile on the

ate with relish the the heads of ten dark-chocolate

fact that “The Comedy of Errors” is farce. Farce is a comedy

bunnies the day after Easter.

| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5


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




BROOKLEDGE COMMONS 1424 Buckingham Gate Blvd • Cuyahoga Falls





| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5


SCulture Club




n a place where there’s no running water, a well is a gathering place, a place where the walls that divide people cease to exist and true togetherness, true community, can happen. Zac Kohl, Executive

Director of Akron's Community Development Corporation, The Well, believes this is happening in Akron in that sprawling brick

There are things that we, as Akronites, The Devil Strip readers and neighbors, can do to further The Well’s reach and support their cause.

When All Is Well

“It’s simple things…simple ways that people can help,” Kohl says. “Just come engage.


behemoth on East Market—the church in which Kohl had grown up and come to love.

Rubber City Shakespeare does shows, then there’s the farmer’s market starting in June, community dinners...Come have a cup of coffee, come in and be a neighbor. We’re just trying to build an energy and trying to bring people together.”

have truly opened their doors to the Middlebury Compass Coffee, which can be used by local Kohl’s history in the Middlebury neighborhood neighborhood and beyond. food entrepreneurs to prep and cook their of Akron fostered a fierce hometown pride, and wares? The Well has truly thought of everything just like any of us, he wanted the best for his Compass Coffee is a gorgeous, brand-new when it comes to giving Akronites a leg-up. neighborhood. Middlebury definitely struggles, coffee shop on the ground floor of the building.

I asked Kohl what he felt about the direction in which Akron seems to be heading, and what he thought about doing it “the hard way on purpose.”

and while Kohl hadn’t planned on starting a project, it became apparent that he could—and should—do something to rescue his community. Kohl began buying up and rehabbing homes on his street, and before long had taken his first steps into changing Middlebury forever.

“There are some real obstacles in Akron, for sure,” Kohl says. But at the same time, there’s a breath of fresh air in Akron right now, and I think people are excited. People have the power to stay in their hometown and make it their

Fast forward to the birth of The Well—Kohl pulled the trigger on snapping up his childhood church after the congregation relocated. Inspired by other Community Development Corporations he had seen in other cities, The Well was designed to be the vehicle by which economy, community and dignity are brought back to Middlebury, and the organization is doing so with marvelous grace.

Proceeds from this non-profit coffee shop are funneled into Kohl’s housing project. Upon walking inside, the scent of fresh coffee and the sound of clicking keyboards and gentle laughter fills the air. With smiling faces behind the unique counter and an open atmosphere, it’s

The Well is also home to Rubber City Shakespeare Company, which has a number of classics coming down the pike for the people of Akron to enjoy (next up is King Lear, which runs from June 2 through June 18. Visit for tickets). It

easy to feel at home at Compass Coffee. They host everything from live music to community dinners, and they believe their space belongs to the people of Akron.

also houses Rahab Ministries, which provides services to exploited and broken women and girls, and World Relief, which serves and offers aid to refugees arriving in Akron. Other partners include Asia Services in Action, Citizens Akron and Rooted Akron.

own, and to me, that’s awesome.” So let’s get out there, Devil Strip fanatics—stop by The Well, check it out, stay awhile, make a friend, and do some good in the process.

Even better, Compass Coffee also offers a unique pay-it-forward system, in which patrons can donate a dollar, and Compass Coffee covers The Well will also host a summer farmer’s the rest of the cost to provide a fresh cup of market starting June 3. The farmer’s market their amazing brew to someone in need. Not a

runs every Wednesday from 3 pm to 6 pm

bad trade if you ask us.

and Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm, so bring your canvas bags and get your hands on t he goods.

The Well is home to seven wonderful partners and offers a number of community events. They Oh and did we mention the full kitchen behind

647 East Market St. • Akron, OH 44304 330.815.1062




MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5 /

THE Devil Strip |


culture club

The Power of Mentorship Getting Involved with United Way, VISTAs and iC.A.R.E. by Lia Pietrolungo

This summer marks the one year anniversary of United Way of Summit County housing

“We saw a lot of potential in the program a year ago when we started to have the

mentee and mentor feel is needed at that session.” The program has developed an

iC.A.R.E. Mentoring (Creating Authentic Relational Energy) under its community impact program umbrella.

conversation with iC.A.R.E.,” said Kujat. “We have a pool of children who are seeking a mentor and we have a pool of adults in our community who are trying to get connected.

app for easy access the iC.A.R.E. portal full of prompts, ideas and directions for sessions, as

Although it may seem like iC.A.R.E. is an overnight success, it was created six years ago

We have these two buckets of energy—how do we pull this together?”

United Way is also hiring eight new AmeriCorps VISTAs, five of which will be working with

by Jonathan and Jessica Greer, who took the

well as a log to track progress.

stability that happens.”

iC.A.R.E. With a focus on aiding nonprofit

first steps by writing curriculum and creating lesson plans for their program. One year later, the Greers launched the iC.A.R.E. mentoring program’s predecessor. Then in 2013, the

With the help of community members, the Akron Public School System and VISTA volunteers, the iC.A.R.E. mentoring program has grown into a sturdy, successful community

organizations across the United States, the VISTAS, or AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America, are placed in local programs fulltime for one year where they work to fight

iC.A.R.E. mentoring program emerged as a small nonprofit.

impact model that focuses on providing at-risk students with supportive role models in a one-on-one safe space. Working within

poverty and help programs thrive and expand. The VISTA program partners with schools, public agencies, colleges and universities, and

Through their community work, activism and dedication to upholding their promises come what may, the Greers earned the trust of the Akron Public School system. Now, as the

grades K-12, the program helps students face the challenges that come with childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. When the students enter into a new grade level, the

nonprofit organizations.

Director of iC.A.R.E. mentoring at United Way, Jonathan continues to work on expanding, developing and nurturing the program.

mentor travels with the student to the new building to continue their sessions. iC.A.R.E.’s mentoring program is not a one-

Cochran and Peter Patterson are cluster coordinators for the iC.A.R.E. program. “It’s our job to facilitate the mentor-mentee relationship,” explains Patterson, who also

size-fits-all model, says Kujat. “Although it’s relatively intentional in the matching process, it’s really designed to just do whatever it is the

worked as an iC.A.R.E. mentor. To Patterson, mentoring is not the equivalent of a friendship: “It’s the second adult. Being present is probably

Seth Kujat, Vice President of Community Impact at United Way and iC.A.R.E. mentor, was excited to welcome the program into the UW family.

Working through United Way in the Akron Public School system, VISTA volunteers Grace


acing hundreds of community leaders from all across the Akron area, United Way of Summit County CEO Jim Mullen laid out the organization's four "Bold Goals for 2025", each reflecting specific problems that need to be addressed locally. Currently, only 38 percent of Akron Public School 3rd graders read at or above grade level, so Goal #1 is to raise that number to 65 percent by 2025.

BOLD GOALS leading UNITED WAY into 2025

more important than anything [a mentor] says. Just being there so there's some

Likewise, only 75 percent of APS high-schoolers graduated in four years, and only 21 percent are considered college

Amidst the many components that keep iC.A.R.E. running seamlessly, the most important piece is the relationship between the mentors and mentees. Randy Culver, retiree and mentor for iC.A.R.E., has been mentoring Ka’Andre, a middle school student, for nearly two years. “I think I’ve grown from him,” says Randy Culver of Ka’Andre, “I think he’s taught me to be a little more patient.” For Ka’Andre, his sessions with Culver feel more like “hanging out,” where they’ll sometimes do school work, talk about a problem that he is facing or play chess. Together they work on problem-solving and strategies to help Ka’Andre through adolescence and into young adulthood. (continued on page 36)

wants to cut that by more than half, to 1000 by 2025. The organization developed these goals after a year of discussion with more than 400 community stakeholders who voiced their major concerns. Over the coming months, United Way's Community Impact Task Force will develop the strategies they'll employ to meet these goals. “We need to do more than just talk about the problems we’re facing,” Mullen says. “We need to do what it takes to push the needle forward on the measures that matter to children and

or career ready. Mullen says United Way's families in Summit County.” second goal is to increase the number of 4-year


| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

graduates to 90 percent, and to ensure that 60 percent are college or career ready.

There are few entities as capable as United Way of convening, connecting and partnering

While 42,000 Akronites currently classify as "working poor", Goal #3 is to "financially

with the groups, businesses and organizations necessary to accomplish these ambitious goals. In addition to naming Christine Amer Mayer,

empower" 11,000 people over the next eight years, which means providing the skills, knowledge and resources to budget and save,

of the GAR Foundation, the new board chair, United Way of Summit County welcomed 14 new board members representing a wide

manage debt, build credit and increase access banking services.

variety of committed community champions from Acme Fresh Markets, Summit Juvenile Court and Akron Children’s Hospital to The

Lastly, 2400 annual ER visits in Summit County are due to drug overdose, and United Way

University of Akron, City of Akron and Summit County Executive's Office.


culture club

On the Street

Faces of the homeless, previously homeless and those still struggling by Lisa Kane


t’s interview day. The weather is actually warm, but it’s been pouring all day. The cold isn’t the

only thing the homeless have to deal with. It finally stops and I go out looking for someone to talk to. There aren’t people at most of the “regular” corners, but I see a woman just getting ready to sit down on an overturned milk crate with her sign. I stop and walk up to her and introduce myself. I show her the interview from last month’s issue of The Devil Strip and ask her if we could interview her. She pauses. “Do I have to use my real name and a picture?” she asks. “Being homeless is embarrassing. Panhandling is humiliating, but it’s all I can do right now. No one expects this will be their life one day.” I tell her we can use a fake name and a different picture if she would still like to tell her story. She looks up at me with tears in her eyes and agrees. “What should my alias be?” she asks. She pauses, then says, “How about you call me Cherokee? Yes, Cherokee!”

Meet Cherokee. Cherokee (She’s part Native American) Age: Just turned 55 Hometown: Jackson, CA

Occupation/Previous Occupation/Source of income? I have a lot of health problems.

woman out here all alone.

There aren’t many jobs I can do. I’m a diabetic.

What is your biggest fear? Always being out

My feet are really bad. I have to wear shoes for diabetics. I’ve had three surgeries on my left foot. I have neuropathy. My feet lose feeling and are always cold. No matter how many

here alone like this. It’s a very lonely life. What are some of your daily struggles being homeless? Bathing. I haven’t had a

Do most people show you kindness or treat you rudely? Both. There are good people out there. Some say, “good for you, it takes nerve

pairs of socks I put on they are freezing. I get sores on my feet. A lot of time I don’t have the

bath since Friday (It’s Tuesday). I only had $2.11 left of my disability. I went to the Dollar Store

to sit out here and do this.” There are lots of rude people too. I’ve had people throw stuff

money to get the medicines I need. They took

to get body wash. I really needed some socks

at me and yell things at me. This one man was

away my Medicaid. I get a disability check, but it runs out fast. I can’t work at a job that I have to be on my feet for a long time.

and lotion too. My hands are so dried out and cracked, they hurt. I didn’t have enough money and I just broke down in the store and started bawling. It’s so embarrassing. The

swearing at me saying, “You’re a bum! Go get a job!” It made me mad. He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know my story. Instead of yelling rude things out of your car window at me, take

all homeless people are lazy people who don’t want to work. They just are having a harder time than someone else. Everyone has a story.

How long have you been homeless? Off and manager came over to talk to me. She paid the on since 2008. difference so I could get all three items. I was so thankful. I went back when I got money and

a second to actually stop and talk to me.

Do you have family? No, not really. I have a son who lives in Ohio, not Akron. He’s as bad off as me though.

paid her back. I wash my hair in the sink at the rest stop and dry it with the wall dryer. I’m able to brush my teeth there and wash up as best I can with just a sink.

you this week? Nothing!

What is the hardest thing about being homeless? Never knowing where you will sleep or when you will eat next. Being alone, staying safe. It’s like always being in the dark.

What else do you want people to know? It’s not a good feeling. Being out here is embarrassing and lonely. I always feel so sad, lonely and stressed out that sometimes I can’t even eat. It’s just not a good feeling.

Where did you sleep last night? I slept in a rest stop. It was scary. I slept over by the bathrooms because the lights came on and made it not as dark in there. I always keep my cane right by me, and sometimes a big stick. It’s scary being a woman out there all alone. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Not very many. I’m scared and I’m just so stressed out all the time, it’s hard to sleep. Do you usually have three meals a day? No.

What three words would you use to describe being homeless? Lonely, scared, stressed out. How do you feel people who have never faced homelessness view the homeless?

What’s the best thing that’s happened to

Is there anything that you really need right now? I really need underwear.

We ended the conversation with Cherokee having tears rolling down her face. It makes me so sad. No one should have to feel lonely and afraid every day. She is a kind, lovely, well-spoken woman. I left and returned with a

What brought you to Akron? I first moved

Half of the time I’m so stressed out I’m not even That I’m a lazy bum. That I don’t want to work.

bag full of toiletries, food and of course some

from California to Denver with my parents. I met a man there from Orville and he brought me to Ohio. That ended, and I ended up alone and on my own.

hungry. All I’ve eaten today is a piece of cheese. (It’s 2:30 pm.)

new underwear. Cherokee, I hope you didn’t feel so lonely, if just for a little while. I enjoyed our talk. Know that there are people who care. #SpreadTheWarmth

Do you feel safe? No. It’s really scary being a

Enjoy an evening of Vegas-style fun at The Tangier with gaming tables, live music, appetizers, a silent auction, and the chance to win one of four door prizes, including hotel and airfare accommodations for two to Las Vegas! General Admission is $55 and includes $500 in Fun Money, tickets for wine, cheese, chocolate and beer tastings, painting with friends and much more! This event is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend! So, join the fun and make a difference in the lives of youth throughout Akron and surrounding communities as proceeds will benefit programs for Youth Initiatives & Life Skills – Preparing Today’s Leaders for the Future. For information about the presenting organization please visit or The Tangier at for event details and ticket information.


What do you think is the biggest misconception about the homeless? I’m not a bum. I want to work. I don’t want to be out here. Not


Grapes, Cheese & Chocolate Festival - 21 and Over -

June 2, 2017 • The Tangier MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5 /

THE Devil Strip |


culture club

Katie Beck

Krissa Guenther Occupation:

Medical Laboratory Technician


Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the small town of Negaunee

Neighborhood: Downtown Akron


Theatre Artist / Community Builder (Exchange House, Gum-Dip Theatre, League of Creative Interventionists)


Akron, Ohio

Neighborhood: North Hill

What brought you to Akron? I am a

There is so much kindness and hometown pride over and over! People have just started conversations with me while I have been out

What do you wish was more on Akronites'

Medical Laboratory Technician and I came here because I was ready to check out a new part of the country. I moved to Akron about a month ago. I was living in Duluth, Minnesota for

and about, and that is how I have gotten to know about events coming up and where to find... anything really! I have only gotten excited and

radar? It depends on the Akronite. For the naysayer Akronites, I wish they'd step out of their comfort zone more often. There are some

about five years before moving here. Honestly, I welcoming responses when had never pictured myself moving to Ohio, but I've told people I am new to it has been nothing but pleasant surprises so this town and area of the

New / Native

far. I am currently living near the University of Akron campus.

country. There seems to be a lot of positive changes and growth happening here, and

What do you wish was more on Akronites'

the native Akronites couldn't

radar? From what I've gathered, people living outside of the Downtown/University of Akron main campus area do not venture this way very

be happier about where Akron is heading. People love talking up this city!

frequently. I spoken to people who have lived here their whole lives and have never gone to the Akron Art Museum, or have never heard of or been to the Arts District. There are some great things and people to find downtown. I am a big fan of the library, free Thursdays at the Art Museum, and happy hours at the Lockview and High Street Hop House. I have not had a chance to check out any live music anywhere yet, but I am trying, because I've heard really great things! I have also been on a donut mission. There are some great ones out there! My favorite donut and breakfast place so far is Stownut Diner. What is your favorite local cultural asset? I have nothing but great things to say about

That's when things got serious. I was swept away by the artistic and cultural renaissance that's happening here. I gained a deeper understanding of the love and support that Akronites have for each other. And the food. I love the food.

weekends with more events Where in Akron do you like to escape? than there are people in this It's hard to escape in Akron when you know city. You can't tell me there's someone everywhere you go...The one place nothing to do or nowhere to I can guarantee escape is on my bike on the go! For everyone else, have Towpath Trail. It's long, beautiful, and free! Plus you heard of the Exchange if I run into anyone I know, we're both moving House in North Hill? *wink*

so the interaction is limited to fleeting eye contact and a sloppy high five.

What is your favorite local cultural asset? My favorite local cultural asset is the

Why should everyone try your favorite

When did you fall for Akron? My first week in town, I went to the Art Museum on a free Thursday. There were some excellent exhibits and I spent hours there by myself. On my

diversity of people and history in each of the Akron neighborhoods. Some days I'll work within the Bhutanese refugee community in North Hill and then drive ten minutes to

local restaurant? My loyalty has been drawn: Akron Family Restaurant has the best breakfast/ brunch. I've been going there since my STVM days and I will never look back. What other

way out, I chatted with a person who made a few suggestions for things to check out nearby. So I did. Then I got more suggestions at the next place, and so on... it was my own Akron treasure hunt. It was an amazing way to familiarize myself with what is nearby and I loved the wander to see what else I could find. I am a wanderer and this is a great place for that.

Firestone Park with a story circle of retired rubber workers. Or I'll have lunch downtown at Crave and then go to a community dinner with soul food. Each community has its own history and it's virtually impossible to know all of it! It makes Akron a place of never-ending exploration.

restaurant serves so much food in one platter that they call it "the Blimp"? They also have bottomless cups of coffee. For real. Your coffee cup will NEVER be empty when you eat there.

Where in Akron do you like to escape?I am a big nerd and a huge fan of libraries. I love the library. It is pretty large and I haven't even explored all that is there, yet. It's free, quiet, a

the people I have encountered in Akron.

When did you fall for Akron? It took me until my adulthood to fall inescapably in love with Akron. It was one of those "we've always been friends and I enjoy your company but not in that way" kind of relationship until I

How do you hope Akron will be different in five years? My three wishes are more people, more bike lanes, and more coffee shops.

(continued on page 36) returned after graduating from college in 2014.

Homeless Helpers Garden by Floco Torres

Paul Leroy Hays Age: 51 Occupation: Director of Services and General Manager of The Homeless Charity Hometown: Akron, OH Current neighborhood please: Highland Square



| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

What's your big idea? Feeding the homeless non gmo, organic, fresh garden vegetables. Why pursue it? The homeless community unfortunately eats a lot of low quality food and we would like to change that! When did you know your big idea was a good idea? I think that helping people is always a good idea and I knew that from the start. How do you hope your big idea helps Akron grow? We hope that with our many other services along with Homeless Helpers Garden, maybe we can help a few people get back on their feet again.






Troy & Tavares (The Barber Twins) Occupations: Barber stylists at Monty’s Place Hometown: Akron, OH Current Neighborhood: Akron, OH

How did you get into the work you do? Tavares: Actually, we were inspired by several

What are you glad that you didn’t know? Tavares: I’m glad that I didn’t know I would

Tavares: Smile and be courteous.

contact with all different types of people. You have to be 100 percent authentic to yourself.

people—our mom and a friend of the family.

have to put in a lot of hours. Even though I could assume that from working, but that

Troy: Some of the best things I’ve learned working for myself is that everybody counts.

The best business lesson that I’ve learned is that I didn’t have enough business information

Troy: That friend of the family told us that we could be criminals and do nothing or work for ourselves.

would mean that I was satisfied with a certain dollar amount at that time. Now I know that consistency pays more bills than just coming in the shop for a certain amount of money.

Every person and interaction is worth giving your 100%. Tavares: I was going to say something similar

working for myself so it caused me to go learn and research about taxes, insurance, etc. If you’re working under someone, they may not tell you those things. We had to learn these

to that.

things ourselves. We did go to school so we got the basic craft skills down. Our position comes from the art, working with other people and listening to our customers. They’ll tell you want they want but then they’ll want to quantify it // Photo by Floco Torres

What do you wish you knew when you got started? Tavares: Discipline and saving money.

Troy: I don’t have any answer for that one. (Laughs)

Troy: I would have to agree, and I wish I knew

What are some of the best lessons — in

Troy: I’ve definitely been learning to diversify yourself but still strengthen yourself through that diversity. This meaning that you don’t

how to be more productive and constructive when I got started.

business or for life — you've learned from being your own boss?

just try and spread yourself so thin, but reach people where they are because we come in

but you’re an artist as well.

Podcast Pullquote:

Naresh Subba knows you from Family Groceries. Now get to know him


“Beginning 2008 and 2009 when there were few people, I had to do a lot

all my customers, almost all. And there are thousands of them.”

of helping family members go shopping and, you know, things like that. I knew that there was this need, so that’s when I talked to my brothers

This podcast is part of The Devil Strip’s reporting on small business

and my nephew and that there was a need for a traditional food. . . for Bhutanese refugees. That is how we ended up opening this grocery.”

ownership and entrepreneurship, which has been made possible with support from The Fund for Our Economic Future and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. You can listen to Naresh's full, moving story at

“We knew each other. Almost everyone knew every other. I mean that’s what our culture is. And back in our home land, even now, I know almost

MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5 /

THE Devil Strip |


akropreneurs stake in the potential tax changes. We all met at the John S. Knight Center, and just after 4 pm we boarded the trolley, a.k.a

Brewing up small business

After sampling the product, we joined Karm on the patio, where he addressed the group and shared his thoughts on the craft brewing industry and how the proposed tax increase

beer bus, which would transport us between breweries.

would affect his business. Hoppin’ Frog currently produces approximately 1780 barrels of beer per year, so the excise tax changes

When we arrived at our first destination, Thirsty Dog Brewing Co., owner John Patrick Najeway met us in the tasting room and implored we get beverages in our hands immediately. I listened.

wouldn’t impact his business. However, Karm worries that with the increased sales tax, he could see a dent in sales.

Once everyone had their beverage of choice, “Our beer is at the high end of the craft brew John led us on a tour of the facilities, showcasing market,” Karm explained. It’s not uncommon to all the nifty devices used in the beer making see a bottle of Hoppin’ Frog beer selling for $14 process. All of the materials used in the brewing process at Thirsty Dog were made in the U.S.A. As the Thirsty Dog tour ended, I asked Najeway how the tax would affect his brewery.

Why your state lawmakers were taking a beer tour of Akron

- $15 at the market. Any price increase makes that a harder sell for even the most seasoned beer drinkers. After Karm entertained a few questions from

“We all have an obligation to pay certain taxes, but putting that tax on will slow growth in the

our group and we finished our drinks, it was time to take off for our next destination, R.

craft beer industry, and specifically us because the excise tax they want to lower down to the 10,000 barrel mark,” said Najeway. “Of the breweries you’re going to today, Thirsty Dog is

Shea Brewing, which is nestled in the Merriman Valley, right across from the Towpath Trail. We were greeted at the door and escorted to a sitting area where some of the most delicious

In Summit County alone, there are 14 beer producers open and operating, with another seven on the way. That’s a lot of suds. That’s

the only one above that mark, so absolutely it will affect us.”

pretzels and cheese I have ever eaten were awaiting us.

make the law. Not really, but I was definitely entering foreign territory when our publisher asked if I could join some of our state lawmakers on a tour around Akron. At first I

also a lot of jobs and potential for more. State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) is keenly aware of the positive impact local

With a quick handshake I was off with the rest of the tour group to our next destination, Hoppin’ Frog Brewery, where owner and brewmaster Fred Karm greeted us warmly at

As our beer samples were delivered, owner Ron Shea joined us and gave us his view on the proposed tax increases. At 1.5 years old, his brewery is currently only producing 500 barrels

was a little unsure if I was the right man for the job. Then he mentioned there’d be beer involved, and I knew I had to do my civic duty!

breweries have of on the economy. In order to educate other lawmakers and strengthen the dialogue between them regarding the proposed tax changes, Sykes hosted a unique brewery tour for her fellow legislators in the city she grew up in and loves, with the help of Greg

the door. Karm ushered us over to a seating area reserved for Rep. Sykes’ tour group and quickly popped the top off a 22 ounce chocolate infused brew. Next up was a pitcher of Dankster, a fruity and flowery I.P.A. that pleased the taste buds. As we sampled Hoppin’

of beer per year, almost all of which goes to the taproom we were sitting in. The brewery has big expansion plans though. By 2020, Shea anticipates exceeding the 10,000 barrel per year mark, meaning R. Shea would owe approximately $56,000 in additional excise tax

from 5.75 percent to 6.25 percent, as well as excise tax for certain commodities, including beer. These changes could have a direct impact on our state’s flourishing craft beer industry. The excise tax is currently only imposed on breweries

Mervis, President and CEO of Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Frog’s flavorful beverages, I asked State Rep. Glenn Holmes whether he could see himself supporting the budget.

if the changes were to go through.

Joining us on the tour were other State Rep.s from around Ohio, including House Majority

“It feels like a band-aid,” Holmes said. “There

At R. Shea, I had a great conversation with State Rep. and Minority Leader Fred Strahorn about the changes would impact small breweries.

producing 300,000 barrels or more per year, but under the new budget, would apply to

Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton), Rep. Glenn W. Holmes (D-McDonald), Rep. Thomas West

needs to be something more sustainable done to keep the budget in check. I think it’s a

“When I think of the brewers and small

breweries producing 10,000 barrels or more.

(D-Canton), Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid), and Rep. Michael J. O’Brien (D-Warren), as well as other guests from various backgrounds that had a

stop-gap measure in trying to plug holes in the breweries, I think of them generically in terms budget that’s going to negatively impact of small businesses, and small businesses are, micro breweries.” (continued on page 37)

by Dave Daly // This article has been edited for length. Read the full version online at


n any given day, I’d rather break the law than hang out with people that

Governor John Kasich’s proposed 2017 budget includes an increase in the statewide sales tax

If you drink beer and don’t live under a rock,

you’ve probably noticed that local breweries big and small have popped up all over Ohio.

Come on in, the wifi’s fine!

Join us for free on Thursdays and discover why Akron works from the Tech Lab


| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5







Experience excellence in education.

Call today for a tour.


Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday! *No cover charge

See the lineup at

Inspiring. Innovative. Intelligent.

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2017 at The Goodyear Theater by Floco Torres

on refugee resettlement, the stage is set for an array of perspective on Akron’s future. Organizers Sam Faletta and Ned Parks did a great job in assembling a group of speakers

We spoke last month about the term “entrepreneurship” and its potential overuse when it’s not clearly defined. The internationally recognized media organization, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) has been

that are not only diverse in background but in career paths and energy.

giving the term meaning while encouraging community members to see themselves as gatekeepers of ideas worth spreading. TED

Being a Tedx speaker is definitely good to have on your resume, but being an attendee is just as powerful. It’s not everyday you get to be in the same room with this many like-minded

has been providing general guidance for TEDx events in cities all over the world. At the Goodyear Theater on Saturday, May 20, Akron

individuals with this many jewels to drop. If you need any more encouragement, then consider that the event is at 1 pm and you’ll still have the

will host its first TEDxAkron event since 2011. TED was founded by architect and designer Richard Saul Wurman in 1984 and began as a

rest of your day to start working on that idea you’ve been putting off.

conference (that still happens yearly) focusing on technology and design. In its 33 years, TED has expanded to cover science, art, education and more. Thousands of TED Talks are online for free viewing, and some of these talks have launched careers into the stratosphere. I was even able to cross “Ted Talk” off my bucket list in the summer of 2012 when I spoke at TedxMacon down in Georgia.

TedxAkron 2017 will be held at the Goodyear Theater on Saturday May 20 at 1 pm. Tickets are between $15-50 and are available at TEDxAkron, like other TED talks, is selforganized and will feature 13 speakers throughout the evening. From Jim Mullen,

United Way of Summit County’s seventh President and CEO, to Kara Ulmer, Director of the World Relief Akron office focusing

Paying the costs to be your own boss words by Chris Horne; photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti

Once “Big Betty” finally hit the road, they knew they’d made the right decision. Their debut was at Gypsy Grace and The Vintage Goat in Highland Square and they got slammed. But they handled it like champs and they haven’t turned back since.

Heather & Matt Ulichney have put everything on the line

Now, they’re not only gearing up for their second

to make their upscale food truck, The Square Scullery, a reality. But that’s almost every entrepreneur's story.

season, feeding a fanbase hungry for their trademark fried Brussels sprouts, but they’re trying to make Akron a

It’s almost certainly the case for all the “Akropreneurs” we’ve met. So while it’s important to understand how someone could put in 100 hours a week, what’s really fascinating is why they would.

better place for food trucks in general. But that’s a story for another day. Promise. In the meantime, you can catch them all around Akron, including every Third Thursday at our Live at Lock 4

For the Ulichneys, it’s because they want to raise the bar, not just for food trucks but for Akron on the whole. That fancypants menu of theirs isn’t about showing off. It’s about doing it the right way, which is how they do their

events and at Signal Tree Fest on Sat., July 29 in Lock 3.

part to help the city grow.

Goat Summer Series”, their monthly 1st Thursday dinner shindigs from 4 PM to 8 PM through October.

Starting May 4, Matt, Heather and Big Betty return to Gypsy Grace and the Vintage Goat for the “Truck Meets

"We do it because we know what the potential is here,” Heather says. “We know what Akron can be." That’s why they spent a full year working on “Big Betty”.

More info about the Square Scullery is available at and SquareScullery

Working off a digital model Heather made, it took them a year to renovate the truck, which included moving the service window from one side to the other because originally it was an old Snap-on Tools truck.



| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

The whole time that they were ripping out stuff and rebuilding from the floor up, Matt and Heather were taking care of their two kids and working overtime at their “day jobs” to keep the bills paid. Fortunately, Matt’s dad is a contractor who was able to lend a hand so this first part of the dream,

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The Dish



FRONT OF THE HOUSE BACK OF THE HOUSE Sweet Mary’s Bakery by Krissy O’Connor

The Wanderer Springing on Sushi Katsu words and photos by Holly Brown

Spring is something I had never truly experienced before I moved to Akron. Having lived in northeastern Massachusetts and up, up, upstate New York (we’re talking twenty minutes from the Canadian border), Spring is basically nothing more than mud and rain and dirty snow and one day in May, something like summer shows up. Spring is easily one of my favorite things about Akron: blooming magnolias, chartreuse buds that pompom from every tree. This is before the humidity hits, and while there’s still certainly rain, it falls with the

playlist with everything from Bill Withers to the Beatles to the Marshall Tucker Band to Jackie Wilson. I was into it. Predictably, I struggled to decide what to order, though I did know two things: I wanted sake and I wanted miso soup. The sake was warm and therefore great. But the miso soup. That. Miso. Soup. I try to order miso soup as often as I can because it’s the perfect way to start any meal (i.e. light, warm, and flavorful without filling you up). Miso soup is truly an appetizer in that it genuinely primes your appetite. While I



Retail Town: Akron

Baker Town: West Akron

Heather Brown

Patty Fann

You are on your feet for a lot of fast-paced

I have heard that cooking is easier than

hours. What is your remedy to take care of your feet at the end of the day? I learned from my husband to switch out my

baking. Is that true or not true? Not for me. I would much rather bake. When Mary does lunch specials, sigh. I would rather

tennis shoes during the day. I keep an extra pair in my truck. We also have those black mats to work on so my feet don’t really hurt. I do have a foot spa at home but that is still in it’s box!

bake. I am Mary’s mom and the lunch specials are usually some of her favorite childhood meals like Tuna Casserole, Cabbage Rolls, Chicken Pot Pie, all those comfort foods you love as a kid. She asks me to make them and

If I gave you $40,000 to start a business here in Akron, what would you start? I love to bake and my Mom has always been a baker. I would love to start a bakery also. Something I have always wanted to do is to be a personal shopper. That wouldn’t take too much money to start. I could just do that while I

I do.

am shopping anyway!

example, I worked in H. R. at Babcock & Wilcox

Name one thing about you that most people might not know. About me, hum. I am pretty much open an open book. As you get older you can tell how people know you by what they call you. For

in Barberton for 37 years and was known there What do you love to do in Akron when you as Pat. Now, here at Sweet Mary’s, I am Patty. have a few free hours? Pat and Patty are two very different people. I like to shop. (A ha! Now it is all much more

knowledge that it’s necessary for the coolness

have rarely had a miso soup I didn’t like, this miso soup was the best I have

in the breeze and the color all around us.

ever had.

relevant!) The J.C. Penny’s in Montrose is my favorite store. In fact, I will be going there

What is your go-to spot on a sunny day in Akron?

When it comes to beautiful food, there’s nothing that pops on a plate quite like sushi. Between the seaweed exterior, the white rice,

The broth was rich without being overbearing: flavorful but never sacrificing the lightness or brightness of the dish. The tofu, scallions, and

today after work to shop for Easter dresses and my daughter’s birthday is tomorrow. I love to use the coupons that they have too, you can save a lot!

We go to the Towpath Trail. It is the one down near the Memorial Parkway Dog Park. It is a good four mile walk. We used to go to the Chuckery a lot too. That is a nice trail that

the wasabi and the ginger alone, there’s a feast

wakame were plentiful and all of it steeped

for the eyes. Sushi is almost as pleasing to look at as it is to eat. And so, on a warm-ish April evening, I decided to mirror my surroundings with my dinner and pay a visit to Sushi Katsu.

together in that steaming bowl was everything I’d ever hoped for in a soup. Seriously, it was incredible.

After coming upon a sizeable patio under construction (future perk for summer visits!),

In the wake of delirious soup and sake happiness, I began to get truly excited for the main event: the sushi. Ryan and I decided to

we entered through a side door and came upon try four rolls, splitting them between us. We one of my favorite restaurant interiors to date. deliberated extensively and decided upon: the Small enough to be intimate but large enough to seat quite a few different groups (especially when the seats at the sushi bar are taken into

Since you are her mom, is there any inside scoop about Mary? When I was pregnant with Mary they thought I might be having twins because there was so much movement. That never changed. She was and is always moving and very active. She was a good kid. Spending time with her now and baking is fun.

Spiderman, the Kent, the Crunch, and one of their nightly specials called the Cavalier roll, which for obvious reasons already was hard to

consideration) it was both classy and casual pass up. with many diners knowing the sushi chefs by name. You could also watch the chefs make The Spiderman is a large, 5-piece roll with your sushi right there in front of you! Talk about tempura soft-shell crab, cream cheese, instant visual satisfaction. There was a stellar


follows the river and the Signal Tree is there.

| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

Sweet Mary’s Bakery 76 E Mill Street Akron, OH 44308

(continued on page 36)


the dish


arnie’s public house

RUBBER CITY BEER FEST words and photos by Emily Anderson


t’s official. Rubber City Beer Fest at Lock 3

into the common area room. It was so packed

to go around as well. Besides Crafted Artisan

Park is my favorite beer festival in Akron. This year, only the third year of the annual fest, was the biggest and best so far. So big,

with people that you could barely navigate from one booth to the next. It was really overwhelming. This year, there was plenty of

Meadery, that was so popular they ran out completely after two hours, most beers lasted until the last half hour of the four-hour event.

they had to expand the tasting area from the common area out into the ice skate rental room. 30+ breweries from all over Ohio came to participate in and/or judge the “Wizard of

room to freely roam. You could go get some air outside or chat with other beer drinkers without The reason why RCBF is my favorite Akron beer saying “excuse me” 20 times. It was much less event is that all of the breweries who come to stressful. serve samples are from Ohio. Most other beer

SAAZ” annual homebrew competition, and then hung out to provide samples of their own creations.

In fact, the whole event was very laid back and chill. It took place on a beautiful, sunny

events are sponsored by beverage distribution companies, and are therefore obligated to feature beers that that particular company sells.

Breweries set up sample booths around the whole perimeter of the common area and the skate room. Out in the park, they had a bunch

Saturday in March. Tickets were $33 in advance or $40 at the door, and included “30 twoounce tastings.” This sounds kind of funny looking back now because a lot of people

RCBF is sponsored by SAAZ (Society of Akron Area Zymurgists), which is a homebrewing club. SAAZ can choose their brewery lineup free from contractual obligations, so they only

(myself included) kept forgetting to turn in tickets for samples, and a lot of samples I saw looked like more than two ounces. Despite this, attendees didn’t abuse their freedom or take advantage of the system. I didn’t see a single person acting belligerent or getting sloppy. People were joking about how many tickets they still had at the end, tossing them around like confetti. There was plenty of beer

feature beers made in Ohio. It was really cool to see how many amazing brewers, with all their unique styles and brands, are making beer here in our state. You all probably know by now that I’m a huge advocate of supporting local breweries, and nothing says that like the all-Ohio lineup they have at RCBF.

of seating set up around the band stage and food trucks. Upbeat, funky music from the Dixieland Band and the Rhodes Street Boys kept the energy up and food from Square Scullery, Firehouse Grilling, and Lock 3 concessions kept our bellies full. The extra space made a huge difference this year. Last year, all the breweries were crammed

{The Dish}

Laurie Graham Tiffany

“Aladdins Fattoush Salad is amazing!! Or the Beet & Goat Cheese salad at Bricco.”

“O'Charley's California Chicken Salad.”

“Lembo’s 88-item salad & soup bar! Plus they have this new chicken strawberry

Adria Henry Buzek “Chameleon Cafe has an awesome roasted corn and kale salad with maple honey mustard. They also have a sweet spinach salad with fruits and feta cheese and candied pecans with raspberry dressing.”


The weather is getting warmer, so we’re craving fresh salads. We asked our readers where they like to get a hefty plate of tasty greens. Here’s what they had to say.

Amber Blazeff Robin Springer-Vega mixed greens salad with blueberry vinaigrette & a chicken Waldorf salad on the menu.”

Amy May “Mustard Seed's salad bar is always my #1 salad.”

ap Elegantly Casual Dining featuring Modern Twists on Your Favorite Comfort Foods and Classic Cocktails 1682 W. Market St at Westgate Plaza in Akron 330-867-0154 Open 7 days a week 11:00am-2:30am


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

Your Favorite Tribute Bands

Gates open at 6:00 p.m. Concerts start at 7:00 p.m.

NEW this year! GIVE BACK FRIDAYS. $5 Admission at the gate on the of each month for charity. See website for charity info. Also join us at Lock 4 for Thirsty Dog Happy Hour before the Give Back Fridays, 5-7 p.m. MAY 26 Straight On

Heart Tribute Band with Rachel Roberts


Hotel California

JUN 9 JUN 16 JUN 23 JUN 30

Green River Revival Tribute to CCR and John Fogerty with Mick Rogers Band Dirty Deeds Xtreme AC/DC with Good Night Tonight Draw The Line The Endorsed Aerosmith Tribute with Devil Strip Almost Queen The Ultimate Queen Experience with Angie Haze Project


Hollywood Nights A Bob Seger Experience with The Juke Hounds

JUL 21 JUL 28

Crush A Tribute to Bon Jovi with Snazzy Cats Atomic Punks A Tribute to Early Van Halen with Body Thief


The Machine Performs Pink Floyd with Joe Vitale Jr and Ravenwood

The Original Eagles Tribute Band with Shivering Timbers

AUG 11 Time Traveller Tribute to Moody Blues with Crown Kingdom AUG 18 Full Moon Fever America’s Premier Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Tribute Band with Monica Robins & Whiskey Kings

AUG 25 David Brighton’s Space Oddity The Ultimate Bowie Experience with Mo’ Mojo SEP 1


The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience with Electric Mud

Tues. June 27th 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Free Admission

The 122nd Ohio Army National Guard Band Thurs. July 27th 5:30 to 9:30 p.m Admission $5.00

Akron Peacemakers 10th Anniversary Celebration and Teen Expo featuring


(Lt. Dan’s New Legs)

CONCERT INFO: Gates open at 6:00 p.m. Events are free, unless noted in description. No coolers, unsealed drinks or outside alcohol permitted. Limited reserved and general admission tickets for George Clinton and Kool & The Gang can be purchased at the Akron Civic Theatre box office, by calling 330-253-2488, and

Jun 30th – Jul 4th

FREE Admission 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. JUN 30 Almost Queen The Ultimate Queen Experience 8:30 p.m.


with Angie Haze Project 6:30 p.m. The International Rolling Stones Show 8:30 p.m. with Kerosene 6:30 p.m. Bruce in the USA World’s #1 Tribute to Bruce Springsteen E Street Band 8:30 p.m. with Nied’s Hotel Band 6:30 p.m. Absolute Journey The International Tribute to Journey 8:30 p.m. with MDU 6:30 p.m.


Akron Symphony Orchestra 8:00 p.m. Zach 4:00 p.m. Freedom Brass Band 6:00 p.m.


9:45 p.m.

AUG 12

National Hamburger Festival AUG 13 JUL 13

Fleetwood Mac Mania 8:30 p.m. with Victory Highway 6:30 p.m.

JUL 14

1964 The Tribute Beatles Tribute 8:30 p.m. with Aftermath Experience the Sixties 6:30 p.m.

JUL 15

Lights Out America's #1 Tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with Avanti 6:30 p.m.


Admission $5 Gates Open at 12 p.m.

AUG 12

The Buck Naked Band

Disc Can


8:30 p.m.

Shooter Sharp & The Shootouts 2:00 p.m. Justin Fabus

4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.


JUL 22

GATES OPEN AT 12 p.m. Featuring Slave 8:00 p.m. with Opener TBA 7:00 p.m. Free Admission.

JUL 23

Midnight Star

8:00 p.m. Opener TBA 7:00 p.m. Admission $10 after 4:00 p.m.

AUG 13

The Rhythm Syndicate The King Bees

12:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m.

Performances on the South Terrace


JUN 17 Family Movie Night

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

9:00 p.m. with Jan Marie & AZ 1 Band 7:00 p.m. Tickets on Sale April 21st. See below.




The International Rolling Stones Show

(Rib White and Blue Festival)

Signal Tree Festival

Outdoor movie, chairs and blankets welcome 5:00 p.m. | Free Admission | Movie starts at 8:00 p.m.

JUL 15

Lights Out

JUL 22 JUL 29 AUG 5

Slave 8:00 p.m. (African American Festival) Signal Tree Festival Akron Food, Music + Culture Festival The Luther Vandross Experience

America’s #1 Tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons (Italian-American Festival)

Featuring Darron Moore and The 14th Floor 8:30 p.m. with Charita Franks 6:30 p.m.

Family Fun Festivities 2017

AUG 26 Joey DeFrancesco (Rubber City Jazz Festival)

Featuring TROLLS

Kool & The Gang

9:00 p.m. with GET ON UP 7:00 p.m. Tickets on Sale April 28th. See below.

Located outdoors off Bowery St.behind the Civic Theatre next to Lock 3. Admission is free. Bring your lawn chair.

Akron Food, Music + Culture Festival. All-day celebration with the very best of Akron's past, present and future, presented by The Devil Strip and Lock 3. Wash down your pizza, jo-jos and sauerkraut balls with some of the Blimp City's tastiest craft brews and incredible live, local music. There's too much to list, but we guarantee Signal Tree won't be like any other festival you've attended before. For updates and details, visit

Sat. August 19th

3:00 p.m. | Free Admission | Movie starts at 8:00 p.m.


Free Admission. Tasting starts at 5:00 p.m. Outdoor movie starts at 8:00 p.m. Join us for a night of Malternative Beer tasting, local music and a classic movie. Bring your chairs and blankets. Visit for more information. Brought to you by Tramonte Distributing.

Sat. July 29th

Music, Malts & Movie

AUG 12 The Buck Naked Band $5 (Hamburger Festival) AUG 19 Family Fun Festivities 2017 Featuring Trolls

s, hol d orge an c


Music, Malts and Movie

JUN 24 Old School Soul

my d


Sat. July 8th

Featuring Shrek Outdoor movie, chairs and blankets welcome 8:00 p.m. | Free Admission

Free Admission. 3:00 p.m. Outdoor movie starts at 8:00 p.m. Kids inflatables, contests, entertainment and other events. Bring your chairs and blankets. Follow us on social media for updates & info.

Wednesdays 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Lock Bottom Blues & Jazz at Lock 4

Discover blues and jazz beats on the banks of the Ohio-Erie Canal in the heart of Akron. Food and drinks available.

JUL 19 JUL 26 AUG 2 AUG 9 AUG 16 AUG 23 AUG 30

John J. Saxx Watkins Fabulous Voices The Stingers Gaetano’s Underworld Blues Band Mike Lenz Horns and Things WONE Blues for The Blue

Gospel Sundays at Lock 4 JUL 30th|AUG 13th|AUG 27th

A glorious way to spend your Sunday evening. Concerts 5:00– 7:00 p.m.

Firestone Park – Summit Lake – Kenmore

Jun 15|Jul 20|Aug 17|Sept 21 Begins at 6:00 p.m. Live local music, downtown beer garden, food trucks and yard games.

Experience Akron in a new way. Sun. June 25th 12 – 5 p.m

Open Streets closes the streets to cars and opens them to people. Bike, walk, jog, or skate and explore your community in a safe, fun and healthy way.

Firestone Park – Summit Lake – Kenmore

Mon. June 26th

Air National Band of The Northeast Join us on the first Friday of the month before our GIVE BACK FRIDAY concerts from 5-7 p.m.

7 – 9 p.m. Joy Park Community Center 825 Fuller St. Akron 44306 Admission is free. Bring your lawn chair.

For event and concert update info:

FB | Lock 3 Akron, Ohio TWITTER | Lock3@Lock3Akron Instagram | lock3live


The Scene





... Six Akron bands we think you should know


by Floco Torres

å Maid Myriad It seems that at least once a week I learn about a new genre in Akron and this week, it’s “kaleidoscope rock.” Since it’s new to me, I’m going to assume that Jeff Klemm, Greg Meisenberg, and Mario Tonathy created this genre for their band “Maid Myriad.” Their record “With Haste On It’s Breath” molds the kaleidoscope sound throughout the hour long album on standouts like “Encircled” and “Dance By The Moonlight.” Jeff Klemm’s vocals are impressive from top to bottom and the musicianship is some of the better prog rock that I’ve heard even if we’re not calling it that. Maid Myriad has new LP coming soon and they’ll be hitting the road again in their big red van called “Strawberry Fields.” (Photo courtesy of Maid Myriad)

ç é

ç G.S. Schray Gabriel S. Schray bka “G.S. Schray” is a musician and producer who’s been at it for about a decade now. His new record “Gabriel” was released with London based label Last Resort after years of self released records. On “Gabriel,” all the instruments were played by G.S. which is pretty amazing when you listen to the genreless eight songs. One of the best displays of this is on “The Unused Detail” where I think I counted 8 different sounds throughout the track. At his show at Hive Mind back in March, I’m pretty sure someone mentioned to me that “Only a few of us know him around here but he’s pretty big overseas.” Don’t sleep Akron.

é Teddy & Keith “Teddy & Keith” are an americana acoustic duo that have been putting their heart into the music for ten years now. Their song “Blank White Pages” is a good place to start on their journey of creating and the battle musicians fight while continuing to pursue their passions. Teddy & Keith also lead up the indie rock band “The Woovs” and the video for their “Sorry Song” features loads of cute dogs while Teddy apologizes about the evils of the world. These guys are always playing gigs and you can catch them on May 29 at Clay’s Park in North Lawrence, OH. (Photo courtesy of the Teddy & Keith)

è Thorla/Cummings/Prettyman


Brad Thorla, Ian Cummings and Walter Prettyman used all their last names to create the trio “Thorla/Cummings/ Prettyman.” Now here’s where it gets tricky: That may not be their name the next time you see them. I caught their debut show at Annabel’s in April & what I can tell you is I’ve NEVER seen this setup before. Brad on bass guitar, Ian on drums & Walter playing his violin furiously through an assorted group of guitar pedals. The violin sounded like if Jack White was playing guitar during a robot and dinosaur battle (this is a good thing). Sadly though, I think Brad & Ian said the lineup is subject to change as Walter is moving soon. The upside is, whoever steps in may play another instrument in a sick and unorthodox matter. We’ll just have to wait and see. (Photo courtesy of Brad Thorla)

ê Portage


Justin Cheuvront, Isaac Thomas and Eric Vaught are “Portage,” an emo/math rock band that lists their interest as “making music and eating Chipotle.” Most of their songs are about drinking and women problems like “Drunk, Probably” and “Dead Sobriety Poet,” and there are unhinged changes throughout the songs. There’s a genuine energy to lines like “Now there's no point in drinking alone / When no one is sleeping alone” that make it completely acceptable to be in your feelings. Portage has been playing gigs regularly in 2017, so make sure to catch them if you get a chance. (Photo courtesy of Portage)

ë Operations

ë 32

| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

I first saw Eagan Ammerman this past January at the open mic hosted by Gretchen Pleuss in downtown Akron at Uncorked Wine Bar. (You should check it out sometime—it happens every Tuesday.) Eagan displayed a ludicrous level of talent on the piano paired with unorthodox lyrics and an untroubled urgency in his vocal delivery. Experiencing this set me up perfectly for catching his Jazz/Lounge/R&B/Reggae project “Operations.” At the live show, you’ll hear anything from D’Angelo and Michael Jackson covers, to unreleased original material and A+ level jam sessions. You also never know who could end up sitting in, whether it be Justin Tibbs on sax (Acid Cats) or HR3 on drums (Bluelight), among others. Be on the lookout for the next Operations show this summer.




the scene R EC





On the Record: See Creatures Two Albums by a Two-piece by Dawson Steeber


by Brett Auerbach

Surface Tension, the debut LP from Akron’s dynamic two-piece, See Creatures (Nate Bucher and Adam Murray), is an album with the freshness and energy of a new band, and the ease and musicianship that only comes with experience. From start to finish, the tracks are a lugubrious groove slick

renders a certain space, describes a time and follows a spell of vocals

cathartic quilt woven from fuzz-blitzed guitar, shoegaze synth, garage bred back beats, and

via exploratory, slippery synth and guitars and a subtle but sincere

hypnotic echo-swamped vocals.

backbeat. This is an album rich with sharp yet sedated pop chops

A loose lyrical theme of depression and

captured in stardust and resin…a cosmic sonic sigh—more white

psych-soul than jam band— woven together in a tapestry of simple repeated riffs simultaneously sterile and filthy and always vaguely

of techno and minimalist psych-pop peppered with sci-fi inspired fuzzed out reverb and endless loops.


From the contemplative “#Ghosted” and “RGB” to the nuanced layered lyrics and celestial, scuzzy bedroom pop of tracks

six track follow up. “UNK” was released in early April, and what a fantastic

like “Open Mind=Lonely Times,” “I Sleep Alone with the Promise of Lovers” and “S.S. Grudgeqween,” the entire album is huge and

album! From the opening track, “7 is Low” to “The Burlington,” this album is a

And now, to my great joy, they’ve already released a

fuzzed riffs and the pulse and stab of these drum beats make the pain seem almost pleasant enough to stagger out blithely and dislocate the present moment if only to wrench freedom from our self-made psychic prisons. These cats are easily one of my favorite local bands.

Your guide to distant future events by Bradley Thorla

and strength of musicianship across all four members of the quartet lend the heavy, late

previously unheard noises from his instrument.

Ohio’s weather is really heating up, and so is the summer show schedule! Giving everyone a heads up- June is looking primed for some face melting with 6 shows featuring some of the

night grooves a wonderfully heavy complexity. Catch them now, before they blow up after their run opening up for Depeche Mode (which is such a perfect pairing for them).

June 21 marks At the Drive-In’s return to Cleveland, after quite a few years off. They played a shortened set at last year’s Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, but the band’s

most incredible active musicians.

historical significance (and overall non-nu metal Less than a week later on June 13, Mary Timony vibe) was lost on most of the crowd, though

Starting things off, on Sunday June 4, Nashville will be sending the Grog Shop their dirtiest garage/sludge rock rippers, Thelma and the Sleaze. The all-female group’s singer, LG, says

will be at the Beachland Ballroom performing songs from her Helium catalogue. Make sure you get there early and catch Noveller’s set. A solo project by Parts & Labor’s Sarah Lipstate,

I did see Anthony Keidis from Red Hot Chili Peppers on the opposite side of the backstage area, transfixed, because “game recognize game.” That band still kills a stage after all

via text that anyone in attendance should expect “heavy handed hits excellently executed

you may have caught her opening for St. Vincent, the Soft Moon or Iggy Pop recently.

these years—Omar still kicks over cabinets and Cedric does those trademark acrobatic, mid-

for maximum enjoyment. BANTER and hair flips, too (eye roll emoji).” If your mind isn’t sufficiently melted by the shows of the first half of the month, June’s Then on June 6, another set of incredible second half has plenty finish you off. On June

chorus handstands.

(coincidentally female) musicians, in the form of Los Angeles’ Warpaint, are playing the

since Alice Coltrane hung up her harp in the 90s, Kamasi Washington is bringing his insane



heart’s own maelstrom as the mind struggles to come to terms with rejection and loss. And yet, the warmth of these

ago). I then managed to catch their set at the Nick Reinhardt brings a newness of technique Grog Shop shortly before the band released The to the “progressive” genre, deftly using effect Fool in 2010, and a few times since. The depth pedals and incredible technicality to wrangle

Beachland Ballroom. Seeing their band name on of shred-prog tastefully mixed with indie rock the Billions’ booking agency webpage years ago tones and punk sensibilities. All of the bands led me to their MySpace page (yes that long shralp the gnar, but in particular Tera Melos’


break-up tethers this all together. There’s a tumult in the lyrics where the confluence of love, anger, and melancholy meet to create a certain desperation, blistered and burnt in the


15, Chon and Tera Melos will be bringing to the Agora Ballroom a very new, specific brand


On the jazz side of the game, one of the new monsters, maybe the biggest musical mind

big band to the Tri-C Jazz Festival. First brought to notoriety by composing the incredibly (continued on page 36)








the scene



Remembering Space Man Bond

by Brittany Nader

quickly and organically, while the experience of recording is much slower and more nuanced.

become more unified and collaborative.

When a band explains the songs they write are about “paranoia, general disregard and, probably, bad love,” you might anticipate

Voris says crafting each song flows like a stream-of-consciousness experience where they each just start playing their instruments without

“Our music is really unique because we each have very different types of music we like, but it all just comes together,” Weiss says.

We showed up late to Musica for the Space Man Bond Benefit Show because we worked late that night. I didn't really feel

a droning sound shrouded in darkness and despair. But that’s where Stems serves as the perfect anomaly, a contrast between

a set plan. Seeker credits the band’s practice space, a garage on Voris’ property in Akron, as highly influential. It’s where the new album

Seeker describes Stems as “if The Shins did stuff by The Cure,” with Voris mentioning the

comfortable going, because a) I didn't know Matt, and b) I feel weird about death. But I went anyway, because my boyfriend was

melancholy, indie-rock tunes with a danceable, Talking Heads energy. The title of Stems’ upcoming release, “Your Sullen Ways Are Getting Boring,” is, perhaps, a tongue-in-cheek jab at themselves, as well as a realization that the band is evolving in tone and artistry.

was recorded, and all the artifacts posted up in the space can serve as random songwriting inspiration. Many cases of Busch beer, a signed print by Big Star’s Alex Chilton and a woodburning stove are a few of the relics that complete the outdoor collection and may, in some subtle ways, make appearances on the new release.

addition of dance rock, kraut rock and afro beats that give the band a more diverse, varied sound. Voris adds that the band is “future past,” or akin to the music one would hear on an oldies station in the future. He also notes that while each band member has very different and distinct tastes, it contributes positively to the evolution of the band’s songwriting.

Seeker attributes the name Stems to his evolution as a musician, having performed solo and in bands with other local players. This

“I know I can end practice when I tell them I want to put on a song by Kanye or Type O Negative,” Voris says.

"To Matt Bond, Goddammit," the lead singer lamented as the song began.

addition of Joel McAdams on guitar and vocals as a big leap forward in the direction of the

current group “stems” or branches off from the songs and sound he had created in previous

Weiss says the band feels each recording is

"Goddammit!" the crowd responded.

band, as well as a major asset in the songwriting process. The comradery between the bandmates and shared admiration of their new member is enough to shatter expectations about their

music projects. Many of Stems’ early songs were written and performed by Seeker himself, then fleshed out by Voris, Weiss and a former guitar player. The guys first played live together

getting stronger, as they’re each learning more and growing as they play. Voris says “Easily Lost” is one of his favorite tracks on the new album, as it showcases three different vocal

sound from their own description. Press play on

at a Buddy Holly cover show (their band aptly

parts and highlights their harmonies and

the rough mix of their upcoming album, and the rhythmic beats and melodic guitars are enough to put their current tunes in the “feel-good” range, rather than something one would put on in their darkest hour.

called Beardy Holly) and practiced in the 245 Gallery in Kent. Voris says he wasn’t much of a bass player, and Weiss only recently picked up drums at that point. Weiss came from a musical background, with his father playing mostly

dynamics, as well as highly collaborative lyrics that all seemed to naturally flow and work well together to create a cohesive song.

Spending a few hours with Justin Seeker, Josh Weiss and Michael Voris, the repertoire between them is jovial and jokey, a clear reflection of their distinctive working relationship which they call a “unit.” They each credit the recent

“People always say it’s like we operate as one

traditional Appalachian, folk and Celtic music, Seeker, who serves as primary lyricist, vocalist and and he played the mandolin for many years.

thing during our live shows, but it’s because we write that way. As a unit,” Weiss says.

guitar player in Stems, says the new song, “Good Voris had been performing as a guitarist since Times,” is one of his personal favorites. Hearing the ‘90s, but banding together with Seeker the faster pace of that track compared to allowed each of them to explore and hone their

The new album, set to be released this summer, was recorded in the band’s infamous practice

something like “Don’t Fit” off of the band’s 2015 skills on new instruments. space with the help of Ben Vehorn from release, “Identity Believer,” highlights the growth Tangerine Sound Studios. Stems is working and coming together of each band member’s Seeker says after their previous guitarist quit the on building up a schedule of live shows in the individual tastes, influences and skill sets. “This one is more collaborative,” Seeker says. “Joel was more of a writing partner. We

band, he sought refuge at the Zephyr in Kent to drown his sorrows. He confided in McAdams, who manages the bar, and finally something clicked. He, Voris and Weiss were all huge fans

upcoming months, and with a repertoire of sharing a stage with bands like Man Man, Built To Spill, King Gizzard and The Dodos, fans of local music are sure to be in for a treat from

stopped playing shows regularly to take a break

of McAdams’ work in “legendary” local band

this foursome.

and record this album. We really wanted to devote our time to that.”

Beaten Awake, and they finally asked him to join Stems on guitar. McAdams’ influences added that extra something special to Stems’ The band’s current songwriting process happens sound and helped their songwriting process


| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

Find Stems at and // Photo by Jamie Suvak

by M. Sophie Franchi

friends with him and because I wanted to support the unborn child of a man who died too young. We showed up right before Astral Projections, Matt's most recent musical project, began the second to last song of the show, sans Matt. This was their first show ever.

The music was beautiful, melodic, rocking, spacey and emotional, the chorus an ode to Matt: "I see a spaceship coming from far away to take our friend...we're not ready..." The last song of the night was ceremonial, complete with an on-stage, sage burning, with a hawk feather for wafting the smoke toward the crowd and all around them. Astral Projections played along with Matt's pre recorded parts, and as they finished, you could see Matt’s band mates falling into a sort of trance, as they said their musical goodbye. All proceeds from the show, T-shirt sales and gift basket raffle went to Matt’s girlfriend, Leah Armbruster and their unborn child. Akron showed up for their “best friend,” and the benefit raised over $3,000. To support Leah and Baby Bond, please visit their gofundme page at caring-for-the-needs-of-his-child. Pictured above: Matt Bond with Meow Meow Kitty (Photo by Jacob Bruckner)


Steven Jeffrey Roberts performs May 13th at 8pm

Frank's Place ng

e we eel

know But was

to o died

Mondays ............................. Queen of Heart Drawing Monday 8pm! “At the Hop Disc Jockeys” featuring DJ Rusty and Fultz spinning vinyl, every 1st Monday of the month, starting in May • DJ Larry’s music trivia on the alternate Mondays 9pm Tuesdays .................... Taco Nights $1.50 to $3 and Drink Specials Rob's trivia 8pm Wednesdays .............................................. Chef Todd’s Food Specials Thursdays...................................................... $4 Burgers (dine-in only) Fridays ................................... 12oz Strip Steak $12.00. Cupcakes by Sweet Mary's Bakery (234) 706-6088 Saturdays .................................Check Out Our Live Music Schedule ........................... Sundays ...........................Karaoke hosted by Natalie • 9pm to 1am $0.60 Wings (dine-in only) Super Power Hour • From Open - 8:00pm $3.50 Well Drinks • $3.50 Bud Light Drafts

549 W Market St, Akron (330) 376-8307

HAPPY Hour: Monday - Friday Until 8pm Open: M-F at 2pm • Sat-Sun at 12:30pm

l of t




m far dy..."



g, oke


Great food and service! We didn't have reservations so we opted to sit at the bar. Still had great service, the bartenders were fun and answered any questions we had about drinks they were making. The food was delish! We will be back!

tt's you

a sort dbye.

es and nd, d. d,”

e visit



Happy Hour

3 - 7 pm • Mon. to Sat. $1.75 domestics | $2 wells | $3 select craft pints Sat. & Sun. • $5 Bloody Mary’s

Grab a cold one & enjoy a Ninny’s hot dog while you’re here. ~ 801 W. Market STreet ~

We will be celebrating Mother's Day on Sunday, May 14th with a special brunch and drinks, starting at 11am, and go until 5pm. v Nuevo will be open every Sunday after Mother's Day from 3-9 pm. v Enjoy brunch on the first Sunday of each month from 11am to 9pm.

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

overflow (continued from page 22) short walk away, and loaded with resources. They have a variety of programs for people of

well. It is a great location for me, a good space, and they usually have pretty good music on, as well. After, that being my first meal here, I

all ages. I have been there more than any other place in Akron, other than my apartment, since I've been here.

decided I could live here. Overall, I have had good food experiences here, which is very important!

I like to hike and bike also, and have been told

How do you hope Akron will be different

of a few good places and trails to check out, but I have not had the chance to do so, yet.

in five years? Well, I am still getting to know Akron for what it is now and it has been pretty

Why should everyone try your favorite local restaurant? My first meal in Akron was

great so far, but I would like to see the Arts District to grow. From what I have heard, Akron has, and is continuing to become more of a

at Nuevo, and I must say it is also my favorite. They have an excellent menu for both food and drinks. I want to eat everything on it! It is amazing food that is different than other places

destination for people, as opposed to a place from which they are moving away. I am really enjoying my new city and I appreciate all of the factors that have lead me here!

around, and the margaritas are pretty tasty, as (continued from page 28)

the pan and gently coated in crunchy goodness

cucumber, and eel sauce. My personal favorite piece was the one that had the crab legs clawing out of the

is not something I was used to, but something I could definitely get used to.

rice. Absolutely delicious, especially when topped with ginger (I’m not a wasabi person, myself). Sushi + cream cheese is always a good call, but with that rich and savory eel sauce, it had me from the beginning. We decided on the Kent roll because it incorporated mackerel and bonito which neither of us had in sushi before. It also showcased the ponzu sauce which is light and citrusy. This roll really allowed the fish to shine and, for that, I was happy. The fish was fresh and bright and was complemented by the slight tang in the ponzu sauce. The Crunch was unlike any sushi roll I had eaten before. Inside was crab sticks topped with a dollop of spicy mayonnaise. It came out warm. As in I literally watched one of the chefs take it out of the pan and slice it up moments

The Cavalier Roll was a smorgasbord of sushi. With tempura shrimp and spicy tuna on the inside and delicious slices of pepper seared tuna on the top along with sesame seeds and scallions, the sushi roll was just the right amount of everything: crunch, spice, density and lightness. The flavor changed with every bite. Be sure to keep an eye on the specials board for this guy!

To me, the mark of great sushi is finding a roll tastes better without soy sauce purely because the flavors are allowed to stand on their own. I can confidently say that this was the case for everything I tried at Sushi Katsu. I am already planning my next trip back.

1446 N Portage Path, Akron Mon – Sat, 5 pm – 9 pm

(continued from page 13)

“Vibrant Deterioration”

was more vibrant than the first, using lighted frames to further brighten the colors.

will remain on exhibit until May 20.

Star’s exhibit—although she does not explicitly imply that she wanted her audience to learn anything—also provides an opportunity for the

The Box Gallery 140 East Market St (3rd Flr: Summit Artspace)

audience to self-reflect and feel connected. As you look at her beautiful depictions of deterioration, you may realize that you’re not alone in hiding your suffering behind a cheery façade, and you have more in common with those around you than you think.

Hours: Fri and Sat 125pm; Fri Openings 5-8pm

Travel to Cuba with Lambes and then give yourself the time to self-examine with Star. Let the vibrancy of these exhibits draw you in, take a moment for self-reflection and possibly learn something along the way. (continued from page 20) As a parent himself, Culver understands the importance of consistency and being present with youth. While mentors are only required to meet with mentees once per week, per Ka’Andre’s request, the pair meet twice per week. Regardless of any schedule conflicts,

before it reached our table. Sushi fresh out of (cotninued from page 14) everywhere, often less clear because they are less concentrated. Looking at the example

(continued from page 33) complex string arrangements on Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly,” Kamasi then

Culver is dedicated to his role as Ka’Andre’s mentor: “I’m coming twice a week unless school is closed. Those are given. I want to be there for him [and] be that presence.”

of the coalfields, we can see clearly how toxic environments are created and people

released his 3xLP debut album, the Epic. His two-drummer, two-bass player, 12-piece big

Currently, iC.A.R.E. offers family enrichment

disenfranchised. It’s important to fight for the things which give us dignity in the workplace and our communities. This means supporting movements like Black Lives Matter, the Fight for $15, trade unions, and the defense of science

band blends Jazz and Soul using the most intense, burning music heard in recent years and is not to be missed.

sessions four times per year and is in the process of redeveloping their curriculum to best serve all parties involved in the program

It’s looming months like this when it should be decided—brains are not really that important.

including parents, who are highly encouraged to work alongside mentors. The aim is to engage parents in the mentoring process

in shaping environmental policy. It means accepting that global warming is real and supporting strong controls on CO2. If there is one thing we can learn from the audacity and success of the coal industry in staying relevant, it is that there is no such thing as defense. We have to not be content to negotiate away an inch, and play the long game, holding on to each small benefit our ancestors fought and died for. The fight is everywhere. For more information about the film, visit


Might as well give in to the musical madness when it is this available. //BIO: Bradley Thorla works at EarthQuaker Devices and spent nearly a decade booking bands. He has 20 releases with eight different

more intentional work this coming school year to support families with needed resources

bands to his credit, along with three zines and a and direction to help them as we serve their book. He presently performs with Relaxer, This children.” Is What We Are Now and as a solo artist under

| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

Akron Artwalk (First Sat of each Month) 12-9pm (First Sat. of each month) * Gallery hours valid during exhibitions only. Check out more of these artists’ work and full galleries of these works:

Public Schools and Barberton City Schools. “Any child who wants/needs a mentor has the right to one and we work hard to make that happen,” says Jonathan Greer. “In short, no matter what the challenge for the student, we want to support them.” // Photo courtesy of United Way of Summit County.

United Way has already begun recruiting for

at home to garner the best chances of the student’s success. When it comes to getting parents more involved, Greer says that he and the iC.A.R.E. team “will be doing a lot

the name THORLA. His photography can be found on Instagram via @bradleythorla.

“Cuba: An Education” and

others. In turn, each subject’s ending picture

As of this year, there are 420 mentor/mentee pairs with 600 students having signed up through the iC.A.R.E. program between Akron

the new VISTA openings, with applications due by May 13. The starting date for all eight positions is June 27. Prospective applicants can learn more on the United Way website at

To get involved with the iC.A.R.E. Mentoring program, please visit For more information about United Way of Summit County please visit


back of the book


MAYBE IT’S YOU by Floco Torres Most of us were never taught growing up that

the fact that I’ve already been to four or five

finding a city you love to live in is like dating. I’m not a dating guru, but it seems to me that the best relationships are built from two people that have something positive to offer each

DIY music venues that are run by creatives who have day jobs and who are hosting collectively three to five shows a month.

other and that they’re somewhat compatible. Outside of that, it’s all horoscopes and Dr. Phil episodes, right? I’ve dated quite a few cities

If music isn’t your thing, then consider that the Akron Art Museum is free every Thursday for a reason I’ve yet to find. Not everyone is into art,


in my time, and Akron so far has been the healthiest relationship I can remember, even though it’s only been five months. I have the luxury of still being in the honeymoon phase

but I do know adults like craft beer a lot, and there are eight local breweries in Akron for you to support (while you get beer foam in your manicured beard).

Tuesday........................... Check Out Bourbon Night Wednesday ................. Enjoy Discount Wine Night Friday/Saturday ........... $5 Moscow Mules until 9

while some of Akron’s detractors (aka folks that have dated Akron for a while and are sick of its crap) don’t get what I see in the city.

This “dislike” could very well be that between working and having a family, there just hasn’t been enough time to do the things you The city I moved from is a great place with a enjoy. Consider then that the Main Branch of tight-knit community that really wants to see the Akron Summit County Public Library in some game-changing things happen. The downtown Akron offers 13 different services problem is that the community of folks is less that could help you get going on a new hobby than 400 people in a city with a population or business idea. From a sewing machine to 3D of 92,000. I had simply done everything that I printing to a silhouette for your next holiday could with my career and and experienced all the card, I’ve never seen a city want you to succeed nightlife I could in only four years of my eight

and be involved (like a sugar daddy/momma

year stay there. I chose to move to a city that is still small enough (200,000 people) for my liking and has a higher percentage of folks that are active in making change. I love it here, and while

would) more than Akron.

every place has its problems, I find that the only people I talk to who don’t like Akron so far are

salvaged and sometimes you just have to walk away and start anew. It’s never acceptable for

the folks who don’t do anything. When I say they don’t do anything, I mean they

either party is to just stick around because the rent is cheap, until they find some freshly cut grass on the other side of the fence. Maybe

aren’t taking advantage of the innumerable amount of rabbit holes to get lost in here. I’m usually faced with “there’s not much to do

those of us who are enamored with our love life have been sharing too many happy photos. Maybe you just can’t see your old flame in the

here,” or “I wish it was more like *insert big city*,” or “there’s not really a music scene.” Since music is my strong point, let’s start with

light that we see it because it wasn’t as pretty (or handsome) as it is now. Or maybe it’s just you.

(continued from page 24) much like working people, taking the brunt of

was not on our side, and we departed for the Knight Center to say our goodbyes. It’s clear

a lot of the bad tax policies,” Strahorn said. “When we do tax policies that release really big corporations and wealthy people from their tax

that the State Representatives on the tour will resist the proposed tax changes. What’s not so clear is how the rest of the Representatives will

responsibility, it gets shifted downhill. The folks that end up picking that tab up are working

vote, especially on the other side of the aisle. Personally, I’d like to see policies in place that

people and small businesses. At every level or facet of this discussion all the indications are this is bad policy and we shouldn’t do it.”

allow small businesses like craft breweries the opportunity to grow.

Although I would have happily continued on to the other 11 breweries in Summit County, time


1947 W. Market Street Find us right behind the CVS

It’s no secret that relationships are tough and they do get boring. Sometimes things can be

Special thanks to State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes for allowing me to join her on this tour.


back of book

The Trouble with Old People Too Social Media

For a long time, younger people have been telling me that I should start using social media. I wasn't sure what it was, and I thought it

she's the one. Of course Tyler denies it. Which is

wasn't right for me. But something happened recently and I've learned that social media can be a deeply enriching life experience.

exactly what you'd expect him to say. And after I invited his stupid sister to my cousin's baby shower after he

I was pedaling away in the cardio room at the

begged me to. Just because she doesn't know I had a chance to share my thoughts with anybody because she just got here from helping her when I did. That's the thing I've come to

by Steve Van Auken

gave me the wrong number. I haven't seen

her back at the gym either, probably because she's too upset with Tyler to enjoy exercising. So it's a good thing

energy sector entirely. Yeah, I know there's a lot of volatility there. But I think your position is sound. Your risk level is well-controlled." That's all the social media I got from him, but it was enough to make me realize I had an obligation. My insights could help. "You know, Dennis--your name's Dennis, right?--maybe

gym. The bike next to me was occupied by a the refugees in Burkina Faso. Did I ask her to young lady who appeared to be communicating go help the refugees in Burkina Faso? No. But I

appreciate most about social media. It's so immediate and spontaneous. It can link people

you should rethink your strategy here. I got gas just this morning. It was down to 2.24 a

with hallucinations. She was talking in a loud voice in a highly animated way. No one but me was nearby. I assumed she was experiencing a

invited her anyway. And now he does this."

of all types who otherwise would have nothing to say to each other.

gallon! And yesterday it was at 2.43! Talk about your volatility in the market! Are you sure you wouldn't do better by shifting your client into

psychotic episode. This seemed like a good time to move on to the weight room. But then her hair swung back and I saw one of those BlueTooth things in her ear.

standing by her bike when I told her, "You shouldn't let him take advantage of you like that." She jumped a little and she said, "What? What? No, not you. There's this old guy, he's

Like Dennis, a guy who has an office on the floor above mine. I'd seen him around for years but we never said much more than "Hi" to each other. All I knew about him was that he

commercial transportation? I'm not saying I'm an expert, but there is a train track that runs right by my house. It's been there for years. A safe, solid investment."

By this time I was deeply concerned. I was

standing by my bike!" She was talking to somebody. That somebody could have been in Tallmadge, Ohio, or in Khartoum. There was no way to know, from the half of the conversation that I could hear. "So I'm like, 'Whatever.' And then he said, 'Maybe we could get some coffee.' And I'm, 'Really? Really? After you don't call me for two weeks? And after I find out that you've been talking to that Rhonda again? After you told me she was your cousin? And now I find out that no, she's not your cousin, she's the girl you took to the prom back in high school? And I find this hair in your truck that is blue? Is my hair blue? Has it ever been blue? No. It has not." At first I felt I was eavesdropping on a private conversation. But then I realized I had stumbled into some social media, and I shouldn't just walk

was some kind of financial planner. But then last week we were riding up in the elevator "That so-called fishing trip was an obvious ruse. together. He was talking when I got on, and at I'll bet Tyler doesn't even know anything about fishing. I can help you trap him. Ask him if the fish were feeding on the surface and he was casting Rapalas, or if they were down deep and he used a spinner bait with a harness of rubber worms. See if he knows. I bet he won't. The weasel." "What? No, he hasn't left. He has totally not left. He's standing here talking to me. About rubber worms." "And Rapalas. You cast them. On the surface. I bet Tyler wasn't within a hundred miles of a fishing lake. I'll bet he was with Rhonda. You see very few women with blue hair out fishing."

away. This young woman was in obvious distress. "Okay, so I'm going to have to go now. He's still here. Talking to me. I'll call you later." "And now I'm not trusting anything he says. Like that so-called fishing trip he took with 'the I could tell that she was uncertain about what guys'--I haven't even met one of these so-called I was saying. In spite of everything, she still friends of his--to someplace where he said there was no cell reception? Now I'm thinking, was that really fishing? Or was that about Rhonda? You know?"

wanted to believe in that snake, Tyler. Probably she didn't know much about fishing. Maybe, even though she was young, she was unfamiliar with social media. I felt I was making great strides. I was quickly getting comfortable with

I had stopped riding. My concern for her was

social media. By the time we got to her car,

mounting by the moment. It was becoming more and more clear that Rhonda and this guy were weaving a web of lies, and she was trapped in it. I wasn't sure that the friend she

she was still pretty upset. She had stayed in the women's locker room a long time. On our way to her car she walked fast, and I barely had time to share another concern I had.

was talking to would be capable of giving her the help she desperately needed.

"Have you considered that maybe Rhonda is not only his girlfriend but also his cousin? That's

"So I drove by his work. And I walked around the neighborhood. And what do I find? Just two blocks from the place he works there's this coffee shop. And who sells me my coffee? This

illegal in most states. Think about the kind of guy who would do that. And then he has the nerve to invite you for coffee! You're too good for him! I can see you're in a hurry. Better give

girl with blue hair on one side. Yes! Can you believe it! Her name tag said she was Tiffany but I bet that was just an alias. So I said to her,

me your number so we can discuss our next move. I have some more ideas about fishing tackle."

"How was the fishing? With you and Tyler?" And she acts like she's all innocent. But I bet

Unfortunately, she was so upset that she


| THE Devil Strip / MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5

Of course it was a lot for him to take in. No one likes to have their professional assumptions

first I thought he was talking to me. But then I challenged, even when it's in their own interest. realized it was another case of one of those Blue He said, "Huh? What? Bill, I got to go." Teeth, and he was talking to one of his clients. By then I had stayed on the elevator past my "No, I wouldn't advise you to get out of the (continued on page 39)

back of the book

Urine Luck: The BrickOven BrewPub by Marissa Marangoni You know what goes well with pizza? Beer. You know what goes with beer? A toilet, of course! You might not be able to find a convenient parking space at the BrickOven BrewPub or have enough light to read a book (but who does that at a pizza and beer place?), but you will find a bathroom if you need one. After managing to somehow eat two slices of deep dish (the best deep dish I’ve ever had outside of Chicago, no less) while mitigating the damage my not-yet-1-year-old son managed to do with all the silverware on the table, I made the required visit to the relief site. Have we ever talked about how finding a bathroom can be awkward? It shouldn’t be,

Pavona’s Pizza Joint by Emily Dressler The bathroom at Pavona’s Pizza Joint--the coolest little pizza shop ever-is easy to find and is very out in the open. I mean, it has a door and all that, but it feels like you’re right in the middle of the action. Sometimes I get anxious in bathrooms like that. Pavona’s is a little place, but at least they are using their space wisely.

right? We all have to go. Why is it embarrassing to try and locate a bathroom? Is that just me? You know what is more embarrassing than trying and failing to find a bathroom in a restaurant? Having your distant Italian cousin offer you a towel before you go to the

Peeza Pizza by Emily Dressler and Marissa Marangoni

coordination of my dog who can’t figure out how to go down stairs, which makes it hard to pee and hang onto a purse.

BrewPub isn’t a small Airstream trailer. I wouldn’t mind dragging it along with me and

If there was only one word I could use to describe the BrickOven BrewPub’s bathroom, it would be “damp.” Damp is what I expect in a

Overall, this bathroom was a typical bar bathroom. Toilet, sink, towels. Moderately

bathroom in his home. Let me just tell you that that towel was

bar bathroom, and though this is not a bar, its atmosphere (small, unconcerned with decor, friendly) is similar to one, so the dampness

not for my hands, and remember

wasn’t a surprise. There was even some graffiti

clean. Functional. You know, the fact that it was what I expected was good. I liked it. The carpet matched the drapes, so to speak. BrickOven BrewPub bathroom gets a 3.5/5 toilets from me.

that bathrooms in Europe include on the odd outdoorsy artwork! I attempted bidets. Now that is embarrassing. to make out what it said, but I couldn’t. I was excited to see the graffiti, though there wasn’t My cousin would be appalled by deep dish pizza; after all, I was informed that there is one way to make a real pizza. And it is not

much of it. And it might have been better placed on the wall instead of the art, but details, schmetails I guess.

deep dish. But, heritage be damned, I loved BrickOven BrewPub’s pizza, and after I ate it, I did manage to find their bathroom. It’s straight through the main seating area to the

BrickOven BrewPub 604 Canton Rd., Akron, OH 44312 (330) 475-7005 Wed. & Thurs.: 4-10pm

You know what other word I’d use to describe this water closet? Tin can. Okay, two words. It felt like a tin can, but I don’t mean that in a bad

Fri. & Sat.: 11:30am - 11pm Sun.: 11:30am - 10pm (Closed Mon. & Tues.)

back and to the right. I was relieved to find a single-staller--sans bidet. The purse hook was a nice feature because I wasn’t interested in

sort of way. It’s just a fact. Something about all the silver of the art and the lighting in the space that made it feel like I was peeing in a

// Marissa has a dream of writing bathroom reviews

putting my bag on the floor, and I have the

silver Airstream trailer. It’s too bad BrickOven

life’s calling?

industrious person saw it at an antique store and just knew it would make the perfect toilet paper holder. The paper towel holder is also made from a chain because you can’t stop at one chain bathroom fixture.

same fate and will sometimes work, sometimes not. That will be sad.

review extra seriously. The single-stall, unisex bathroom is right past the cash register, almost in the kitchen but not quite. The bathroom is dimly lit, but not so dark that you worry they’re trying to hide a spider problem. I was pleasantly surprised by the dark red walls, but I guess it makes sense for a pizza place to look to pizza colors for inspiration. If I owned a pizza place or designed bathrooms for one, I would paint a joyful slice of pizza on the wall.

The wide mirror over the sink is definitely a prize piece, with its thick reclaimed wood frame, minus any chains. Someone either really knew what they were doing when they put this

for full-time pay. Anyone interested in supporting her

This bathroom provides all the basics and looks nice doing it. I do wish there was at least one piece of pizza wall art, but not everyone recognizes the beauty of pizza as art the way I do. I am awarding this bathroom 4 out of 5 toilets. Congrats on the cool bathroom and the freaking amazing pizza crust, you guys.

bathroom together or is maybe just a pro at scouring pinterest.

The features in here are a nice combo of

Before I even washed my hands, I saw the trashcan in the corner and noticed that it looked “electronic” so I sort of waved my hand

Pavona’s Pizza Joint 32 Sand Run Rd, Akron, OH 44313 Sunday - Thursday: 4-9 pm Fri & Sat: 4-10 pm

reclaimed wood and chains. I know that sounds

over it to see what would happen. Dear reader,

Before I get any further in this, I should tell you that I often wear a dainty gold necklace with a heart on it that says “pizza.” It was a birthday gift from my husband. I really really like pizza,

more like dungeon decor, but in here it is comforting and gives the bathroom an overall warm tone. The toilet paper holder looks like a bicycle chain sculpture and I wonder if it was

the trashcan opened! Can you believe it? I was excited to use it again for real after I dried my hands. I do worry though, that like automatic toilets, sinks, and soap dispensers, this

so maybe I am taking this pizza place bathroom

made to be a toilet paper holder or if some

automatic trashcan will eventually suffer the

(continued from page 38) floor. We walked down the hall to his office. When we got inside I got some coffee and told

I did think I saw him near the elevator this morning, but then it looked like he dashed into the stairwell. He is probably trying to get in

(continued from page 16) Huzzah.

him I would be happy to share some thoughts I have about the likely direction of government

some cardio work by taking the stairs, which is a smart move.

subsidies for domestic rice producers. But he had to go to the bathroom so I settled in to wait. Unfortunately, the poor guy must have had the stomach flu that is going around. He

The bottom line is that social media has opened up the world for me in a way I never imagined. I wish I had had the confidence to try it years

// Emily Dressler wants to spend all her days writing fun things for pay and staring wistfully out windows.

// Josy recently moved to Akron in January and thinks Akron is an amazing place. Pictured below (L to R): Joe Pine as Antipholus of Ephesus, Tess Burgler as Doctor Pinch, and Ernie Gonzalez as Dromio of Ephesus. (Photo by Scott Custer.)

Ohio Shakespeare Festival’s next show is

never did come back. At noon his secretary said ago. It's all about being open and spontaneous they always lock the door over lunch hour. So with people when you have something useful he and I haven't had a chance yet to discuss the to share. Like my new friend, the financial

“As you Like It,” showing June 30 - July 16.

rice market. Or for that matter, the healthcare sector. I'm sure I can help him there. I've had a

planner. I can't wait to see his face tomorrow morning when I meet him in the stairwell. It

View the entire season’s lineup at

lot of health care.

really is true what they say. With social media there are no boundaries.


having some of that pizza any time I wanted.

MAY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #5 /

THE Devil Strip |


Mary-Elizabeth Fenn, a Wisconsin native, has trained at Milwaukee Ballet School, Central

Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School-NYC, BalletMet, and Point Park University. Mary-Elizabeth is currently dancing with Neos Dance Theater and is their resident choreographer. She has served as an adjunct faculty member for University of Akron’s Dance Department and teaches for various dance studios throughout Ohio.

Mary-Elizabeth Fenn, a Wisconsin native, has trained at Milwaukee Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School-NYC, BalletMet, and Point Park University. She has a BFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Professional dance experience includes; featured soloist with Spinal Tap and appeared as a soloist in Kanye West’s concert summer series in 2011. Mary-Elizabeth has performed in New York City with Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama, Amalgamate Dance Company, Yoo & Dancers, Caitlin Dutton, and London artist Eddie Peake in Performa 13. In New York, she presented her own work through Fenn & Company at Triskelion Arts Split Bill Series, Comedy in Dance Festival, Triskelion Presents, and NYC10. Mary-Elizabeth is currently dancing with Neos Dance Theater and is their resident choreographer. She has served as an adjunct faculty member for University of Akron’s Dance Department and teaches for various dance studios throughout Ohio. (Photo by Bryce Millikin Dancers: Mary-Elizabeth Fenn and Tyler Schnese)

TDS May 2017  
TDS May 2017  

All the stuff that makes Akron unique plus dozens of great things to do in May, all wrapped up in a nice, neat, pretty package, which also h...