GAR Foundation awards more than $1.7 million in grants to Akron-area nonprofits

GAR Foundation offered a competitive granting fund to Knight Arts Challenge winners to support 12 projects. Some of the grantees include:

  • Akron Soul Train: $25,000 will fund Artist Fellowships.

  • Bechdel Fest: $18,000 will fund Bechdel Fest, a female-centric film festival that celebrates women both in front of and behind the camera. Fiscal sponsor: Crafty Mart.

  • Crafty Mart: $10,000 will be put toward operations

  • Curated Storefront: $10,000 will fund Curated Storefront, a series of ongoing exhibitions activating unused storefronts with multimedia art installations. Fiscal sponsor: Miami Foundation.

  • Downtown Akron Partnership: $85,000 will be put toward operations.

  • Urban Troubadour: $8,000 will fund an interactive, roving chamber concert that highlights Akron's hidden gems. Fiscal sponsor: Chamber Music Society of Ohio.

For a full list of grantees in this cycle, click on the title link above.

Art review: Curated Storefront makes downtown windows vibrant

Cities are living organisms that change from day to day and year to year. As time passes, some parts of a city can get left behind. This happens for a variety of reasons, because of lack of money, or because the pressure to make a substantive change is too great, and people just can’t comprehend it.

Akron is no different than countless cities throughout North America. Parts of Akron highlight the robust, diverse and quality community we know it to be and other parts seemingly limp along. While we would all love for them to become more vibrant, and of course we would support that type of growth, how to start that ball rolling might be out of our grasp.

One area of Akron that has struggled in the past is its downtown. A group called the Curated Storefront is working to bring it new energy.

Click the title to navigate to the full review.

Pictured: Reverie by Ian Brill.
Photograph by www.LevackPhotography.com

Curated Storefront works to attract investment to downtown Akron through public art displays

AKRON, Ohio - Akronites will want to navigate the orange barrels downtown this month and check out new art installations in storefronts on Main and Mill streets, and in the Northside Arts District.

Curated Storefront is a 2016 $100,000 Knight Arts Challenge winner that aims to showcase buildings that are abandoned, with a few under renovation, through ongoing, curated exhibitions. The current multimedia work ranges from brilliantly lit LED displays to digitally printed, cut and folded paper houses.

The idea is to draw people into downtown and activate the properties, some of which sat empty for years but sold or were rented within months of being highlighted through the project, said Executive Director Rick Rogers.

Click the title to read the whole article.

ACF funds distribute $2.2 million in quarterly grants, Curated Storefront a recipient

AKRON, Ohio (June 8, 2018) – Today, Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors approved grants totaling $2,217,890, including $588,500 in competitive arts and culture grants chosen by the foundation’s Community Investment Committee.

This quarter’s arts and culture funding included a $5,000 grant to The Curated Storefront to bring vibrancy to downtown Akron through window art displays in vacant street-level buildings.

The Curated Storefront is a series of ongoing exhibitions that will revitalize unused storefronts in downtown Akron with multimedia art installations along Main, Market and Exchange streets. To date, the project has transformed more than 40 spaces in prominent locations like Cascade Plaza and the United Building.

Curated Storefront Director Richard Rogers said the exhibitions are attracting new businesses to Akron.

“My idea is to use art in these empty storefronts to attract more commercial development downtown and bring people here to live and re-energize Akron,” Rogers said. “We’ve heard a lot of good feedback from the community. We’ve had some storefronts that have been empty for a number of years, including where Akronym Brewing is now located. That space was empty for eight years, and we programmed it for about six months before it was rented.”

... read more of the article by clicking the headline text and watch the video segment detailing many of this quarter's recipients.

To find the current Curated Storefront exhibitions around town, click https://tinyurl.com/ybcczcuk.

Western Reserve PBS show, Around Akron with Blue Green, Features Curated Storefront and Other Downtown Family Fun Destinations

This episode of Around Akron with Blue Green is all about family fun, education and culture. Blue Green visits the Curated Storefront project, Akron-Summit County Public Library, Lock 3 Akron and Akron Zoo.

Source: http://aroundakronwithbluegreen.com/season...

Spoils of Akron Podcast: Episode 116 Highlights Curated Storefronts and a Unique Vantage Point of Akron's Landscape

Episode 116 - Curated Storefronts, Paw-Paw Trees and Don Drumm Casserole Dishes 

(Click the title above to listen.)

This week, we welcome the multi-talented Courtney Cable, Creative Director of the Curated Storefront program, which manages multimedia public art installations in some of downtown Akron's vacant buildings, helping to beautify these spaces as they await development. Courtney, who’s also a jewelry maker and musician, shares a unique vantage point of Akron’s arts landscape, along with leading Shane and Chris in a singalong, featuring commercial jingles for Tootsie Rolls and Ms. Pac Man Cereal. We also talk about local paw-paw harvests and getting buried in a Don Drumm casserole dish. For info about Curated Storefront, visit http://www.curatedstorefront.org/.

Source: https://spoilsofakron.podbean.com/e/episod...

WKSU Reports: Curated Storefront Puts Art at Downtown Akron's Street Level

"Passing through downtown Akron will now be a little more colorful thanks to a project called Curated Storefront. The project puts art installations in buildings at street-level, including vacant spaces, in an effort to make urban areas more welcoming. There are 13 installations in all."

Click the title link to experience the full segment by WKSU Producer, Andrew Atkins.

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Artist Ron White Featured in Western Reserve PBS TV Show Around Akron with Blue Green

Curated Storefront artist Ron White is one of three artists featured in the Western Reserve PBS TV show Around Akron with Blue Green. Click the title to navigate to the 30 minute broadcast and learn about some of the Movers and Shakers that make this city great.

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Hip-hop dancers, graffiti artists collide in Neos Dance Theatre’s latest work

Fenn also explores relationships between classical and urban artists by integrating art curator Courtney Cable into the dance. The arts administrator is program coordinator for the Akron Art Museum’s Inside| Out project, which places art reproductions around town in public spaces, and also runs Curated Storefront, a Knight Arts Challenge project that installs artwork in vacant or under utilized storefronts in downtown Akron.

For dance.r.evolution, videographer Trowbridge has captured Cable organizing the Storefront. She also interacts live with Neos dancers Matt Roberts, Kassie Lee and Katherine Tackett, “curating” their dance by handing them each numbers that represent different music phrases. At each rehearsal, the dancers execute the phrases in different sequences each time she gives them different numbers.

“Every time we do a rehearsal, it’s different,” Cable said. “We all need to be flexible with one another and listen.”

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The Curated Storefront Awarded Knight Arts Challenge Grant

On March 15, 2016, Richard Rogers was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to realize The Curated Storefront in downtown Akron. Rogers was named as one of 27 grantees whose projects will "engage and enrich the city through the arts." The winning proposals were selected from a pool of over 500 applications. “Art can help define and lift the soul, helping to create a sense of place and binding us to each other and to our community,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation. “Here in Akron, where Knight Foundation was founded, our hope is that the arts will continue to build community, in neighborhoods all across the city.”