LIFT: Local Investment, Local Fun, Local Transformation.

That’s what The Devil Strip aspires to do every day. And in 2019, we want you to do it with us.

LIFT is a to-do list for the year, with a simple challenge every month. In January, we’ll visit the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. (Yes, in January!). In February, we’ll help the Akron Snow Angels distribute warm clothing to homeless people. In March, we’re asking you to eat at a local restaurant and try a cuisine you’ve never had. 

Every month, The Devil Strip will organize an event that gives you the opportunity to LIFT Akron with us. You’ll find details about those events below.

If you can’t make it, that’s okay — complete the task on your own, with family and friends or solo. Document your activity with a photo using #LIFTAkron2019.

And at the end of 2019, everyone who completes the LIFT List will get a free ticket to a New Year’s Eve party, where we’ll celebrate Akron and the people and places that make it great. Stay tuned for the details of that party.

Ready to join us? If you commit online, we’ll send you regular event reminders, highlights from social media, and more.Commit here.

If you have specific questions, contact Business Development Director Jessica Goldbourn at jessica@thedevilstrip.com.


The LIFT List: 

Print out this postcard so you can check off each month as you go!

JANUARY: Get outside.

Yes, we know it’s January! But don’t get caught in a slump of inactivity. If you’re able to do so, go outside — hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, or even walking in your neighborhood. And if you’re not able to safely get outside, that’s okay! Just find another way to be more active than you were last winter.

Thank you to everyone who LIFTed with us in January!

FEBRUARY: Help someone in need.

It’s freezing outside, and still, dozens of people in Akron don’t have stable housing. If you can, buy or make a warm piece of clothing — a coat, scarf, pair of mittens, or pair of socks — and give it to someone who needs it. Donate food to your local food bank or volunteer at a shelter.

Thank you to everyone who LIFTed with us in February!

MARCH: Try new foods.

Akron is home to dozens of locally-owned restaurants. Our residents cook Creole, Thai, Italian, Mexican, Jamaican, Nepali, Greek, Indian, Hungarian, Chinese, Polish, and fusions of many of the above foods. Pick a cuisine you’ve never tried, and visit a local restaurant for your first experience.

No matter where you go, share your results with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #LIFTAkron2019. We’ll use them to make a map of hidden gems!

You don’t need our help to eat something new. But if you want a recommendation, here are some of our favorites.

APRIL: Interact with art.

Public art has spread across our city in recent years, from concrete walls to park benches to walkways. It makes our places more vibrant on the rainiest days. Indoors, Akron has dozens of galleries, ranging from the formal to the pop-up. This month, make art or see art. Let it brighten your day and change the way you see.

Join The Devil Strip for a public art walk on Saturday, April 20. We’ll meet at Zeber-Martell Studio and Gallery at 11 am and begin a guided walk through downtown’s outdoor artworks. The walk is approximately two miles. More details here.

MAY: Volunteer.

For decades, studies have shown that volunteering is good for our health and our happiness. Pick an organization or event you’re passionate about and make that phone call or send that email: How can you help?

We’re still finalizing our event for May, but will have details very soon.

JUNE: Celebrate the Cuyahoga River.

June 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the last fire on the Cuyahoga River, an event that catalyzed the environmental movement and the passage of the Clean Water Act. The river is significantly cleaner now than it was then, and we should get out and enjoy it — but it still needs our help!

Sometime in June, treat yourself to a walk along the river at Cascade Valley Metro Park or the Gorge. Or use this map from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to find a kayaking launch point and get out on the river itself. Stay tuned for details of The Devil Strip’s June event, as well as City of Akron and parks events commemorating the 2019 anniversary.

JULY: Cook locally grown food.

July is farmers market season, when it’s easy to buy fresh produce grown within a few miles of Akron. Visit a farmers market, buy something, cook it, and share it with your neighbors.

We’ll be partnering with Countryside in July to learn to cook a few local foods. Event details are forthcoming.

AUGUST: Listen to live music.

August is full of festivals, including EarthQuaker Day, PorchRokr, and the Rubber City Jazz and Blues Festival. While the weather is nice, there’s live music available almost every day. In August, your task is simple: Go listen.

We’re still finalizing our event for August. Stay tuned!

SEPTEMBER: Experience the marathon.

No, you don’t actually have to run 26.2 miles. But the Akron Marathon has grown dramatically since it launched 17 years ago, and it’s an event worth celebrating.

If you feel up to it, train for one of the Akron Marathon races: The marathon, half-marathon, 10K or 5K. Form a relay team. Volunteer. Or just stand along the Blue Line and cheer. The runners will appreciate it!

The Akron Marathon is scheduled for Sept. 28, 2019. We’ll release details specific to LIFT Akron later this year.

OCTOBER: Visit local history.

So you’ve been to the Akron Art Museum and Stan Hywet. What about the John Brown House, the oldest home in Akron? How about the Akron Children’s Museum, the National Museum of Psychology, or the Akron Sound Museum?

This month, go to a museum, historic building, or local history exhibit you’ve never seen before. We’ll release details of our October event later this year.

NOVEMBER: Learn at the library.

Libraries are so much more than places to check out books. They’re full of opportunities to learn, create, and work. At the Downtown branch, visitors have access to an audio recording studio, a 3D printer, and a button-maker. Branch libraries offer classes on knitting, growing herbs, and much more. Many branches are looking for volunteers.

In November, go to the library and learn something new. We’ll release details of our November event later in the year.

DECEMBER: Buy a local gift.

Akron is full of local artists and craftspeople. This holiday season, shop locally. Treat the people you love to locally made candles, jewelry, coffee, textiles, sculptures, hot sauce, clothing, or whatever else you can find.

We’ll release details of our December event later this year.