Our picks for the 12 best choices you can make this month
Now – Saturday, February 17
Traveling Stanzas: Writing Across Borders
Summit Artspace, 140 E Market St
During gallery hours
The interactive traveling digital exhibition created by the Wick Poetry Center of Kent State University is free and open to the public and features more than 30 beautifully-illustrated poems and videos that showcase refugee resettlement in Akron area communities. At the heart of the exhibit is an interactive touchscreen experience, allowing visitors to browse content and become poets themselves. The goal of Traveling Stanzas is to bring poetry to everyday lives by fostering meaningful conversations and encouraging new voices.
Saturday, February 3
The Vagina Monologues
E.J. Thomas Hall, 198 Hill St
Check out this award-winning play based on V-Day Founder/playwright Eve Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. V-Day is a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day University of Akron is sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program and the Women’s and Gender Resource Program at the University. Proceeds will benefit the Rape Crisis center of Medina and Summit Counties.
Friday, February 9
PechaKucha Akron Volume 10
Tangier Event & Entertainment Center, 532 W Market St
Doors at 7pm, Program at 8pm
If you’ve ever kicked yourself for missing a PechaKucha event, now’s your chance to see some past PK presenters. This retrospective event will see the return of a few loved presentations. If you don’t know what PK is: speakers give quick presentations that include 20 images shown for 20 seconds each for a total of six minutes and forty seconds. Imagine the best PowerPoint you’ve ever seen, but way faster and way more fun. Refreshments and a cash bar will be available. Ticket cost includes admission to the after party at Jilly’s Music Room. General admission is $5. VIP admission is $20 and includes preferred, on-stage seating and one drink ticket. There is limited free admission for those unable to contribute financially this time around.
Petrushka with Neos Dance Theatre
E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, 198 Hill St
If you’ve never seen Neos Dance Theatre perform, you’re in for a treat. Petrushka is an old Russian ballet that explores a puppet love triangle. We’re not joking. Artistic Director Bobby Wesner will create a community dance-athon on the opening and closing sections of the ballet. Dancers of many different ages and backgrounds will create the crowd and carnival scene, and Neos will dance the main drama of the work, which describes a love triangle between three puppets who have come to life during the Shrovetide Fair, part of the White Knights celebration in Russia.
Saturday, February 10
Wesley Bright & The Honeytones: “Love the One You Got”
BLU Jazz+, 47 E Market St
7pm and 9pm
Wesley’s voice is as smooth as the honey he harvests. After two sold-out Valentine’s Day appearances at BLU Jazz+, this Akron-native soul singer sensation returns with his dynamic showmanship and top-notch band for a very special third annual Valentine’s Date Night done right! Featuring Wesley Bright, Jimmy Parsons, Nathan-Paul Davis, Matt Garrett, Max Brady, Matthew DeRubertis, Dan Fernandez and Eli Hanley. Bring your dancing shoes and shake your booty with the one you love.
Thursday, February 15
Oginalii, Relaxer, Village Bicycle, Green Tree Novelty Tea
Hive Mind, 375 W Exchange St
Admission: $5-$10 donation
Akron’s finest welcome Nashville’s finest at one of our favorite local DIY spots. Music will range from psych to sludge to fun, and a whole lot in between. Bring your earplugs, ‘cause it’s gonna get loud. Hive Mind is a safe(r) space, so no bigotry or violence will be tolerated. This show is all-ages, but 21+ can BYOB (you will be carded).
Friday, February 16
Run Thomas Run
Live Music Now!, 952 Kenmore Blvd
Admission: $5-10 sliding scale
Head to Kenmore’s new live music venue for a lush combination of roots, rock and Americana. Run Thomas Run is the creation of singer-songwriter M. Thomas Kincaid and friends Jeff Beck, Adam Mercer and Justin Tultz, all artists in their own right. Beer sales will support the ongoing revitalization work of Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance.
Friday, February 16 – Sunday, June 3
Jun Kaneko: Blurred Lines
Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St
During museum hours
Get ready for a BIG exhibition to alter the art museum’s visual landscape. Groundbreaking works of art by renowned ceramic artist Jun Kaneko are coming to the Akron Art Museum’s galleries and its Bud and Susie Rogers Garden. “Jun Kaneko: Blurred Lines” presents a dramatic array of Kaneko’s monumental works uniquely selected by the museum’s John S. Knight Director and CEO Mark Masuoka. Highlighting transformational moments throughout Kaneko’s five-decade career, the exhibition includes several large-scale ceramic sculptures, drawings, paintings and a site-specific installation of his 65-foot-long painting, “Mirage.” The exhibition opens with a celebration on Friday, February 16 from 6 to 9pm including a members-only preview at 6:30pm. The museum plans engaging programs throughout the spring to promote a deeper understanding of the exhibition.
Saturday, February 17
Wandering Aesthetics: EP Cooker Caberet
Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N main St
This isn’t your average open mic. The award-winning Electric Pressure Cooker Cabaret consists of 5 non-stop hours of performing arts, and no art is too taboo. An emcee, house drum kit, keyboard and sound system (with operators) are provided. Doors open and registration for performers begins at 7:30pm with performances beginning between 8:00-8:30pm. Anyone may sign up for a 12-minute slot, and all levels – from beginner to the most experienced – are encouraged to perform. Expect the unexpected, as previous acts have included monologues, acoustic musicians, comedians, feats of strength, play readings, experimental art, dancers, scenes from plays, improvisation, devised work, full rock bands and performance artists. Those under 18 are permitted to attend (and perform!) with adult supervision. Performers may pre-register.
Thursday, February 22
Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St
If you follow postsecret.com, you’ll love this live version. This show is a visual, auditory and emotional journey through the beauty and complication of our deepest fears, ambitions and confessions. With the assistance of projected images and video, three actors guide the audience through a crowd-sourced narrative of the stories behind never-before-seen secrets: sexual, sad, funny and controversial postcards that have made postsecret.com.
Saturday, February 24
Big Love Festival 2018
Summit Artspace, 140 E Market St
Admission: Suggested donation: $5 for ages 12+
This year, honor generations that came before us, celebrate those that live now and support those who will come after us. The event will include live music, art installations, food and drinks, holistic healing modalities, a kid’s space and a variety of other non-stop activities for the entire day. The event is open-to-all, family friendly and zero-waste.
Winter Beach Bash with The Kahuna Kings & Guests
Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N Main St
Get ready to shake of the winter blues with The Kahuna Kings as they host the 2nd Annual Winter Beach Bash at Jilly’s Music Room! The Lava Ladies will be there for some dance inspiration, and Akron’s Seafoam Tsunami will kick the night off with some original instro-surf.