we dig dayton

This Is Dayton

Meet Amy Kollar Anderson




Favorite Dayton Place to share with visitors: Amber Rose
Favorite Band: Sleepybird
When playing hookie, can be found at: Dayton Art Institute
Favorite hidden gem in Dayton: Front Street Studio and Garden Station
Dream: to be a full time artist (more…)

Meet Caressa Brown

Favorite Dayton Place to share with visitors: Riverscape, Carrilon Park, and the Oregon District

When playing hookie, can be found: walking around
peaceful and serene downtown Dayton

Favorite book: Notes From the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (more…)

Courteous Mass


Courteous Mass is an event – an urban cycling ride through Dayton. The ride is free – all you need to bring is a bike.

Rides are the first Friday of every month. Gather starting a little after 5:00 pm. We ride at 5:30.

Gathering Spot: Plaza in front of Fifth Third Field (Dragons stadium) – Monument at Patterson.

Up Close & Personal with Courteous Mass Rider Amy Forsthoefel:

Favorite Dayton “place” to share with visitors 2nd St. Market
Favorite Book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggars
Favorite Band Right now…Andrew Bird.
Favorite website Current.com
Where do you play hookie in Dayton On the MetroParks hiking trails with my dog, Alexander Supertramp.
Favorite hidden gem in Dayton La Michoacana Hispanic Market #5 on Troy Street
Hobbies Photography, World Travel, Music, Being Barefoot, Thrifting, Playing with Others
Your Dream To travel the world as an Interim Innkeeper
What will be your legacy I left things better than I found them.
Celebrity crush Benicio Del Toro
Favorite Dayton watering hole The Trolley Stop Patio
Favorite Destination Dayton, it’s always good to come home.
Favorite celebrity encounter
Billy Corigan of the Smashing Pumpkins at Canal Street Tavern
Pets Dog – Alexander Supertramp, Cats – Bird and Egg
Role Model Anthony Bourdain
Favorite Team Cleveland Browns/Cinti Reds
Quirky fact
I won the McPherson Town Chili Cookoff last year with my Indian Pumpkin Chili and have a gold spoon to prove it!

Elton Griffith





Elton Griffith is an educator and world traveler who lives, works, and plays in Dayton. Elton teaches at DECA and has visited most countries around the world—and all but three US states.

Favorite place to share with visitors: All that he can—but especially the rivers
Favorite book: Miguel Street
Favorite Band: Ufomammut
Favorite Website: WolframAlpha (more…)

Garden Station




Garden Station is a community garden at the corner of E. 4th Street and Wayne Avenue in Dayton. Volunteers have transformed a vacant lot full of trash and questionable materials into a hub of community activity. You can see more pictures and get links to their press at the Garden Station facebook page. We caught up with volunteer Lisa Helm to get the dirt.

Favorite place to share with visitors: Garden Station, of course
Favorite Book: Square Foot Gardening
Favorite website: recycleart.org
Hobbies: digging in the dirt, turning trash into art, making Dayton prettyFuture Legacy: Created a unique destination by turning a liability into an asset that brought a diverse community together to make Dayton a better place for everyone.
Favorite Dayton watering hole: South Park Tavern
Favorite encounter with a famous person: Luci Beachdell from MetroParks mudded the straw bale shed!
Pets: Lots of bunnies, groundhogs, possums, bees, butterflies, birds…


Meet Grady Bagwell

GradyBagwell1What got you started?
Started the summer I turned eight. One day I went to the gym in Estes, Colorado. Then my cousin came from Connecticut and took me to a [Dayton] gym called Urban Krag; I got a season pass the second day. For my parents, it was kind of like a cheap form of baby-sitting.

Favorite crag food: Chex Mix or Cheez-Its.

Least favorite food experience:
In Beijing [for the UIAA Youth World Cup], I ate a silk worm the size of my thumb. It was pretty disgusting. I swallowed the shell and all that. It was pretty crunchy.

If you were a climb, how would you describe yourself?
I’m a 45-degree overhang for like 30 feet, with a slopey top out and a spicy landing.

Longest gone without climbing: Never taken more than a month off, but recently went to the doctor and he said I have tendonitis in both elbows and both shoulders, so…

Climbing style of choice: Bouldering. I like tall boulder problems.

Favorite crags: Hueco Tanks, Squamish and the Red River Gorge.

You lived on a portaledge for a while. What’s the story?
I slept, ate and lived on one for a week to support good climbing causes. We raised over $1,200 for the Access Fund and the Red River Climber’s Coalition. It was one of the best/craziest/most boring experiences I can remember in a while. I couldn’t really climb and settled for counting T-nuts on the lead wall.

Height: Doctor said I’m 5-foot-10, but I thought I was taller than that.

Proudest send: Hueco’s The Flame (V12) in 30 minutes.



Meet Hamilton Dixon



Hamilton Dixon is an artist who lives, works, and plays in Dayton—since 1991.

Favorite Dayton place to share with visitors: Dayton Art Institute
Favorite website: liveleak.com
When playing hookie, he can be found at: home
Hobbies: camping and gathering firewood
His dream: (more…)

Meet John Drake





John Drake has lived, worked, and played in Dayton since 1980. He owns and runs Drake’s Gym downtown—home of Jab City Boxing.

Favorite Dayton place to share with visitors: local restaurants
Hobbies: going to his cabin
Favorite hidden gem: His Gym!


Meet Kasey Henneman


Kasey Henneman is a horticultural technician with Five Rivers Metro Parks. Kasey lives, works, and plays in Dayton, so we caught with her to see what’s up.

Favorite Band: BoomBarian
Favorite Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude
Favorite Hidden Gem in Dayton: Bike Paths!
Hobbies: drawing comics, biking
Her Dreams: to make animation, to surf, to make good music, and to be healthy and happy
Favorite Dayton Watering Hole: E.B. (Espresso Bar at Pacchia)


Meet Liem Lu



Liem Lu is a software engineer who likes to play at Urban Krag in Dayton, an old, vacant church transformed into a climbing center in the heart of Dayton’s Oregon District. We caught up with Liem to see what’s up.

Favorite Dayton place to share with visitors: Air Force Museum

Favorite website:www.lieminator.com (he note’s that he is not at all biased…)
Dayton place to play hookie: Liem must keep this a secret, he says. Otherwise his boss will come looking for him.
Hobbies: Rock climbing, tennis, travel, photography, website design, cooking
His Dream: to visit every state in the US (he’s hit 28 so far) and every country in the world (he’s at 11 and counting)
Favorite Book: Catfish and Mandela: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam
Favorite Watering Hole: Tanks
Favorite Destination: Urban Krag
His Pet: a cat



MoMBA1Last September, Five Rivers MetroParks opened MoMBA (MetroParks Mountain Bike Area) at Huffman MetroPark. MoMBA is the first of what will be a system of outdoor recreation-focused facilities that will give the residents of Montgomery County new and unique places to play outdoors.


MoMBA3This facility features the area’s first fully sustainable trail system designed to IMBA standards, specifically for mountain bike use. The area features great terrain and natural assets, including beautiful hardwoods, a rock-bottom creek, great hills and rock-filled ridge. Volunteers can help maintain this trail that provides over 8 miles of mountain biking opportunities for the most advanced to the novice rider.



Favorite Dayton “place” to share with visitors MoMBA
Favorite Book Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance
Favorite website dirtragmag.com
Favorite hidden gem in Dayton MoMBAween Holiday Celebration and Night Ride
Hobbies Mountain Biking, what else?
Your Dream To win the Fast Laps series of off-road time trials at John Bryant State Park.
Favorite Destination Hammering the rocky, twisty, climb of Hawk’s Lair with my bike dialed in and my mind in the zone.


Meet the Rubi Girls



“They are naughty, raucous, adult fun. They’re colorful, clever and absolutely hilarious. The sense of humor at work behind the jokes, satire and choreography are insanely original.”

Ron Rollins in a recent blog post
after attending a Rubi Girls show

Meet Scott Gibbs

  • ScottGibbs1
  • * Designated by the Montgomery County Arts Council as “Master Painter”

    * Instructor at K12 Gallery and well as an independent art instructor
    * Current work is an exploration into redefining Classic paintings through
    the eyes of young people
    Quirky fact: Carries twine, thread and wax with him for the occasional
    impromptu twig sculpture

  • ScottGibbs2
  • ScottGibbs3

  • Meet Sean France

    Sean France is a painter who lives, works, and plays in Dayton.

    • Favorite Band: Primus
    • Favorite hidden gem in Dayton: Woodland Cemetery
    • Hobbies: Cycling, Guitar (more…)

    Meet Shon Walters

    4.Shon Walters

    6.Shon Walters table

    7.Shon Walters critters


    Self employed woodworking business; Stivers School for the Arts

    Favorite Dayton “place” to share with visitors: My house

    Favorite Book: Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling

    Favorite Band: Currently (world) Neutral Milk Hotel (Dayton) New Vega

    Where do you play hookie in Dayton: Eastwood Park

    Favorite hidden gem in Dayton: Wigglebird and the work he does with Zoot Theater Company

    Hobbies: Playing music

    Your Dream: To never sleep again and my reality to become my conscious dream

    What will be your legacy: My work in wood and the arts

    Celebrity Crush: Audrey Tautou

    Favorite Dayton watering hole: My nalgene bottle

    Favorite Destination: My studio

    Favorite encounter with a famous person: Anyone I consider famous is dead and they just can’t hold a conversation.

    Pets: Don’t believe in owning them

    Role Model: Scott Gibbs

    Favorite Team: Team Stivers

    Quirky fact about you: I have never purchased toilet paper nor do I plan to.

    Meet Tommy Cooper


    Tommy Cooper is a graphic designer who lives, works, and plays in Dayton.

    • Favorite Dayton place to share with visitors: Thai Kitchen, South Park Tavern
    • Favorite Band: Guided by Voices, Talking Heads, (more…)

    Whitewater Warehouse



    Whitewater Warehouse is urban Dayton’s source for river-sport gear, classes, and community. Open since 1994, their shop at 104 Valley Street serves the urban river crowd throughout the season. DaytonCREATE caught up with owner Jeryl Yantis to see what he thinks about Dayton. (more…)

    New Art Exhibit to Celebrate Dayton’s Legacy of Creativity


    A new community arts exhibition, Creative Soul of Dayton, will celebrate the city’s history of innovation and current creative accomplishments. It will be on display on the third floor of the Armory Building, 201 E. Sixth St., on the corner of Sixth Street and Patterson Boulevard in downtown Dayton, from Friday, Oct. 2, through Friday, Nov. 6.

    Prior to the exhibit opening, prize juror Eva Buttacavoli will select winning works in a variety of categories. Three artists will be awarded best of show, and each will receive a solo exhibit of his or her work in Link Gallery in the Oregon Arts District, a sponsor of Creative Soul of Dayton, as well as exhibition and professional development consultation from Buttacavoli.

    An opening reception for the exhibit will be held during the free monthly downtown arts hop, First Friday, from 5-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, when award winners will be announced. A closing reception will be held from 5-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, during that month’s First Friday event.

    “This project is being designed to display the highest quality of individual artistic achievement in the visual arts. We invite participation from Dayton’s creative individuals and communities to express their own vision,” said Susan Byrnes, director of UD’s ArtStreet and lead exhibit organizer. “The project will incorporate a number of Oregon Arts District venues to provide broad access by artists and audiences.”

    Now, to get Creative Soul of Dayton rolling, local artists are encouraged to submit works for inclusion in the exhibit. To qualify, artists must be 18 or older and reside within a 25-mile radius of the city of Dayton. All work must have been created within the past five years, and each artist may submit up to two original works in any medium. The deadline to submit works is Monday, Aug. 31, and there is a $10 entry fee. Details and an entry form are available at www.creativesouldayton.com.

    “Our goal is for Creative Soul of Dayton to include a wide variety of works representing the many talented artists, including students, in our community,” Byrnes said. “We hope all Daytonians with an artistic spirit will participate.”

    Creative Soul of Dayton also will include artist talks and other fun, educational activities throughout the month, with details available closer to the exhibit opening. A group of faculty, staff and students from the University of Dayton, Wright State University, Central State University and Sinclair Community College ― along with local artists, gallery owners and community members ― are organizing the exhibition.

    Creative Soul of Dayton was inspired by the DaytonCREATE effort that began in March 2008, when “creative class” economist Richard Florida and his Creative Communities Leadership Project came to Dayton. DaytonCREATE includes five initiatives. One of them, This is Dayton, is aimed at building civic pride, and Creative Soul of Dayton is part of this initiative. For more on DaytonCREATE, see www.daytoncreate.org.

    Eva Buttacavoli is an independent curator and art educator who recently moved to Dayton. Previously, she was the director of exhibitions and education at the Austin Museum of Art, where she was recognized for creating art experiences that connect to everyday life and curated numerous exhibitions. Buttacavoli also has served as director of education at the Miami Art Museum and Florida International University’s Frost Art Museum in Miami. She was awarded museum educator of the year in both Texas (2006) and Florida (1999).

    Creative Soul of Dayton is sponsored by DaytonCREATE, the law firm of Gottschlich & Portune LLP, Link Gallery, and ServiceMaster On The Spot Commercial and Residential Cleaning. It also is supported in part by a University of Dayton President’s Diversity and Inclusion Grant.

    For more information, contact:
    Susan Byrnes, 937-229-5103 or susan.byrnes@notes.udayton.edu

    What We’re Doing And How You Can Help

    This is Dayton’s first really big project is about to get under way and we could use some help. Not the heavy lifting kind but the few hours over the next couple of months kind.

    One of our “mandates” is to address issues of tolerance within the region. One way we will do this (and at the same time let people know who’s here) is to feature different groups and organizations. These groups will be teamed with a creative and a photographer to find out how they can best be represented graphically. These representations will then be placed on billboards and, possibly, posters throughout the community.

    Among our first group of 25 to be featured are scientists from the base, people with tattoos, church choirs, Xfesters, gay men, Harley Riders, etc.

    Here’s where the we need help part comes in – if you or anyone you know is involved in any of the following, would you, could you help us find a group or groups of people willing to participate in defining an image and posing? We are looking for some type of leadership to get these people together. So, here’s the benefit to you – a chance to get involved, a chance to be on a billboard, and chance to formalize relationships between like-minded people.

    (Some of) the first featured groups:
    Cancer survivors
    People who use facebook
    Nascar fans
    The tattooed

    There are more and if you are interested, I’ll email all to you. Also, if you have an idea for a group to be featured, by all means let us know.

    Thank you for your time and support.


    or contact Theresa Gasper at Suite1@aol.com

    This Is Dayton Facebook

    New facebook group is 175 members and growing strong!

    Get in on the conversation!

    Susan Byrnes explains why she chose Dayton

    “I chose to move to Dayton a few years ago- above New York City- because I found a different environment here- a place where I could know all of these people around the table, a place where I could meet the Governor. This would not be happening to me in New York City.”

    Byrnes continued: “The size of the community, the nature of the arts in the community, and the fact that we have all of these innovative people here who want to talk to each other, who want to be in an intellectually stimulating community that crosses the boundaries between technology, science, and the arts. That is really the power of DaytonCREATE.”

    This Is Dayton Ambassador Meeting

    If you are interested in being an ambassador for This Is Dayton, and are available at lunch time on Wednesday, August 27, let’s do lunch!

    • Time: 11:30 AM – 1
    • Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2008
    • Place: Sinclair Community College Cafeteria, Meeting Room 7006A

    This is in the basement of Building 7, off the corridor near the computer work tables.

    First, come to 7006A and I will give you a voucher for lunch. Then pick out what you want to eat in the cafeteria & return to 7006A to meet.

    Diane & I will start the informational part of the meeting after everyone settles in with lunch (between 11:45 & 12:00 noon). If you park in the building 12 lot (4th Street, under building 12), I will have parking passes to get you out. If you get lost at Sinclair, please phone my secretary at 512-2881.


    • Introductions
    • Introduction to THIS is DAYTON & what we have done thus far
    • Role of Ambassadors
    • Questions

    Hope to see you on the 27th!


    This Is Dayton Poster Committee Meeting

    You are invited to a This is Dayton Poster Contest Committee meeting this Tuesday evening at 6:30pm at the Dublin Pub (downtown) to discuss our plan of action for the Poster Contest.

    Jen Straight (co-chair of this committee) and Andrea Siefring (Chair) have worked up a list of questions to push toward Theresa Gasper, which Jen will be doing, and we’re hoping to have most of those questions addressed prior to that meeting so we can move forward at full speed on Tuesday.

    We would love to see you at that meeting and need YOUR help, and think YOU would be a great fit for this committee. We are going to have fun, and we will get rolling immediately, so please come and help us!

    This Is Dayton Poster Contest/You Tube Contest Committee Meeting

    If you are interested in participating in either of two newly formed committees – Poster Contest – General Public (K thru 12 is a separate committee) or YouTube/Video contests – please plan to attend a meeting Tuesday, August 12th at 5:30 PM at the Trolley Stop on Fifth Street in the Oregon District. Weather permitting, we plan to get a table outside on the patio (you have to walk into the bar to gain access to the patio). If the weather is too hot or too wet, we’ll aim for a table at the front in the raised area by the juke box.

    Please email Suite1@aol.com if you plan to attend so we know how large a table to reserve. Please use the same email if you would like to be involved, but are unable to attend.

    Hope to see you Tuesday!

    Theresa Gasper

    rifle scopes