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Dayton to host Symposium and Arts Festival

An article in the August 5, 2008 issue of Forbes Magazine declared Buffalo, NY; Canton, OH; Charleston, WV; Cleveland, OH; Dayton, OH; Detroit, MI; Flint, MI; Scranton PA; Springfield, MA and Youngstown, OH as the 10 Fastest Dying Cities in America.

Looking to prove that nothing could be further from the truth, and timed to celebrate the article’s 1st anniversary, the Ten Living Cities Symposium and Arts Festival is the brainchild of Peter Benkendorf, executive director of Involvement Advocacy, and Mike Elsass, owner of Color of Energy Gallery, both of Dayton.

Taking a page from Woodstock, Benkendorf and Elsass have declared August 7 -9, 2009 as “Three Days of Ideas and Inspiration,” in an effort to bring together artists and activists, community leaders and organizers, and civic-minded people from the 10 cities. Having concluded that there are amazing people doing amazing things in Dayton, imagine the possibilities if that power were multiplied by 10!

Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin is on board and organizing is getting underway. Given the short timeline, Benkendorf and Elsass hope to call on local contacts and institutional partners, plus the connectivity of the internet to build a community of attendees.

In order to make the session as valuable as possible, and to attract a diversity of backgrounds, the Symposium is being organized into five content strands. Local Action Groups will be responsible for helping develop the substance of each, as well as getting the word out within their co-horts. The Five Strands, and working themes are:

  • Neighborhood/Grassroots: Ideas & Inspiration
  • Artist/Activists: Cross-Pollination and Showcase
  • Government: Role of the Public Sector as Catalyst and Resource
  • Academia: The Role of Universities, Theory and Practice
  • Media: The Role of Media in Saving our Cities

Friday August 7 – Check-in and opening of the Forbes 10 Fastest Dying Cities Art Exhibition, featuring leading work from each community. Show will coincide with Dayton’s monthly First Friday of gallery openings.

Saturday August 8 – Day-long symposium where people from each city will have an opportunity to present some of the most innovative projects currently underway. Special interest discussion groups will allow attendees to cross-pollinate ideas around the specific topic areas.

Saturday August 8 – Evening is the time to head out with new-found friends for dinner and entertainment in Dayton’s vibrant night life.

Sunday August 9 – A morning session will give people time for some further sharing of ideas, a final exchange of contact information and to some grab nourishment before heading back to our respective communities to get on with the work at hand.

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Local outdoor specialty retailers unite!

Dayton Outdoor Recreation Retailers Association is a group of locally-owned, independent outdoor specialty retailers. We all began our businesses because of the passion we have for the outdoor activities we participate in. Our passion includes helping others learn more about these activities, so they may share in the enjoyment of the outdoors.

As a group of locally-owned independent specialty retailers, we carry a comprehensive array of products and services for outdoor enthusiasts– runners, cyclists, climbers, backpackers & hikers, kayak & canoe paddlers, snowboarders and skiers. Our stores and facilities have become destination points in the Miami Valley region and beyond.

Our Mission
Our goals and mission are very simple. We are very passionate about what we do and these five points sum up what we want to achieve:
• Promote local outdoor events and activities
• Promote the benefits of participating in outdoor pursuits
• Work together with other local organizations and clubs
• Promote locally-owned independent outdoor specialty shops collectively
• Promote each other as the experts in our field

Action Group Gathering for Forbes Magazine 10 Fastest Dying Cities Symposium and Art Exhibition: Celebrating the Human Spirit.”

This meeting on  Thursday’s, May 21 meeting at 7PM at the Excelsior Loft building next to Jay’s in the Oregon District is for anyone interested in helping to organize the “Forbes Magazine 10
Fastest Dying Cities Symposium and Art Exhibition: Celebrating the Human Spirit.

Forbes Magazine “10 Fastest Dying Cities” Symposium and Art Exhibition
Celebrating the Human Spirit
August 7 – 9, 2009
Dayton, Ohio
An article in the August 5, 2008 issue of Forbes Magazine declared Buffalo, NY; Canton, OH;
Charleston, WV; Cleveland, OH; Dayton, OH; Detroit, MI; Flint, MI; Scranton PA; Springfield, MA and
Youngstown, OH as the 10 Fastest Dying Cities in America.
Looking to prove that nothing could be further from the truth, and timed to celebrate the article’s 1st
anniversary, the Forbes 10 Fastest Dying Cities Symposium and Art Exhibition is the brainchild of Peter
Benkendorf, executive director of Involvement Advocacy, and Mike Elsass, owner of Color of Energy
Gallery, both of Dayton.
Taking a page from Woodstock, Benkendorf and Elsass have declared August 7 -9, 2009 as “Three Days
of Ideas and Inspiration,” in an effort to bring together artists and activists, community leaders and
organizers, and civic-minded people from the 10 cities. Having concluded that there are amazing
people doing amazing things in Dayton, imagine the possibilities if that power were multiplied by 10!
Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin is on board and organizing is getting underway. Given the short timeline,
Benkendorf and Elsass hope to call on local contacts and institutional partners, plus the connectivity of
the internet to build a community of attendees.
In order to make the session as valuable as possible, and to attract a diversity of backgrounds, the
Symposium is being organized into five content strands. Local Action Groups will be responsible for
helping develop the substance of each, as well as getting the word out within their co-horts. The Five
Strands, and working themes are:
• Government: Role of the Public Sector as Catalyst and Resource
• Academia: The Role of Universities, Theory and Practice
• Neighborhood/Grassroots: Ideas & Inspiration
• Artist/Activists: Cross-Pollination and Showcase
• Media: The Role of Media in Saving our Cities
Friday August 7 – Check-in and opening of the Forbes 10 Fastest Dying Cities Art Exhibition, featuring
leading work from each community. Show will coincide with Dayton’s monthly First Friday of gallery
openings.
Saturday August 8 – Day-long symposium where people from each city will have an opportunity to
present some of the most innovative projects currently underway. Special interest discussion groups
will allow attendees to cross-pollinate ideas around the specific topic areas.
Saturday August 8 – Evening is the time to head out with new-found friends for dinner and
entertainment in Dayton’s vibrant night life.
Sunday August 9 – A morning session will give people time for some further sharing of ideas, a final
exchange of contact information and to some grab nourishment before heading back to our respective
communities to get on with the work at hand.
CONTACT:


Light Up Dayton photo contest winners announced

The call went out to anybody with a camera, and the response was amazing: Light Up Dayton, a photo contest sponsored by the city of Dayton, the Dayton Daily News and the Downtown Dayton Partnership, asked for images of Dayton’s new skyline, and got nearly 400 entries.

“We were hoping for at least 100,” said Laura Woeste, the partnership’s director of marketing and communications. “It’s fascinating to see the way Dayton looks through the eyes of many.

“There are unique and unusual perspectives — some folks submitted nontraditional angles,” she continued. “Not everything is the typical shot from the river.”

Cash prizes will be awarded to the professional and amateur photographers judged Best in Show by a panel that included Mayor Rhine McLin. Judging took place Wednesday, May 13, with the following winners chosen:

* “Best in Show”: John Green (professional); Bruce Soifer (amateur)
* “City of Lights” — general skyline: John Green (professional); Kendall Draeger (amateur)
* “A River Runs Through It”— photos including the river: Marj Shockley (professional); Kevin Marano (amateur
* “Dayton Originals” — unique/unusual perspective: John Green (professional); Tom Arends (amateur)
* “Street Life” — people and places: Teresa Jack (professional); Bruce Soifer (amateur)
* Mayor’s Choice awards: John Rigano, Richard Diehl, Robert Makley, Floyd Green

All 400 entries will be displayed Friday, May 15, during downtown’s Urban Nights, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the old Rutledge Gallery in the lobby of the Kettering Tower, near the Second and Jefferson street corners.

During Urban Nights, voting will take place for a People’s Choice award, Woeste said, and winning entries in all categories will be published in the Life section of the Dayton Daily News on May 29.

“Everyone has a different perspective of what the Dayton skyline is to them,” Woeste said. “It’s wonderful.”


4th Annual Walk! Downtown Dayton Kickoff

Get active at the 4th Annual Walk! Downtown Dayton Kickoff! Warm-up with STUDIO Zumba Fitness and then participate in a non-competitive 30-minute walk along the Great Miami River. The 2009 Walk! Downtown Dayton Kickoff coincides with the Healthy Ohio Fitness Walk and National Employee Health and Fitness Day. Businesses are encouraged to form teams and participate. To register your walking team, call the Center for Healthy Communities at (937) 775-1114 by May 18. Walkers will be eligible for door prizes! For more information visit www.med.wright.edu/chc/walks.htm. Sponsored by Wellness Matters–a Coalition Building a Healthy Dayton and Five Rivers MetroParks.
Wednesday May 20, 2009
12:15 PM – 01:00 PM


City of Dayton Public Meeting – CBD Street/Sidewalk Improvements

The City of Dayton has received federal stimulus funding for various streetscape and infrastructure projects, including sidewalks, curb and curb ramp replacements, and asphalt resurfacing on all streets in the Central Business District. Main Street is going to be completely repaved, and the city will also improve the gateways into downtown. This is great news for downtown. We want to make sure you have all the details on the upcoming construction schedule so you can communicate any changes in traffic patterns to your customers, clients and visitors.

Two informational meetings are scheduled for downtown property owners, businesses and residents. We hope you can join us at one of the following meetings as the City of Dayton shares more about these improvements and the timeline for all of the work.

* Tuesday, May 5 at 4 p.m. at the Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third Street, 2nd floor auditorium
* Tuesday, May 12 at 8 a.m. at the Metropolitan Arts Center, 126 N. Main Street, Burnell R. Roberts room (first floor)

Please RSVP to Becky Cason at (937) 224-1518 ext. 227 or cason@downtowndayton.org


Courteous Mass Wants You To Ride May 1!

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 at c{space (20 N. Jefferson).

Here’s this weeks route map: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30161072&o=all&op=1&view=all&subj=66781136458&aid=-1&id=1403340212&oid=66781136458. We’ll gather at c{space starting at 4:45 and roll at 5:15pm.

*****

Kicking off on April 3rd, 22 riders braved the cold and the wind to cruise Downtown Dayton on their bikes. For those of you who missed it, check out this video. There’s even a facebook group if you’d like more info.


Springfield’s Westcott House Celebrates Frank Lloyd Wright’s 142nd Birthday

Frank Lloyd Wright’s 142nd Birthday Party With a Big Band Concert on the Lawn of the Westcott House

Saturday, May 30th at 7pm

As you dance under the stars to the sounds of the Bob Gray Orchestra, take advantage of the special silent and live auction featuring travel packages to the world famous Frank Lloyd Wright sites, original art from local, regional and international artists, books, jewelry and much more!

Reserve your tickets now! $45 per person or $80 per couple.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available.

Please call 937-327-9291 or go to www.westcotthouse.org


Photographers: Capture Downtown Dayton on May 1!

From the Dayton Daily News
Skyline will light up for nighttime photography contest

It’s time for a fresh view of the Downtown Dayton skyline, which has changed in recent months with the addition of the CareSource headquarters, a new logo atop the KeyBank Tower and other new points of light. That’s why the entire community is invited to participate in Light Up Dayton, a photo contest to find some new and distinctive angles on downtown. To help make this possible, Downtown Dayton buildings will be lighted brightly on the evening of Friday, May 1 (from dusk to 11:00 p.m.). The City of Dayton, Dayton Daily News, and Downtown Dayton Partnership are sponsoring the contest.

Read More…


Roads, Rivers, Parks & Planes

The second in our series of Town Hall meetings will focus on how the City of Dayton is successfully leveraging strategic investments in our physical infrastructure, like roads, bridges, utilities, parks, rivers, airport runways, and more. Join us as we share the 2009 plan for infrastructure investment, and explain how these investments help stimulate private investment, support Dayton’s “pride of place,” and enhance the safety, efficiency, value and vitality of our city.

Saturday, May 2, 2009
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Dayton Convention Center, Rm. 202
22 East Fifth Street in Downtown Dayton
Free Admission. Passes for Transportation Center parking will be provided.
RSVP to 333-3616 or daytonbeautiful@cityofdayton.org

Everyone welcome—please spread the word!


University of Dayton’s Issue Forum on Campus Energy Use

An offbeat video to promote the University of Dayton’s Issue Forum on Campus Energy Use has received more than 3,000 views on YouTube.


The News Hour with Jim Lehrer reports on Dayton’s Art Community

Dayton Arts Community’s Suffering Tied to Automakers’ Woes

Jeffrey Brown reports on arts organizations’ struggle to survive in Dayton, Ohio, where many local jobs are tied to the failing auto industry.

To see the story click here


Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx to speak at UD

The 2009 Stander Symposium keynote speaker is MAJORA CARTER, Founder, Sustainable South Bronx. Majora addresses public health, poverty alleviation, and climate change as one of the nation’s pioneers in successful green-collar job training and placement systems. She founded Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 to achieve environmental justice through economically sustainable projects informed by community needs. Her work has garnered numerous awards and accolades including a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and one of the NY Post’s Most Influential NYC Women for the past two years. She is a board member of the Widerness Society, and hosts a special national public radio series called “The Promised Land” (thepromisedland.org).

Her address is on Thursday, April 16 at 9 AM in the UD RecPlex. Admission is free and the event is open to the public, but tickets are required. For tickets visit http://tickets.udayton.edu or call 229-2545.

A more detailed bio on Majora in addition to parking information and directions can be found on the Stander Symposium website at http://stander.udayton.edu.


Snuggie Pub Crawl comes to Oregon Arts District

A Snuggie Pub Crawl will be held in the Oregon Arts District Saturday, April 18, beginning at 8 p.m. The cost is $10 per person with proceeds going to benefit The Seedling Foundation in support of Stivers School for the Arts.
Featuring the as-seen-on-TV blanket with sleeves, Snuggie Pub Crawls have become the hottest bar event around the country and now it comes to Dayton!. Visit www.snuggiepubcrawls.com for more information. Organizers report that participants are encouraged to decorate their Snuggies and that blankets, backward robes and designer Snuggies or Snuggie knock-offs are welcome.

The schedule for Dayton’s Snuggie Pub Crawl is: 8 p.m. Oregon Express; 9 p.m. Blind Bob’s; 10 p.m. Trolley Stop; 11 p.m. Dublin Pub; at 11:45 p.m., sober up afterwards at Jazzy Java with coffee and live jazz.

Snuggies can be acquired at Walgreens Stores, Staples, or ordered online and you’ll get the free book light, great for checking out menu’s in dark bars!


Miami Valley Grown elects officers, plans future

From an initial discovery meeting on June 28, 2007, the Miami Valley Grown team is developing a course of action that will benefit area growers, consumers, the environment and economy. This past Thursday the group elected it’s first slate of officers:

Chairman Noreen Willhelm
Vice Chair Howard Solganik
Treasurer Luci Beachdell
Secretary Terry Lieberman-Smith

Originally brought together whebn Dan Foley, Montgomery County Commissioner asked OSU Extension to lead an initiative to help connect local food growers with local buyers. He noted that the county contained a perfect blend of urban and rural, and that it could serve as a laboratory to study how local economies “connect” in terms of food distribution. Commissioners Lieberman and Dodge are supportive as well.  The group met informally knowing that there was value in the connection of so many local producers, hearing reports of various outreach projects and new initiatives being formed.

Next steps for the group include forming committes and mapping out the plan for how the membership organization will be structured.  All are welcome to attend the next meeting on Thurs, April 23rd at 11am at the 2nd Street Market.


Performing Artist Common to Join Other Renowned Artists, Musicians, Entertainment Executives in April at Dayton’s First Urban Arts Conference

The first Regional Academic and Cultural Collaborative, or RACC, will be held at various locations at the Dayton Convention Center April 3-4, featuring presentations, performances and a seminar.

“The event will provide an educational and artistic opportunity for urban performing artists and their supporting audiences,” said Sierra Leone, an event organizer. “RACC will allow greater Dayton to experience urban culture from an inclusive perspective that will expose participants to the internal and external workings of the entertainment industry.

“During challenging economic times, it’s essential colleges and universities work with community partners to maintain the quality of academic programming,” she added. “The Regional Academic and Cultural Collaborative is an actualization of the innovative process of convening community, college and cultural leaders to support an academic and cultural collaboration of contemporary urban music and entertainment.”

Regional Academic and Cultural Collaborative Schedule of Events

Friday, April 3
Hip-Hop Collaboration Workshop
9 am to 3:30 pm: Participating college & university campuses; schedule to be announced week of March 23
Dear Dr. Hip-Hop: Working to Heal H.E.R. Lecture (Hip-Hop in its Essence and Realest)

6 pm: Dayton Convention Center, presented by Common
Free for students of sponsoring universities with student ID, $5 for all other students, $10 for general public. Seating is limited.
The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show featuring “The Floacist” Natalie Stewart and Kevin Sandbloom
9 pm: Dayton Convention Center
$15 general admission

Saturday, April 4
The Business of Entertainment/Music Seminar: Dayton Convention Center, 11 am – 4 pm
10 – 11am: Registration
11am – 12:30pm: Workshops
12:30pm – 1:45pm: Lunch in downtown Dayton
1:45 pm – 2:15 pm: Business Card Exchange Session
2:30 – 4 pm: Panel Discussion with Industry Executives
$20 registration fee
$10 for those registering by March 27

To purchase tickets to all events and register for the Business of Entertainment/Music Seminar, call Ticket Center Stage at 937-228-3630 or go to www.ticketcenterstage.com.
More information, along with a link to Ticket Center Stage, is on www.cultureworks.org, under “Special Events.”
RACC will give aspiring recording artists and aspiring executives the opportunity to get first-hand information from well-known recording artists and speak directly with current entertainment executives. Daytonians interested in breaking into the music industry also will be able to build local networks during RACC.

The weekend kicks off from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3, when participating colleges and universities will host Hip Hop Collaboration Workshops on their individual campuses. The workshops will be open to the public, and the schedule will be announced closer to the event date.

Next up on Friday is hip hop artist, actor and poet Common, who will launch a presentation series titled “Dear Dr. Hip-Hop: Working to Heal H.E.R. (Hip-Hop in its Essence and Realest).” Common twice has won Grammy Awards, most recently in 2008 for best rap performance by a duo or group, and he’s been nominated for nine Grammys, along with numerous other awards from the likes of MTV and BET. In addition, Common has released eight albums and starred in such films as Smokin’ Aces, American Gangster and Wanted. While in Dayton, Common will appear in his role as community activist, and he’ll give a presentation about the basic elements of hip-hop and how to heal a community through music.

This gives our community, especially young people who aspire to work in the entertainment industry, an opportunity to experience the different dynamics of Common,” Leone said. “He’s been working in the industry for 15 years.

Common’s presentation will be held at the Dayton Convention Center at 6 p.m. Friday, April 3. Tickets are free for students who attend sponsoring colleges and universities (list at end of release) and $10 for the general public. Seating is limited; to purchase tickets, call Ticket Center Stage at 937-228-3630 or go to www.ticketcenterstage.com.

Topping off Friday’s activities, Oral Funk Poetry Productions will host the opener for its second season of “The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show,” which last year wowed audiences at sold-out performances. April’s show will feature “The Floacist” Natalie Stewart and singer Kevin Sandbloom. EL Coats and the Funk Point Band, along with jazz vocalist Shakera Jones, also will perform.

Stewart is touring for her solo album, “Freedom.” A poet and neo-soul recording artist from London with Jamaican roots, she creates music that reflects her life experiences through spoken word, R&B, and hip hop. Stewart got her start with the group Floetry, an English R&B, neo soul and hip hop duo that racked up seven Grammy nominations before disbanding in 2006. Kevin Sandbloom is an acoustic guitarist and vocalist from Los Angeles who composes original, soulful pieces. He currently is working on his fifth album, set for release this year.

The Signature” will be held at the Dayton Convention Center at 9 p.m. Friday, April 3. Tickets are $15 and available by calling Ticket Center Stage at 937-228-3630 or go to www.ticketcenterstage.com. For more about The Signature, visit www.myspace.com/thesignatureofpp.

RACC continues on Saturday, April 4, with the Business of Entertainment/Music Seminar, which will take place at the Dayton Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration begins at 10 a.m.

The seminar will offer two workshop tracks: one for independent artists and the other for aspiring entertainment/music executives. There will be a workshop offered in the morning for both tracks, followed by a lunch break for attendees to explore downtown Dayton, followed by a business card exchange session. The seminar will end with a panel discussion with national and local entertainment executives and artists.

Workshop presenters and panelists include Melanie Massie, vice president of talent at Black Entertainment Television (BET); Charles Whitfield, founder of A&R Hidden Beach Recordings; Scott Sharp from WDHT-FM 102.9; Garth Adams from WROU-FM 92.1; Rockey Love from WMIX-FM 95.7 in Toledo, Ohio; entertainment lawyer Carl Lewis; Lee L. Croxx, A&R for Tripple Croxx Entertainment and Management; and Central State University faculty member John Logan. The day-long seminar registration fee $20 and $10 for those who register before March 27. To register, call Ticket Center Stage at 937-228-3630 or go to www.ticketcenterstage.com.

RACC was created in part to inspire young people and reach out to them through something fresh, hip and relevant: music and entertainment, Leone said. In addition, the RACC committee also sees this collaboration ― which will be an annual event ― as creating a much-needed community for the Dayton area’s urban artists.

RACC sponsors include:  Wright State University’s Bolinga Black Cultural Resource Center and Women’s Center, Central State University, Sinclair Community College Department of English, Wittenberg University, Wilberforce University, Stivers School for the Arts’ Dance Ensemble, RonDuc Designs, Southwestern Ohio Council of Higher Education (SOCHE), Trolley Stop, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and Culture Works’ African American Creative Arts Initiative.


Art brings new life to Oregon District

The montage of businesses in the Historic Oregon District — restaurants, taverns, art galleries and retail — should be feeling the bite of the nationwide recession. Instead, new business are popping up and others are growing.

That didn’t happen by accident.

Property owners came together like a family in crisis two years ago, when city officials announced plans for a multimillion-dollar riverfront project downtown that would create a mix of housing, retail and offices.

The competition, Oregon supporters feared, could eat away at the neighborhood’s customer base.

They came up with a plan building on the neighborhood’s preservation theme. With benefactor Dr. Michael Ervin’s guidance and financial support, the neighborhood launched a campaign a year ago to create the Oregon Arts District.

While plans for the riverfront project collect dust, Oregon, for the most part, flourishes:  read more of this article from 3/6/09 Dayton Daily News, written by Joanne Huist Smith

Also read the companion article:

Oregon District businesses say arts initiative working


UD’s ArtStreet annual LitFest Poetry slam- a lively spoken word contest

Local poets, led by Lincoln Schreiber, will gather at 9:30 p.m. Sat, March 28, at the University of Dayton’s ArtStreet to compare their prowess at the annual Lit Fest poetry slam.

Poetry slams are lively contests of the spoken word, according to Lit Fest organizers. Associate English professor Albino Carrillo said Schreiber has led a revival of slam poetry in Dayton in the past year, bringing together poets once a week at a local bar to slam and share their art.

Award-winning poet Janet McAdams will give a reading before the slam. McAdams’ The Island of Lost Luggage, won a 2001 American Book Award. In 2002, the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers named her mentor of the year. She also is the editor of the Earthworks Book Series of Native American Poetry. Lit Fest begins Fri, March 27.

All events are free and open to the public. Events are at ArtStreet, unless noted otherwise. For more information, contact Carrillo at 937-229-3417 or albino.carrillo@notes.udayton.edu.

Here is the full schedule:

  • 10 a.m. Friday: Opening remarks and refreshments
  • 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday: Poetry readings and panel discussions
  • 6-7:15 p.m Friday: Wine and cheese meet-and-greet (Sears Recital Hall)
  • 7:30 p.m. Friday: Poetry reading with Ruth Ellen Kocher of the University of Colorado
  • 10-11 a.m. Saturday: Continental breakfast
  • 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday: Poetry workshops with Jefferson Adams, Fred Kirchner and Abby Purdy
  • 12:45-2:15 p.m. Saturday: Poetry readings with Jefferson Adams, Noah Falck, Fred Kirchner and Matthew Estvanic
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday: Poetry reading with Jeff Gundy of Bluffton College
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday: Poetry reading with Janet McAdams of Kenyon College
  • 9:30 p.m. Saturday: Poetry slam.

Catalysts at work in the Historic Southpark District

DaytonCREATE catalysts Theresa and Dave Gasper are featured in the Winter Issue of Community, Wright State University’s alumni magazine. Click here to read about their work in the historic South Park district.


Catalyst honored with 40 under 40 award

Catalyst Stephanie Yenn has been named to The 12th annual Dayton Business Journal  40 under 40 honoree’s. A panel of judges reviewed nominations from members of the business community and selected the 40 winners based on three main criteria — business leadership, community leadership and career path.  The winners will be honored at an awards banquet April 16 at the Mandalay Banquet Center. Other previous 40 under 40 winners involved in DaytonCreate include Soche’s Sean Creighton, Cathy Ponitz from Care Source and marketing consultatn Lisa Grigsby


Kids Film Series at Little Art Theatre

The Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs is introducing a new free film series for the kids.

“Saturday’s Picture Show” is aimed at children ages 3-12, and will be held twice a month at the Yellow Springs movie theater.

Admission is free, though a $4 donation is suggested.

The new series premieres on Saturday, Feb. 28, with a Red Carpet opening at 1 p.m. The kids are encouraged to put on their movie star finery and walk down a real Red Carpet, complete with paparazzi.

The initial offering opens with a short film titled, “March On!” which honors the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The feature film is an animated movie from the Jim Henson Company, “Unstable Fables: Goldilocks & the 3 Bears Show.”

Younger children, ages 3-7, should be accompanied by an adult or older sibling. “All of the films we will show have been endorsed by the Coalition for Quality Media for Children as part of their KIDS FIRST! Film Festival,” says Laura Carlson, Little Art Theatre Association programming committee chair.

She says the organization states that all of its films must meet baseline acceptance criteria of “no gratuitous violence, no racial or cultural bias, no inappropriate sexual content, no replicable unsafe behavior, and no condescension towards children.”

Most importantly, she adds, the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival selects films that are “new, innovative, and inspiring.”

On March 14, the double-bill features a short animated music video, “Billy the Squid,” and a live-action feature film, “Beethoven’s Big Break.”

Future dates are March 28 and April 11, show time is 1:30 p.m.

The Little Art is located at 247 Xenia Avenue in Yellow Springs. Directions and more information are available at www.littleart.com


Dayton Daily News says DaytonCREATE has traction

If you looked behind the scenes last week, you could see that the DaytonCREATE initiative is getting traction.

The initiative was launched last year with the help of economist and best-selling author Richard Florida. He urges communities that want to thrive economically to recruit and cultivate a “creative class” — artists, musicians, engineers and high-tech workers, all people who think and create for a living.

A number of projects have grown out of the work of Dayton’s creative “catalysts.”

For example:

—Film Dayton, created to support and grow a regional film industry, will partner with HBO Films to premiere an award-winning documentary here about Dayton native Sister Dorothy Stang. “They Killed Sister Dorothy” examines the murder of the 73-year-old Catholic nun, who advocated for the poor of Brazil and was trying to preserve the rain forest there.

—One of the public meetings on the Greater Dayton Downtown Plan took place at c{space, a 5,000-square-foot gathering spot at 20 N. Jefferson St. C{space grew out of the catalysts’ effort to promote street-level art, music and independent business downtown. A similar project in Providence, Rhode Island, is about 20 years old, and the fallout is credited with adding to that city’s vitality.

Watch a 4-minute video of graffiti artists painting the interior of c{space, 20 N. Jefferson St.

—Updayton, another of the DaytonCREATE groups, hosted a session at an Oregon District bar that drew about 50 young professionals. The group talked about the importance of entertainment and nightlife to attracting the “creative class.” This session was one of several “Pints and Perspective” gatherings the group is conducting in advance of its Young Creatives Summit on April 18.

We have something important going on here.

At the Oregon District session, the participants’ passion and interest were impressive. The meeting was informal and just barely moderated. But people grabbed the microphone and spoke candidly. And they weren’t intimidated by Dayton’s current economic problems or how hard it might be to make new things happen or to change things.

Updayton’s survey of about 500 young professionals shows that most of them are satisfied living in Dayton, although only 30 percent say it is a “better than average” place for young people. Seventy percent say they are satisfied with their job, but they are worried about new job opportunities (something they also consider very important). And one worrisome trend, according to the research: many expect to move away from Dayton.

It’s telling that the creative catalysts have gotten the attention of Gov. Ted Strickland; the state, not just Dayton, is trying to court young talent. The catalysts have invited him and other community leaders to their summit.

And it’s also telling that leaders of the new downtown initiative have come to this group for input.

Read More!


Entrepreneur’s firm creates facial recognition program for consumers

It didn’t take David Gasper long to recognize the potential in facial recognition software.

Spotting — and seizing — opportunity is part of being an entrepreneur on the ever-shifting information technology landscape, after all.  “I refer to myself as a serial software entrepreneur,” a smiling Gasper said.

As Gasper explains it, his wife, Theresa, found herself collecting photos for a family collage. She had to search among 7,000 digital photos — not counting film-based shots.

The task was enormous. That’s when inspiration struck for Gasper, president and owner of InitialPoint.

An early step was finding facial recognition tools used by government for security and military applications. Gasper looked at licensing and acquiring the technology and building his own, consumer-based application that runs on PC desktops.

PicsMatch finds faces through sample photos, Gasper said. Once the Windows-based tool has a sample face, it finds “matching” faces in other shots.

“Education” is the key to helping people understand what PicsMatch does, said Tony Blankemeyer, InitialPoint’s vice president of sales.

“Once you see it, you really catch on to it,” said Blankemeyer, 23, a recent marketing graduate of the University of Dayton.

Already, several scrapbooking magazines have given PicsMatch favorable reviews, Blankemeyer said. And the Facebook potential is enormous, he believes. Accordingly, InitialPoint is crafting a labeling tool for Facebook users.

“Facebook now is 150 million users,” Blankemeyer said. “People are uploading billions of photos online of their friends and family.”

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” Gasper said as he launches a demonstration.

He quickly finds shots of his daughter among 5,000 photos kept on his laptop computer. Then, he directs the tool to find photos of his daughter taken during the Christmas season. And he points the tool to find shots of himself with his daughter.

Along with scrapbookers, other possible users of the software include photographers, archivists and historians.

Gasper is not intimidated by the fact that Apple has recently unveiled a similar product.

“We are looking forward to taking on the big boys of Apple,” he said.

PicsMatch makes sense given Gasper’s background. Working on applications for consumers may be new for him, but not software creation.

A Dayton native, Gasper graduated from Wright State University in 1978 with a business degree, landing his first job for NCR writing software for automatic teller machines. He stepped away from NCR to work for a couple of other companies, including Mead, before starting Gasper Corp., in 1983 at age 27. He sold Gasper Corp. to NCR in 1999. Gasper continues to be an NCR brand, directing service for NCR ATMs.

“I do believe PicsMatch and similar ventures will be more of the future of Dayton,” Gasper said

Featured in Sun, Feb 1, 2009’s Dayton Daily News by Thomas Gnau


Local leaders want input on revitalizing downtown

By Tim Tresslar DDN Staff Writer

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

DAYTON — A group of business and government leaders who have been working on a turnaround plan for the downtown said they want to hear from the public in the coming weeks.

At a press conference held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, officials announced A Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, an initiative aimed at creating a development blueprint for the city.

The planning effort, which began last year, has included input from local business executives as well as elected officials, administrators and staff from the Downtown Dayton Partnership, Montgomery County and the city of Dayton.

The effort is divided among three committees focused on the plan for downtown, a value proposition for the urban core and funding sources for implementing the plan. The group defines value proposition as the things that make Dayton an attractive place to locate and its competitive advantages.

Dr. Mike Ervin, a local philanthropist and co-chair of the planning effort, said the principles laid out on Jan. 27 are meant to act as a starting point for the discussion over the downtown’s future.

The group hopes to have a draft plan completed by June, he said.

“The future belongs to those regions taking urban revitalization seriously,” Ervin said. “Those are the regions that are and will continue to attract high-value jobs, young professionals and those businesses and institutions that want to employ them.”

Click here to find the Facebook Group. The next public meeting will be held on Feb. 17: 7 p.m. at Sinclair Community College, Charity Earley Auditorium, Ponitz Center.