William Shakespeare’s plays were challenging gender and identity long before today’s discussion of gender fluidity, and his prolific body of work was ahead of its time in many ways. A new project by Rubber City Theatre, called Shakesqueer, taps into this universality of Shakespeare’s works and will adapt a few classics with LGBT themes and characters that are also reflective of Akron. The idea was a recent winner in the Knight Arts Challenge and Dane Leasure, founder and artistic director of Rubber City Theatre, joins Shane, Cody and Chris to talk about Shakesqueer, the theatre company’s new home on Romig Road (part of a unique partnership with the Salvation Army of Akron and Summit County) and the troupe’s current production of Charles Dickens’ "A Christmas Carol." For more info and to find upcoming Rubber City Theatre productions this season, visit www.rubbercitytheatre.com. This is the third podcast in a series featuring Knight Arts Challenge winners.
When Jane Berkner founded Urban Troubadour, she wanted to offer Akronites a taste of musical culture and engagement within unique spaces, like art galleries, hotels and other attractions, featuring a collective of area musicians. Urban Troubadour also is a recent winner of the Knight Arts Challenge, which Berkner says will help raise the organization’s profile and help continue these performancess. One of the goals, she says, is to get residents downtown and into urban spaces to explore and enjoy the character and architecture of these buildings. Chris and Cody speak with Jane about her goals and aspirations for this collective and some of the challenges with being an artist in Akron. For info about upcoming performances, visit https://www.urbantroubadour.org/.
This week, we welcome Brit Charek, a recent winner of the Knight Arts Challenge, whose project will take a unique spin on film festivals. The Bechdel Fest will highlight movies that pass the “Bechdel Test,” coined by Alison Bechdel, which requires that there are two women who talk to each other about something besides a man. You’d be surprised at the number of mainstream films that lack this criteria, she says, hoping this project will help move the needle on the way we look at equality. Brit, who also runs the wildly successful Crafty Mart, visits Shane and Chris, along with her two boys, one of whom is likely the youngest podcast guest in Spoils of Akron history. This is the first interview in a series featuring recent Knight Arts Challenge winners. For a full list of grantees, visit https://knightfoundation.org/articles/meet-akron-s-2017-knight-arts-challenge-winners.
The Spoils of Akron team visits the recent Akron Comicon, which has become more successful with each year. We speak with Ted Sikora and Milo Miller, who created a Cleveland-based comic that’s taken the comics world by storm. "Apama: The Undiscovered Animal" centers around IIlyia Jarsky, an ice cream truck driver who awakens a savage creature within. We also speak with Marc Sumerak, a local writer who has worked on a number of notable titles, from "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "X-Men" to "Avengers" and the "Walking Dead." Shane and Chris interview Ryan and Cody about their group Rubber City Cosplay, and we also speak with Mike Savene, co-founder of Akron Comicon, who shares some news about upcoming events. For info, visit http://www.akroncomicon.com/.
When Sage Lewis ran for mayor two years ago, he saw the problem of homelessness firsthand while canvassing the city. Since then, he’s put his money where his mouth is by launching a number of efforts, including the Second Chance Store and Village, which carries a sense of community, responsibility and dignity for those facing homelessness. Run by Paul Hays, who himself was in a rough situation before joining this group, the Second Chance Village is a mini tent city with its own council, set of rules and conduct and job-training within the on-site second-hand store on the property. Sage says the village also teaches people a sense of pride and responsibility. Cody, Shane and Chris speak with Sage and Paul about this unique program. To contribute to the effort, visit www.thehomelesscharity.org.
In this episode, we catch up with Liz Tyran, our amazing former co-host, who moved to Key West earlier this year. A lot has happened since her and Jason have moved, including hurricanes, new jobs, an adjustment to island living and a temporary move while the coastal areas pick up the pieces from the recent devastating storms. Despite these setbacks, Liz (who calls in from Melbourne, Florida) shows her signature positivity and sense of humor. She also shares a sea turtle story, which takes a few dark turns.
Zach Freidhof wears many hats: artist, songwriter, community organizer, peace activist, sustainability champion. But all of these interests converge when it comes to helping to build peaceful communities. Zach visits Cody and Chris to talk about Akron Peace Month, a whole month’s worth of workshops, concerts, yoga summits, community art installations and more, culminating with the area’s first “Hands On Sustainability” conference. Along with being a well-known musician and songwriter, Zach is part of the Big Love Network and Akron City Repair, which work to empower neighborhood leaders to be a more active part of their communities. For more about his music, visit zachmusic.net. For a full schedule of Peace Month activities, visit www.akronpeace.love.
This week, Shane, Cody and Chris welcome Danny Volk, whose YouTube series puts a unique spin on the traditional interview scenario. During each episode of “Made-Up with Danny Volk” the artist applies makeup to Danny during the interview, offering his face as a canvas of sorts and helping to lower the artist’s inhibitions (and removing the usual personal space of two people talking). For his new season, “Made-Up with Danny Volk: The Akron Sessions,” Danny's returning to his hometown of Akron (from his current home in Chicago) to interview artists like Kate Budd, Elisa Gargarella and Kathryn Shinko, along with the current roster of Akron Soul Train artist fellows. This season also will weave a biofictional element into the web series. You can find the episodes at https://www.youtube.com/user/MUwDV, or on his website (http://www.madeupwithdannyvolk.com/), along with social media.
We can’t believe it’s been 100 episodes! To celebrate, we recorded our 100th episode live at Jilly’s Music Room, where we reminisce about some of our favorite past episodes, give a shout-out to former guests in the audience, along with featuring interviews and live performances from local singer-songwriter Shelby Olive and producer, songwriter and podcaster Eriq Troi. This episode is generously sponsored by Good Life - Body Piercing + Fine Jewelry in Highland Square. Be sure to check out highlights from the two performers at the end of the episode. And thanks again to Jilly's Music Room for hosting us.
While the Beyonderers don’t have a lead singer, the local surf punk trio more than makes up for it with its sonic musical palette, especially when led by Dave Rich’s finely honed guitar chops. But he freely admits that his journey with learning music has been more of a coping mechanism than a rock star dream. Dave talks with Shane, Cody and Chris about playing in a number of notable local projects, including his current spot in the Beyonderers, who is playing at this Saturday’s Highland Square Porch Rokr on the EarthQuaker Stage at 5 p.m. Dave talks about juggling family life and band life, along with what motivated him to pursue a career in nonprofits, along with a truly insightful perspective from working in social services. Dave's day job is with United Way of Summit County, helping to address the community’s current opioid crisis. Check out the Beyonderers at https://thebeyonderers.bandcamp.com/.