The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Dec 07, 2012

Passport to the arts

Posted by rdurbin

For the second year, Downtown Akron Partnership is offering the Discover Downtown Akron Passport program. To cut to the chase, for just $15, Passport holders get a $213 value through admission to 16 different events beginning with First Night Akron (a mini arts fest itself) on Monday, December 31, 2012. The remaining 15 events run from January to December 2013.

First Night Akron 2013, button. Photo from

As with every great deal, there are caveats. You can’t just wander in an out of arts events in the downtown area. The Passport is more like a visa – places and times are pre-selected. It is still well worth the trip.

Downtown Akron Passport, 2011-2012. Photo from

Events include exclusive tours, free admission to popular venues, sports events, theater and more. For a complete rundown, visit the Downtown Akron Passport site.

Nicely there is a huge focus on the arts and the major arts players in the community.

Sunday, February 10, from 2-5 p.m: Join in a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities in Graystone Hall at 103 S. High Street, and see a rehearsal of Actors’ Summit’s “Freud’s Last Session” (a regional premiere play) and get a glimpse of how this theater company puts it all together. Actors’ Summit, a Knight Arts grantee, is the sole professional company in the area.

Sunday, April 7: Go to the Akron Civic Theatre, a Knight Arts grantee, at 182 S. Main Street, and see MadCap Puppet’s take on the famous classic fairy tale in “The Cinderella Files.” Apparently in this version it’s up to Ralph, husband to the Fairy Godmother, to get Cinderella to the ball to meet her Prince Charming.

Tuesday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m: Go to E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, 198 Hill Street, and the Tuesday Musical’s (another Knight Arts grantee) presentation of the Canadian Brass Band. With an international reputation as one of the finest brass ensembles today, the organizers say, Canadian Brass Band has truly earned their musical distinction.

The Akron Symphony Orchestra, a Knight Arts grantee, is offering entrance to its “Concerts for Kids: Mother Goose” on either Tuesday, April 30 or Thursday-Friday, May 2-3, all at 10:45 a.m. These 45-minute concerts are said to entertain and educate through interactive storytelling and engaging musical performance under the baton of assistant conductor Levi Hammer.

Saturday, June 8 at 1 p.m.: The Illusion Factory, 140 E. Market Street, will teach the skills comedians need. Children can attend a participatory session with IMPROV, but must pre-register (call 330-376-5700).

From Wednesday, July 3-Saturday, July 20, passport holders can walk through the galleries and special exhibitions at the Akron Art Museum, located at 1 S. High Street. The Akron Art Museum, a Knight Arts grantee, has a renowned collection of regional, national and international arts created since 1850.

Akron Art Museum. Photo from

Saturday, September 7 at 11 a.m.: Neos Dance Theatre will present a workshop at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, at 60 S. High Street, for children of all ages in which they will introduce multiple styles of dance through performances and brief discussions. All are invited to join in.

Sunday, September 15 from 2-4 p.m.: See Farkle McBride, a musically gifted young man who plays violin, flute, trombone and drums with reportedly incredible skills at Summit Artspace, a Knight Arts grantee, located at 140 E. Market Street.

Summit Artspace. Photo from

Monday, December 9 at 3 p.m.: The University of Akron will present “Jingle Jazz” at the E. J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, at 198 Hill Street. Passport holders will get a jazzy start to the holiday season.

That’s what you get. Here’s how to get it. Downtown Akron Passports are available from the Downtown Akron Partnership, at all ACME Fresh Markets, Actors' Summit Theatre, Akron Art Museum, Angel Falls Coffee, Gasoline Alley, the Library Shop on Main, Lock 3, NOTO and Stage Left Boutique.

Downtown Akron Passports are being offered through December 31 by Downtown Akron Partnership, 103 S. High St., Akron; 330-374-7676; Tickets are $15.

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