June 28, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Check out the talent for Arts Week in Medina County

Medina County will be filled with music, dance and more when Arts Week returns Monday through July 15 in various venues.

“It’s an opportunity for local people who are talented to perform so that their friends and neighbors, family members have a chance to enjoy them,” said Nancy Sprowls, executive director of the Medina County Arts Council. “It also is an opportunity for families to introduce their children to the arts in ways that probably don’t happen otherwise. Certainly in this day and age, the fact that these performances and presentations are free is very helpful to families.”

All of the acts that perform during Arts Week are selected by the Arts Council, which sponsors and promotes the event.

“Basically, we want a place where local artists have a chance to do their thing because as an arts council our job is to serve not just the consumers of the arts, but also those who produce the arts,” Sprowls said. “A lot of people are very talented but end up in some other daytime job and the possibility of them performing is a real pleasure that they get in their life. Also, a lot of these people have music degrees, and a couple of people that we hire regularly at this point make their living by performing.”

Started more than 25 years ago, Arts Week originally was designed as the appetizer leading up to Art in the Park that takes place July 15 on Medina’s Public Square. Over the years, however, the weeklong celebration has created its own spotlight with more than a dozen performances scheduled at venues ranging from Public Square and the Brunswick Recreation and Fitness Center to Firestone Park in Spencer, Mill Stream Park in Liverpool Township and at the circle in Sharon Township.

“I’m looking at the evening of July 12 when there are five concerts going on by very fine groups,” Sprowls said. “You can take your pick according to what style of music you like. There’s a bluegrass group at Mill Stream Park. In Brunswick there’s Midnight Blue, where normally you have to go to an upscale supper club to see them. They have a singer who is a graduate of Juilliard, and you just don’t get to listen to Juilliard graduates that often.”

Other highlights include children’s programs on Public Square, such as Michele Cotner. On Monday, she will perform pantomime, improv and theater games, while Kelly Parks and the Medina Centre for Dance Art on Wednesday presents an interactive program and a small performance.

For the adults, the Arts Weeks offerings include the Brunswick Community Jazz Combo on Friday at the Brunswick Recreation and Fitness Center, and guitarists Dave Parsons and Dan Polk on Monday on Public Square.

“Both Dan and Dave are excellent,” Sprowls said. “They have performed together for years, and Dan Polk sings the national anthem at Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds games. He just loves to sing. He has a wonderful tenor voice with a wide range. He can do almost anything.”

Seeing almost anything for the right price — free — is why Sprowls said she believes Arts Week continues to flourish.

“It’s very important for people who like the arts and can’t afford to go to Severance Hall or Blossom Music Center all of the time,” Sprowls said. “We’re giving a service to the various communities by providing them with quality entertainment.”

For more information, visit medinacountyartscouncil.org.

Children’s 12:30 p.m. programs at Brunswick Recreation and Fitness Center:
Monday — Dance teacher Krista Mihachevich will provide a program of movement and dance for fun.

Tuesday — Kelley Lohr will work with children to create artist cards.

Wednesday — Michele Cotner will provide a taste of drama through pantomime, improve and theater games.

Thursday — Artist Sara Jane Ingraham will work with children to help them illustrate a story.

Friday — Mary Erbs will lead a program of sharing through storytelling.

Children’s 12:30 p.m. programs on Medina’s Public Square:
Monday —Cotner will provide a taste of drama through pantomime, improve and theater games.

Tuesday — John Burke will entertain with a look at history and Native Americans.

Wednesday — Kelly Parks and the Medina Centre for Dance Art will present an interactive program and will include a small performance.

Thursday — Guitarist Mike Harris will perform.

Friday — Jane McGargee will lead a project designed to provide young artists with a fun and creative goal.

Brunswick Recreation Center 7:30 p.m. concerts:

Wednesday — Karen and Conrad Hornung’s Grenzenlos will combine their German numbers with contemporary popular favorites and swing. The Brunswick residents often inspire their audiences to join in some of their song and dance routines.

Thursday — Midnight Blue presents is popular nightclub sound.

Friday — Brunswick Community Jazz Combo will perform a variety of the great jazz tunes. The group will include both young and experienced musicians under the guidance of Jay Wardeska, director of the Brunswick High School and community bands.

Public Square 7:30 p.m. concerts:
Monday — Dave Parsons and Dan Polk return with their guitars and vocals that feature classic rock, some Jimmy Buffet and entertainment for all ages.

Tuesday — Jazz Tan Laundry, a Medina High School Jazz ensemble, will entertain with classic numbers from the jazz era.

Wednesday — Jim Gill and Cathy Miller in Concert entertain listeners with Gill’s comedy and banter. Miller plays fiddle as a soloist and along with Gill.

Thursday — Karen and Conrad Hornung’s Grenzenlos.

Friday — Chalk Art for Children will precede the regular Friday night Medina Community Band concert. Children and youth will have the opportunity to draw their own artwork on the sidewalks around Public Square.

J. B. Firestone Park concert in Spencer:
7 p.m. Wednesday — Scott “The Island Doctor” Alan will perform.

Circle concert in Sharon Township:
7:30 p.m. Thursday — Jim Gill will perform as part of this summer’s “Music in the Circle.”

Mill Stream Park concert in Liverpool Township:
7:30 p.m. Thursday — Bluegrass act Tommy Hall and the Sunlighters performs.

Litchfield Township concert:
7 p.m. Friday — The Litchfield Town Band will play one of its regular Friday night band concerts.

Contact John Benson at ididhear@aol.com .