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Entertainment & Lifestyle

DAP introduces Downtown Art Works event series

5/3/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) announced it will host the Downtown Art Works event series in conjunction with several monthly artwalks, thanks to support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation.

According to DAP officials, these artwalks will feature films, fashion, interactive public competitions, performers, prizes and other activities highlighting the arts and culture in Downtown Akron.

In combination with DAP’s First Night® Akron event on New Year’s Eve, this annual cycle of events invites guests of all ages to celebrate arts and culture and enjoy Downtown Akron throughout the year, according to DAP officials. Downtown Art Works events will take place during the evening on the first Saturday of the months of May, September, October and March 2013.

“The arts are an enjoyable way to help people connect to their communities,” said Jennifer Thomas, Akron director for the Knight Foundation, which is funding the live performances at each event. “And communities thrive when people are engaged.”

The May 5 event will feature both a film and fashion competition, according to DAP officials. In September and October, artists will have the opportunity to present their work to the public, and the public will vote for their favorite pieces in the Akron Art Prize competition sponsored by The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation. The March 2013 event will feature an Artigras theme that is still being developed.

Each of the Downtown Art Works events will feature performances and competitions with the opportunity for the public to vote for winners using SMS (text to vote) technology, according to DAP officials. Guests ages 16 and older with a valid driver license may register to vote with their cell phones during Downtown Art Works or preregister in the weeks before the events at www.downtownakron.com/artworks. Voting will take place during a limited time frame and will only be allowed within Downtown Akron, encouraging guests to attend and experience each event, according to DAP officials.

The following is a rundown of the events:

• Film & Fashion: The inaugural Downtown Art Works event will feature Film & Fashion May 5 from 5 to 10 p.m. This collaboration among DAP, Akron Film+Pixel and NOTO boutique will include short films, a fashion show, an interactive public competition and more. Guests will text to vote for their favorite films and fashion designers, and the winners will be announced from the runway at Northside Lofts at the conclusion of the event.

Akron Film+Pixel recruited budding and established filmmakers to submit their 60-second-or-less movie entries for the Short Attention Span Film Festival. The films will be shown on a continuous loop in multiple venues throughout the artwalk footprint during the artwalk. The winning filmmaker will receive film editing software donated by the Akron Digital Media Center/Akron ist.com.

NOTO will hold the NOTO Northside Fashion Show in the retail section of Northside Lofts that night at 8 (doors will open at 7 p.m.). Tickets for this annual fashion show are available for $30 and include access to the fashion show, drink tokens and an exclusive NOTO gift bag.

After the fashion show, the venue will open to all at 8:45 p.m. with a Featured Designer Challenge, featuring looks by local fashion designers that showcase their style and vision. The winning designer will have their line featured and available for purchase this summer at NOTO. For more information, visit www.zelion oto.com.

• Akron Art Prize competition: During the September/October Downtown Art Works events, DAP will present the first Akron Art Prize competition sponsored by The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation. The competition will welcome public art submissions, and guests will text to vote to determine the winners of a $5,000 first-place award and five runner-up awards of $1,000 each.

The submitted works of art will be matched with venues throughout the Downtown Akron Artwalk footprint that will be open to the public for viewing and voting. The first round of voting will take place between Sept. 1 and Sept. 16. Up to 10 works selected by the public will be featured in the final round of voting between Sept. 21 and Oct. 6, when the Akron Art Prize winners will be announced during the artwalk.

Artists at least 18 years of age who are interested in submitting a piece to the Akron Art Prize competition can register through July 6. The competition is open to solo and collaborative artists, two- or three-dimensional pieces, and time-based or performance-oriented entries. Each artist must pay a $10 fee and sign an agreement to participate. Visit www.downtownakron.com/artprize for rules, artist registration and event details.

• Downtown Art Works in 2013: The 17th annual First Night Akron celebration Dec. 31 will kick off another year of the arts in Downtown Akron. Admission buttons will be available for $10 beginning Nov. 23, and children younger then 10 may attend free with a button-wearing adult. An Artigras theme for the March 2013 Downtown Art Works event is under development.

For more information on the series, visit www.downtownakron.com/artworks.

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