CLS: Celebrate Ohio: Creative Spaces, Places & People
Did you know that creative industries in Ohio employ nearly 300,000 Ohioans? This week showcases the state’s creative talents across disciplines and shares how you can support local artists.
Kari Gunter-Seymour | POET
“Ohio’s Appalachia — It’s Not What You May Think”
10:30 a.m.-noon Monday, June 19 | Orchestra Hall
Some people forget and some don’t know that ¼ of the state of Ohio rests in Appalachia proper. Pockets of Appalachian communities and families who out-migrated generations ago, prominently exist throughout the state. Ohio Appalachia is simply overlooked, or when it does attract notice, it is often viewed in a negative light. Ohio’s Poet Laureate will describe the many positive aspects of Ohio Appalachia through a series of performance poems, personal research and discussion. Listeners will discover a musicality of language and verse as rich and fertile as the Ohio foothills themselves.
Kari Gunter-Seymour is the Poet Laureate of Ohio. Her poetry collections include Alone in the House of My Heart (Ohio University Swallow Press, 2022), and A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen (Sheila Na Gig Editions, 2020), winner of the 2020 Ohio Poet of the Year Award. Her work has been featured on Verse Daily, Cultural Daily, World Literature Today, the New York Times and Poets.org. A ninth generation Appalachian, she is the editor of I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing: Ohio’s Appalachian Voices, funded by the Academy of American Poets and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Women of Appalachia Project’s anthology series, “Women Speak.” Gunter-Seymour is the founder, curator and host of “Spoken & Heard,” a seasonal performance series featuring poets, writers and musicians from across the country; an artist in residence at the Wexner Center for the Arts and a 2021-22 Pillar of Prosperity Fellow for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.
“Ohio Arts Council: A Snapshot of Ohio’s Creativity and Impact”
10:30 a.m.-noon Tuesday, June 20 | Orchestra Hall
The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) is mission-focused. The organization makes grant awards, supports arts education for children, elevates the profiles of Ohio’s artists and arts organizations, and carefully stewards public funds. Through these investments they leverage their unique position within state government to be a champion for Ohio’s cultural assets, to bolster the economy, and to inspire growth and learning for people of all ages. The arts strengthen our state and contribute to our continued prosperity. Ohio’s artistic community, its constituent organizations and leaders, is one of our state’s greatest selling points. The arts create jobs, improve our competitiveness and anchor our communities. Join Donna Collins to learn more about your state arts agency and the Ohio’s creativity and impact.
Donna S. Collins serves as the executive director of the Ohio Arts Council a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Collins brings 30+ years of experience in leading a state agency and statewide non-profit organizations, demonstrating consistent success and solid results impacting policy, education, economic development, and arts and culture. In 2015 John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, inducted Collins into the Association of Ohio Commodores whose mission is to assist the State of Ohio in its advancement in all areas contributing to economic growth and development, and the greater prosperity of its citizens. At the national level Collins is an elected Board member of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA); former Chair of the Kennedy Center National Leadership Committee, Chair of the State Arts Action Network and Arts Education Council of Americans for the Arts.
1 p.m. Wednesday, June 21 | Pavilion West Deck
McNiece performs poetry enlivened by his blend of interactive theater, comedy, and improvised songs. Students journey with McNiece through the many ways of expressing poetry including narrative, dramatic and lyric. They will write short poems, learn performance techniques and perform their own poems
Poetry Workshop Shareout
4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 21 | Pavilion West Deck
Participants from the 1 p.m. Poetry Workshop perform their work. All are welcome to attend
Ray McNeice has earned a national reputation through his solo theater pieces, poetry and music shows. An educator, He has captained two National Poetry Slam Championship teams and shares his “edutaining” children’s shows and workshops across the country.
McNiece, a Cleveland resident, has authored 11 books of poems and monologues and CDs. Among many awards, he has received a Creative Work Force Fellowship and residencies at The Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Jack Kerouac House.
He is currently Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights. In 2021, McNiece received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cleveland Arts Prize.
He has toured in Italy twice and in Russia, where he appeared on “Good Morning, Russia” and performed at the Moscow Polytech and the Russian Poets’ Hall of Fame.
McNiece is also an accomplished actor and has appeared in plays at Ensemble, Dobama, Cleveland Public and Cleveland Playhouse theatres. He was an original cast member of the improv comedy Flanigan’s Wake.