Articles by David Dupont

Toledo Symphony expands TSO in HD offerings

From TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Toledo Symphony announced on Wednesday that it will expand its popular TSO in HD program to its entire Classics series at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theatre for the upcoming 2017-2018 season. The expansion is made possible by a major grant from Buckeye Broadband. The TSO in HD program installs large, high-definition screens on either side of the Peristyle stage. This allows audiences to view live footage of the concert as the orchestra performs. Close- up shots follow major themes in the music and reveal rare, on-stage perspectives to concertgoers. The technology debuted in 2015 at a special Gala featuring world-renowned violinist, Joshua Bell. Audiences will next have the opportunity to see TSO in HD in action at the orchestra’s opening weekend, September 29 and 30, 2017, at the Peristyle. At each concert, the Toledo Symphony’s Chief Artistic Officer and President Emeritus, Robert Bell, will work with a team of producers and on-stage cameramen from WGTE Public Media. Together, the team works from a conductor’s score and cues the cameras to create the real-time video feed. Due to the high costs of labor and technology, current funding allows the Toledo Symphony to provide TSO in HD at just one Classics weekend and three educational programs each season. Thanks to a grant from Buckeye Broadband, the Toledo Symphony will be able to present TSO in HD at all of its Classics performances at the Peristyle, from September 2017 to May 2018. “Buckeye is proud to be the TSO in HD technology sponsor and enhance the concert experience for the entire Peristyle audience,” says Bonnie Ash,…


Opioid addiction is the talk of the town

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News State Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) was understating matters when he said last Wednesday that the opioid epidemic has “a lot of people talking.” He said this just as a “BG Talks: Heroin and Opioids in Bowling Green and Wood County” was just getting underway at the Wood County District Public library. The moderator for the panel discussion Kristin Wetzel, began the session painting a bleak picture of the crisis nationwide, 948,000 overdoses in 2016, and 13,219 fatalities. These numbers are enough to get anyone talking. On Thursday afternoon, State Rep. Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) convened a roundtable of state politicians, law enforcement officials, and treatment experts to discuss the crisis. This Wednesday, Sept. 20, the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce will host a seminar on the epidemic. See details here. Both Gardner and Sprague noted that the legislature has done more than talk about the issue. In a budget year when the legislature faced tight finances, it budgeted an increase of $178 million more to combat the epidemic. Still, Gardner said, frustrations over the progress remain. Eight years ago, Belinda Brooks, of Solace of Northwest Ohio, got “a crash course” in the issue. Her then 18-year-old daughter became hooked on opioids after a serious ATV accident. She was prescribed Percocet and Vicodin. Having some self-esteem problems, the daughter suddenly realized “she was the life of the party when she took them.” That led to heroin. And at 19 she got pregnant, and even that wasn’t enough to get her to kick the habit. Charlie Hughes, of the Northwest Community Corrections Center, said of addicts…


Toledo Museum “Fired Up” over exhibit of glass art by women

Submitted by THE TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) has launched a celebration of the critical contributions made by generations of women glass artists. Drawn from the Toledo Museum of Art’s internationally renowned glass collection and with key loans from notable private collections, “Fired Up: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists” presents more than 50 stunning objects by women who now rank among the most innovative and celebrated glass artists in the world. The works, which range from small scale to life-size in a variety of glass techniques, document nearly six decades of unwavering dedication, from the art that helped women forge a path in the Studio Glass Movement of the 1960s to the ingenuity of 21st-century innovations. Fired Up: Contemporary Glass by Women Artists is on view at TMA from Sept. 2, 2017, through March 18, 2018. The discovery of glass as a serious artistic medium in the ‘60s – sparked during the Studio Glass Movement that originated at the Toledo Museum of Art – was important. Yet in its earliest decades, women faced an uphill battle in their demand for fair recognition of their significant impact, vision and work. The exhibition is co-curated by former TMA Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Glass Jutta Page (now Executive Director of the Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University) and Mint Museum Senior Curator of Craft, Design and Fashion Annie Carlano. “The illustrious achievement of women in glass can be more fully understood through this comprehensive and visually compelling exhibition,” said TMA Director Brian Kennedy. “These objects also bridge the fields of art, craft, design and sculpture…


Businesses join in Perrysburg Rocks! promotion

Submitted by GATHERING VOLUMES  You may have already discovered a brightly painted rock hiding in a park, on a bench, or beside a flower pot. Painted Rock hunting has become a fun unplugged pastime across the country. A group of 20 local businesses is inviting you to join in the fun with Perrysburg Rocks! this fall. The stores will be hiding hand painted rocks inside their businesses and are inviting you search for the rocks and win prizes. You are even invited to join them and paint a rock to be hidden! Anyone who wishes to paint a rock has two opportunities to do so at local businesses. On Monday, September 25 at 6 p.m. there will be a painting event at Bettyanne’s Things Worth Repeating in downtown Perrysburg. All rocks and necessary painting supplies will be provided. On Thursday, September 28 there will be rocks and painting supplies available all day during the Nationwide Wishing Day celebration at Gathering Volumes. If you wish to paint a rock, please contact Bettyanne’s at (419) 874-9696 or Gathering Volumes at (567) 336-6188 to ensure they will have enough rocks for everyone. Additionally, if you are already a rock painter, you are welcome to drop already painted rocks off at Gathering Volumes to be included in the event. If you are not interested in painting, you are invited to search for the rocks starting on October 1. You can pick up a “Perrysburg Rocks!” passport with the names of all the participating sites, and get your passport stamped or signed when you spot a rock. Collecting store stamps or signatures at fifteen or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers to a small…


Best Western Falcon Plaza celebrates top to bottom renovation

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Best Western Falcon Plaza is always ready with a warm Bowling Green welcome for guests. Doesn’t matter if you’re a rocker playing the Black Swamp Arts Festival, or a hockey player taking on the hometown Falcons, the welcome mat is out. That’s true for Tractor Pullers or someone who just pulled off I-75 for a good night’s rest. It’s true for a teacher from across the globe and someone from a half-mile away attending a business meeting. It’s true for someone who graduated from Bowling Green State University decades ago and a family dropping a student off ready to matriculate at BGSU. “We enjoy being the hometown hotel,” said Todd McGee, the hotel’s general manager. On Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. the hotel, at 1450 E. Wooster, right across from the BGSU campus,  will celebrate its recently completed renovation. The hotel has undergone many upgrades, remodels and additions since McGee’s grandfather Jacob Bishop bought what was then the Woodburn Motel. It had only about a dozen rooms, which went for $4.50 to $6. The name has changed to the Falcon Plaza, and become part of the Best Western chain in 1977. “This renovation we just went through was by far the most comprehensive,” McGee said. “We invested over $1 million.” That meant renovating every room from floor to ceiling, said Niki Carpenter, the desk manager. The hotel has 85 rooms, two meeting rooms, a breakfast room, lobby with 10-foot-tall water feature, and a fitness room – certainly not something Jacob Bishop had to worry about 50 years ago. McGee, who took over…


KEAR here to surround BGSU with electro-acoustic sound

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Joe Klingler didn’t spend a lot of time at Bowling Green State University. He studied composition with Marilyn Shrude for a year, 1990-1991, as well as taking courses with Burton Beerman. He already had several degrees in engineering and music from the University of Toledo and then founded a software company. That pulled him away from his graduate studies in music, and deeper in the world of technology. Now he lives in California and writes thrillers. Not surprisingly, those always have a musician as a character and technology figuring in the plot. He’s still plugged into BGSU. Five years ago, at the suggestion of BGSU composition professor and electro-acoustic composer Elainie Lillios, Klingler funded a residency program for composers of electro-acoustic composers. Once n fall and once in spring, a composer will come and spend two weeks on campus, working in the university’s Multichannel Ambisonic studio and working with composition students. Klingler says he’s a strong believer in the importance of these personal relationships in education. This weekend the BGSU College of Musical Arts is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the founding with performances and workshops. The event culminates tonight (Saturday, Sept. 16) with a concert in Kobacker Hall featuring work by the eight composers who have been residents as part of the Klingler Electro-Acoustic Residency. The composers are: Adam Basanta, Brad Garton, John Young, Jonty Harrison, James Andean, Louise Harris, Adrian Moore, and Robert Normandeau. Most of the compositions, Lillios said, will be multi-channel works. Using speakers arrayed around the hall, the composers will surround listeners with music. One piece will employ live…


Trumpeter Kevin Cobb returns to his BG roots with American Brass Quintet

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When trumpeter Kevin Cobb takes the stage with the American Brass Quintet next week it won’t be the first time he’s played brass chamber music in Bowling Green. The Bowling Green native got a chance to play with the Tower Brass as a teenager. His teacher was Marty Porter, a member of the quintet. Now he’s returns as a member of one of the world’s most esteemed brass ensembles. The American Brass will be in residence at Bowling Green State University Wednesday, Sept. 20 through Friday, Sept. 22. The ensemble’s visit will be capped with a free concert in Kobacker Hall Friday at 8 p.m. The visit is part of the Hansen Musical Arts Series. Cobb, 46, joined the 57-year-old ensemble in 1998. The American Brass sets itself off from more popular quintets, the Empire and the Canadian, by its dedication to playing only music written for brass in five voices, Cobb said. Early on, he said, there was “a split” between members who wanted to play ragtime and other accessible forms, and those who wanted to focus exclusively to brass quintet repertoire. The latter faction won. That means it plays early music and contemporary music. From the beginning, the American Brass has been active in commissioning music by new composers. The ensemble also sets itself apart by using a bass trombone, not tuba, as its lowest voice. The founders felt that the bass trombone’s lighter sound was more akin to the sound of a cello in a string quartet and was truer to the textures of early music that was scored for three…


Horizon Youth Theatre’s ‘Kindergarten’ packed with lessons & laughter

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Horizon Youth Theatre’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” opens with a story about a kindergarten production of Cinderella. That’s interesting given just last spring many of these same young actors were performing “Cinderella.” That Rodgers and Hammerstein “Cinderella,” however, did not have a pig. Productions of the classic fairy tale usually don’t have pigs. But in this Robert Fulghum story, a pig is just what the thoughtful young Norman (Bella Truman) wants to play. When told there’s no pig in Cinderella, the youngster replies: “There is now!” And the fairy godmother in this tale, the kindergarten teacher, makes sure Norman’s dream comes true. From this kindergarten scene through a lecture by a Greek philosopher (Daniel Cagle) who’s not afraid to answer a question about the meaning of life, Fulghum’s play offers life lessons and uplift leavened by lots of laughter. Horizon Youth Theatre is staging the play opening tonight (Thursday, Sept. 14) at 7 p.m., continuing Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets, $5, will be sold at the door. Seating is limited. The show is being presented with the audience in the round on the stage. That puts the audience in the middle of the action as the young actors hustle making entrances and exits and wrestling oversized alphabet blocks onstage. There’s no place for the young thespians to hide with eyes all around and large mirrors on the back wall reflecting the action. Director Cassie Greenlee said she’s a fan of the show. She directed one scene of it with another troupe and wanted…


BGSU prof launches database that tracks cases of police being arrested

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Phil Stinson, the go-to scholar for police shootings, has launched a new database that tracks instances of police going bad. Stinson, who teaches criminal justice at Bowling Green State University, has created The Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database. The site went live Tuesday and can be reached at: https://policecrime.bgsu.edu/. The database was funded the Wallace Action Fund of the Tides foundation. Using media reports and court records, Stinson and a team of student assistants has compiled information on 8,006 instances of sworn nonfederal police officers being arrested between 2005 and 2012. That includes four cases in Wood County.* The database uses 159 different variables to describe each individual case, providing data about the arrested officer, the officer, and the disposition. What it doesn’t provide, Stinson said, is the name of the officer. “We’re not publishing names because we don’t see any benefit from a research perspective.” However, using the details that are provided, someone could fairly easily discover those names, he said. “We’re not trying to hide so many facts that you couldn’t find them.” Stinson said: “It’s important that there be knowledge of it so that law enforcement agencies can start to address it. These are not just one-offs and not just outliers. Some are huge problems.” One part of addressing it is providing help for officers who are having problems. “You look at domestic violence, it just seems to be too many cases.” “We envision people will use this database to learn about the incidence and prevalence of police misconduct in their own communities,” he said. They may start looking up…


Volunteers from far & near make Black Swamp Arts Festival possible

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Driving seven hours to attend the Black Swamp Arts festival wasn’t enough for Mira Gratrix. Gratrix has been making the trek from her home in the Georgian Bay area of Ontario almost every year since 1995, and nine years ago she decided enjoying the festival wasn’t enough. “I just love being a part of it,” Gratrix said. “It makes me feel closer to the festival. I want to help.” So this weekend Gratrix was back in Bowling Green selling tickets, checking in other volunteers as they showed up for their shifts, and conducting a survey of festival goers. In the past, she’s worked back stage, served as a gate monitor, served beer, and did artist hospitality. She did miss one year when she broke her leg, but she was back the next helping out in a wheel chair. Having participated in other festivals she knows how difficult it is to get volunteers. “It’s always a core group.” That’s true as well in Bowling Green, said Todd Ahrens, who chairs the committee of volunteers that meets year-round to stage the event. The festival needs about 1,000 people to keep the event running smoothly over the weekend. “Our challenge always remains that we’re an all-volunteer-run organization. We rely heavily on volunteers. The community always rises to the occasion and comes through. This year was no exception.” Those volunteers include familiar faces. Geoff Howes has performed several years with the Grande Royale Ukulelists of the Black Swamp. This year he was doing his part collecting trash, certainly one of the least glamorous jobs. Also helping with trash…


Afghan-American artist’s installation shares the stories of immigrants

From CONTEMPORARY ART TOLEDO Contemporary Art Toledo and artist Aman Mojadidi bring Once Upon a Place, a set of three interactive public art works that create a platform for immigrant voices, to Toledo beginning September 15. The work will be traveling from New York’s Time Square, where it’s been installed since late June to three Toledo locations: Toledo Lucas County Public Library, the University of Toledo, and Promenade Park, near the new downtown campus of ProMedica. The opening weekend of the exhibition coincides with both Momentum (a three day celebration of art and music in Toledo’s Promenade Park) and National Welcoming Week. He will speak on “Borderless: Art and Migration in Troubled Times,” Sunday, September 17 at 2 p.m. in the McMaster Center, Main Library Toledo Lucas County Public Library. Visitors to the installations will be invited to open the door of a repurposed telephone booth, pick up the receiver, and listen to oral histories of immigrants from across the globe. Visitors can also open the phone book inside each booth to read more about the storytellers’ communities – both in their current home and the countries they have traveled from. Individuals may also wish to leave behind a part of their own story if they choose. The installation includes 70 different stories that last between 2 and 15 minutes each. According to the Pew Research Center, by the year 2065 one in three Americans will be an immigrant or have immigrant parents. Locally, according to a 2015 report by New American Economy, Toledo’s immigrant community is increasing and partially offsetting local population loss. Furthermore, immigrants in Toledo hold close…


All Wheels and Robotics theme of STEM in the Park, Sept. 23

STEM in the Park, a free, family day of hands-on displays and activities geared toward science, technology, engineering and mathematics at Bowling Green State University, will feature two new, must-see zones Sept. 23: All Wheels and Robotics. Participants can get their wheels turning with STEM by encountering all types of wheels, tires and gears in motion in the All Wheels Zone. Sponsored by Thayer Dealerships, this zone features The Right Direction, a local organization whose mission is to empower youth by increasing action sports’ impact and access as a tool for positive youth development. “We are thrilled to have The Right Direction at STEM in the Park this year, especially because of its strong positive message for youth, its STEM application in physical science concepts and the high-energy demonstrations,” said Jenna Pollock, STEM in the Park coordinator. In the Robotics Zone, participants will interact with organizations that highlight cutting-edge technology involved with the design, construction, operation and application of robots. More than 150 unique, hands-on STEM activity stations will be offered at STEM in the Park, which will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Perry Field House. Community partners, local businesses and area universities created the interactive displays and activities to engage children of all ages in the STEM fields. Back by popular demand for the eighth annual event are the Food Science Zone, the Digital Media Zone, the high-energy Science of Sports Zone and the H2O Zone, which explores the science behind all of water’s amazing uses. As part of Food Science Zone, attendees are invited to bring a food or basic household/personal care item…


All the pieces come together for a rousing celebration of Black Swamp Art Festival’s 25th year

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Take some music, art, and food, add lots of sunshine and clear skies, and 1,000 volunteers to cook it all up, and what you get is the 25th Black Swamp Arts Festival. This festival couldn’t have been more a contrast to the first festival in 1993, which was plagued by rain and ended in debt. This year the weather was close to perfect with day time temps in the high 60s dipping into the low 50s as the night wore on. “We think we had our best year ever,” said Todd Ahrens, who chairs the festival committee. That means unlike that first year the future of the event is secure. The festival surveyed patrons over the weekend, he said, to get their perspective about the event, and ideas for the future. Amy Craft Ahrens, who chairs the concessions committee, said that all those “with a financial stake” in the festival. That included downtown business who had strong sales and the food concessions. “Supporting the concessions supports the festival,” she said. The festival’s financial base is a three-legged stool – a third from beverage sales, a third from artist booths fees and concession fees, and a third from fundraising. It costs about $180,000 to stage the annual event. Linda Brown, a member of the visual arts committee, said that artists reported that they had a successful weekend, ranging from good to their best weekend of the year. Among those was Emily Wilson, who said the show has been consistently her best in the four years she’s been in the show. Painter Jen Callahan said her…


Gathering Volumes to host Wishing Day event, Sept.28

From GATHERING VOLUMES BOOKSTORE What is your wish for your community?  In Katherine Applegate’s new book, “Wishtree,” no wish is too small as long as it comes from the heart. Ms. Applegate is the author of Newberry Medal winning “The One and Only Ivan” as well as “Crenshaw” which spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In preparation of the release of “Wishtree” Macmillan Publishing Group is partnering with independent bookstores around the country to host a Nationwide Wishing Day to engage communities and help others. Gathering Volumes Bookstore in Perrysburg will be partnering with Macmillan and hosting a Nationwide Wishing Day event in Perrysburg in partnership with The Promise House Project. The Promise House Projects works to promote and advance the dignity and safety of all housing insecure and homeless youth through barrier free direct service, advocacy, service infrastructure, and housing support. Since 2014, they have led efforts to raise awareness about Youth Homelessness in Northwest Ohio. The event will be from 6 to 7 pm on Thursday, September 28 at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg.  “Wishtree is about the power of wishes and hope to transform a community, and the importance of helping others,” says Denise Phillips, owner of Gathering Volumes. “The story revolves around and is told by an old oak tree that is in danger of being cut down after being in the community as a Wish Tree for over 200 years.” Many cultures have some sort of Wish Tree as part of their folklore. In the United Kingdom townspeople and tourists would drive coins into Wish Trees as far back as the eighteenth century, believing that…


Kemarly’s woodwork made an impression on festival’s judges

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Neil Kemarly didn’t think anyone would really want to buy the woodwork he created. His wife had other ideas. So together they started traveling the art fair circuit, where Kemarly, from Pioneer, found out people were willing to pay for his benches and cabinetry. The judges at those art fairs also recognized their worth. Kemarly was awarded best of show, $1,600, at the 25th Black Swamp Arts Festival Saturday. In 2015, he won the best 3D award at the festival. Kemarly continues to take his work on the road despite losing his wife, partner, and ‘best friend” to cancer in April, 2016. “This is my therapy,” he said. The shows judges Kathy Buszkiewicz and Brandon Briggs said as they made their rounds separately, they independently determined Kemarly’s work was a winner. Buszkiewicz said they she was impressed the way that Kemarly was able to work the imperfections in the wood and the way he corrected them, into the overall design. Briggs said the work was a testament to the beauty of simplicity. Kemarly said he pursues woodwork as a contrast to his day job as a tool and die maker. Working in his shop wood when he decides to cut a plank, he doesn’t have an engineer telling him he can’t. “I see myself as a builder and a maker.” Other art show award winners were: Chris Plummer, printmaking, first place 2D, $1,100. Rachel Stevens Morgan, ceramics, first place, 3D, $1,100. Samuel Hitchman, ceramics, second place, $850. Paula Gill, fiber, third place, $600. Derrick Riley, printmaking, Rick Braveheart, photography, and Dave Thompson, mixed media, all…