Arts and Entertainment

Life of a cop turned into art in “Beautiful Pig”

From RIVER HOUSE ARTS The life of a Detroit police officer is the focus of “Ben Schonberger: Beautiful Pig,” an exhibit that opens with a reception Friday, Aug. 12, from 8 to 10 p.m. at the River House Arts and Contemporary Art Toledo, 425 Jefferson, Toledo. The reception immediately follows the artist’s 7 p.m. talk in the GlasSalon of the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion. Centered on a trove of photographs and ephemera collected by a former Detroit police officer during the latter part of the 20th Century, purposefully assembled and augmented by the artist, Beautiful Pig offers a provocative, timely, and unflinching look at cultural identity, self-perception, and the realities of racial disparity in law enforcement. The project began when Schonberger, while working in Detroit, acquired a box of photographs from Marty Gaynor, a retired police officer. Gaynor had documented the entirety of his career through thousands of images, including countless Polaroids of individuals he had arrested. Intrigued by the scope of the collection and the man responsible for amassing it, Schonberger embarked on a years-long collaborative process with Gaynor. The result is in an intensely personal yet culturally and historically revealing archive. Beautiful Pig appeared in 2013 as a self-published book to overwhelming critical acclaim. It was shortlisted by both the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Award in 2013 and the Anamorphosis Prize in 2015. Today the book can be found in the New York Public Library, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MoMA, the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, The Arts Library at Yale University, and nearly a dozen other cultural institutions. While portions of the collection have appeared in group exhibitions, the upcoming show at River House Arts will be first time Beautiful Pig has been presented in its entirety. Portions of the collection have appeared in group exhibitions, however the upcoming show at River House Arts will be first time it has been presented in its entirety. Gallery hours are by appointment by calling 419-441-4025. Online: info@river-house-arts.com.


Pokey LaFarge travels the byways of American music

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Pokey LaFarge is a traveling man. Has been since his teens when he left his Illinois home, where his name was Andrew Heissler, to head west. He had his mandolin and his stories with him. He also took with him a love of music and history first nurtured by his grandfathers and put that together into songs he sang on the streets. He ate from trash cans. He slept where he could. Now leading his own six-piece band, he travels by bus and plane and eats good food. Still, he agreed, that this was busking in grand fashion. “Traveling has always been the essence, the heart, of what I do,” he said in a recent interview. LaFarge’s wandering ways will bring him and his band to the Black Swamp Arts Festival where he’ll perform a Main Stage show, Saturday, Sept. 10, at 8 p.m. He’ll also perform on the Youth Arts Stage at 4 p.m. that day. His music is rooted in the music of the American heartland and in a time when jazz, country, blues, ragtime and vaudeville shared a cradle. And the stories his music tells are, too, reflecting the way we’re pulled into the future, sometimes reluctantly, but never able to surrender our past. Certainly things have changed, said LaFarge, who now calls St. Louis home. “A professional musician has a lot more responsibility, a lot more work,” he said. “But it’s better than sleeping in the ditch.” Some things haven’t changed. “My sense of curiosity that led me out into the world has not waned at all.” He’s still curious to hear new stories, learn new things, hear new sounds, and “just keep an open mind.” And being on the road fuels that curiosity. “I’m still traveling more than ever.” His artistic longings first poured out onto the page when he was a kid growing up in central Illinois. He was interested in literature and started writing stories, and then some of those stories took wing in song. LaFarge wanted to go beyond the music spoon-fed by mass media. So he picked up the thread of the blues and followed it. “I wanted to get under the surface and find out more where things come from. That’s a large network of music.” He hungered for…


Black Swamp Arts Festival poster has wild look

The posters for the 2016 Black Swamp Arts Festival have arrived. They should start popping up around town. They are also available at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. The poster features a full color front featuring the flowers and plants of the Black Swamp. The back features a quiz about the plants depicted as well as information about the area. The poster was designed by Erin Holmberg. Festival opens Friday, Sept.9, with music on the Main Stage continuing Saturday, Sept.10, and Sunday, Sept.11 with art shows, music and kids activities throughout downtown.


Horizon Youth Theatre headed to OCTA Jr.

The young thespians from the Horizon Youth Theatre will bring their talents to The Ohio Community Theatre Association’s OCTA Fest Jr. Saturday (Aug. 6) in Wadsworth. Horizon Youth Theatre will present the one act “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet” directed by Jeffrey Guion.  Their 3:45 p.m. performance starts a run of performances by Northwest Ohio troupes. HYT’s performance will be followed by Toledo School for the Arts’ “The Little Prince.” Then at 5:05 p.m. 3B Productions will present an excerpt from its summer teen musical “Disney’s The Little Mermaid.”


University Chorale holds open auditions

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University is pleased to announce open auditions for the 2016-17 season of the University Choral Society.  Highlights of the season will include performances of Handel’s “Messiah” and Johann Sebastian Bach’s “St. John Passion.” The ensemble will perform “Messiah” with soloists and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra on December 4 as part of the symphony’s regular season at the Toledo Museum of Art.  During the spring semester the University Choral Society will perform J. S. Bach’s landmark masterpiece the “St. John Passion” with tenor Christopher Scholl as Evangelist, a variety of soloists, and the BGSU Early Music Ensemble.  The St. John Passion will be performed at Toledo’s Hope Lutheran Church on Palm Sunday, April 9, and at Bowling Green’s First United Methodist Church on Good Friday, April 14. Mark Munson, Director of Choral Activities at BGSU, serves as the director of the University Choral Society.  During his tenure at BGSU he has led the Collegiate Chorale, A Cappella Choir and University Women’s Chorus. He is a past president of the Ohio Choral Directors Association and is currently president-elect of the Central Division of the American Choral Directors Association. The chorus rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 until 9:30 at the College of Musical Arts, with the first rehearsal scheduled for August 30.  Membership consists of BGSU students and community members from the greater Bowling Green area.  For more information and/or to schedule an audition, please call the college at 419-372-2188.  


Diana Bibler wins People’s Choice Award as NowOH exhibit closes at BGSU (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Diana Bibler’s “Heart Breaking” got some love from visitors to the annual NowOH art exhibit at Bowling Green State University. Bibler’s acrylic painting won the show’s People’s Choice Award. The honor was announced Sunday after the last day of the show’s two-week run. Artists arrived at the galleries in the Fine Arts Center to collect their work. More than 100 ballots were cast for People’s Choice. “Heart Breaking” was an outgrowth of a family calamity. Bibler’s family had a house fire. In the aftermath, a 90-gallon fish tank was neglected and just kept freezing and thawing. They finally just “shoved it outside” where the bright plastic plants froze inside ice crystals. That was the image that inspired Bibler’s vivid abstraction. The title “Heart Breaking” refers, in part to the fire, but was as much inspired by viewer’s reactions to the art. “It reflects the mood you get from the painting,” Bibler said. Bibler, a graduate of Bowhser High School in Toledo, will be in her third year as a 3-D art major at BGSU. Having been encouraged to be creative by her mother, Bibler has known since age 5 that she wanted to be an artist. She’s already won awards for her felted sculpture “Hero.” She entered the painting into NowOH as a way of getting more visibility for her work, and winning People’s Choice, she said, gives her confidence as she moves forward in her career. BGSU Gallery Director Jacqueline Nathan said that was more than in the previous eight shows, and in line with what she saw as an uptick in attendance. “Every day we were open we had a pretty good number of visitors, and they were enthusiastic,” Nathan said. The Ninth Northwest Ohio Community Art Exhibition exhibit features the work of 56 area artists, from both the university and the community. Entry into NowOH is open to all artists who live in 12 Northwest Ohio counties. All work submitted is included. “This all came as a result of a class in arts administration,” Nathan said. “They wanted to do something to support local artists, and this is the result.” The exhibit draws both artists from the community and the university, especially students. For students, she said, the show “is a great line on their resume.” Having the community…


The Sheepdogs: Rain or shine rockers

DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Sheepdogs proved their rock ‘n’ roll mettle at last year’s Black Swamp Arts Festival. They took the stage as the closing act Friday night in a downpour that would have scared off many other artists. The Canadian quintet rocked out in the rain for a hard core crowd of several hundred that danced in the front of the stage, seeking refuge from the storm in the unrelenting backbeat and driving guitars. That’s just part of the deal when you’re a traveling rock ‘n’ roll band, said Ewan Currie, the lead singer and songwriter. “There’s a lot of sweat equity, a lot of travel, a lot of sucking it up… playing 10 shows in 10 days in unpredictable weather. That’s the price you pay for following the dream and playing in a rock ’n’ roll band.” The Sheepdogs will return to the festival this year as the Saturday night closing headliner. Currie hopes for better weather, but is ready to deliver “a good dose of rock ’n’ roll.” “We’ll come out with guns blazing,” he said. The festival runs Friday, Sept. 9. through Sunday, Sept. 11, in downtown Bowling Green. The band hasn’t had any off time since it last passed through Bowling Green. The Sheepdogs have been logging the miles in a tour to promote its latest album “Future Nostalgia.” The BG stop was at the beginning of a tour that will extend into November. That’s running close to 300 shows. “That’s missing a lot of weddings and other mundane life things,” Currie said. That’s being a rock ’n’ roll band. “The touring rock ’n’ roll band in 2016, we’re like the blue collar, working class musicians in a way,” he said. The music gets hardly any air play or coverage. “We’re almost like a boutique commodity.” But this is what Currie, his brother Shamus Currie, who plays keyboards and trombone, and bassist Ryan Gullen nd drummer Sam Corbett dreamed of growing up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They ditched their school band instruments, and learned rock listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beatles, The Kinks and other 1970s groups popular in their parents’ youth. Starting as teenagers they wrote their own songs, but also played a lot of covers to learn all the tricks and turns of the trade. Those…


Medium has a message about the complexity of delivering the news

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News It’s hard to get away from the gaze of the four-sided column of mirrors planted in the entryway of the Kuhlin Center. The artwork, Medium, will have students and professors reflecting on their vocations. Medium is a four-sided pillar with two-way mirrors on each side, and a projector as a hidden presence within. The mirrors will capture on the buzz of activity in the lobby of the center, and scrolling down the center of each mirror will be a randomly selected statement starting with either “we” or “they.” Recently artist Erik Carlson, who created the piece, was in the lobby putting finishing touches on the work in the new home for Bowling Green State University’s School of Media and Communication.  At this point what’s reflected is the mess of construction, ladders, buckets, drop cloths, packing boxes and the like. Assisting him is Nicholas Hanna, a Los Angeles computer programmer. Carlson, whose studio Area C is in Rhode Island, said the concept is to mediate the media experience and have students consider what their role as future professionals is in the process of gathering, disseminating and consuming information. The “we” is those who produce and deliver the news. And the “they” are those who are the subject of the news and the consumers. Smack in the middle will be the “I,” the students and faculty learning and teaching about this process. As they read the statement they can consider themselves on both sides. All the while they will be staring themselves in the face. Carlson said that the concept came about as he thought about what the building would be used for. When he discovered that the University Library had a digital archive of The BG News dating back to 1921, he knew he wanted to tap that rich resource. The archive became one of two sources for those “we” and ‘they” phrases. The other is the closed-captioning for the live feed of whatever is going out over WBGU-TV’s main station. On this Saturday, the station is broadcasting a show about beer making. The phrases “WE GET IN ALL THE WORT” and “WE DON’T WANT TO GRIND IT DOWN” scroll from bottom to top on a screen, the words, starting with “WE” slowly becoming visible. They blink a little, a…


‘Orange Is the New Black’ author to visit BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Piper Kerman, best-selling author of “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison” will be on BGSU’s campus Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 to discuss her book and her life story. Kerman will be presenting as part of the Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories lecture series sponsored by BGSU University Libraries and its Leadership Council. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the presentation following at 7:30 p.m. A VIP event will begin at 5:30 p.m. All events are hosted in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Tickets for the event are $30 for dinner and $100 for the VIP event and dinner. Tickets are available now at bgsu.edu/libraryevent. Kerman’s book chronicles her 13 months spent in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. In her book she explores the experience of incarceration and the intersection of her life with the lives of the women she met while in prison: their friendships and families, mental illnesses and substance abuse issues, cliques and codes of behavior. Since her release, Kerman has worked tirelessly to promote criminal justice reform. She serves on the board of the Women’s Prison Association, which provides preventative services for at-risk women, works to create alternatives to incarceration, advocates against practices like shackling during childbirth and offers programs to aid reentry into society. In her professional career as a communications consultant with Spitfire Strategies, she has worked on a number of criminal justice issues, including public defense reform, juvenile justice reform and the legal challenge to the “stop and frisk” laws in New York. She is a member of the advisory board for InsideOUT Writers. Kerman’s memoir was adapted into a critically acclaimed Netflix original series of the same name by Jenji Kohan. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning show has been called “the best TV show about prison ever made” by The Washington Post. Guests with disabilities are requested to indicate if they need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to fully participate in this event by contacting Disability Services, dss@bgsu.edu, 419-372-8495 prior to the event.


Piano stylist Michael Peslikis plays the music of the American experience

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Michael Peslikis describes himself as a piano stylist. He likes to play a variety of styles and that fluidity has served him well in his more than six decades as a professional musician. He played square dances at a dude ranch when he was 15. Played for silent movies, for musicals. He’s played ethnic music, his own Greek, and  Jewish, Irish, Italian, polkas as well as blues and ragtime – the soundtrack of the American melting pot.  He studied classical composition with Walter Piston at Harvard. This Wednesday Peslikis turns 80 in style. After 65 years as a professional he’s still intent on getting better. He’s flipped back the pages of time to return to the classical masters he studied as a youngster. You can still catch him around the area playing jazz and standards at Degage, serving up tunes for a brunch on holidays at the Hilton Garden Inn in Findlay, and jazzing up hymns at a church service on Sunday at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran in Toledo. Peslikis started out playing in his native Queens, New York. There was a piano in his home, and his father a Greek immigrant businessman had a few friends over to play some music from their native land. The young Michael bragged he could play that music on the piano. They dismissed him. He was undeterred. “I sat down and played it anyway, and they said ‘give him lessons.’” Despite this early display of keyboard skill, his early musical success was as a singer. He sang in an all-city choir. Traveling by train weekly for rehearsals. He assumed he would pursue singing, but he ruined his voice by straining to sing high parts after his voice changed. In high school he formed a small band that played dances. At 15 he got his chance for his first union job, a gig at Thousand Acres Dude Ranch in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. He was actually too young, so he had to get dispensation from American Federation of Musicians strongman James Petrillo. Peslikis got the card, and spent the next summers playing resorts in the Catskills, the so –called Borscht Belt.  A musician had to be flexible and skilled at switching gears. He played Jewish music and the Latin music that the…


Festival’s other stages offer return of Hutchison & other musical delights (Updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Arts Festival listeners will have one more chance to enjoy Barbara Bailey Hutchison, a singer-songwriter and entertainer extraordinaire. The festival’s performance committee has posted lineups for the festival’s Community and Youth Arts stages for Saturday, Sept. 10, and Sunday, Sept. 11. The festival gets underway with music on the Main Stage and concessions, Friday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. Hutchison, a veteran performer, said last year that she was going to stop touring this year. She was leaving the stage to spend more time as an artist and arts educator. Hutchison played two well-received sets on the Family Stage. Those sets included her original songs – humorous and touching reflections on life, family and religion, covers of other alternative folk songwriters tunes, and a medley of her greatest hits – the jingles she sang for TV ads for Hallmark, McDonald’s and other corporations. The Grammy-winning artist also displayed a ready wit and ability in integrate what was happening on the street in the moment into her performance. Hutchison will play a 11L30 a.m. set Saturday on the Family stage and a noon set Sunday on the Community Stage. The Family Stage will also present Grammy-winning and Emmy-nominated artist Tim Kubart. He’s a YouTube sensation as the “Tambourine Guy” on the Postmodern Jukebox. As in the past, festivalgoers will get second, even third, chances to hear Main Stage acts on the more intimate Community and Family stage settings. Top local acts from a ukuleles, Uilleann pipes,  to Japanese taiko drums also are set to perform. Teen fiddler Grant Flick’s trio is both a Main Stage act and a top local performer. He’ll perform on the Community Stage 4 p.m. Saturday following a noon set on the Main Stage earlier in the day. The lineup for the Community Stage, which is located in the atrium of Four Corners Center, is: SATURDAY 11 a.m., Toraigh an Sonas. Noon, Grand Ukulelists of the Black Swamp. 1 p.m., Mariachi Flor de Toloache. 2 p.m., The Rhythm Future Quartet. 3 p.m., Joe Baker Band. 4 p.m., Flick, Turner & Warren. 5 p.m. The Downtown Country Band. SUNDAY Noon, Barbara Bailey Hutchison. 1 p.m., Corduroy Road. 2 p.m., Croy and the Boys. 4 p.m., Ginkgoa. The lineup for the Family Stage, located in…


“Little Mermaid” performed swimmingly by 3B youth troupe

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With temperatures topping the 90s, a trip to the sea seems just the thing. Local theatergoers don’t have to go far for that. This weekend 3B Productions is staging “Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the Musical,” based on the 1989 animated film. This is 3B’s annual summer youth musical. It’s a great idea. Pull together talent from area high schools and give them a chance to work together and give the audience a chance to see some of the best young thespian talent in the area. Given the size of the cast, 65 in all, with its sailors, maids, cooks and all manner of sea creatures, real and imagined, the show has plenty of roles for youngsters, some maybe getting their first exposure to musical theater. The result is a bracing sea adventure, powered by youthful energy. “The Little Mermaid,” directed by Joe Barton with musical direction by Jennifer Bollinger and choreography by Bob Marzola, is on stage at the Maumee Indoor Theatre Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The Saturday matinee will feature understudies including several members of the Horizon Youth Theatre. Tickets, which are going fast, are $15 available at: www.3Bproductions.org. The production meets the challenge of bringing animated antics to life, and fleshing out the characters. Using the energy of live theater performed by a youthful cast as a substitute for the magic of animation, “Little Mermaid” has a spunky summer camp joy to it. Particularly impressive is the way Andrew Nauden keeps his character Sebastian, the court composer turned a mermaid princess’ minder, from being a caricature. Sebastian has all the makings of being the show’s Jar Jar Binks, but Nauden makes us feel his character’s frustrations, and developing concern for Ariel. He’s equally good at leading the feel-good production number “Under the Sea” as he is the sensitive “Kiss the Girl.” Not surprisingly he’s already won state honors for his roles in other 3B shows and will head off to study in Ithaca College’s well respected musical theater program. Ariel played by Joelle Stiles is a heart-strong mermaid. She’s obsessed with the land of humans and immune to the grave warnings of her father, the sea god Triton (Noah Halaoui). She’s always venturing to the surface to…


Abby Paskvan delivers with the nation watching

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The day after singing the National Anthem on a national stage, Abby Paskvan was still soaking it all in. The Bowling Green singer delivered the anthem at the opening of Wednesday night’s session of the Republican National Convention. The performance was broadcast on several networks including PBS. She said her rehearsal earlier in the day was also broadcast nationally on Fox News. Paskvan said she was “a little nervous” and as a result it was “not my best performance.” There’s “always room for improvement,” she added. Not that anyone listening could tell. Those who missed it can hear it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHlHvix4YiM. “I really love that song, and it was a cool environment to sing it in,” Paskvan said. “You have to love that song.” And the audience doesn’t matter. Asked by Jerry Anderson of WTOL I she’d sing for the Democratic convention if asked, she said, of course. “It’s so much fun. I’m not thinking about who I’m singing for. I’m just in the moment.” The performance just before 8 p.m. capped what Paskvan, 20, called a “crazy day.” She and her parents, Brian and Becky Paskvan, left Bowling Green at 10 a.m. to go to Cleveland. They arrived, via a backway, without incident and settled into a hotel where they waited for the transportation that would bring them to Quicken Loans Arena where the convention is being held. The level of security was high, she said. They had to pass through three security checkpoints before they even arrived at the gates of the arena. She had her run through and that went “great.” Then it was off for hair and makeup. Afterward she and her family got “to chill” and take in the atmosphere and the speeches. She felt that vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, was the best speaker. “He killed it.” Paskvan said she was confused at first about the negative reaction to Sen Ted Cruz’s speech until someone explained the crowd was angry that he didn’t endorse Donald Trump. She was surprised to hear someone booed. Paskvan said she was overwhelmed by all the greetings and compliments flowing her way over the social media. The Fox video of her performance quickly garnered 20,000 views. The family arrived back in Bowling Green in the…


Winners of Ohioana Book Awards announced

From The OHIOANA LIBRARY COLIMBUS —  The Ohioana Library has announced the winners of the 2016 Ohioana Book Awards. The awards, established in 1942, honor Ohio authors in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Juvenile Literature, and Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature. The final category, About Ohio or an Ohioan, may also include books by non-Ohio authors. The Ohioana Awards are among the oldest and longest-established state literary prizes in the nation. “From the nearly 300 books that were eligible for this year’s awards, thirty finalists in six categories were selected by jurors,” said David Weaver, Executive Director of the Ohioana Library. “To make this short list is itself recognition of excellence and selecting a winner is a challenge. The books and authors chosen as 2016’s honorees are truly stellar.” This year marks the 75th anniversary of the awards, which will be presented at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Friday, September 23. The winners are: Fiction: Mary Doria Russell. Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral. Ecco, 2015. Nonfiction: Wil Haygood. Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America. Knopf, 2015. About Ohio or an Ohioan: David McCullough. The Wright Brothers. Simon & Schuster, 2015. Poetry: Nin Andrews. Why God Is a Woman. BOA Editions Ltd., 2015. Juvenile Literature: Loren Long. Little Tree. Philomel Books, 2015. Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature: Shelley Pearsall. The Seventh Most Important Thing. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2015. In addition to the juried awards, Ohioana for the first time invited the public to vote for one of the finalists to receive a Readers’ Choice Award. More than 1,100 people voted, and the winning book was Russell’s Epitaph. Ohioana also named Eliese Colette Goldbach of Cleveland as the recipient of the 27th Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, a competitive prize for Ohio writers age 30 or younger who have not yet published a book. Goldbach won for her essay, In the Memory of the Living. Named for Ohioana’s second director and endowed by his family, the Marvin Grant has helped launch a number of writers, including 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Anthony Doerr.


Zak Vassar named Toledo Symphony president & CEO

From TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TOLEDO — The Toledo Symphony Orchestra announced today that Zak Vassar has accepted the position as the Symphony’s President and CEO with a start date of July 18. Board Chairman Randy Oostra and George Chapman, head of the search committee, led the executive search process guided by Arts Consulting Group. “Zak has the energy, personality and experience to build an enhanced TSO business model, drive strong development, and promote collaboration throughout the community,” Chapman said. “We look forward to working with Zak as he builds on the tremendous work by Bob Bell and Kathy Carroll in leading the TSO into the future. He will be an innovative leader who will drive our efforts to become the leading regional orchestra in the nation.”Over the last 15 years, Vassar has built an extensive career conducting domestic and international market research for Fortune 100 and entrepreneurial firms alike. “After an extensive search process, we are pleased to have found a local candidate who met our hopes of finding a dynamic leader that will lead TSO into the future,” Oostra said. “Zak brings the TSO an excellent background in business, marketing, and participative management, which coupled with his longstanding passion and commitment to the TSO and local arts prepares him to be an exceptional leader.” “I am thrilled to come to this organization that has meant so much to me for over 20 years,” Vassar said. “I see great potential to build upon the strong history and reputation built by my predecessors and look forward to working with the entire organization.” A graduate of Boston College with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Music History, Vassar credits his summer internships with the Toledo Symphony for inspiring his Thesis, Keeping the Music Playing: Marketing Classical Music in the 21st Century. While a Vice President at Fulcrum Research Group, Vassar was engaged as a consultant for the Toledo Symphony, conducting an online study with Toledo Symphony subscribers, single ticket buyers, donors, and non-donors to make recommendations for patron engagement and TSO programming. This research filled gaps in the marketing strategy and established baselines for existing marketing effectiveness. Most recently, Vassar was senior Vice President at Communica, Inc. There he developed research analytics capabilities to serve Communica’s vast portfolio of for-profit and non-profit clients. Notably, he…