Final Vanguard Concert at DAI today; series to continue at UD

Each week, arts writer Meredith Moss writes about the people and events making arts news in our region. If you have news you would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: MMoss@coxohio.com

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We have both happy and sad news to share about the Vanguard Concert series.

The sad news is that after a 54-year run, this afternoon’s 4 p.m. concert will be the final program at the Dayton Art Institute. The Escher String Quartet, based in New York, will play Haydn, Britten and Schubert. Tickets, available at the door, are $25 and $20 for students.

The happy news is that the University of Dayton will perpetuate Vanguard’s tradition of presenting outstanding classical chamber concerts by creating what will be known as the Vanguard Legacy Concerts under the umbrella of the University’s ArtsLIVE program. The official announcement will be made at today’s concert and the university anticipates launching the first in the new series in the fall of 2016.

The DAI announced last August that it would terminate its support of the series created in 1962 by Vincent and Elana Bolling. Over the years, the Bollings have presented over 275 concerts ranging from solo instrumentalists, duets, trios, quartets and quintets to chamber orchestras with as many as 20 players on stage. Offerings have ranged from ancient music works, through the baroque, classical and 19th century romantic periods, to avant-garde chamber works of the 21st century.

The plan is for UD to present a minimum of two Vanguard Legacy Concerts each year. An endowment created by the Bollings will assist in funding the concerts and UD will work with Mrs. Bolling to select artists in the first year. After that the selections will be made with guidance from the Department of Music, as well as the ArtsLIVE Committee. ArtsLIVE chamber concerts, founded in 1961, incorporate a wider range of art forms and are currently presented primarily in Sears Recital Hall, located in the Jesse Philips Humanities Center on campus.

We’ll keep you posted!

Wright State grads on stage in “Violet”

A heartwarming musical about the challenges of being different is now on stage at Cincinnati’s Ensemble Theatre Company and features three Wright State University graduates.

“Violet” is the story of a young woman, facially disfigured in a childhood accident, who hops a bus and heads for Oklahoma in search of a televangelist she believes can save her and make her beautiful. Along the way, she forms friendships with her fellow riders, including a young, African-American soldier whose love for her reaches far past her physical “imperfections.”

Playing the leading role of Monty is Mark Beyer, a Wright State musical theater grad. Sara Mackie, an alum of Wright State’s Acting program, portrays a music hall singer. Also in the cast is Stephen Kell of Greenvile, who recently graduated from Wright State and is serving as an apprentice at the ETC.

Brooke Steele’s portrayal of Violet is both amazing and heart-breaking.

The show, which runs through May 22, features music ranging from folk to gospel and won the Drama Critics’ Circle Award and the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical when it premiered off-Broadway in 1997. It was nominated for a Tony when it came to Broadway in a revised edition in 2014.

The theater, located in the Over-the-Rhine area of downtown Cincinnati, has announced its 2016-2017 season. Plays will include “The Legend of Georgia McBride”; “brownsville song (b-side for tray); “Cinderella: Ever After”; “First Date”; “When We Were Young and Unafraid” and “Bloomsday.”

For tickets to “Violet,” call (513) 421-3555.

Cinci Museum hosts photo exhibit on slavery

A new exhibit entitled “Enslaved: A Visual Story of Modern Day Slavery’ is now on display at The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. The exhibition features images by humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine that “not only document the lives endured by slaves but also celebrate the freedom they never dreamed possible.”

In order to accommodate the demand for visiting school groups, the museum, open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., has added Mondays to its May schedule.

The Freedom Center has been chosen as a 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NAHYP) Finalist by President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its partner agencies, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. It was selected from 301 nominated organizations and institutions across 44 states and the District of Columbia for accomplishments in after-school and out-of-school learning, specifically the Freedom Center Youth Docent program.

If selected, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will receive $10,000 and an invitation to the White House awards ceremony hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as the opportunity to participate in the NAHYP Awardee Conference in Washington. To learn more about the center, visit freedomcenter.org.

Family Art Day in Xenia

“Cookies & Canvas,” a Saturday morning art experience for families, will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the X*ACT Gallery, 45 E. 2nd St., in Xenia.

No painting experience is necessary and the $25 fee includes a pre-sketched canvas, paints, brushes and refreshments. Instructor is Karen King. For more information, call (937) 372-0516. Proceeds for the event will benefit the Gallery.

Want to play Robin Hood?

Auditions are scheduled for an outdoor theater production of “Robin Hood” being produced by Caesar’s Ford Theatre, Inc. in collaboration with the City of Fairborn Parks & Recreation Department. The show will be on stage at Atherton Outdoor Amphitheatre in Fairborn’s Community Park, 691 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Rd. on Aug. 26, 27, and 28, 2016 and Sept. 2, 3, and 4.

The cast includes 14 men and seven women and tryouts will take place from 7-9:30 p.m. on May 18, 19, 25, and 26 at the Yellow Springs Arts Council, 111 Corry St., Yellow Springs.

The play will be directed by James J. Cain with technical direction by Thomas L. Blackbern.Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script. Volunteers are also needed to help with set construction, stage crew and hospitality. For information, see info@caesarsford.com or visit www.caesarsford.com.

Groovin’ on the Green kicks off May 19

Fairfield’s “Groovin’ on the Green” kicks off at 7 p.m.on Thursday, May 19 at Fairfield’s Village Green Park and will continue through the summer months.

The series mixes music, food and fun. Beginning May 26, The Groovin’ Grill on the Fairfield Community Arts Center balcony offers family-friendly dinner service from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with a cash bar open until the end of each concert,

For a schedule of performers and restaurants, visit Fairfield-City.org/Green

UD plans tours to Italy

The University of Dayton Continuing Education Office is planning two adult educational travel programs to Italy this Fall. “A Taste of Italy” is slated for Sept. 21 - Oct. 3, and “Italy: A Harmony of the Arts” will take place October 7 - 15.

UD Faculty hosts are Andria Chiodo and Patricia Dolan for “Taste”, and Linda J. Snyder for “Arts.” Both programs are open to the public. For more information visit https://www.udayton.edu/continuing_education/educational_travel or contact the Continuing Education office at (937) 229-2347.

Cinci Art Museum launches new website

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s newly redesigned website, cincinnatiartmuseum.org, makes nearly 60,000 objects from its collection, accompanied by more than 4,000 high-quality images, accessible online for the first time.

The new mobile- and tablet-friendly site adds more than 300 cross-curricular classroom resources for educators, available through a new searchable database. The website features improved navigation, intuitive design and a more flexible events calendar.