REACH Conference slated for Feb. 24

Beverly Rodgers, provost/vice president of academic affairs at MacMurray College in Illinois, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming REACH Across Dayton conference. CONTRIBUTED
Beverly Rodgers, provost/vice president of academic affairs at MacMurray College in Illinois, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming REACH Across Dayton conference. CONTRIBUTED

It’s called a “studies conference,” but that title doesn’t begin to reflect the fun that’s in store for those who attend “REACH across Dayton.”

The daylong event, now in its 24th year, is a cultural exchange that introduces 300 participants to a wide variety of programming that explores the many ethnic traditions of the Miami Valley. It’s a potpourri of speakers, workshops, hands-on art activities, musical performances and gallery shows.

This year’s event will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, at Sinclair Community College, Building 12. The theme is “In the Spirit of Creating Connections. ” Co-founder Tess Little says the focus will be on Native American culture. “This year’s conference was planned to remind us all about the power of connections in a world that has many issues that need to be healed/solved/repaired,” says Little. “It allows us to be open to new creative possibilities, generate power and can lead us to work together to find solutions that create a better world.”

Keynote speaker at the event is Beverly Rodgers, provost/vice president of academic affairs at MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Ill. She’ll talk about the nature of the losses of language and culture in the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, highlight some of the actions that caused these losses and inform attendees of what is happening today to regain the Miami language and make relevant the culture.

Participants will learn how to tell their own stories and will create a 2D Spirit Totem. In a session entitled “Creating Connections Around Different Religions and Worldviews,” attendees will learn about teachings from a variety of faith traditions. You can also join a conversation about what it means to be a welcoming city in today’s political environment.

Two art exhibits are being featured at Sinclair in connection with REACH through Feb. 24. You’ll find recent prints by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and recent paintings by Neal Ambose Smith in the Burnell R. Roberts Triangle Gallery. The Works on Paper Gallery hosts an exhibit entitled “Home: Contemporary Indigenous Artists.” An artist reception will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, in Building 13 at the corner of Fifth and Perry.

A ticket to the all-day conference is $50 which includes the conference, lunch, all materials, refreshments, and parking. Fee must be paid at time of registration. For more information, go to

Dayton Skyscrapers project marks 10th anniversary

An artist reception will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. today, Feb. 12, in the Schuster Center’s Wintergarden to mark the 10th anniversary of The Dayton Skyscrapers Art Project.

The annual exhibit celebrates high-achieving African-Americans from the Dayton Miami Valley region who have excelled in their field and given back to the community. The project is a collaboration with Shango: Center for the Study of African American Art and Culture, EbonNia Gallery and the Victoria Theatre Association.

This year’s exhibiting artists include Abner Cope, Dwayne Daniel, Clifford Darrett, Willis Bing Davis, Lois Fortson, Kevin Harris, Morris Howard, James Pate, Craig Screven, Frances Turner, Andrea Walker-Cummings, and Yvette Walker-Dalton.

Guest speaker at the reception will be Haki R. Madhubuti, a poet, educator, author and founder of Third World Press of Chicago. Author of 31 books, he is one of the architects of the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s and 70s. Musical guest will be Dayton-based Tonya Baker, CEO of Tonya Baker Ministries.

The 2017 Dayton Skyscrapers art exhibit will be on display at the Schuster Center through March and then will travel to the Dayton Power and Light Headquarters in East Dayton (April 3-28). It will be on exhibit at the EbonNia Gallery in the Wright-Dunbar Historic Business District from May 1-July 30.

Human Race will stage comedies

Looks like the folks at the Human Race Theatre Company have decided we could all use some good laughs.

The five plays slated for the 2017-2018 Eichelberger Loft Season — one new musical and four plays — are all comedies.

The season will kick off with a musical about the power of fantasy entitled “Legendale.” It will be followed by the Midwest premiere of Brian Parks’ comedy about home-buying, “The House.” Laura Eason’s story of dating in the modern world, “Sex with Strangers” will be followed by Neil Simon’s ” Brighton Beach Memoirs.”

The season will close with “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]”which will feature a three-person ensemble lead by Human Race Resident Artist Bruce Cromer.

Subscriptions are available in 3-, 4- and 5-show packages, as well as in Flex Pass plans. Package prices range from $99-$206, and discounted subscriptions are available for students. Both renewing and new subscribers may place their orders with Ticket Center Stage by calling (937) 228-3630 or by visiting the Schuster Center Box Office.

Sing with the Dayton Philharmonic

Mid-season auditions for new members of the Choirs of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, on the campus of Wright State University.

Their mission is to serve as part of the orchestra during the regular subscription season, performing choral-orchestral works. The Choirs, under the direction of Hank Dahlman, include the Orchestra Chorus, the Chamber Choir, and the Festival Chorus.

To schedule an audition time, contact Amy Vaubel at or (937) 554-2986. Complete audition information, including free music score downloads, is available at

Miami students place in Disney competition

The winners of Walt Disney Imagineering’s 26th Imaginations design competition were recently announced at an awards luncheon at Disney Imagineering headquarters in Glendale, Calif.

Third place award went to Casey Liptak and Erin Socha of Miami University and Sarah Miholer of Carnegie Mellon University for “Niihka: A New Tradition.” The challenge was to come up with an outdoor space that would address the diverse needs of students, faculty and visitors while also providing a respite from the stresses of everyday life.

The team’s plan was to provide an outdoor space that celebrates the Myaamiaki Indian culture, the tribe that once inhabited the land on which Miami University was founded.

“This project would provide an environment for guests to feel close to nature, through architecture and interior design,” read the team’s proposal. “A multi-leveled space, the park would provide a number of diverse atmospheres, from structured to more relaxed, integrating technology and an innovative Smart Roof concept to remind the community of its Native American roots.”

Imaginations is a design competition created and sponsored by Walt Disney Imagineering with the purpose of seeking out and nurturing the next generation of Disney Imagineers. The six teams of finalists visited Walt Disney Imagineering’s main campus from Jan. 23-27 to meet and network with Imagineers, go behind the scenes and interview for paid internships.

Nina Simone documentary at Rosewood

An award-winning documentary about the legendary musician and activist Nina Simone will be shown at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Rosewood Gallery, 2655 Olson Drive. The free program is presented in observance of Black History Month.

A conversation with Theresa Leininger-Miller will follow the screening. The event is being presented by the Kettering Board of Community Relations and Rosewood Arts Centre.

PechaKucha slated for Feb. 23

Time for one of the Miami Valley’s most fascinating evenings known as PechaKucha. Speakers for this next event will cover topics ranging from creative candy making to visual journaling. Kevin Uppstrom will share photos from his world travels as a cargo pilot and Marsha Theresa Danzig will talk about her life as an amputee yoga teacher and memoirist. Aaron Glett will share ways of accomplishing things when you are different.

This event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Hope Lutheran Church, 500 Hickory St., with free parking at the Emerson Academy lots.

Organizers say over the past seven years they’ve offered folks in the Miami Valley the chance to mix it up with new people and hear thoughts that surprise and intrigue. Elom Dossa will emcee.

The evenings are free with donations accepted for refreshments. No RSVP is necessary.

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