Knight Foundation

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Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, August 2, 2018:

pocket park on North High Street in Akron
Mark Arehart / WKSU

A new temporary pop-up park in Akron is now open for visitors. It's part of an effort to get more people to the north side of Akron’s downtown. 

Kent State's Wick Poetry Center wins Knight Foundation Grant for Poetry Wall

Jul 12, 2018
The Wick Poetry Center / Kent State University

The Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University is getting $50,000 to help make poetry more interactive.

The center is using a grant from the Knight Foundation Art and Technology Prototype Fund to create what it calls the Traveling Stanzas Listening Wall.

Photo of Sims and Rice
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

Akron’s Summit Lake isn’t quite back to its glory days as the city’s “waterfront playground.” But a new report finds it is cleaning itself after years of industrial dumping and other abuse – at least to the point where it’s safe for boating, fishing and birdwatching. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the attempt to make the lake an attraction instead of a liability – and to reconnect an isolated part of the city.

Photo of Rice and Veronica Sims
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

Akron’s Summit Lake has officially been cleared for fishing, boating and birdwatching. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with Dan Rice of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition about the attempt to make the lake and park a destination without the risks that come with gentrification.

Decades of heavy industry took its toll on Summit Lake and the area around it, reducing it from what had been Akron’s “waterfront playground” to a place locals called “Scummit Lake.”

Photo of Kabell presentation
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

Akron is trying to figure out how to become a bike-friendly city. As WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, that means taking on the challenges of weather, hills and -- most-daunting-of-all -- drivers.

Akron Parks Challenge logo
AKRONPARKS.ORG

The deadline is fast approaching for community groups and individuals to pitch their ideas for the Akron Parks Challenge. The goal is to improve two Akron parks.

The city will give up to $100,000 each to the winning proposals. Other organizations, like the Knight Foundation, are also pitching in to make these initial projects feasible.

photo of Kenmore, Ohio mural submission
CALEB ARONHALT

A national non-profit group focused on getting people to think about how their cities are built and what makes them strong is bringing their focus to Akron.

Strong Towns is teaming up with the Knight Foundation for a yearlong effort looking at what it takes for the city to be economically stable. 

The installation called Candy Coated, Koi fish, Gemstones & Hearts.
The Curated Storefront / Joseph Levack Photography

Passing through downtown Akron will now be a little more colorful thanks to a project called Curated Storefront.

The project puts art installations in buildings at street-level, including vacant spaces, in an effort to make urban areas more welcoming. There are 13 installations in all.

Creative Director Courtney Cable says she hopes the project brings more people to downtown Akron.

photo of pump house
KNIGHT FOUNDATION

Summit Metro Parks is getting $785,000 to connect with the community at two of its parks near downtown Akron.

The money from the Knight Foundation will be used to re-purpose the pump house at Summit Lake and a barn in Cascade Valley Metro Park. Both sites will offer community programs, meeting spaces and activities.

Metro Parks Executive Director Lisa King says the goal is to build relationships with the community. 

Knight Awards dance presentation
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Arts projects in Akron are splitting  $743-thousand as part of the latest Knight Arts Challenge Awards. The winning projects were announced Tuesday night. 

photo of the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden
ANDREW MEYER / WKSU

The Akron Art Museum is getting an $8 million gift from the Knight Foundation to add new works and better engage with visitors.

Mark Arehart / WKSU

A new shopping space in downtown Akron set to open next month is betting big on small businesses.

University of Akron Students Get New Way to Go Mobile

Sep 14, 2017
photo of University of Akron bike share
UNIVERSITY OF AKRON/TWITTER

The University of Akron is giving its students access to bicycles to use on and off campus free of charge.

John MacDonald is the director of student recreation and wellness services at UA. He says a new program gives students freedom to go where they choose after signing out a bike.

Akron is celebrating its jazz roots this weekend with a second annual Rubber City Jazz Festival. For this week’s Shuffle, WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz looks at Akron’s revitalized jazz scene, spearheaded by a local musician. 

A Plan To Walk Akron's Downtown into New Vitality

Jul 12, 2017
A vIew of downtown Akron from Knight Center
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is giving the Downtown Akron Partnership $1.5 million to help make the city’s center more vibrant by making it a more inviting place for pedestrians.

photo of Cami Chickonoski, Jen Vliet
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Hundreds of people walked and biked around parts of southern Akron yesterday as part of the city’s second “Open Streets” event.

The event closed several main roads through the Kenmore, Summit Lake and Firestone Park neighborhoods to allow people to ride, run, walk and skate between everything from food trucks to game stations to a meet-and-greet with the Akron Racers pro softball team.

photo of Escher String Quartet
SOPHIE ZHAI

The city of Akron and Tuesday Musical want to help the city relax using classical music. WKSU’s Phil de Oliveira reports on a new initiative to bring live chamber music to Akron’s public spaces.

The free, 45-minute concerts are part of a series called Decompression Chamber. The idea for the concerts came out of research suggesting classical music decreases stress and enhances brain function.

photo of Wandering Aesthetics logo
WANDERING AESTHETICS

An Akron theatre company will premiere a series of vaudeville performances in September thanks to a Knight Foundation grant.

Wandering Aesthetics has raised nearly half of the money required for its $75,000 matching grant, which will be used for a project it calls “Bigger than a Breadbox.”

photo of Lock 3
MARK URYCKI / WKSU

Akron has gotten $5 million to connect public spaces along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. but as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, how to accomplish that will be up to the public.

photo of Christy Bolingbroke
MEG MESSINA / ODC

The University of Akron’s National Center for Choreography has chosen Christy Bolingbroke as its first executive artistic director.

Bolingbroke previously worked for the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brooklyn and ODC in San Francisco.

While she has lived in many places, she says Ohio has been on her radar for a long time.

JON PARISE / CC FLICKR

Akron is the former rubber capital of the world, and has staked its claim as the polymer capital, but the Summit County Historical Society is suggesting another claim to fame.

Brainstorming for Joy of Voting
RICK SENFTEN / WKSU

Akron began its Joy of Voting project last night with a wall full of ideas ranging from guerilla theater at polling places to a community party and get-out-the vote competitions.