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Visitors to the 2018 Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition interact with

It’s Summer: Quick, Grab It While It’s Here!

Can you believe we’re more than halfway through summer and the days are already getting shorter? Don’t dismay—do something about it.

Students from the All-Ohio State Fair Band and the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir perform at the 2018 Ohio State Fair. Photo courtesy of the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir,The Ohio State Fair runs through Aug. 5, so now is the time to plan your trip to the state fairgrounds in Columbus to enjoy the arts! The All-Ohio State Fair Band and All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir are performing daily, offering more than 90 concerts during the run of the fair. I can attest that their performances are fabulous. Just last Sunday I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with the two groups, composed of 400 talented high school musicians and singers, not to mention a fan base of more than 2,000 people. It was an honor to thank the professional music staff, the Ohio State Fair commissioners, and of course, the parents! Together these talented young people are being supported by a “choir” of people who believe in the power of the arts and the joy and educational opportunities that music brings to their lives. Aside from great performances, while you’re at the fair, don’t forget about the art exhibitions (youth, emerging, and professional artists) in Cardinal Hall and the Cox Fine Arts Center. You won’t want to miss a thing.

Speaking of not missing out - I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! - and you can find it on the Ohio Ice Cream Trail! The Ohio legislature has designated this the year of the trail – and that’s not just limited to nature! Artisanal culinary products await you throughout the state. On the Ice Cream Trail, you can find 15 shops with creative, fresh, and local ice cream flavors from Youngstown to Cincinnati, from Findlay to Athens, and just about everywhere in between. Check out the locations map here and plan your visit to the ice cream shop!

And, of course, in between our sweet visits, we must find time to visit all the local attractions too. One of my favorite opportunities is the 78th Street Studios in Cleveland. They host an art walk from 5-9 p.m. on the third Friday of each month. Admission is free, and you can experience it too! This fabulous indoor art walk boasts more than 50 studios and galleries. And, the Northcoast Artisans’ Market features up to 20 local ever-changing guest artists. Support local art and small business! See you there - 1305 W. 80th St. Cleveland, Ohio, 44102. For a list of festivals across the state, check out the OAC 2018 Festival Directory!

As summer winds down, many schools across the state will be ringing the back-to-school bell starting mid-August, and we’ll be there with them through TeachArtsOhio (TAO). The Ohio Arts Council’s TAO program brings schools and community organizations together with teaching artists to share engaging, personal, high-quality arts learning experiences. Engagements can vary from short introductory exposures lasting just a few days to in-depth immersive experiences spanning a full school year. Creative and experienced teaching artists, through TAO grant awards, offer learners the opportunity to participate in a unique creative process, bridge cultural differences, develop fresh ways of learning through the arts, and realize lasting benefits from in-person contact and collaboration with professional artists who are experienced in working with school-aged children and youth. Learn more!

As we take one last summer vacation day, prepare for back to school, and enjoy the beauty of the arts, I hope you will grab a friend and find the arts in your everyday life and in a neighboring Ohio town! The arts are Ohio’s treasure and as our friends in tourism say, “Ohio, find it here!”

Until next time,

Donna Collins' signature

Donna S. Collins
Executive Director

Featured photo: Visitors to the 2018 Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition interact with "2.48," a piece by Erek Nass.

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