Release Date: Wednesday, November 28th 2012
First Night® Akron Announces Button Art for New Year’s Eve Celebration and Button Sales
Button art created by local artist Judith Gaiser and spotlights the Akron Civic Theatre’s Wurlitzer organ
Downtown Akron Partnership is pleased to unveil the First Night Akron 2013 artwork that thousands of revelers will wear as their admission button to the event on New Year’s Eve. The button artist, chosen by a committee of previous button artists, is local painter Judith Gaiser.
Gaiser has been involved in the world of art one way or another for most of her life. “I like to think I was born with a pencil and sketchbook in my hand,” she says of her passion. She credits her grandfather, who was a professional wood sculptor, with her artistic interest. Though she is now retired, for 21 years she taught art, drama and English at the high school level. Now Gaiser likes to spend as much time as possible painting and conducts creative painting workshops and coaches high school students with portfolio work.
Regarding the creation of the button, the winning submission was the last of three designs she produced. “In the early morning prior to working on the third idea, a red fox came to our fish pond for a drink and I thought it was a good omen,” she recalls. Gaiser knew the third theme would have to do with the Akron Civic Theater’s mighty Wurlitzer organ. “It has fascinated me for years,” she says. Last year she arrived early for the children’s ballet performance of the Nutcracker and took pictures of the organ. She never imagined it would later be used as a reference for this project. It did not take long for the idea to spring to mind to have the fox as the musician for the Wurlitzer. Gaiser stated, “I like to humanize critters in my drawings and give them personalities. I tend to work quickly and expressively and the composition continued to grow with the silent movie film theme.”
First Night Akron 2013 is a Celebration of Downtown Akron!
Now in its 17th year, First Night Akron is a New Year’s Eve celebration unlike any other. This family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration of the arts includes 10 venues filled with more than 80 experiences featuring music, dance, theater, interactive and visual art performances and projects for all ages. On Monday, Dec. 31, from 6 p.m. - midnight, enjoy entertainment and fun throughout Downtown Akron at an accessible, inviting admission price of $10. Admission buttons are on sale now at www.firstnightakron.org and beginning Friday, Nov. 23, will be available at Acme Fresh Markets, FirstMerit Bank branches and additional locations throughout the community. First Night buttons provide admission to all event sites and free METRO bus rides to each venue.
Discover PNC’s Grow Up Great at the Shoppes at Akron Centre
PNC Grow Up Great is a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life. The program has done wonders for Akron by providing educational and experiential programs for children in the community. Enjoy this fun and friendly interactive venue that focuses on imaginative play to reveal the child within us all. Role play with The Illusion Factory’s Cinderhood and interactive workshops and enjoy Weathervane Community Playhouse theatrical performances. Create art with ASIA Inc, enhance your attire with Pat Catan’s Mask Making and build and play in the city of the future in Box City with Step2.
Time Warner Cable Connects Community and Culture
Time Warner Cable keeps you connected to festivities and fun at one of First Night Akron’s best loved venues, the John S. Knight Center. Experience a variety of live music including Horns and Things, Fergie and the Bog Dogs, Colin Dussault, the University of Akron’s Steel Drum Band, and Summit Songwriters Circle. Be hypnotized with Michael Oddo, enjoy roaming talent, make your own “drumpet,” and take a dip with “Mike” a life-sized blue whale in the Air Aquarium.
Hall of Resolution
Connect with local services and products to help you keep your resolution. Whether you want to lose weight, learn a new skill, get organized, get healthy or just explore the possibilities of getting support for a life changing goal, you’ll find something to meet your needs among the 12 vendors featured.
Admission Button Sales Locations
First Night Akron 2013 admission buttons are $10. Children under 10 are admitted FREE when accompanied by a button-wearing adult. Buttons go on sale Friday, November 23 at: Acme Fresh Markets, participating FirstMerit Bank branches, the Akron Beacon Journal Customer Service Desk, Angel Falls Coffee in Highland Square, Carolyn’s Cupboard in Wadsworth, Gasoline Alley in Bath, The Library Shop on Main, Lock 3, Stage Left Boutique at the Akron Civic Theatre and online at www.firstnightakron.org. On the evening of December 31, admission buttons will only be available at Acme Fresh Markets until 8 p.m. and at Stage Left Boutique at the Akron Civic Theatre and The Library Shop on Main in Downtown Akron.
Don’t Let First Night Be Your Only Night In Downtown Akron!
Add value to your First Night Button for only $5 more. Purchase a Discover Downtown Akron Passport and experience arts and culture from December 2012-December 2013. For only $15, enjoy exclusive tours, free admission to popular venues, sporting events, theater and more. A free admission button to First Night Akron 2013 ($10 value) is included with the purchase of the Passport. The Downtown Akron Passport has an actual value of $213. Visit www.downtownakron.com/passport to purchase online or for a list of sales locations, including Acme Fresh Markets.
Let Us Be Your Guide to First Night with the Mobile Website
A mobile-friendly version of the Downtown Akron Partnership website is available for smart phones at m.downtownakron.com. The website is a one-stop resource to connect visitors with a fun, safe and convenient visit in Downtown Akron. This New Year’s Eve the mobile website will put parking assistance, event listings, promotions, dining options and more in the palm of your hand.
First Night Akron is a program of Downtown Akron Partnership. Founding partners are the City of Akron and the Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com.
Thank you to our generous First Night sponsors:
Platinum Site Sponsors: Acme Fresh Markets, Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com, Akron Community Foundation/Mutual Health Services/Medical Mutual, City of Akron, County of Summit, FirstMerit Foundation, GAR Foundation, PNC Bank and Time Warner Cable. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program/organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
Gold Stage Sponsors: C.L. Davis Jewelers, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, John S. Knight Center, Kenneth L. Calhoun, a KeyBank Trust, METRO Regional Transit Authority and The University of Akron.
Silver Project Sponsors: Huntington Bank, Labels & Letters, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, Robert O. & Annamae Orr Family Foundation, Pat Catan’s Craft Centers, Roetzel & Andress LPA, Sisler McFawn Foundation and the Welty Family Foundation.
Bronze Activity Sponsors: A. Schulman, Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, Cohen & Company, County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADM) Services Board, GOJO Industries, Inc., Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems Corporation, Moffitt Foundation, The Murdough Foundation, R.C. Musson & Katharine M. Musson Charitable Foundation, Charles E. and Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation and Lloyd L. and Louis K. Smith Memorial Foundation.
Special Friends: Akron Summit Community Action, Inc., Glenn R. and Alice V. Boggess Memorial Foundation, Coca-Cola, The Maynard Family Foundation, Miller’s Party Rental Center.
Official Radio Partner: 98.1 WKDD