Miss Maha and the City

Spring forward

By Maha Kashani
Photo: UpDayton Chair Val Beerbower speaks during the 2013 Summit

Spring is officially here! I was thrilled to watch this seemingly endless winter finally melt away. Surprisingly, while we dealt with arctic conditions Ohio, the rest of the world experienced a warm spell! The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported January 2014 was the fourth warmest January on record, since they began keeping record in 1880. Hard to believe – I know. Makes for an interesting argument on the controversial weather/climate change relationship topic, but I’ll keep my opinions to myself.

The first quarter of this year has kept many indoors, yours truly included. No one can blame us for not wanting to brave the cold. That being said, we now have a full year’s worth of activities, exploring and events to cram into the next nine months. Don’t worry, April is a great month for everyone to get back on track.

Did you know? 

Dayton has launched a Power2Give program! This new “crowdfunding” platform, similar to Kickstarter and Indiegogo, empowers nonprofit organizations to create individual funding campaigns for specific projects. In March, CultureWorks – our regional arts agency – launched the program as a promise to change the future of arts and cultural funding for the Dayton region. In a nutshell, visitors peruse through the website to learn about arts-related projects in our community that may be of interest to them, then can make a donation to help bring a direct project to fruition. This innovative concept helps make it personal for every donation. Plus, thanks to grants like $50,000 from the DP&L Foundation, donations can be matched dollar for dollar. Log on to Power2Give.org and check out all the exciting projects listed for the Dayton Region.

Miss Maha’s Best Bets to:

Explore Downtown:

Barstools and Brushstrokes – Various Locations in and around the Dayton Region all month long

An exploding “paint-and-sip” trend has taken the nation by storm, and ahead of the curve is Barstools and Brushstrokes – a traveling program based in Dayton “Inspiring Fine Art and Fun Art” around town. By staging upbeat and creative adult art classes for all skill levels, Barstools and Brushstrokes allows you to discover your artistic side while also exploring the city, favorite beverage in hand. April covers a variety of venues and featured paintings such as Sailboat at Oregon Express (Monday, April 14), Poppies at Trolley Stop (Saturday, April 19), Twilight Trees at Tumbleweed (Monday, April 21) and Starry Night Dayton at Brixx (Thursday, April 24). All you need to bring is yourself! They provide the canvases, easels, paints, aprons, etc., and offer step-by-step guidance as you recreate that featured night’s painting on a 16-inch by 20-inch canvas. Sipping a Manhattan while creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece? My kind of night! Space is limited, so make sure you register online. To check out the schedule or sign up for a class, visit barstoolsandbrushstrokes.com. Cost: $25

Experience Arts & Culture:

20th Annual DVAC Art Auction – Friday, April 25 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. at the Schuster Performing Arts Center, 1 W. Second St.

One of the biggest and best celebrations of art each year is hands-down the Dayton Visual Arts Center’s Art Auction. With an annual draw of 500 guests, the Schuster Center will be swarming with enthusiasts ready to bid, both silent and live auction style, on some of the hottest artwork in town. Featuring over 100 works of local art spanning a diverse assortment of media – painting, photography, ceramic, prints, jewelry and more – as well as an opportunity to meet the artists themselves, makes this one of the most exciting and eclectic auctions in town. As always, the food will be abundant, entertainment will be outstanding and champagne will flow. All proceeds benefit DVAC’s exhibitions and education programs. DaytonVisualArts.org
Cost: $50/member or $65/non-member

Meet Young Professionals:

ENCORE @ Oh, What a Night: Billboard Hits of the ’60s – Saturday April 5, 5 p.m. at Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St.

Dayton ENCORE, a special program engaging young professionals with the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, explores the Dayton Philharmonic’s SuperPops series with Oh, What a Night:  Billboard Hits of the ’60s. The evening begins at Salar as we mix and mingle over hors d’oeuvres and beverages before heading over to the Schuster Center to enjoy some of the greatest hits of all time, performed by Broadway’s hottest leading men and accompanied by our world-class orchestra. Although the ’60s were way before our time, hits like “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “La Bamba,” “Respect” and “Tequila!” as well as chart toppers from superstars like Louis Armstrong, Neil Diamond, Smokey Robinson, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder will resonate with everyone. These amazing classics are sure to make this an ENCORE evening we’ll never forget! DaytonPerformingArts.org/Encore Cost: $30/single ticket

Miss Maha’s “Can’t miss it” pick of the month

2014 UpDayton Summit, Friday, April 11th, 2-6pm at the Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North

Each year, UpDayton hosts an inspiring summit calling young professionals, creatives, community leaders and elected officials together to collaborate on the challenges faced here in the Gem City. Multiple breakout sessions are held in an effort to spark creativity, passion and new ideas for how to further improve our community. This year, summit attendees are invited to submit their ideas early to be vetted and voted on at the summit. Three ideas will emerge on top, and those ideas will receive a year’s worth of support from the UpDayton network as well as $1,000 in seed money. The ultimate goal is to figure out how we can make Dayton the best possible place to live, work and play. To submit an idea or learn about how you can “Vote. Pitch. Ignite,” please visit UpDayton.com/Summit Cost: $15/adult or $5/student

There you have it, my top picks for April. Make sure you keep reading the Dayton City Paper to learn more about all the ways you can stay entertained in Dayton. You can also “like” me at Facebook.com/MMATC or “follow” me on Twitter @MissMaha. Until next month, be safe and have fun!


Reach DCP freelance writer Maha Kashani at MissMaha@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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