Minkin's Music: Revitalizing Kenmore

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By Jay Minkin, Minkin's Music

Seeds have been planted along the Kenmore business district in Akron in hopes of bearing the fruits of an expanding cultural arts scene. Fueled by The Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, the 100-plus-year-old neighborhood boasts four recording studios and eclectic shops with artisans and musicians who dwell in this hands-on community.

One key destination is the Rialto Theatre, located at 1000 Kenmore Blvd. The century-old movie house that went dark in the ‘60s has been restored by brothers Nate Vaill and Seth Vaill. Their goal is to bring the performing arts to serve not only Kenmore, but also the greater Akron area.

Gorgeously remodeled with a glossy hard wood interior, the intimate performance space holds 100 patrons for concerts, comedy, live theater and private parties. Upcoming shows include Pittsburgh’s soulful folk Joy Ike Trio/The Labra Brothers (04/20). Nashville’s Andrew Leahey & The Homestead/ Tyler Smilo (05/09), and the brilliant Peter Mulvey/David Mayfield (06/08).

Swing dancing is held on the first and third Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and a separate dance lesson is offered at 6:30 p.m. The Just Go With It improve group will perform (04/19 and 05/03) and will also conduct a separate workshop after the performance.

The Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance is partnering with The Big Love Network, Open Tone Music, Jim Ballard Skylyne Productions and Studio 1008 with another performance venue called Live Music Now! Located at 952 Kenmore Blvd., the building was once Ideal Niteclub back in the day.

Today, its goal is to serve the community, draw people to the neighborhood and attract new investment to Kenmore. Upcoming events include Grady Miller (04/20), Gretchen Pleuss (05/04), Jim Ballard Band (05/17), and The Vindys/Shooter Sharp and the Shootouts (05/18).

So, be part of the dream. Take a walk down Kenmore Blvd. Your presence will be greatly appreciated.

Contact Jay at Blues4Bird@aol.com or post on his Minkin’s Music Facebook page.