Special Events

Pie Festival and Silent Art Auction Fundraiser
-16th annual Pie Festival/Silent Art Auction fundraiser for SRCA
-Jewelry, Ceramics, Photographs, Paintings, Prints and more
-In conjunction with Downtown Kent's Annual Festival of Lights

Proceeds provide exciting cultural activities for our area in 2014, including:

-New World Children's Theatre program
-11th Annual Standing Rock International Short Film Festival
-Downtown Innovative Community Events.(D.I.C.E)  "Make Mine with Ice" Ice Carving Exhibition and other Events Year Round.
-8th Annual "Who's Your Mama?" Earth Day and Environmental Film Festival. www.whosyourmama.org.
-Summer Chalk Festival
-Monthly Open Poetry with Maj Ragain
-Public Art Projects, Murals, Historical Plays
-Monthly Art Exhibitions and a whole lot more!

Saturday, December 7,  10am to 8pm
North Water Street Gallery, 257 N. Water St., Kent, OH

CONTACT:  Jeff @ 330-673-4970 for info, to donate art or pies.  Or to order a pie.


Now in its sixteenth year, It’s Pie Time at the gallery!  Come on down for a slice, or buy a whole pie.  We’ve got apple, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, peach, organic, vegan pies.  We’ve got pies of all sorts to please your palette, pies that don’t even have a name yet.  There will be other donated baked goods for sale.   And we have some fine art by local artists as well.  Ceramics, Photos, Paintings, Jewelry, Collage, and more.  Bids starting as low as $5.

Proceeds benefit the Art & Education Programs of Standing Rock Cultural Arts.

Space 2 Do Productions & Standing Rock Cultural Arts present...

-a free festival of sound / art / community

 Hometown Bank Plaza.  Corner of  Water and Main Streets in Downtown Kent.

Friday, June 7th, 2 - 9pm

2:00    HELLO! Ongoing activities...
3:00    Excuses (new duo)
3:30    Caty & Clay (indie folk duo)
4:15    Hurricane Maggie (celtic/folk trio)
5:00    Lunker
5:45    Half an Animal
6:30    Johnny & The Apple Stompers
7:15     Fast Molasses
8:45    GOODBYE!

TO DO: sidewalk chalk, hoops, games, paper boat launch, open mural-making, interactive sound installation (Jason Kane).

ARTISTS & ORGANIZATIONS: Africa Origins (art, textiles), Melissa Olson (photography), HulaHandmade (art, jewelry), Cattitude Vintage (clothes), Morgan Mzik (visual art), Niche Wellness (nutrition outreach), Kent Cycle (bikes), Standing Rock Cultural Arts (info).

DONATIONS: going directly towards a revitalized community art space in Kent, Ohio for Standing Rock Cultural Arts, a 501(c)3 non-profit who's mission is "to build community through the arts!"

FOOD: Katrina with Scratch free range food will be present vending local organic amazing food! You're welcome to bring things (no alcohol please)...it's a picnic!

Everyone-friendly. See you there!

Standing Rock Cultural Arts, Maj Ragain, and Last Exit Books present

28th Annual “Jawbone” Open Poetry Reading
-Poetry and Pie Sale Fundraiser for SRCA. 11am-2pm, Saturday, May 5. Call 330-673-4970 to order pie

WHERE: Last Exit Books. 124 E. Main St., Downtown Kent Ohio

Friday May 3, 8pm. Last Exit Books
-Saturday, May 4, 11am-2pm. Poetry and Pie. North Water Street Gallery. 257 N. Water St.
-Saturday, May 4, 2pm. John Brown Tannery Park
-Saturday, May 4, 8pm. Last Exit Books
-Sunday, May 5, 2pm. Potluck/Picnic and Open Poetry (257 N. Water St. Gallery)

CONTACT: 330-673-4970



Professor Maj Ragain has been a driving force behind this annual event since it’s inception. For more than twenty-five years, poets have gathered here in Kent, Ohio for a week-end long spring wordfest, a series of open poetry readings, volunteer, self sanctioned, welcoming travelers, local folk, expatriates to this common ground. No mike. No list. The Jawbone open. Well Come.

ABOUT MAJ RAGAIN: Poetry and Creative Writing Professor

Maj Ragain, one of the premiere poetic writers of our fair city of Kent and professor of English and writing at Kent State University, will host the many wondrous voices of people from all over the country this week-end at The 26th Annual Jawbone Poetry Reading.

He is a Creative Writing Professor at Kent State University and hosts monthly Poetry Readings during the school year at The North Water Street Gallery

Dr. Major D. Ragain, an instructor of English at Kent State since 1981, teaches courses such as Creative Writing (introductory and advanced poetry writing workshops), Survey of American Literature 1800 to Present and Survey of American Literature, and Introduction to Poetry, among others. He previously taught in Illinois at Frontier College, Olney Community College and Southern Illinois University and in North Carolina at Winston-Salem State College. He earned his Ph.D. at Kent State in 1990, his master’s at the University of Illinois in 1963 and his bachelor’s from Eastern Illinois University in 1962. Today, Ragain is a successful poet with both written and audio publications.

Ragain received much praise from his peers and students. One student wrote, “Maj is active in the local and regional poetry scene, and his genuine love of the use of language is unprecedented. The energy of genuine love and respect between poet, faculty and students was a once in a lifetime thrill I am honored to have witnessed.” Another student said, “Maj is a selfless professor, and KSU is indeed fortunate to have the dedicated Major Ragain on faculty. I have seen Maj’s positive impact upon students; their self-esteem rockets with astonishing work by semester’s end. He draws the very best out of each and every student. I have the deepest respect for this man.”

One of Ragain’s colleagues said, “A devotion to poetry and its unique power to heal, to unite people around a single purpose, and to create the fire of creative energy in groups of people is characteristic of all of Maj Ragain’s work as writer, teacher and reader. … His classroom is rigorous in its demand that students push the work beyond where they thought they could go with it. He makes innovative assignments, requires a lot of writing and reading of poems, and teaches, by precept and example, the ways in which a life can be grounded in the life of the imagination. …I learn from Maj Ragain every day, and I carry his gifts to my own students and into my own poems.”

In Ragain’s teaching statement he said, “Before I ever taught a class, I came across this sentence in Louis Sullivan’s Kindergarten Chats, a singular book about organic principles in architecture and the forms in which spirit resides. I can still see my hand writing it down in an old notebook, ‘To teach is to touch the heart and impel it to action.’ In 33 years of teaching, that has remained a guiding principle. …I believe that, as a teacher, I am also an apprentice, a learner and in the poet Gary Snyder’s wonderful phrase, ‘a fellow worker in the Buddha fields.’ I often write with my students. Of all the ‘strategies,’ that seems the most fruitful. It brings certitude to the classroom a sense that the teaching is being translated into action, that the work is shared. I am teaching myself to listen."

Standing Rock Cultural Arts with the support of Totally Cooked Catering and Label Peeler's Wine and Homebrew Supply invite you to:

The 6th Annual "Go with the Flow" Watershed Awareness Local Brew and Wine Tasting
-Fundraiser for The “Who’s Your Mama?” Earth Day and Environmental Film Festival

Saturday, March 23rd , 6-10pm

257 N. Water Street Gallery, Kent

To promote Watershed Awareness and raise funds for our upcoming "Who's Your Mama?" Earth Day and Environmental Film Festival.

Attention Beer Lovers! Water Lovers!

Come out and Celebrate our Healthy Watershed here in Portage County because it takes Good Water to make Good Beer!

RESERVATIONS: Call 330-673-4970
E-mail: info@standingrock.net

-Local Food. Organic Pies.
-Short Environmental Films,
-Live Music (TBA)
-Silent Art Auction
-and Ten Tastes of Local Brew.

$20 and up suggested donation.

Standing Rock Cultural Arts is a non profit 501(c)(3) art and education organization based in downtown Kent, Ohio. Donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated.

Donations can be made payable and sent to

257 N. Water St.
Kent, OH 44240

An Entry Form for Home Brewers is available emailing
matt@abruzzos.com or calling 330-678-6400

Thank you for supporting a Clean Watershed and Good Spirits!
7th Annual "Who's Your Mama?" Earth Day and Environmental Film Festival
April 17-22nd, 2013

Headline Events:

Friday, April 19th, 5-10pm
Environmental Film Festival
Kiva Auditorium, Student Center, KSU

Saturday, April 20th, 11am-5pm
Main Street Block Party
Green Vendors! Alternative Energy Displays! Parade! Music! Children's Poetry!
E. Main Street between Depeyster and Water Streets
Downtown Kent

Monday, April 22nd, 5-9pm
5th Annual Vegan Iron Chef
Akron Aeros Stadium
300 S. Main Street
Downtown Akron.

"Who's Your Mama?" Earth Day and Environmental Film Festival
Standing Rock Cultural Arts
257 N. Water St.
Kent, OH 44240

With gratitude to our current sponsors: The City of Kent, The Kent Environmental Council, The Sylvia Coogan Memorial Foundation, The Henry V. and Frances W. Christenson Foundation, Totally Cooked Catering, The Hall-Green Insurance Agency, Woodsy's Music, Kent Parks and Recreation, City Bank Antiques, Wild Goats Cafe, Chris Mallin Esq., Taco Tantos, Rays Place, EcoWatch Journal, PARTA, Off the Wagon, Tree City Coffee Shop, Standing Rock Jewelers, Fresco Mexican Grill and Salsa Bar, 91.3 The Summit Radio, Edwin George Cherokee, and Jim Burris of The Universe.

Standing Rock Cultural Arts is honored to present

Celebration of Halim El-Dabh’s 4,092nd Birthday!
-Halim is a professor emeritus at Kent State University
-Halim is one of the premier classical music composers living in the world today.

WHEN: Monday, March 4, 2013. 7:00pm

WHERE: North Water Street Gallery 257 N. Water St., Kent

MORE INFO: 330-673-4970 or info@standingrock.net


HALIM’S WEBSITE: www.halimeldabh.com

Bring Instruments, Beverages, And Good Vibrations to help celebrate the achievements of this incredibly Creative Spirit in our community!

Halim continues to astound the world with his everlasting effervescence, avant garde compositions, and amazing vitality.

We are honored and privileged to celebrate his birthday here in Kent, Ohio, once again. All are Welcome!

Bring your Drum and Dancing Shoes!

Feel Free to Bring A Covered Dish


Kent African Drum Community (Drummers): 8:00pm

(b. Halim Abdul Messieh El-Dabh, Cairo, 4 March 1921)

Composer, performer, ethnomusicologist, and educator Halim El-Dabh is internationally regarded as Egypt's foremost living composer of classical music, and one of the major composers of the twentieth century. His numerous musical and dramatic works have been performed throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Among his compositions are eleven operas, four symphonies, numerous ballets, concertos, and orchestral pieces, works for band and chorus, film scores, incidental music for plays, chamber and electronic works, music for jazz and rock band, works for young performers, and pieces for various combinations of African, Asian, and Western instruments. His extensive ethnomusicological researches, conducted on several continents, have led to unique creative syntheses in his works, which, while utilizing contemporary compositional techniques and new systems of notation, are frequently imbued with Near Eastern, African, or ancient Egyptian aesthetics.

Born into a musical family in Cairo, El-Dabh studied piano and derabucca (goblet-shaped ceramic drum), and began composing at an early age. Although trained for a career as an agricultural engineer, his musical talent and immersion in Egypt's cosmopolitan musical life (including village drumming and local festivals, Arabic and European classical music, and the jazz clubs of Alexandria) increasingly led him toward a life in music.

Arriving in the United States in the summer of 1950 (and later acquiring U.S. citizenship), El-Dabh traveled to the Aspen Music Center in Colorado, where he met and assisted Igor Stravinsky. After researching Native American music in New Mexico, he began studies with Aaron Copland and Irving Fine at the Berkshire Music Center in Massachusetts. Later, in New York's vibrant musical scene, he developed close associations with many prominent and like-minded figures in twentieth-century music, including Henry Cowell, John Cage, Alan Hovhaness, Leonard Bernstein, Edgard Varèse, Otto Luening, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Ernst K_enek, and Luigi Dallapiccola. During the 1950s and ‘60s, El-Dabh was grouped with fellow composers Hovhaness, Lou Harrison, Colin McPhee, Paul Bowles, and Peggy Glanville-Hicks, under the rubric “Les Six d’Orient” (the term coined by Glanville-Hicks), representing the vanguard of contemporary composers writing music inspired by musics of the East.

In addition to his compositional activity, El-Dabh has also conducted musical field research and recording throughout Egypt and Ethiopia, as well as in Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Morocco, Greece, Macedonia, Uzbekistan, Brazil, Mexico, and Jamaica. He has also studied the Native American cultures of the American Southwest and the African American cultures of the southeastern U.S. El-Dabh is also considered an expert on the subject of traditional Egyptian and African puppetry, and has helped to present a number of such puppetry troupes in the United States. While in Ethiopia (1962-64), he formed Orchestra Ethiopia, the first pan-Ethiopian performing group.

In his works, El-Dabh frequently draws on his Egyptian heritage, as in Mekta' in the Art of Kita' (1955), The Eye of Horus (1967), Ptahmose and the Magic Spell (1972), Ramesses the Great (Symphony no. 9) (1987), and many others. He has created new systems of notation for the derabucca, and has revived interest in ancient Egyptian language and musical notation. Many of his works from the 1960s on are also heavily influenced by West African traditional musics, such as Black Epic (1968) and Kyrie for the Bishop of Ghana (1968), and still other works bear the influences of the musics of Ethiopia, Brazil, India, China, Japan, Korea, and other nations.

Also a pioneer in the field of electronic music, El-Dabh began early sonic experiments with wire recorders at the Middle East Radio Station of Cairo in 1944. In 1959 he was invited by Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky to join the first group of composers at the newly set up Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York, where he created a number of significant works.

El-Dabh's recent works include the ballet score In the Valley of the Nile (1999), composed for the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company; the piano concerto Surrr-Rah (2000), written for pianist Tuyen Tonnu; and Ogún: Let Him, Let Her Have the Iron (2001), for soprano and chamber ensemble. His most recent project, the opera/theater piece Blue Sky Transmission: A Tibetan Book of the Dead, was presented in September 2002 in Cleveland, Ohio and in New York.

El-Dabh has served on the faculty of Kent State University's School of Music since 1969, and has also taught at Haile Selassie I University in Ethiopia (1962-64) and Howard University in Washington, D.C. (1966-69) He is one of only eight Kent State University faculty members to hold the title of University Professor, Kent State's highest faculty distinction, and is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award (1988). Retiring in 1991, Emeritus Professor El-Dabh continues to teach and compose prolifically, in addition to conducting workshops for children.

El-Dabh holds degrees from Cairo University, the New England Conservatory of Music, and Brandeis University. He has served as a cultural and ethnomusicological consultant to the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Program (1974-1981), and his numerous grants and awards include two Guggenheim Fellowships (1959-60 and 1961-62), two Fulbright Fellowships (1950 and 1967), two Rockefeller Fellowships (1961 and 2001), the Cleveland Arts Prize (1990), a Meet-the-Composer grant (1999), and an Ohio Arts Council grant (2000). In May 2001 he received an honorary doctorate from Kent State University. In 2001, the composer celebrated his eightieth birthday with a festival of his music, which included more than 15 concerts and lectures, both in the U.S. and around the world. In March 2002 he was invited to celebrate his eighty-first birthday with a series of four concerts of his music at the recently reconstructed Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria) in Alexandria, Egypt.

He has performed at The Haymaker Farm Market in Kent in 2009-2011. He also continues to teach African Cultural Expressions in The Pan African Studies Department of Kent State University.

Halim El-Dabh has produced numerous scores, as well as 12 CDs which represent the range of styles of his writing over his lifetime.

More info on Halim and his life can be found at