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377 West Exchange Street
Akron, OH, 44302
United States

(330)612-3090

Telling the stories from Appalachia to Akron and beyond!

Watch. Wonder. Wander.

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Rest Stop

A "Joy of Voting" Initiative

Eric Liu, founder of Citizen University, wants to bring JOY back to the ballot box. In this TED Talk from September 2016, he details how he and his team are fostering the culture around voting in the 2016 US presidential election. (Check out 6:48 for a Wandering Aesthetics shout out!)

ABOUT THE JOY OF VOTING:

Through the Joy of Voting, Citizen University– a national nonprofit based in Seattle– aims to help address a growing trend of lower voter turnout in local elections. The project will create localized, action-oriented projects in four cities across the country to foster a stronger culture of voting.

In Akron, Citizen University is partnering with the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron to help promote the project. In addition to Akron, Joy of Voting projects are launching in Miami, FL; Wichita, KS; and Philadelphia, PA. The Joy of Voting project derives its vision from an article in “The Atlantic” written by Citizen University founder and CEO Eric Liu, in which he asks that it’s possible to revive 18th and 19th century practices of raucous, participatory activity and pageantry around elections.

Winning organizations in Akron include: The Big Love Network, artist Megan Young, Wandering Aesthetics, Engaging to Excel with Excellence and the Akron Beacon Journal in collaboration with the Jefferson Center.


ABOUT THE “REST STOP POLITICAL THEATRE PROJECT:”

“Rest Stop Political Theatre” is a mobile performance– devised to take place in the bed of a pickup truck– that will travel to five Akron neighborhoods. Performances will take place outdoors in civic common spaces in the weeks leading up to the October 11 voter registration deadline. The goal: help get people registered while galvanizing an informed electoral to participate in this quintessential civic duty.  

“Rest Stop” builds on theatrical foundations established by Brecht, Boal, the Living Newspaper, Bread & Puppet and Teatro Campesino to use theatre to galvanize political discourse among everyday citizens.

Using a variety of tools (ex: puppetry, physical comedy, folk music) these live performances will be fun, educational, interactive AND encourage civic participation. Performing on the back of a beat-up truck allows us to challenge the notion that theatre (and voting) is a luxury only relevant to some.


ABOUT CITIZEN UNIVERSITY:

Citizen University is a national nonprofit based in Seattle that promotes and teaches the art of powerful citizenship. In addition to the Joy of Voting, programs and initiatives include the Civic Collaboratory, a civic leadership network; Sworn-Again America, a project on civic rituals; the Citizen University National Conference; and programs and resources to teach civic power. For more, visit www.citizenuniversity.us.


ABOUT THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION:

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

 

Past Performances

September 17th @ 1:30 PM
At “Fall In Love With West Hill!”
Hosted by GypsyGrace-The-VintageGoat
451 W Market St. • Akron, OH 44303

September 17th @ 5:30 PM
Before CADA’s presentation of The Glass Menagerie
Hosted by CADA Studios @ Trinity United Church of Christ In North Hill
915 N Main St. • Akron, OH 44310

September 18th @ 2:00 PM
At Akron City Repair’s Middlebury Site
Hosted by Big Love @ The W.O.M.B.’s Garden
Lot Across from 915 E. Market St. • Akron, OH 44305

October 1st @ 6:00 PM
At Downtown Akron Artwalk
Hosted by Summit Artspace
140 E. Market St. • Akron, OH 44308

October 1st @ 8:00 PM
After The Poetry Challenge 2016
Hosted by Bluff Blue Door Gallery
152 Bluff St. • Akron, OH 44304


Meet The Team

Katie Beck • Gum Dip Theatre • Actor

Katie Beck • Gum Dip Theatre • Actor

Kyle Jozsa • Wandering Aesthetics • Actor

Kyle Jozsa • Wandering Aesthetics • Actor

Rick Feinberg • Kent State University • Musician

Rick Feinberg • Kent State University • Musician

John Dayo-Aliya • Ma'Sue Productions • Actor

John Dayo-Aliya • Ma'Sue Productions • Actor

Mercedes Littell • Independent Artist • Actor

Mercedes Littell • Independent Artist • Actor

Benjamin Rexroad • Wandering Aesthetics • Director

Benjamin Rexroad • Wandering Aesthetics • Director


Pictures


Rest Stop Scenes

THE JOY OF VOTING
By Gloria, Jose, Beti, Victor, Lulu, Beth, Gabriella, Juan, and Lupita (ESL students at the migrant camp in Hartville, OH)

VOTING ISN’T COOL
By Chad Weaver

SCHOOL OF THOUGHT
By Mark Harvey Levine

CHOICES
By Jillian Seevers

THE TEA PARTY
By Shirley King

STRANGE AEONS AND FREE HOT DOGS
By John Weagly

I WRITE AMERICA
By Katie Beck,  John Dayo-Aliya, Mercedes Littell & Kyle Jozsa


The Joy of Voting

Me gustaría vota por primera vez porque las cosas están cambiando para los hispanos.

Me gustaría poder votar por presidente de los Estados Unidos. Votaría por el candidato que tenga las mejores propuestas y opciones que beneficien a todos los que vivimos aquí. Me gustaría poder votar porque vivo aquí.

Antes le temia a los fantasmas. Ahora, le temo mas a las personas. Hay mas racismo y violencia. Votar podría acabar esto.

Me gustaría votar para que los jóvenes migrantes tengan mejores oportunidades para estudiar.

El muro fronterizo no es nada. Solo es una pared. Pero, el muro de la vergüenza al que nos enfrentamos es algo. Es importante votar para poder quebrar ese muro de la vergüenza

Nos tratan como criminales. Por que quiero ser ciudadano? Porque quiero hacer una diferencia.

Estoy feliz de poder votar. Mi familia hacen del votar una fiesta.

Tengo el sueño de que este país pueda cambiar. Quiero un cambio para todos los hispanos que son tratados mal.

Tengo pasión en mi corazón. Votar me da una voz y poder. Puedo levantarme y hacer algo.

– Poetry written by: An ESL class of migrant workers who are currently in Ohio