Summertime is entertainment time for Hudson families with theater, art shows and concerts aplenty.
The Rotary Club of Hudson heard from some of the organizations that offer and support these summer events at its recent meetings.
Ross Binnie, Chief Brand Officer for the Cleveland Orchestra, described the events at Blossom over the past 50 years, advising that Blossom accounts for half of the Cleveland Orchestra’s annual revenues. He is proud of the program that allows children under 18 to attend symphony performances free. Over 25,000 youth typically attend during the summer season. Ross remind Rotary members that Blossom, built on 200 acres, has unbelievable acoustics and an unmatched seating arrangement for 19,200 patrons. He hopes to add corporate tents, upscale food vendors and year-round activities to the current mix of amenities.
The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the top in the world, just completing a world tour to rave reviews. They have entertained 400,000 enthusiasts in the past year and command a $54 million annual budget, seventh in the country.
Nicole Mullet, Executive Director ArtsNow, that seeks to connect, collaborate and support the incredible creative sector in Summit County, feels that arts and culture are major indicators of economic strength in a region. She states that the creative industries support 290,000 jobs and contribute $41 billion to Ohio’s economy. Over $10 billion and 50,000 jobs have been created since 2015.
Nicole is concerned that young people in general are not engaged enough in arts and culture, but feels Hudson has an excellent record of youth involvement. She believes that arts education affects overall academic achievement and that the most sought-after job candidates are those that demonstrate creativity.
According to Nicole, employees want to live in a vibrant arts and cultural community, while artists, in turn, help companies communicate, train and bring employees together. She suggests viewing ArtsNow new website “Summit Live 365” for what’s happening in the arts and culture community.
Terri Pontremoli, Director TRI-C JazzFest, a three-day summer music festival the fourth weekend in June, related that jazz says a lot about America. She described jazz as truly democracy incorporating all types of music with the freedom to improvise. Originating in New Orleans, jazz was originally a dance form, but the “groove” combined with the “blues” became the roots of modern jazz which musicians build upon in their performances.
The Tri-C JazzFest started 40 years ago as a two-day event and now is a ten day celebration all over the Cleveland area with both indoor and outdoor venues. Jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Wynton Marsalis have performed and next year’s “Flying Home” concert will celebrate the 40th anniversary.
Terri explained that jazz includes many forms such as Big Band, Funk, Latin and Smooth jazz. She allowed that Europe and Japan love jazz and that Hudson has a very strong high school program. Jazz camps are available for those that would like to pursue the art form.
Mark Masuoka, CEO of the Akron Art Museum, talked about the “new vibrancy” in Akron which has helped launch a rebirth of the 97-year-old institution and its collections. He described the museum as “dedicated to enriching lives through modern art, showcasing national and international art created since 1850”. The museum’s collection includes over 5000 works of art, with a strong focus on contemporary painting, sculpture and photography.
Mark has established a 60,000 sq. ft. collecting museum and added a public garden for displays and concerts. His new emphasis is “art is for everyone--inside and out”. In addition, he has originated the Akron Art Library that lends art to the public for display in many venues.
Events this summer included “Downtown at Dusk” on Thursdays that featured concerts and an opportunity to tour the museum. A new exhibit, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”, will open August 1st allowing visitors to understand the process of creating art.
Anyone interested in learning more about Rotary is welcome to attend a free introductory breakfast any Wednesday at 7:15 am at the Laurel Lake Retirement Community by contacting Rich Warfield at or Evan McCauley at
Past speaker comments can be found on or seen on HCTV channel 1021 or YouTube Rotary of Hudson.