by Hannah Schoepe
Out of a field of 45 semifinalists, the Knight Foundation announced 17 winners of the Akron Knight Arts challenge in November of 2017, distributing funds totaling $743,000. Urban Troubadour received the Foundation’s support with a grant in the amount of $80,000. Formed by John and James Knight, the Knight Foundation supports excellent journalism, arts, and technology in Akron, Detroit, Miami, and St. Paul — communities that were instrumental to the success of the Knight-Ridder Newspapers. The Arts Challenge was established to nurture artistic talents and creative ideas that benefit those communities.
Urban Troubador is an excellent example of just such a creative idea. Established by flutist and Akron resident Jane Berkner, this collective of Northeast Ohio musicians inhabits unusual spaces, turning concerts into happenings and promoting a fresh way for the community to experience public performances. The musicians come together to play in venues such as microbreweries, restaurants, and loft spaces, combining music with gallery openings, wine tastings, and more.
“Big halls are a thing of the past, and concerts in homes and unconventional spaces are all the rage,” Jane Berkner said via email. [Read more…]