If you have lived in Akron for any length of time, you have probably noticed some of the things which make the city unique. The small Highland Square coffee shops, ice-skating at Lock 3 and the old Quaker Oats silo-turne-residence-hall, to name a few, each play a role in what makes Akron, well, Akron. The first annual RooArt Community Festival, held at Quaker Station last Friday and Saturday, captured the spirit of Akron while also helping out the community in a number of ways.
The RooArt Community Festival was hosted by The Public Administration and Urban Studies Student Association (PAUSSA), a registered student organization on campus. Cristina Gonzalez, the organization’s president, designed the RooArt Community Festival to be both a major fundraiser for PAUSSA and an outlet to show support for local non-profits and artists. According to their mission statement, PAUSSA is dedicated to building community, supporting local business and opening communication across social and cultural boundaries.
In addition to helping PAUSSA pay for conventions and conferences, part of the RooArt Community Festival’s proceeds went to two non-profit organizations present at the event, Heaven Can Wait animal shelter and Choices, a social center for mentally ill patients.
The RooArt Community Festival provided the opportunity for local artists to showcase their talent. In fact, some students from The University of Akron had their own booths sponsored by various businesses and organizations.
The art displayed varied in style and media from polymer to photography. Megan Shane, for example, uses a plasma torch to create metal cutouts. Richelle Wardell featured political photographs from events such as the 2004 Democratic Convention and various prolife/prochoice rallies. Lori and Amanda Simons displayed a polymer that can be filled with water and used to keep plants alive. E. Star Knits showcased handmade scarves and other winter wear. Colleen Zilka even had brain-alien rings and other original pieces of jewelry for sale.
Gonzalez encourages students to attend the RooArt Community Festival next year. Not only does the festival benefit the local area, but the RooArt Festival could also be a fun stop on your holiday shopping trip, where you will be sure to find some unique and special gifts.