OHIO TRAVEL & TOURISM GUIDE TO OHIO ATTRACTIONS
June 2016 Edition ©
Your tour guide to fun!
- Ohio Summer Fests & Events
- FREE Books for Summer Reading
- SoundSurfer Redefines Waterslides
- Camp & Canoe Capital of Ohio
- Washboard Music Festival
- Rock Piqua!
- Biggest Aviation Museum Got Bigger
- Duck Tape Fest Is A Standout
- Alcoholic Anonymous Started Here
- I Approve This Message
- Hollywood Costume Collection
- Summer Music Under The Stars
- Wake Nation Video
- Magical History Tour
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Ohio Summer Fests & Events
And other things to do
& places to go in Ohio…
Zoombezi Bay becomes the first water park in America to feature an outdoor slide with built-in light shows and a personalized sound system as it reveals the SoundSurfer.
Dubbed “The King of Beats,” the SoundSurfer is a modified version of Zoombezi Bay’s longest slide, formerly known as the Tahitian Twister. Now, thrill-seekers can enjoy 512 feet of acceleration drops and vortex loops while soaked in a kaleidoscope of colors and while jamming out to Beyoncé, Skrillex, Florida Georgia Line, Ellie Goulding, Johnny Cash and other popular artists. Riders have an opportunity to select their preferred musical genres from a push button panel.
“Being the first slide in the country to deliver a personalized light show and jam session, the SoundSurfer is going to take the water park experience to a whole new level,” said John Gannon, senior vice president of guest services and business strategy. “People aren’t just going along for the ride anymore, they are truly becoming sound surfers.”
The slide accommodates two to five people per ride, and offers eight musical options of the riders’ choosing. The genres include:
- Rockin Rafts: Featuring AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Kid Rock, Motley Crue and Metallica
- PopParadise: Featuring Taylor Swift, DNCE, Ellie Goulding, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga
- New Wave Country: Featuring Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney
- Rave Rider: Featuring Skrillex, LMFAO, Martin Garrix, Galantis, DJ Snake/LilJohn
- Hip Hop Drop: Featuring House of Pain, Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars, Beastie Boys, Will Smith/DJ Jazzy Jeff, Beyoncé
- Beach Party: Featuring The Surfaris, The Beach Boys, The Trashmen, Jimmy Buffet
- Random Beats: Featuring Republica, Rage Against the Machine, Tag Team, Johnny Cash, Ozzy Osbourne
- Tahitian Twister: Featuring storm, wind and wave sound effects
Riders must be 48 inches tall to ride, or 42 inches tall if accompanied by an adult. The SoundSurfer is included in admittance into the water park. Gold Memberships and Season Passes are available for purchase online, and include free parking and entry for the 2016 season. All tickets to Zoombezi Bay include free entry into the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Also new at Zoombezi Bay this year is the lineup of Dive-In Movies – an outdoor theatre experience at the wave pool. This year’s feature films, which are presented on select Fridays, include: “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” on July 8, “The Peanuts Movie” on July 15, “Home” on July 22, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” on July 29, and “Minions” on Aug. 5. More information about Dive-In Movies can be found on Zoombezi Bay’s Calendar page.
The water park offers promotions to get the most out of a visit, including ZOOMPASS, which is a digital reservation system that holds guests’ places in line while they enjoy other areas of the park.
Season Pass holders can enjoy benefits and savings, including a $5 discount on ZOOMPASS and the opportunity to bring up to two friends for only $12.99 each on any Monday or Wednesday.
Discounts on season passes and daily admission are available when purchasing online.
Zoombezi Bay is a 22.7 acre water park that features a new multi-level play structure, 17 state of the art water slides, a wave pool, an action river, a lazy river, private cabanas, a kiddie play pool and more. The 2014 Theme Index and Museum Index, a publication of the Themed Entertainment Association, recognized Zoombezi Bay as having the largest percentage increase in attendance for any water park in North America. Admission to Zoombezi Bay includes the Columbus Zoo and proceeds from the water park support the Zoo’s operation and mission.
For more information about Zoombezi Bay, please visit www.zoombezibay.com.
The streets in downtown Logan, located in heart of the Hocking Hills, will come alive with the annual Washboard Music Festival on June 16 – 18, 2016. Folks planning to attend the festival during Fathers’ Day weekend are encouraged to put on their dancing shoes and join along with the unique style of toe tapping music that will be performed throughout the festival.
The event was created to honor the Columbus Washboard Factory that was purchased and moved to Logan from Columbus nearly two decades ago. It is the only factory in the United States that continues to manufacture washboards-thus the idea to establish a music festival that focuses on washboard music was born.
The festivities kickoff Thursday evening when Arnett Howard and Friends perform from 6pm – 9pm.
Friday has a lineup of performers day and night. Don’t miss Washboard Hank and 7 Mile Blue Grass on the main stage. The Sodbusters will be at the CIC stage as well as Washboard Hank, 7 Mile Blue Grass and Lone Raven. Sweet Funk will be at The Bowen House from 1-3pm. Friday’s headlining acts feature Little Roy and Lizzie at 8pm and then 3 Piece and a Biscuit at 9pm. The night continues with Lone Raven starting at 10pm.
And that’s just the free music performances.
Families will enjoy the Children’s Park with rides. Mr. Puppet will be there to entertain the kids along with the magic of Dave Lehman. A Quilt Show, hosted by members of the Hocking Valley Quilt Guild, will be held at The Bowen House from 12 – 5pm on Friday and Saturday. Plus a classic car show will be held Friday from 5 – 9pm near the Columbus Washboard Factory. The historic Columbus Washboard Factory will be open to visitors from 9am – 7pm on Friday and Saturday. Saturday includes a tractor exhibit from 9am to 5pm. Afterward, enjoy the annual Washboard Music Festival Parade at 6 p.m.
In addition, the festival has plenty of food plus arts and crafts vendors. Click here to plan your good time.
This project is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council and the Hocking Hills Tourism Association.
The world’s largest military aviation museum just got bigger!
And it’s FREE to visit!
Make the most of summer vacation by planning a trip to see the newest building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force! Children and adults of all ages will enjoy the wide variety of free activities planned for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on June 11-12, 2016 to celebrate the grand opening of the museum’s new fourth building.
As visitors make their way through the museum, they’ll bump into costumed characters from all eras of aviation history and beyond. Learn about life in the trenches of World War I, shake hands with an astronaut and be on the lookout for Stormtroopers. Tiny Ewoks and a roaming R2-D2 also make for great selfies!
More than 25 participating organizations will offer displays and activities that are sure to educate and entertain, from watching the PowerStackers’ Lego robots to investigating the inner components of basic electronic items at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery booth. A kids’ area features indoor drones, flight simulators, and Air Force and space-themed hand stamps.
The new fourth building will be packed with things to do! Visitors can climb aboard the Space Shuttle Exhibit and walk through four presidential and three cargo aircraft. Other activities include interactive presentations and space trivia contests in the three STEM Learning Nodes, discussions with subject matter experts at various aircraft, a look at tiny satellites at the CubeSat booth, and the chance to land a shuttle orbiter at the Space Shuttle Landing Experience.
The Air Force Museum Foundation will thrill visitors of all ages with its newest simulator rides, including the Pulseworks Virtual Reality Transporter – the first of its kind in North America – and an Eight Seat Pod (ESP) motion ride. There is a small fee to ride these simulators.
The Museum Store will feature book signings on topics related to exhibits in the fourth building. These are scheduled from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 across from the Space Shuttle Exhibit.
Several dining options will be available to visitors during the weekend events. The Valkyrie Café, located on the second floor above the Museum Store, and the Refueling Café, located on the Cold War Gallery balcony, will be open from 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. In addition, there will be a food court in the Cold War Gallery and food trucks, including Kona Ice, Courtland’s Mobile Grill, Gringo Loco, will be located outside the museum lobby.
Before heading home, rest your feet by watching a movie for a discounted price of just $5 at the Air Force Museum Theatre, which features the largest screen in the region. Throughout the weekend, shows begin every 30 minutes and include Aircraft Carriers 3D, Fighter Pilot 3D, Journey to Space 3D and Rescue 3D.
Door prizes will be given out throughout the event so mark your calendars for this special weekend of activities. Visit the museum’s website for up-to-date information. Most activities are free, although there is a cost for Air Force Museum Foundation simulator rides and movies.
The 224,000 square foot fourth building, which opens to the public on June 8, will house more than 70 aircraft, missiles and space vehicles in four galleries – Space, Research & Development, Global Reach and Presidential. Three dedicated, interactive educational spaces, known as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Learning Nodes, will accommodate student-centered, technology-enhanced learning through hands-on programs, demonstrations and lectures. When not in use for structured educational programming, there will be a variety of programs available to the visiting public, including science and engineering demonstrations, hands-on activities, special presentations, videos and more.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens honors the 81st anniversary of the founding of Alcoholic Anonymous at its Gate Lodge during Founders’ Day Weekend, June 10 – 12, 2016. Hours are 10am – 4pm each day; complimentary admission to the Gate Lodge and free parking on the Great Meadow is available for all who come to visit this historic location. Stan Hywet is located at 714 North Portage Path in Akron, Ohio.
Stan Hywet is publishing The Gate Lodge; this new book, the second in a series about the Estate by Stan Hywet curator Julie Frey, will be available for purchase in the merchandise tent along with other Gate Lodge mementos.
On Friday and Saturday, June 10 - 11, there is “Rock N Recovery” entertainment for guests, courtesy of radio station 91.3 The Summit. Free transportation is provided between Founders’ Day activities at Stan Hywet and The University of Akron on Saturday, June 11.
Located at the entrance to Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, the Gate Lodge was built as a residence for the estate’s superintendent. The first (and only) superintendent lived there until his death in 1923, when Fred (eldest son of F.A. Seiberling) moved in with his wife, Henrietta and their three children. It was in the Gate Lodge on Mother’s Day in 1935 that Henrietta brought together for a discussion her friend Dr. Bob Smith, a prominent Akron surgeon and Mr. Bill Wilson, a New York stockbroker. Two admitted alcoholics, the meeting went long into the evening, where the principles that still serve as the cornerstone of Alcoholics Anonymous were identified.
The Gate Lodge at Stan Hywet was formally dedicated as the “Birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous” in 2000. It was restored and reopened in 2004, with an exhibit that highlights this historic event.
Open April through December, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is one of the most important remaining examples of an American Country Estate built during the Industrial Age at the turn of the twentieth century. Stan Hywet was home to F.A. Seiberling, co-founder of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, and his family.
Visit www.stanhywet.org to plan your visit.
The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster has secured a second exhibition from Paramount Pictures in Hollywood.
Edith Head & Company: Costumes and Jewelry 1924 – 2015 follows the phenomenal success of Edith Head: Designing Woman seen by more than 11,200 visitors during a ten week exhibition at the Center in 2014.
The new collection features previously unseen costumes by Ms. Head, Travis Banton and Howard Greer that have not been exhibited before. Banton and Greer were the two iconic designers who reigned at Paramount in 1924 when Edith Head was hired as a sketch artist. Also featured will be works by designers who were requested by certain stars, including Irene Lentz, Mary Kay Dodson and Oleg Cassini.
This exhibition includes fabulous jewelry commissioned by Edith Head, Banton and Greer worn by stars including Mae West in She Done Him Wrong; Hedy Lamarr and Angela Lansbury in Samson and Delilah and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. Paramount is the only studio archive to have a jewelry collection. There are more than 12,000 individual pieces in the collection. Very few have been on public display. The thirteen pieces in this exhibition represent a cross section of film genres. There are contemporary pieces from the 1930s and 1950s and more exotic pieces from biblical epics and period dramas.
Curator Randall Thropp has selected classic suits, elegant formal wear and period costumes from Paramount’s archives. Mr. Thropp, formerly of Lancaster, at Paramount since 2003 and Costume Archivist since 2007, has seen the collection grow to include more than 20,000 costume pieces in addition to the jewelry. When he brought the exhibition to the Center in 2014, it was just the second time the costumes had left Hollywood. Most of the garments and the jewelry in this new collection will be seen by the public for the first time.
Edith Head, at Paramount for 43 years, succeeded in a cut-throat industry despite dictatorial directors; egotistical and sometimes neurotic actors; the industry’s moral censors and intense competition from American and European designers. She worked on 1000 films, had 35 Academy Award nominations and won eight Oscars.
The stars she dressed were fiercely loyal to her, often insisting she design for them in films by other studios. She studied their scripts, listened to their concerns and camouflaged their physical flaws – real or imagined – making them look their absolute best.
Edith Head was made chief designer at Paramount in 1938. Between 1938 and 1967, the studio employed over 1300 people in the costume department. There were seamstresses, tailors, sketch artists, beaders, shoe makers, jewelers, stock clerks and on-set dressers. While designing for the industry’s brightest stars including Ginger Rogers, Carole Lombard, Barbara Stanwyck, Veronica Lake, Dorothy Lamour, Jane Russell, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, she also managed to create an enduring brand for herself. She wrote books and newspaper articles and appeared on radio and television giving fashion advice. She created a line of dress patterns making her designs available to a wide market.
Her iconic look rarely varied. The bangs, the bun, the glasses, the classic suits.
The glasses had blue lenses which she credited with enabling her to better translate color into black and white for her films. Her superbly tailored suits, while the epitome of elegance, never drew attention away from the star and the costume being fitted. Thirty five years after her death, her name remains one of the most recognized and revered in the history of film.
This exhibition is made possible by Paramount Pictures, Andrea Kalas VP of Archives and by a generous gift from the Fox Family Foundation with support from Susan and Monte Black and the Ohio Arts Council.
The exhibition runs through Sunday, August 14, 2016.
For information about programs and classes associated with this exhibition, go to www.decartsohio.org or call 740-681-1423.
The Decorative Arts Center is housed in the Reese-Peters House, a Greek Revival masterpiece at 145 E. Main Street in Lancaster’s Historic District. Admission is free Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.
Get two FREE books to kickoff your summer reading. Offer is from June 1 – 5, 2016. Click the links below.
Support your Ohio authors. Here are two books set in Ohio and written by an Ohio Author. One is a novel – Earth Things. The other is a memoir – Here I Thought I Was Normal. Email us to learn how you may promote your book here.
They walk among us, hidden in plain sight, protecting knowledge that can change the modern world. The adventure of Earth Things is a dystopic novel where teens unearth a secret culture born out of Native America. In doing so, they become hunted. Along their journey, childhood disappears along with the woods they are exploring. They are faced with discoveries through puzzle stones that lead them to a shipwreck, rotting old prison and abandoned amusement park. In these curious places, they encounter mysterious elders who enlighten them on how everything connects one piece at a time. As it all comes into focus, they wonder, are they what they seek?
Here I Thought I Was Normal: Micro Memoirs of Mishcief is available at Amazon.com in paperback and digital formats.
Funny and wild times make for an enjoyable read one short story at a time in this humorous and entertaining memoir book about getting into mischief while growing up and parenting.
Have you ever met the kind of person that people gravitate around to hear a story? If such captivating verbal storytelling were captured in written words that take only two or three pages to tell, made you laugh out loud and want to read aloud to whomever was present, you’ll love, “Here I Thought I Was Normal: Micro Memoirs of Mischief.”
These stories are your stories, sort of. And that is why so many people have enjoyed them. The wild, funny and touching tales may trigger memories of your own similar experiences. Others live vicariously through the adventures. Some are appalled at times. The short stories in the collection have curious titles such as Streaking, Gore Orphanage, Wrestling a Bear, Crazy was in the Air, Walk of Shame, Practical Joke Gone Bad and Pleasure Attic just to name several.
The 107 real-life micro stories are about growing up and parenting in America from the 1970s to present. It was only as the author grew older, sharing in conversation with others, that he began to realize that perhaps his life wasn’t all that normal. He seemed to have more stories of mischief than most folks. Some pushed the boundaries of comfort. Nonetheless, these short stories left listeners at the edge of their seat asking for more.
Knowing the ins and outs of a vacation can be really helpful. This can range from what to pack to what are the local favorites. One of the best resources for this information would be the front desk and asking the server at the restaurant. One other way is to keep reading this and discover the secrets to visiting Mohican.
Since Mohican is the Camp & Canoe Capital of Ohio, it is normal to see everyone in casual dress. Shorts, tennis shoes, hiking boots, jeans and a t-shirt are pretty much a prerequisite. Even at the restaurants. There are plenty of places to eat inside or out. In fact the Mohican State Park Lodge’s, Bromfield’s Restaurant, Malabar Farm Restaurant and the Copper Mug Bar & Grille at Landoll’s Mohican Castle, offer deck and patio options when the weather permits. During the dinner hour, a fresh pair of jeans and a nice shirt is always a safe bet.
Jim South, Mohican Trails Club Member, gives a little known portion of the trails that are great for hiking, “Many places on the bike trail are good – from the Discovery Forest to the covered bridge is probably the best part of that trail.” In fact there are places off the horse trails that will hike past abandoned homesteads. One rule to remember, be courteous. If a horse or mountain biker is on the trail, please safely step off to the side and allow them to pass. For more information on hiking in Mohican, call the Mohican Visitors Bureau at 419-994-2519.
Where is the best place to stay in Mohican? That depends on what is needed on the vacation. DiscoverMohican.com has a lot of information available. There are plenty of options and they will not break the bank. Some overnights offer year-round discounts. A number of the vacation rentals use VRBO.com or AirBnB.com. If the owner’s number is available, don’t hesitate to call with any questions about packages, etc. A number of the lodging facilities offer a $1 off movie admission to the local The Ohio Theatre.
Mohican is about the outdoors, but there is still so much to do, even if it is raining. Explore the downtown Loudonville stores. Check out the Loudonville Public Library. It may be a small town, but the library has a lot of activities that are free and open to the public. Tour The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum and Wolf Creek Grist Mill, one of the oldest working mills in Ohio. Visit the Memorial Shrine, where the names of Ohio Veterans, who sacrificed all they had, are handwritten in the books on display. Visit the Discovery Forest Exhibit in the Mohican-Memorial State Forest. Swim at the Mohican State Park Lodge and see if the naturalist is there. Programs offered by the naturalist and the Live Birds of Prey programs are free and open to the public.
The Wine at the Mill Fundraiser will be coming up in June, along with the MTB 100 and 100 Trail Run. Other events coming up this summer are the Safe Boating and Fishing Festival, the National Dutch Oven Gathering, July 4th Weekend & Car Show, the Great Mohican Pow-Wow, Flxible Bus Rally & Parade and so much more.
For more detailed information on the area, please visit DiscoverMohican.com.
The third year of Rock Piqua! Riverfront Concert Series will see some exciting changes without changing the familiar family friendly concert series. This year’s concerts will take place on the third Saturday of June, July and August at Lock Nine Riverfront Park and each concert will start at 7pm with free admission. The focus of the lineup has shifted to cover bands this year, so that all the music coming from the stage should be familiar favorites and each concert will feature a different genre of music starting with the 50’s-70’s in June, country in July and 80’s to Today for the final concert in August.
“Last year some of the bands got away from what we’re trying to provide and we really wanted to go back and listen to what the community as a whole wants for the concert series and try to deliver that,” said Piqua Arts Council Executive Director, Jordan Knepper. “Our goal this year is for the audience to be able to really connect with the bands and the music, so we chose bands that would play recognizable music from the Beatles to Bruno Mars, we’ll have it all covered this year.”
Starting off the series on June 16th will be the American Kings. The American Kings are a Dayton, Ohio band that takes great pride in giving their audience an authentic, fresh and danceable show with true renditions of your favorite Rock N’ Roll songs from the 50’s and 60’s. And because The Kings live a life with a vocabulary that allows the words “sock” and “hop” to still make perfect sense together, you can fully trust them to put on a good show. Following the American Kings will be Agent 99 from Columbus, OH. Agent 99 is a 6-piece cover band that has been entertaining Ohio, from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, for almost 20 years, delivering a high energy show of carefully selected and masterfully performed seminal pop/rock songs of the 70’s to their audiences, defending the musical claim, “The Best Music You Forgot You Loved”! If you’re doowopping at this concert you should plan on having some ice cream, as Susie’s Big Dipper will be on hand providing sweet treats.
If the rockabilly lifestyle isn’t for you and you’ve traded in your rat rod and greased back hair for a pickup truck and an oversized belt buckle, the July 16th concert might be exactly what you need. Local favorite Reflektion, Jared and Justin Younce, will take the stage at 7pm and kick off a hoot and hollering good time. Self-taught musicians, singing and playing an array of instruments from acoustic & electric guitar to the bass, banjo and drums, the duo sings mostly Country with a splash of Southern Rock in a dynamic and soulful tone. They bring a unique blend of harmonies brought about by many hours of singing together to develop their talents. Once the good ole boys from Piqua step off stage, CMA Emerging Artist Kate Hastings Band will get everyone stomping their feet to some country flair. Based in Nashville now, Kate Hasting grew up in New Carlisle, OH and in 2013 released “Country Music” an EP recorded with Grammy winning Nashville producer Chad Carlson. Since then, the band has opened for several national touring acts including Kellie Pickler, Randy Houser, Parmalee, Joe Diffie and more.
The final concert of this year’s series will take place on August 20th and centers on current music while taking a trip back to the 80’s with some hair band classics. The opener, Spungewurthy, has been together since early 2001 and has been performing at clubs, weddings, private and corporate events, and festivals regularly in the Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus regions. Spungewurthy focuses on the “dance rock” style of covers artists like Maroon 5, Dave Matthews, Kid Rock, Sublin with Bon Jovi and Tom Petty thrown in to keep the listeners in a high energy environment all night long. The headlining act will take you on a trip back to the 80’s. The 1988’s are a Cleveland based band performing the danceable and head banging “big hair” hits of the 80’s. While other groups have chosen to present themselves in a certain fashion, 1988 has stayed true to its 80’s roots by paying respectful tribute to bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Poison, Motley Crew, Guns-N-Roses and even Journey. 1988 recreates a show one might have seen on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip at the height of the 80’s era.
The Rock Piqua Riverfront Concert Series will again feature food trucks from around the region at each concert, showcasing their love of their craft. Rock Piqua Riverfront Concert Series is made possible by the support of our sponsors, Headliner Sponsors – Ameriprise Financial – Mullenbrock and Associates, Mark Reedy at Thrivent Financial, Polysource Inc., and Opening Act Sponsors – French Oil Mill Machinery & Co., Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance, Piqua Pizza Supply Company and Abbey Federal Credit Union. For more information about the Rock Piqua Riverfront Concert Series visit the website at RockPiqua.com. For sponsorship information call Mainstreet Piqua at 937-773-9355 or Piqua Arts Council at 937-773-9630.
Duck Tape Festival is perhaps the most genius idea for Fathers’ Day weekend that ever dawned on man. Avon, Ohio showcases Duck® brand duct tape in all forms including art, sculptures, fashion and more. It is a celebration for all of the wacky and fun uses one could imagine for using duct tape. The festival honors the history and heritage of the city that is proclaimed the “Duct Tape Capital of the world”, home of Duck® brand duct tape. Rides, games and food are a part of this free annual event which kicks off with a duct tape parade! Complete information is available at http://www.ducktapefestival.com/.
This award recognizes Ohio’s standouts in tourism. More details about the award and all award recipients are at ohiotraveler.com/standouts-in-ohio-tourism/.
60 Years of Presidential Political Ads
Demonstrate Their Emotional Pull
How do political ads expressly appeal to the hopes and fears of voters during presidential election seasons? An art museum in a swing county, in a key battleground state, decided it was time to find out.
I Approve This Message: Decoding Political Ads is an eye-opening exhibition for all ages that debuts July 14 at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA), just days before the Republican and Democratic national conventions. It continues through Election Day, November 8, 2016.
The first-of-its-kind art museum exhibition explores in-depth this timely topic by examining how political ads combine images, music, effects and language to evoke specific emotions and capture votes. Using video, graphics and interactive media, the exhibition reflects recent behavioral studies and shows how emotional triggers may impact rational thinking.
As a thought-leader in the field of visual literacy – the ability to read images and decipher their meaning – encountered in everyday culture, not exclusively in the art museum, TMA is ideally positioned to provide a nonpartisan, insider’s look at political advertising.
“This immersive exhibition is focused on how presidential ads are meant to make you feel,” said Adam Levine, co-curator of the exhibition and assistant director of the Toledo Museum of Art. “The goal is to increase awareness of the mechanisms campaigns utilize to capture your vote by pulling on the heartstrings. In the process, visitors will become more critical consumers of political advertising.”
The 7,000-square-foot exhibition is divided into theaters displaying ads that focus on particular emotions, such as fear, anger, enthusiasm and hope, as well as how appeals have changed for different constituencies. The approximately 50 ads date from 1952, when the first national presidential TV commercial was broadcast, up to 2012.
Among the classic commercials presented, some in frame-by-frame breakdowns, are the infamous Lyndon B. Johnson 1964 “Daisy Girl,” which begins gently with a little girl pulling petals from a flower and ends with nuclear annihilation; the 1984 Ronald Reagan ad many call “It’s Morning in America”; the George H.W. Bush 1988 “Willie Horton” ad; and the 1992 Clinton ad “Man from Hope.”
The perimeter walls of the gallery will incorporate diagrams that visually analyze the ads on view in the theaters. Two interior walls will display stills from, and a timeline of, iconic political ads. In the center of the exhibition, visitors will find a “Mood Room,” a multimedia sensory experience designed to demonstrate how images and sounds stir emotion.
The second part of the exhibition features the Change Theater and an interactive zone with hands-on opportunities, including the ability for visitors to include themselves in an ad.
“Although the exhibition demonstrates the emotional power of political advertising, at its core it is about seeing, hearing and feeling, and how we digest and process information emotionally before cognition and memory kick in,” said Brian Kennedy, director of the Toledo Museum of Art. “This concept is as applicable to visual art as it is to advertising, which is why TMA, as a leader in engaging its visitors through visual literacy, was so invested in developing the exhibition.”
“I Approve This Message aims to draw back the curtain of presidential political advertising over the last 60 years to showcase and deconstruct those with the most persuasive emotional messages,” said guest co-curator Harriett Levin Balkind, founder of HonestAds, a nonpartisan nonprofit working to bring people into-the-know about political advertising. “Presidential campaigns hire some of the savviest media minds around to develop their ads, and this exhibition represents the best of the best.”
The nonpartisan exhibition is organized by the Toledo Museum of Art and HonestAds. TMA commissioned Thinc to design the exhibition.
HonestAds, based in New York, builds awareness about political advertising in innovative, compelling ways with organizations that care about political literacy and through its website HonestAds.org. HonestAds’ purpose is to decrease deception, increase critical thinking and expand civility; thereby, motivating more people to vote. As a nonpartisan nonprofit, HonestAds has no connection to political parties, candidates, PACs, super PACs or their sponsors.
Located in New York, Thinc Design is a leading design firm serving clients in North America, Asia, Africa and Europe. For more than 20 years, Thinc has designed projects for a wide range of institutions, including museums, science centers, aquariums, zoos, theme parks, corporations and governments. Notable projects include the American Food 2.0. USA Pavilion, 2015 World Expo; exhibition design for the Smithsonian Institution; the National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum; and the California Academy of Sciences. To learn more visit thincdesign.com.
General admission to the Museum is free; parking is free for Museum members and $5 for others. For further information, visit http://www.toledomuseum.org.
Over 400,000 visitors each summer enjoy music at Blossom Music Center. Located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 25 miles south of Cleveland, just north of Akron, Ohio, Blossom’s name honors the Dudley S. Blossom family, major supporters of The Cleveland Orchestra throughout its history. Cuyahoga Valley National Park generally receives more than 2.2 million recreational visits each year, making it one of the most-visited national parks in the United States.
This year, the Orchestra’s Blossom season runs from Fourth of July weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Tickets are on sale by telephone or in person at the Severance Hall Ticket Office, and online at clevelandorchestra.com. Subscriptions and Create-Your-Own series, and Lawn Books are currently available for purchase.
A major highlight is the July 17 Cleveland Orchestra concert which commemorates Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. Blossom Music Center was planned and built by The Cleveland Orchestra on 800 acres of rolling hills now surrounded by Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The concert will include Aaron Copland’s Suite from Appalachian Spring alongside works by Gershwin and Ravel.
The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2016 Blossom Music Festival season comprises 16 concerts: 12 by The Cleveland Orchestra. Festival highlights include:
- July 4: “A Salute to America” with the Blossom Festival Band*
- July 9: Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducting Beethoven Symphony No 3 (“Eroica”) and works by Thomas Adès and Strauss*
- July 24: Magic of the Movies, the greatest film scores performed live
- August 13: Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma
- August 27: All-Bach concert by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
- August 20: Blossom Festival Orchestra The Music of Led Zeppelin: A Rock Symphony
- September 3 & 4: Raiders of the Lost Ark* is shown on the big screen to a live orchestral accompaniment by The Cleveland Orchestra
* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting.
Complete details of the 2016 Blossom Music Festival season are available here.
If you are venturing up or down the east coast of the United States, get a preview and inside look at what’s ahead by clicking on the links below. Each month, a new story is added.
Arlington National Cemetery
National Mall & Monuments
New York City
Plymouth & Cape Cod
Charlestown Navy Yard
Stories by Rocco Satullo, your tour guide to fun!