Category Archives: Social & Cultural

Explore “Fresh Paint… By Jenn!”

By day, Jenn Acus-Smith is the education coordinator for the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, but she is also an accomplished artist herself with a masters degree from Miami University. Until the end of June, she will be exhibiting new work through the end of  June at Miami Hamilton Downtown in the Robinson-Schwenn Building, High Street at Journal Square.

In this video podcast, Richard O Jones talks with Jenn about her work and what inspires her.

Download this episode (right click and save)

CLICK HERE to see more about Jenn Acus-Smith….

CLICK HERE to find out more about Miami Hamilton Downtown…


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Pondering the Arts and the city’s future

Approximately 25 arts enthusiasts converged at the Carruthers Ballroom at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts on Saturday, February 7, to discuss the emerging arts environment in Hamilton. This open forum was hosted by ARTSLINK, a group of community leaders who have a passion for the arts and are excited about what the arts can do for our community.

The goal of the meeting was to formulate ideas and strategies about how the arts could become an integral part of the fabric of Hamilton. Artists involved in music, visual arts, theater, dance, and arts administration were part of the discussion that centered on the question, “What would Hamilton look like if it were defined by the arts?”

The event opened with an overview of what ARTSLINK is, and isn’t. The leader of the group, Greg Albright explained, “Our group is looking at the arts in Hamilton from 30,000 feet. We are not intended as a marketing or fundraising group, but rather as a voice advocating for the arts as a powerful community-building tool.”

According to Laurin Sprague, the purpose of ARTSLINK is to connect, empower, and excite the community and its leadership to better understand the economic, educational, social, and cultural impact of the Arts. A core group of ARTSLINK leaders has been meeting for over two years of planning, and it was now time bring the entire community in to the fold, according to Sprague.

Much of Saturday’s meeting focused on brainstorming, but concrete proposals clearly emerged from the discussion. Participants encouraged the leaders of ARTSLINK to continue their efforts, and to expand the group and consider longterm strategies to move forward as a unifying advocacy organization. The core group of leaders will meet soon to formulate next steps, based upon the direction given them at this public forum.

Vice-mayor Rob Wile shared in the enthusiasm of the morning. According to Wile, “City government was committed to promoting Hamilton as the place to live, work and play. That can’t happen without the arts as an everyday part of our community.”

For further information, contact Greg Albright at

Little Chicago Food Tour happening in October

It’s a tour that will leave pToureople in food comas.

The Little Chicago Food Tour starts and ends at the Courtyard by Marriott on the Great Miami River in Hamilton. It is slated for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 9.

Those on the tour will learn the city’s history while strolling through “Little Chicago” to J Austin’s Riverbank Café, Art On/Off Symmes, Ryan’s Tavern, All8Up, Sara’s House and Plaza One Grille inside the hotel.

As of Thursday morning there were only 10 spots left on the tour, which costs $35 per person.

The Little Chicago Food Tour is owned by Teri Horsley, who is partnering with Community Development Professionals to give a portion of this tour’s profits toward a grant awarded to an attendee of the 2014 Non-Profit Development Conference. The conference is Oct. 9-10 in downtown Hamilton. Click here for a list of workshops and information on registration.

“The Little Chicago Food Tour is very excited to be partnering with Community Development Professionals to offer this historic walking tour of downtown Hamilton.,” Horsley said. “The tour will feature historical anecdotes about Hamilton and participants will enjoy great food from the city’s restaurant and retail community.”

Two additional food tours are planned — one during IceFest in mid-January, and one during Hamilton’s film festival in April of 2015.

More: Why Hamilton is nicknamed “Little Chicago”

Masonic Center hosts breakfast information session, October 11

Hamilton Masonic Center will host a community breakfast and information session as Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller will be giving a presentation on the status of the East High Street Project and other city initiatives that are bringing positive changes to the city.

The event begins 9 a.m. Saturday, October 11. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children under 10, and includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, a slice of ham and coffee/water. Soft drinks are available for purchase as well.

“This is hopefully the first of many of these events in the future,” said Jeremy Spangenberg, Senior Steward of Washington Lodge #17.

Those in attendance will have the opportunity to submit questions to the mayor as well, Spangenberg said.

Washington Lodge has been in Hamilton officially since 1811, but has even deeper roots in Hamilton long before becoming an official organization.

“This makes us one of the oldest (if not the oldest) civic organizations in the city and for that matter, Butler county,” Spangenberg said.

2014 0917 Pancake Fundraiser V5

October 18 run will benefit student veterans

A 5K Run for Vets to benefit student veterans at Miami University Hamilton will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18.  The run will begin at Miami Hamilton and follow a flat road course from University Blvd. to Neilen Blvd. and back.

 Early registration will occur through October 4 with day-of-registration opening at 10:00 a.m. The cost to register is $25 for early registration, $30 for day of the event and $20 for Miami University students and all veterans.

 All proceeds will go to support student veteran programming at Miami Hamilton, as well as local non-profits that assist veterans.

Participants will receive a race shirt and post-race refreshments.  Prizes will be awarded to the top male, top female and to the leaders of six age groups.

 “Everyone is welcome to join us on Oct. 18, whether they run or walk or cheer on the participants,” said Christy Meyer of Miami Hamilton’s Student Veterans Association.

 This event is sponsored by Western & Southern, VFW Post 7670, the Association of the U.S. Army, Beckett Ridge McDonald’s and Miami University Hamilton’s Student Veterans Association.  For more information or to pre-register, contact Christy Meyer at (559) 772-9018, email or go to

Stranger Than Fiction: An Evening with Chuck Klosterman, September 23

The Lane Libraries present Chuck Klosterman, the Ethicist for the New York Times Magazine and best-selling author on Tuesday, September 23, 7:30 p.m. at the Wilks Conference Center, Miami University Hamilton.

Chuck Klosterman will show us how pop culture becomes inextricably linked with our memories, how it helps us understand the world, and what this says about us, as individuals and as a society.

Book sale, signing and reception will follow the presentation. Seating for this free event is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Wilks Conference Center at Miami University Hamilton is located at 1601 University Blvd.

For more information about this and other programs at the Lane Libraries, please call 894-6557 or visit the Lane Web site at

About the author:

Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times best-selling author of six books of nonfiction (including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and I Wear the Black Hat) and two novels (Downtown Owl and The Visible Man). His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was a winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, andThe A.V. Club. He currently covers sports and popular culture for ESPN and serves as “The Ethicist” for the New York Times Magazine.

Download poster here

‘Race, Rap & Reality’ topics of Racial Legacies & Learning Program

The Regional Campuses of Miami University will host Chuck D as the keynote speaker for the 30th Racial Legacies and Learning event.

 The program, titled “Race, Rap & Reality,” takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. in the Wilks Conference Center at Miami University Hamilton and will be followed by a reception.

Best known as leader and co-founder of seminal rap group Public Enemy, Chuck D redefined rap music and hip hop culture with the release of the group’s1987 debut album, Yo! Bum Rush The Show. One of Ebony magazine’s “Ten Most Influential Black Americans,” Rolling Stone’s “50 most important performers in rock & roll history,” and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Chuck D is a voice for insight on technology, politics, rap and soul music, and race in America. Few artists have such a sophisticated knowledge and understanding of the intersection of popular culture and politics.

“The mission of the Racial Legacies & Learning program has been to celebrate and challenge our discussion of race relations,” said Dr. Kortet Mensah, Miami’s Regional Director of Diversity & Multicultural Services. “With his ability to cut across generational and social class distinctions while discussing race issues, Chuck D will add to our understanding and commitment with his unique perspective.”

 Co-sponsored by the Journal-News and Cox Media Group Ohio, this program is free and open to the public, but tickets are required due to limited space. Go for more information or to reserve tickets.  Miami University Hamilton is located at 1601 University Blvd.

Criminal Justice Week events planned at Miami Hamilton  

The Department of Justice and Community Studies, College of Professional Studies & Applied Sciences is sponsoring a number of events focusing on the problem of contemporary human trafficking and slavery.

  •   Sept. 15, Film Screening: The Whistleblower, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. in the Harry T. Wilks Conference Center.  This ripped-from-the-headlines thriller is based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska police officer who takes a job working as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia. Her expectations of helping to rebuild a devastated country are dashed when she uncovers a dangerous reality of corruption, cover-up and intrigue amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic doubletalk.
  •   Sept. 15, Joyce Hulse Manko Memorial Lecture, 7 p.m. in the Harry T. Wilks Conference Center. Keynote speaker and author of The Whistleblower, Kathryn Bolkovac will discuss sex trafficking, military contractors, and her fight for justice. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture. Funding for this event is provided by the Joyce Hulse Manko Memorial Lecture in Government endowment.
  •   “The Department of Justice and Community Studies is excited to bring Bolkovac to Miami University Hamilton,” said Daniel Hall, Chair of the Department of Justice and Community Studies. “Her story is compelling, raising important questions about ethics, human rights, and political corruption.”
  •   Sept. 16, Film Screening: The Whistleblower, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the Harry T. Wilks Conference Center.
  •   Sept. 16, The Fight Against Slavery: Lessons From History, 7 p.m., Miami Hamilton Downtown Center. Kelli Johnson, Professor of English at Miami University Hamilton will explore nineteenth-century abolitionism and its relevance in the fight to eliminate slavery and human trafficking in the twenty-first century.
  •   Sept. 17, Constitution Day Celebration, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., a public reading of the Constitution and discussion on free speech. Then from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Write for Rights invites university and community members to raise their voices by writing letters in support of activists imprisoned around the world for exercising free speech. Both events will meet in front of Democracy Wall outside Rentschler Hall.
  •   Sept. 18, Panel Discussion: Human Trafficking, 7 p.m. in the Harry T. Wilks Conference Center. State and local leaders discuss human trafficking in local contexts.

Throughout the month of September, Miami Hamilton Downtown Center will present a special exhibit featuring the stories of people who have experienced human trafficking and contemporary slavery titled “If I got a chance to talk to the world:” Stories of Modern-Day Slavery.”

These events are also supported by Miami University’s Departments of Justice and Community Studies, Black World Studies, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Women’s Gender and Sexual Studies, Rentschler Library, Miami Middletown’s Applied Research Center, Multicultural Services, Miami Regional Locations Student Affairs, Miami Hamilton’s Center for Civic Engagement, Colligan History Project and Miami International Justice Mission.

These events are free and open to the public. For more information on these events, call 513.785.7702 or email Miami University Hamilton is located at 1601 University Blvd.