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Jam Festival of Music and the Arts Returns to Wayne County Fairgrounds

UPublish story by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio – Wooster Jam 2012, the festival of music and the arts produced by The College of Wooster in partnership with several Wayne County arts groups, returns to the historic Wayne County Fairgrounds April 20-21 with a blend of opera, folk, jazz, rock and roll, cloggers, deejaying, theatre, dance, magic, illusions, poetry, storytelling, painting, chalk art, sculpture, installations, photography and much more.

The Jam is a multimedia celebration of artistic talents and creativity that features many groups and individual artists from across the state, including the big-band fusion sound of Uzizi and the illusionist Rick Smith from Cleveland, as well as the Cedar Valley Cloggers, Ohio Light Opera, the bluegrass of Northwest Territory, and historical storyteller Jim Bowsher from Wapakoneta. Performances and exhibitions will be held at several distinct and unconventional venues at the Fairgrounds on Friday, April 20, from 4 p.m. to midnight and Saturday, April 21, from noon to midnight.

New this year is “VoiceFest,” an intercollegiate a cappella competition that will showcase a capella groups from The College of Wooster (A Round of Monkeys and COWBelles), Oberlin College (Obertones), Ohio State University (Key of Gee and Buck That!) Kent State University (Kent Clarks) and others. Participants will compete for a grand prize of $1,000.

The Wooster Ethnic Fair, now known as the WE Fair, and the Wayne Center for the Arts, are also collaborating with the Jam in the hope of bringing many family- and children-friendly activities to the Fairgrounds on Saturday. One of the highlights of the afternoon will be the spinning and deejay workshop, led by the Progressive Arts Alliance from Cleveland, which will provide opportunities to participate in hands-on experiences with turntables. In addition, there will be a number of cultural performances (including a Pakistani dance, a sitar, and Irish Folk music), bringing diversity and artistic creativity to the event.

Wooster Jam 2012 is organized by College of Wooster students working with the Center for Entrepreneurship (C4E) under the guidance and supervision of James Levin (the founding director of Cleveland Public Theatre and Cleveland’s Ingenuity Fest) and in partnership with the 120 Artists CoOp and the Wayne County Center for the Arts. With the support of more than 300 participating artists, the Jam hopes to showcase the best of music, theatre, dance, and many other art forms practiced by artists in the region.

The festival will be free and open to the public with free shuttles available for students of The College of Wooster, and Wooster Hospitality Transit shuttles for the community members. Wooster Jam 2012 will also have food and beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) as well as a refreshing weekend escape to the visitors of the festival. Half of the profits from the alcohol sold on the premises will benefit the People to People Ministries.

Additional information about Wooster Jam 2012 and the participating artists, as well as the history of the festival, can be found online at, or by contacting James Levin at or (330-263-2227/216-347-3499).


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