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5 Things to Do in NEO: Midwinter Tunes in Akron, Garfield house tours and more

A band performs at the Akron Art Museum
Akron Art Museum
The Akron Art Museum presents an evening of performances for the annual Midwinter Tunes, where Marcus Alan Ward entertained in 2023. Saturday's lineup includes reggae from 12 O'Clock Tribe, punk from PAL and dance from Djapo! Cultural Arts Institute.

From live performances at the Akron Art Museum to a history lesson in Mentor, this week is full of ways to connect with the community through local arts and culture.

Midwinter Tunes

Enjoy visual art, music, poetry, dance and more at the Akron Art Museum Saturday night for Midwinter Tunes. The free, annual event features an eclectic night of performances, from the ambient sounds of Lemon Quartet to punk rock by PAL to reggae from 12 O’Clock Tribe. While you are there, grab some Ethiopian food and coffee from Bereka Coffee & Food and peruse the galleries, including the current exhibit “RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore.” The arts showcase runs from 6-10 p.m.

‘John Proctor is the Villain’

Support young theater artists performing in “John Proctor is the Villain,” a play about rural high school students studying “The Crucible” and finding their voice in the process. The Case Western Reserve University Department of Theater presents the show in the Kalberer Theatre at the Maltz Performing Arts Center in Cleveland. Performances begin Friday night and continue through Feb. 25.

Maple 101

Learn more about the magic of maple sugar production at a workshop offered by the Geauga County OSU Extension Office Saturday. The indoor presentation at the West Woods is for students of all ages and covers how sap flows, tree identification and syrup production. Registration is required for the free session from 9 a.m. until noon.

Toni Morrison Community Reading

Honor celebrated author Toni Morrison on her birthday through a community event Sunday hosted by Literary Cleveland and ThirdSpace Action Lab. There will be readings of Morrison’s work as well as an open mic for sharing original work influenced by the Lorain-native, whose first novel, “The Bluest Eye” was published in 1970. Registration is required for the free program Sunday. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. at ThirdSpace Action Lab in Cleveland.

Presidents Day in Mentor

The James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor is a fitting place to visit on Presidents Day Monday. Join a free tour of the home of the 20th president of the United States from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. as well as crafts and activities for kids. Garfield campaigned from his own front porch before he was elected in 1880. Restored in the 1990s, the Garfield home includes many artifacts from the family.

Carrie Wise is the deputy editor of arts and culture at Ideastream Public Media.