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The Kent Stage was constructed in 1927 as a silent movie and vaudevillian theater and is the sole surviving downtown theater in the county. In 2002, the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association took over management of the venue and the rest is history. The Kent Stage was named the Best Acoustic Venue in Northeast Ohio by The Plain Dealer when Nickel Creek stepped out in front of the mics and sang an encore.
Along with the concert venue, The Kent Stage is also the home of All Folked Up – a full service bar equipped to satisfy your desire for an adult beverage or two. Yes, you can take your drink into the theater.
The Kent Stage is the host of approximately 150 concerts a year.
Get your official concert posters here!
The exclusive poster artists for The Kent Stage is Raw Sugar Art Studios, led by Bear, who has been creating some of the most collectable concert posters around going into his 5th decade.
“Who knew that the flyers and posters we made so long ago that you would see in places like the local record shops, people would be collecting them today, that’s pretty cool.”
His work has not just hung in “the local record shops” as he says. They have been on display in as places as diverse as museums, art galleries, historic clubs like CBGB’s, the Hard Rock and of course the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. You might not even realize it but you probably have seen them in magazine ads, movies and television shows and obviously you are hard pressed to go into a bar or restaurant around town where music is important and not see one or twenty hanging on a wall.
With over 6000 posters created over the decades, there is probably one for a concert you went to. “It’s fun at times to sit down and look at the different posters I did thru different periods of my life and I can see what my mind set was at that time by just looking at the art. The colors I used were a huge expression of what I was feeling at that time”. He not only created over time a visual slideshow of Cleveland’s rock heritage but the studio also has created posters for concerts throughout the Midwest in places like Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Louisville, Pennsylvania, Indiana and as far west as Colorado.
“Someone asked me recently how much longer I plan doing this, I don’t really know. I guess as long as I can keep coming up with new ideas and I have a little fun.”
With a new crop of talented young artists now working with Bear at Raw Sugar Art Studios there should be a long history of new posters coming.
“These new kids are so talented. I see their work and where they take an idea I give them is amazing, usually it isn’t where I would have gone but it opens up and expands my creativity to places I didn’t know I had.”