International Clash Day takes place on Friday, Feb. 7, and there will be a slew of events happening in Kent between Thursday, Feb. 6, and Saturday, Feb. 8, to mark “the importance of the urgent need for social justice, and the fundamental importance of the freedom of expression.” Yeah, the late Joe Strummer would’ve been proud of the activist nature of the festivities.
The event got its start when John Richards, the morning DJ on Seattle radio station KEXP-FM, arbitrarily declared Feb. 7 as Clash Day to be celebrated by featuring long sets of the band’s songs, side projects and B-sides. It has since grown into a grassroots phenomenon.
Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala will recognize the celebration with an official proclamation, as he did for the past three years.
Two Kent businesses are stepping up with exclusive products. MadCap Brew Co. will offer a special Clash Day beer that’ll be available at 101 Bottles, Taco Tontos, Water Street Tavern and the Zephyr Pub. Bent Tree Coffee will offer Revolution Roast, an artisanal coffee made for Clash Day, which will be featured through the week at its N. Water Street location.
The event will spotlight Jail Guitar Doors Ohio for its work in bringing an arts and music program to the Grafton Correctional Institution in Lorain. Jail Guitar Doors is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides musical instruments and mentorship to help rehabilitate incarcerated individuals.
Kent Clash Day 2020 T-shirts will feature a design by celebrated Kent comic artist Jay Geldhof. They’ll be available at the Dome, EuroGyro, the Kent Stage, Standing Rock Cultural Arts, Water Street Tavern and Zephyr Pub events.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 6, academics and practitioners explore the issue of mass incarceration, and the vital work of arts education for the incarcerated at the Student Governance Chamber, Student Center, Kent State University Main Campus. At 6 p.m. that day, Zephyr Pub will host the opening of the exhibit Liberated Verses: An Art Exhibit by ID13 and Glyphic Studio, and there will be a screening of The Devil and Daniel Johnston at 7 p.m. at the Kent Stage. At 10 p.m., Zephyr Pub will feature a free show featuring Akron’s Floco Torres’s new band, Free Black!, a collective consisting of Torres and producer/drummer Holbrook Riles III (a.k.a. HR3).
At 5 p.m. on Feb. 7, a Clash Day Art Walk takes place at Troppus Projects and Standing Rock Gallery. The local Clash tribute act the Boys From County Hell performs at 7 p.m. at Water Street Tavern, and Kill the Hippies/Modem/Fringe Candidate perform at EuroGyro.
At 1 p.m. on Feb. 8, Zephyr Pub hosts Clash Day Zephyr Mart: “Flea-YI” and at 4 p.m that same day, Standing Rock Cultural Arts hosts a Pens to Pictures Documentary Showcase. From 6 to 8 that night, the Kent band Modem joins three bands of incarcerated men from Grafton Correctional for a show at the Lorain facility. That event is free and open to the public but please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend.
Harvey Pekar, Garter Shake, Muppethead and the Katy bring the event to a close and perform at 9 p.m. at the Dome.
Most events are free. Check the website for more details.
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