Big Love Fest: 4/1/17


April 1, 2017 • 10 am- 10 pm

The Well CDC

 647 E. Market Street • Akron, Ohio 44304

The Big Love Network is proud to announce that our 4th annual Big Love Festival will take place on April 1, 2017 from 10 am to 10 pm at The Well CDC. Big Love Festival is a transformational placemaking festival for & by the people of Akron, aimed at highlighting artists, healing practitioners, organizations, musicians, & small businesses, all while fostering leadership & authentic collaboration as we seek to build agape & compassion.

Bounce Beyond, this year’s theme, envisions an Akron that uses what it has to heal itself. What does it mean to be in a Post-Industrial, Post-Modern, midwest city? How do we learn to support & heal our city with what we have? How do we find sustainability beyond outside foundations & federal grants? How do we build a city of refuge?

Big Love Festival allows for deeper connections to ourselves & to one another as we explore through art installations, music, healing arts, workshops, panel board discussions, & community!

We invite you and your family & friends to join us!

View the video from last year, created by Adam Grenly, to excite & inspire!


If you are a musician, artist, healing practitioner, gardener / permaculturist, marketplace vendor, non-profit organization, or just want to help out through one of our unique volunteer positions, please visit the Big Love Festival page here.

“Like” The Big Love Network on Facebook & say that you are “going” to the event to stay up to date on details as we prepare for Big Love Fest 2017!


*Shoutout to the talented Shannon Miller of Lovers and Trees for the beautiful artwork!*

Akron City Repair

The The Big Love Network‘s latest project, Akron City Repair , is in motion!

In case you haven’t heard, Akron City Repair

  • facilitates creative placemaking through projects that empower local residents to create spaces that honor the interconnection of human communities and the natural world.
  • provides support, resources, and opportunities to help diverse communities reclaim the culture, power, and joy that we all deserve.
  • hosts facilitator and community trainings in leadership development, natural building, resource management, and participatory neighbor-led design principles. 

Akron City Repair culminates in a four day, city-wide placemaking festival on September 16 – 19. This event will consist of people implementing their co-created, neighbor-led designs at four sites around Akron! Locations include Cascade Valley (North & Howard), West Hill (Crosby & Oakdale), Middlebury, and Summit Lake (Edison & Long).

Each evening of the installation will end with a community gathering called Love On Akron (a Village Building Experience!) complete with panel discussion, workshops, food, networking, music, and healing modalities at The Well CDC located at 647 E. Market Street, Akron, OH 44304! More details below!

If you are interested in volunteering during the installations or at Love On Akron, please fill out this form to sign up.

Questions on volunteering (or anything else!) can be directed to!

Love On Schedule: 

Friday, September 16 (6-10 pm): The Re-Identification of the Rubber City
6 – 7: Networking & Dinner (Ms. Julie’s Kitchen & Compass Coffee)
7 – 8: The Re-Identification of the Rubber City Panel Discussion with James Hardy (moderator), Jason Segedy, Michael Marras, David Giffels, Tony Troppe, Ameer Williamson, Jennifer Toles, Ian Patrick Schwarber,Brad Savage, Kara Ulmer, and Kristoffer “KC” Carter
8 – 8:15: Yoga/Meditation with Kristoffer “KC” Carter (This Epic Life)
8:30 – 9:30: Building Our Own Myths and Legends Workshop with Blue Green
8:30 – 10: Zach & The Bright Lights – Soul & Inspiring Indie Folk Rock
8:30 – 10: Donation-based Healing Modalities with Shay Somerville-Shropshire & Ashley Suzelis

Saturday, September 17 (6 pm – midnight): The Caring Economy
6 – 7: Networking & Dinner (Ms. Julie’s Kitchen & Compass Coffee)
7 – 8: The Caring Economy Panel Discussion with Nancy Lynn Holland (moderator), Greta A. Lax, Julie Costell, Beth Knorr, Ace Epps, Kyle Julien, Zac Kohl
8 – 8:15: Yoga/Meditation with Nancy Lynn Holland (Akron’s Blue Hen Yoga, Free Akron Yoga)
8:30 – 9:45: DJ Chaka – Spinning Reggae, Hip-hop, Afro-beat
8:30 – 9:30: The Way of Permaculture with Steve Larson & Brandon Myers
8:30 – 10: Donation-based Healing Modalities with Jeffrey Zayda (Massage & Healing Arts)
10 – 11:30: DJ Kevin Richards – Hip Hop, Indie, & Soul

Sunday, September 18 (6 – 10 pm): Ecosystems of Problem Solving: Peacebuilding
6 – 7: Networking & Dinner (The Square Scullery &Compass Coffee)
7 – 8: The Ecosystem of Problem Solving: A Peace Building Discussion Panel with Zach Freidhof (moderator), Darrita Davis, Larry Terkel, Kyle Jozsa, Bronlynn Thurman, Swami Sankarananda, Dr. Bill Lyons, Duane Crabbs
8 – 8:15: Yoga/Meditation with Larry Terkel (Spiritual Life Society & Yoga Center of Hudson)
8:30 – 9:30: Effective Methods for Change: Peacebuilding in our Time with Swami Sankarananda
8:30 – 10: Donation-based Healing Modalities with Amanda Baluch
8:30 – 10: Acid Cats

• Monday, September 19 (6 – 10 pm): Akron City Repair Process & Next Steps
6 – 7: Networking & Dinner (The Square Scullery & Compass Coffee)
7 – 8: Akron City Repair Process & Next Steps: A Conversation with the Facilitators with John Valle, Beth Vild, David Swirsky, Zach Freidhof, and others
8 – 8:15: Shaolin Kung Fu with Travis Young Tiger Lee (The House of Kung Fu)
8:30 – 9:30: Tactical Urbanism with Marissa Blewitt
8:30 – 10: Donation-based Healing Modalities with  Amanda Baluch & Shay Somerville-Shropshire
8:30 – 10: Gretchen Pleuss




Akron City Repair

The Big Love Network Presents “Akron City Repair”
Inaugural Neighborhood Placemaking Projects
May – August, 2016

Akron City Repair facilitates creative placemaking through projects that empower local residents to recreate the public commons within their neighborhoods; connecting people to each other and their environment. Akron City Repair provides support, resources, and opportunities to help diverse communities reclaim the culture, power, and joy that we all deserve. Akron City Repair will host facilitator and community trainings in leadership development, natural building, resource management, and participatory and neighbor-led design principles. The program culminates in a four day, city-wide placemaking festival in August. This event will consist of people implementing their designs throughout the city and then communing at night with discussion panels, food and celebration.

The applications for sites to be considered for this project are released to the public and will be due May 18th. People who have a space in their neighborhood they’d like to reclaim, revamp, or reimagine are encouraged to fill out the application. This first year, a limited number of sites will be chosen, but that number is expected to grow each year.

The applications are available online here- Site Application


May 18th: Site Applications Are Due.

May 30th: Sites Announced

June 15th – August 12th: 8 Weekly Neighborhood Cultivation Sessions

August 12th -14th: City Repair Action Weekend – The weekend when the site designs will be implemented by the neighborhoods and volunteers from across the city. There will be a nightly gathering featuring workshops, panels, food, music, and community.

Email or message on Facebook to get involved, volunteer, or sponsor. Donations to Akron City Repair are tax-deductible, with their fiscal agent Global Ties Akron.



Beth Vild – Project Manager


Schedules are here!

Alright, folks here they are! Feel free to download them and print them out if you’d like! We will have them hung around the festival in highly visible areas.


Main Stage/3rd Floor



Community Stage/2nd Floor


Help us reach our fundraising goal!

Click here to view our Crowdfunding page

*All donations are tax-deductible through our fiscal agent, Global Ties Akron*

We come to you to ask your support in our experience and cause. With even a modest donation of $100, a musician or artist can be sponsored. If we can raise only a few thousand dollars, we can provide all the materials for the artists to turn our new venue, the Summit Art Space into a new and creatively empowering environment for the day! Plus, we can purchase the compostable utensils and plates needed to keep our mission of zero waste attainable. We also have other levels at $250 (Big Love), $1000 (Bigger Love) and a “Biggest Love” Sponsor at $2500 and are open to other sponsorship terms, like sponsoring a stage or a room, etc. Each sponsor above $100 will be added to all printed and online materials, and will be thanked often throughout the event. $100 sponsors will be mentioned and linked to online, as well as thanked at the event.

Sponsors & Partners

Check out some of our primary sponsors and partners. This list is still growing as we continue to build more bridges!





Organized by

City Repair Presentation

This is a dream come true for us! We are excited to bring Portland’s City Repair Founder, Mark Lakeman, and his collegue Kirk Rea, to Akron for a very special GAINS – Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability meeting, hosted by Big Love Fest, this March.

Mark Lakeman is a pioneer in the reclamation and development of regenerative public places. In the last decade he has directed, facilitated, or inspired designs for more than three hundred neighborhood-led designs in public places in Portland, Oregon alone. Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc., and its various affiliates such as the The City Repair Project, The Village Building Convergence, and the Planet Repair Institute, he has also been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory organizations and urban permaculture design projects across the United States and Canada. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities.

Kirk Rea specializes in social equity and placemaking. Kirk works in allyship with other marginalized peoples using his visual art, community building, and permacuture background to engage in activism and advocacy. Volunteering with City Repair since 2011, Kirk also works as a affordable housing advocate and garden educator with the Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI).

This is all made possible through a grant from 8 80 Cities

Please sign up on Eventbrite so we know how many people to expect! It only takes a minute!