Journey of Hope
April 2011 Issue
April 2011 Digest
Liberation. When it came to the issue of slavery, President Abraham Lincoln knew abolishing it was the right decision to make. But it wasn’t an easy one.
Through April 15, the State Library of Ohio is presenting “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation.” A retrospective featuring facsimiles of original photos, lithographs and documents, “Forever Free” chronicles Lincoln’s transformation from a cautious moderate into “The Great Emancipator” history reveres.
Although the 16th president fervently believed in the ideals of freedom for all, he was also a consummate politician who feared that a direct attack on slavery would split the Union and end America’s success with self-government. Lincoln wrestled with the right way to proceed. His moral judgment prevailed. The Emancipation Proclamation recommitted the nation to the Founding Fathers’ vision of equality.
The exhibit explains Lincoln’s thoughts about slavery by exploring his boyhood, the Civil War, the role of black soldiers in the conflict, the final months of battle and the president’s assassination. David Zeidberg, director of the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., an organizer of the display, hopes visitors to “Forever Free” will connect with the celebrated commander in chief in new ways.
“Like so many of our great Americans, Abraham Lincoln has become an icon to the point where it’s almost like he wasn’t human,” reflects Zeidberg. “It’s our goal to show that he was a real person struggling over some huge problems and having to make some extraordinarily difficult decisions.
“In some ways,” he adds, “that’s not unlike us in our own lives.”
— Linda Feagler
For more information about “Forever Free,” visit library.ohio.gov or call 614/644-7061.
Three years ago, Keir Kurinsky had no idea that a marriage proposal would lead to the launch of a successful business: When his girlfriend mentioned how cool it would be to spell out words in people’s drinks, the former plastics salesman had an ice tray created with the letters of the alphabet. He surprised her on New Year’s Eve with an icy “Will you marry me?” along with the engagement ring frozen in the letter “e.”
She said yes, and Sillycone Inc. was born.
“It’s a product that was created out of a whim,” the Bay Village resident says. “And it’s flourished into a company that carries 30 different products.”
Today, Sillycone features a line of silicone trays molded into the shapes of numbers, letters and the state of Ohio. Each can be frozen or baked up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
The 37-year-old entrepreneur never ceases to be amazed at the creative ways customers use his products. Kurinsky’s seen everything from alphabet-shaped crayons made by teachers to concrete house numbers used by architects.
Unexpectedly, the business has even expanded into manufacturing custom items, including Greek letters for college sororities and fraternities.
But it’s the Ohio-shaped trays — the first in a line of all 50 states Sillycone will be producing — that really hits close to home for Kurinsky, a Chicago transplant. In fact, he loves the Buckeye State so much he named his newborn daughter, Ada, after the town in Hardin County.
“It made sense to start with Ohio,” Kurinsky says. “People here love where they live.” — Ilona Westfall
For more information, visit sillycone.us or call 877/745-5926.
It’s an art form that’s more than a cartoon, and this month, more than 1,500 fans from around the country will congregate in Columbus to celebrate it: The sixth-annual Anime Punch convention, April 22–24 at the Hyatt Regency, explores the multifaceted world of Japanese animation (that’s anime, for short).
Created a century or so ago, the genre became a staple in American living rooms in the 1960s, when “Astro Boy” hit the small screen. Through the decades, anime’s popularity has increased exponentially, turning it into a multimillion-dollar mainstream commodity.
“Anime is the un-Disney,” explains Ohio University journalism professor Anne Cooper-Chen, author of Cartoon Cultures: The Globalization of Japanese Popular Media. “The stories are more than black-and-white tales. The heroes have their selfish moments and flaws.”
Indeed, it’s the complex story lines being told in a serialized format — from gritty action (“Gunslinger Girl”) to sports-related drama (“The Prince of Tennis”) to psychological thrillers (“Death Note”) — that give the genre its substance. And this year’s convention offers plenty of ways to watch, study and philosophize about it through panel discussions, autograph sessions with voice actors, a costume contest and an art exhibition.
“It’s nice to have a place where everyone speaks the same language,” says convention chair Michael Beuerlein, a Columbus computer technician. — Aiesha Little
For more information, visit animepunch.org.