Cassel Bear Creative Director Craig Joseph gives his local picks

Craig Joseph’s love of storytelling took root as a child when he began creating homemade books to share with relatives and would gather neighborhood kids to perform in his backyard plays.

Craig Joseph’s love of storytelling took root as a child when he began creating homemade books to share with relatives and would gather neighborhood kids to perform in his backyard plays.

The 1993 GlenOak High School graduate, who earned bachelor’s degrees in English and religion at Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in theater from Northwestern University, says the love of storytelling is the thread that connects his broad range of jobs in Chicago, Minneapolis and Canton: He’s worked as an actor and stage director, a minister and church services program director, as well as a freelance writer, artist, art gallery curator and owner of Translations Art Gallery in Canton.

He’s now the creative director for Cassel Bear, a marketing and branding agency in Jackson Township, where he helps businesses, nonprofits and community organizations brainstorm how they want to articulate their message to a target audience and which marketing medium—such as print, web, video, audio or a combination—to use.

“For me, it’s another way to engage in storytelling,” said Joseph, who spent three years as the creative director at In The Round Design Group before joining Cassel Bear in 2014.

Joseph can still be found telling stories on stage. He is directing a play called “The Flick”’ at Weathervane Playhouse in Akron from May 4-14, and his production company, Seat of the Pants Productions, will host a summer season called “Acts of Dissent” that involves four performances about how people posture themselves and learn how to disagree with others. Performances include “That Championship Season,” a stage reading that Joseph is directing from May 19-21; “Chesapeake,” a one-man plan where Joseph is the actor from June 9-11; “A Bright Room Called Day,” a full production Joseph is directing from July 14-16 and July 21-23; and “The Christians,” which is another full production that Joseph is directing from August 18-20 and August 25-27.

Photo courtesy of Main Street Modern Facebook

1. Main Street Modern
“I bought a 1950s home right around the time that ‘Mad Men’ became popular, so I benefitted from the resurgence of mid-century modern design that seems to be popping up everywhere,” Joseph said. “Main Street Modern, owned by Adam Hoover and located in an old warehouse in downtown Canton, has been a tremendous go-to destination as I’ve filled my home with period-authentic furniture, accessories and art. Plus, it’s a great place to find props for plays I’ve directed or to just wander around on a
Saturday afternoon.”

2. Print & Press
“I love graphic design and good typography, so this quaint retail shop and artist studio in downtown Canton is one of my favorite places to visit,” he said. “Always chock full of goodies from both local and national printmakers, Print & Press features both letterpress and screenprint work—cards, art, apparel, journals and all sorts of other fun stuff. In the midst of the digital age, it’s nice to see these spunky ladies (and their friends) still committed to handcraftsmanship and labor-intensive art-making that can’t be replicated on a computer.”

3. Ridgewood
“When I moved back to Canton after 16 years in big cities, I knew I wanted to live in a neighborhood that would both remind me of the stunning architecture I saw, while also replicating the close-knit feeling I had living in a specific borough,” Joseph said. “Ridgewood proved to be the perfect place for me. As I walk my dogs every day, there’s always a new Tudor or Georgian home to admire. And every single person I pass says, ‘Hello,’ offers their name and number and eventually invites me over for dinner. It’s a wonderful place to come home to after a long day.”

4. Stark Parks
“Whether I want to exercise, play with the dogs, sit in nature and meditate, have a picnic or just explore the wildlife of the region, the county park system has somewhere for me to go,” he said. “I’ve made it my mission to slowly visit every park, and it’s been pretty exciting to see how each one has its own distinct vibe.”

5. The Immel Circus
“I’m a sucker for old circus memorabilia, so the Immel Circus at the Massillon Museum is a place to which I return again and again,” he said. “With 100 square feet of intricate, handcrafted miniatures replicating the entire grounds of a traveling circus—from the main tent to sideshows to circus train—this local treasure can hypnotize me for hours.”(See the March issue for more on the Immel Circus.)

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass