In 2018, our local arts agency ArtsNow took a closer look at existing arts and culture assets and invited residents to share their vision for Akron. 

Fueled By Residents

The voices of those who live, work, and care about Akron are the most critical ingredient to the success of the Akron/Summit Cultural Plan.

ArtsNow and the planning firm, Designing Local, conducted over 100 stakeholder interviews and held several focus groups and neighborhood meetings to collect public feedback to inform the planning process.

Making Arts & Culture A Priority

To develop the plan, the team analyzed the City’s current cultural priorities, assessed capacity to serve neighborhoods, studied the condition of cultural and environmental organizations as well as artists, and planned how the city can remain a place where arts and culture are vital to citizen’s well-being. 

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The Perfect Next Step For Akron

In Akron, we believe that we have the potential to be a thriving, creative city. Together, we're moving forward with energy and momentum. Throughout the inclusive public cultural planning process, community members offered priorities and strategies to build up our creative sector, and ten key priorities emerged from your ideas:

  • 1 - Equity
    People of all ages, races, genders, orientations, religions, abilities, means, and backgrounds must have access to and participate in the making of a thriving cultural scene.
  • 2 - Access
    Access to our city’s arts, cultural, and environmental spaces are integral to the health and future of our community—and together, we must work towards intentional inclusion.
  • 3 - Education
    All students deserve the opportunity to access high-quality, creative experiences, both in school and in the community.
  • 4 - Talent
    Artists and creators are core to the health of our city and are beloved community members who deserve the opportunity to make a home in Akron and Summit County.
  • 5 - Engagement
    We must embrace and support excellence in our creative sector by engaging the broad Summit County community more deeply in arts and cultural opportunities.
  • 6- Resources
    Invest in our cultural hubs and venues. We must investigate and leverage new funding sources, and we must explore new resources for our sector.
  • 7 - Connections
    Supporting a broader definition of “culture,” to encompass significant roots of Akron/Summit’s cultural legacy, including food, history, and the environment, we can strengthen and support the entire sector.
  • 8- Placemaking
    Access to beautiful public space is a basic human right. Placemaking builds connections, creates civic engagement, and empowers citizens, and the arts are a crucial component of placemaking.
  • 9 - Economic Impact
    Opportunities for growth in arts and culture in Akron/Summit can help financially support culture creators in the city and contribute to overall economic growth.
  • 10 - Public Art
    Prioritize public art within the City of Akron and Summit County while increasing civic participation and creating a deeper sense of place.