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GAR Distributes Nearly $2 Million to Akron-area Nonprofits in May

GAR Foundation distributes nearly $2M in May

Nearly $2 million of grants were recently approved at GAR Foundation’s May distribution meeting, with a key focus on the interconnectedness of local arts and culture organizations as catalysts for economic and community development in Akron. 

“We believe that a thriving arts and culture sector is essential for a vibrant community,” said Christine Amer Mayer, President of GAR Foundation. “By supporting these organizations, we are not only preserving Akron’s rich artistic and cultural history, but also stimulating economic development and improving the quality of life for all residents.”

The Foundation awarded $125,000 in operating support to ArtsNow for their strategic efforts to leverage arts investments to attract tourism, generate jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and enhance the overall health and happiness of Akron residents. 

“The arts and culture sector in greater Akron isn't just a cultural asset; it's an economic engine driving growth,” said ArtsNow Executive Director Nicole Mullet. “For every dollar invested in the arts, there's a return of over $7 in local economic activity. ArtsNow stands at the forefront, maximizing our creativity to fuel Akron's prosperity.”

Akron Art Museum, who received $270,000 for multi-year operating support, is galvanizing community development in Akron through their innovative exhibitions, award-winning educational programming, and most notably, the recent creation of the Creative Aging Institute, a workshop series whose focus is to support creativity and connection for adults aged 55+.

“This portion of the population is often overlooked as its own segment through the lens of diversity and inclusion yet constitutes upwards of 32% of the population in Summit County,” said Jon Fiume, Executive Director & CEO of the Akron Art Museum. “We are thrilled to be able to serve our residents at the Museum and are grateful for GAR's support and for their recognition of our commitment to community development in the arts.”

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, a long-standing economic engine in the community, received $30,000 in operating support. Jennie Highfield, President and Executive Director of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, highlighted the broader impact of this support. 

“The Foundation’s support extends beyond immediate needs, laying the groundwork for Stan Hywet's future endeavors, which in turn attracts tourists from as far as Australia, generates over $8.5 million in revenue, and creates over 280 jobs for local residents, bolstering the health and wellness of Akron's economy.”

GAR continues to support Akron-area nonprofits aimed at enhancing education; economic, workforce, and community development; arts and culture; and basic needs in the region. The Foundation is committed to helping Akron become smarter, stronger, and more vibrant.

Additional organizations receiving support this quarter include: