Arts & Culture Advocacy

Economic effects of the creative and cultural industries

Prior to the pandemic,the creative and cultural industries generated $1.4 billion in economic activity, employed over 17,600 people, and supplied more than $768 million in wages and income in the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area. As an industry, between 2019 and 2020, the economic output of our creative industries (that is our for-profit and not for profit) declined by over 8% in Summit County. For much of 2020 and 2021, we had the dubious distinction of being the sector with the highest unemployment rate in the state, soon joined by the hospitality industry. Our business model was decimated and doors shut across galleries, museums, historic homes and sites, music venues, schools, and performance venues in an effort to ensure the safety of the community we love and serve.

In Summit County, a healthy and fully leveraged arts and cultural sector will attract and retain talent to our region, build jobs in the creative sector, add significant value to the education of our community’s children, and serve as a leading indicator of economic prosperity and impact.

Your voice is vital in our ongoing work to ensure that our community leaders and elected officials understand their vital role in supporting arts and culture in all of our Summit County communities.

What direction are we taking?

The Akron/Summit Cultural Plan serves as an adaptive strategic plan and was developed by, with, and for the community. As such, it is owned by the community. And it is driven by neighborhoods, institutions of faith, arts and culture nonprofits, artists and creative businesses, partners representing sectors such as healthcare, education, social services, aging communities, people of all abilities, and economic development. It is a plan where the process was as important as the product. The ten priorities guide our collective work and

of Akron/Summit Residents surveyed indicated that access and equity are a priority for them relative to the arts

of Akron/Summit Residents surveyed believe arts and culture should be reflected across the entire region, in every neighborhood

of Akron/Summit Residents surveyed want to see more events in neighborhoods

2023 Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire

In March of 2023, ArtsNow submitted a questionnaire to every registered mayoral candidate in Summit County with a request that questionnaires are returned by April 6th at 5PM. The responses can be found below reproduced in their entirety for review by residents, advocates, and voters.

Note: Green, Lakemore, and Norton do not have primary elections in May. For this reason, those responses will not be collected until August 31st, 2023.

Click to View Barberton Candidate Responses

Click to View Green
Candidate Responses

*Responses are due August 31st
for the November 7th election.

Barbara Crouse Babbitt
Rocco Yeargin

Click to View Norton Candidate Responses

*Responses are due August 31st
for the November 7th election.

Amber Johnson
Charlotte Whipkey
Mike Zita

Click to View Lakemore Candidate Responses

*Responses are due August 31st
for the November 7th election.

Richard Cole (D)
Tracy Douglas (R)

Click to View Tallmadge
Candidate Responses

*If candidate’s name does not have a link, we either have not received a response or, in the case of Green, Norton, and Lakemore, a response is not yet due to ArtsNow.

Resource Center

The 2023 Primary Election is May 2, 2023 and early voting and voting-by-mail begins on April 3. Here are resources to ensure your vote is counted this election.

Voter Resource Center
  1. Register to vote or update your voter registration information on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. The deadline to register to vote in the primary election is Monday, April 3rd. 
  2. Check your voter registration status and/or your polling location.
  3. Click here to request your vote-by-mail ballot.
  4. Click here for the early in-person voting schedule.
  5. For more information about voting in Ohio, visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s Voter Resources page.
Advocate Resource Center