Arts & Culture Patron: Ashley Pippin

Why is it so important to you to support arts and culture? Why do arts and culture matter to you?
Arts and Culture matter to me because the Arts saved my life and It allowed me to get out of sad places during my childhood. The Arts helped me learn the importance of sharing my story and having confidence in who I am. So now I advocate for Arts & Culture to help others understand how supporting the arts has a significant impact. Thanks to the people who believed in & supported the Arts, I had a community to thrive in. 

What do you wish for arts and culture in Summit County in the next five years? 
In Summit County, I wish the next five years would encompass more Arts & Culture representation in the public school system. Arts & Culture unite people and bring communities together so I would love to see more opportunities for learning, entertainment, and personal growth. Possibly live performances in the summer and local artists and businesses collaborating with museums to public libraries. 

Why do you feel exposure and participation in arts and culture are important for students and young people in Summit County?
Exposure to Arts & Culture helps shape the identities & well-being of so many students.  Specifically, the African American young people need more exposure, representation, and advocacy.  Without all three weaved into Arts & Culture, some children won’t achieve influential educational milestones. 

What do you love most about Summit County? 
I love the people! I’m originally from Cuyahoga County and I wish I moved here earlier! I love that Summit County is very family-friendly with great places for kids to explore, learn, and have fun. Stan Hywet, biking on the Towpath, and visiting the library are amongst my family’s favorites. Here in Summit County, I was welcomed with open arms and open hearts. I haven’t been judged for being too creative and thinking out of the box. 

What artist, cultural organization, or experience do you wish more people knew about in Summit County?
Genesis Experience Theatre : )! Genesis combines faith, theatre, and mental health together to create a unique experience for the artist and the audience no matter age, faith, or race. Genesis is spiritual, Genesis is art, and Genesis is wellness. Our students learn excellent theatre education through Social-Emotional Learning, trauma-informed, and evidence-based learning. Our teachers and artists are skilled with professional training, education, and experience in theatre performance, dance, and therapy. Follow us on Instagram @gentheatre!