Arts & Culture Patron: Meghan Meeker
Meghan Meeker is a social media professional and die-hard supporter of the arts in Akron. She has served as president of the board for Torchbearers and Crafty Mart and is currently serving on the board for Akron Chamber of Commerce and the committee for the annual fundraiser at The Akron Art Museum. She loves supporting artists as entrepreneurs and regularly volunteers her time teaching social media, branding, and marketing best practices through Summit Artspace, Bounce Innovation Hub, and pops into courses at The University of Akron and Myers School of Art whenever she’s invited. Some of her favorite ways to support local art is through purchasing pieces from artists for her eclectic home in West Akron (she and her husband, Scott, were even featured in the wonderful book by Karen Starr and Shane Wynn entitled If This Wallpaper Could Talk). She and Scott are big cinephiles and are members of The Nightlight. They also can never get enough local music and always enjoy a good show (they even had their wedding reception at Musica!).
How do you stay informed about upcoming arts and cultural events in Summit County?
My incredible network of artistic friends, SummitLive365.com, and all of those glorious Facebook event invites.
Have you ever volunteered or contributed to local arts and cultural organizations in Summit County? If yes, how?
Absolutely! My favorite volunteering comes in the form of teaching artists marketing best practices so they can be successful entrepreneurs. I’m a regular instructor through Summit Artspace’s programs, at Bounce Innovation Hub, and at The University of Akron (I speak annually to Arts Administration students as well as at Myers School of Art).
Share a memorable experience or moment you’ve had while attending an arts and cultural event in Summit County.
The very first Crafty Mart at Bounce was such a joy! I was on the board at the time and got to watch the whole process of that partnership come together. I also had the joy of helping to clean the space and got to directly experience the before and after. I also just love that market and meeting all of the talented artisans. I met my absolute favorite jewelry artist, Stephanie Paynter, at a Crafty Mart and now I literally never leave the house without wearing at least one of her pieces.
How do you think exposure to arts and culture at a young age can shape a person’s development and worldview?
It is absolutely vital for children to experience art, in my humble opinion. When I was young, I rarely asked for presents for my birthday–instead, I wanted to go to an art museum and bring one friend. Being exposed to visual art at a young age also got me curious about history (one had to know the context of that cool painting, like Anselm Kiefer’s Lot’s Wife at the Cleveland Museum of Art) or literature (what myth inspired this cool sculpture?). How do you find joy or even wallow in your sadness if you aren’t exposed to music; how do you fully understand the Shakespeare you are taught in school if you’ve never seen it performed? Your world gets smaller when you start to experience art– history comes alive, and your understanding of how people lived during a certain time period or in a certain place can be seen, felt, heard, or even touched. No child should live in a world without art.