Arts & Culture Patron: Samantha Coldwell

What is your earliest memory of participating in arts and culture?
My earliest memory of arts and culture… oh gosh. Maybe the Nutcracker at Akron Civic Theater? Which was incredible. However, I think my most impressionable memory is when I went with my Girl Scout troop to do a tour of the of Weathervane Playhouse and we learned all about the behind the scenes of what makes a theater production happen. I think that is what made me fall even more in love with theater. Plus the makeup artist did all of our makeup and hair and made me into a “rock star” which was pretty sweet. I actually loved it so much I made my mom take me to audition for a show there. It did not go well. It was that day I committed fully to being a lifelong patron. 

What artist, cultural organization, or experience do you wish more people knew about in Summit County?
Oh wow! I love this question. Bike Aboard on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for sure. It is so much fun! If you have your own bike and a way to transport said bike you simply park at a spot that has a train stop, ride to another stop and catch the train back to your car. Only $5! And you can purchase a snack or beverage, if you fancy, on your ride back! My personal favorite ride is to start at the stop in Akron by Luigi’s and then ride to Peninsula and grab lunch at Fisher’s then catch the train back. Check the schedule though. They don’t run on Mondays. Found that one out the hard way, rode 26+ that day.

What is your favorite spot to shop local? Why?
My absolute favorite shopping experience is the annual Crafty Mart Holiday Market! Every year I am so impressed with the variety of artists, makers, and artisans. Last year there were over 70 makers all under one roof! I typically get the majority of my holiday shopping done during this event. Not only am I able to purchase unique gifts for my family and friends, but also enjoy a mimosa while I shop local, and it is so fun to run into so many other Akronites while I browse! They even have DIY holiday workshops and a gift-wrapping station! While this year will of course be virtual, I still plan on checking it out! 

What is your favorite view in Summit County? Why?
There are so many amazing views in the many parks we have here in Summit County, but my favorite place to sit and look is the Indian Signal Tree at the Chuckery trail in the Summit Metro Parks. My mom took me to hike that trail and picnic by the tree when I was very young. It remains one of my favorite places to sit and relax. The tree is so beautiful and special to me and is said to be over 300 years old. I even have a gorgeous photograph of The Signal Tree hanging in my home by local artist and photographer, Bruce Ford