What is your earliest memory of participating in arts and culture?
One of my earliest memories of absolutely loving the arts is going to shows at EJ Thomas with my parents and as class field trips. I think my first was Paint Your Wagon. The thrill of getting dressed up… The history and pageantry of live performances… Live theatre will always have my heart!
How do arts, culture, and environment impact your life in Summit County?
Akron and Summit County are full of so many wonderful creative people. Writers, artists, sculptors, chefs, makers and creatives of all varieties. I love living here! I might not be the most “conventional” arts patron. I’m not outdoorsy at all, but I can certainly appreciate the beauty of our local parks district!
What artist, cultural organization, or experience do you wish more people knew about in Summit County?
Having a restaurant background, I have always thought of the culinary ARTS as just that… Art! I could sit at any counter or Chef’s Table in our restaurants and just have my mind blown watching the chef and their staff create magic on a plate. There’s not many places where I can have a front row seat of the kitchen right now, but The Merchant Tavern and Ken Stewart’s Grill have that magic for me. For me, food has the ability to elicit emotion and memories that last a lifetime.
What is your favorite spot to shop local? Why?
I love walking around the local arts festivals and just soaking in everyone’s talent. Again, I find it awe inspiring. Ohio Mart, Hardesty Park, OddMall, and the Holiday Tree Festival are some of my favorites. Local boutiques really get me too. I could spend hours looking at EVERYTHING at The Gardener of Bath, Leaf Home & Blooms, and many of the shops in the Northside District.
Why is it so important to you to support arts and culture?
Most important for me is supporting my friends. Whether it’s by purchasing their latest novel (Kate Birdsall) or piece of jewelry (Gazing Glass Studio), enjoying an amazing meal they’ve prepared, going to their art showing and maybe coming home with an original (Benjamin Manista, Shauna Bauer, Art by Shea)! I love showing off my friends’ talents and spreading the word about them and for them.