What is your earliest memory of participating in arts and culture?
I remember my grandmother taking us to the Akron Civic Theatre to see a show when I was 4 or 5. I don’t remember the show but I do remember the atmosphere, the smell of concessions, and feeling like I was in the most special place on the planet. The elaborate decor and the illuminated stage are forever burned in my memory.
How do arts, culture, and environment impact your life in Summit County?
The arts and the culture of our community are one and the same! We are so fortunate to live in a city that is becoming more and more rich in diversity of people, thought, and expression. There are so many installations around Summit County that speak volumes about our history and our future and I am proud to be in the center of it daily, personally, and with my businesses.
What is your favorite spot to shop local? Why?
My favorite shopping spot is hands down The Northside Marketplace! I am a huge fan and patron of the small businesses in our city and in this space there are so many to patronize. It is truly an experience of the talent and creativity that live and breathe right here in our backyards.
What is your favorite view in Summit County? Why?
I have recently secured my first commercial property on the 5th floor of the Malone Building. Eat Speak Love‘s new home sits directly across from Lock 3! There are always concerts, recitals, yoga and much more happening right outside of our window. We also have a rooftop patio that is an absolutely electric view of the Downtown Akron skyscape. We are a small city, but there is so much culture and beauty in either direction. From murals to light shows to flowing water to historic landmarks, there is never a dull view.
What do you wish for arts and culture in Summit County in the next five years?
In the next five years, I wish for a more thriving arts and cultural downtown scene that attracts not only residents, but young talent that seeks to add to the tapestry of our unique landscape. I look toward the future with hope and excitement knowing that our city is intentional about the beauty of our streets and the development of the arts. I can see the youth of our town contributing more and more each year to the color that is Akron.
Why do you feel exposure and participation in arts and culture are important for students and young people in Summit County?
My second business is designed to foster and celebrate the youth in our community in a way that has not been done before! We will offer a space for creativity, connection, and artistic expression in a way that drives more of our young talent and artists to come to Main Street for entertainment and recreation. There are so many students that are non-traditional learners and have brilliant ideas outside of core educational offerings. Our new business will provide a home for their passions. Exposure to the arts, recognition of cultural uniqueness and participation in innovation is necessary to retain our youth in this area post graduation. We are creating the blueprint to make it happen!