ArtsNow Patron Spotlight: Molly Manning

Art audiences, supporters, and patrons are all vital to a healthy arts and culture sector. This blog series will highlight some of the people who make the arts work in Summit County. Today we hear from Molly Manning, Collide board member. (Have somebody you want to nominate for the spotlight? Reach out to

What was your first introduction to arts and culture in Summit County?
My first look into the arts that got me interested was at the Quirk Cultural center here in Cuyahoga Falls. I did many of the camps they hold for children such as pottery and ceramics, acting, and dance. I eventually worked my way up to try out for our local theater group ANTIC (Actors in Theater in Cuyahoga Falls), which I have since been involved with for seven years now. 

Why do you serve on the Collide board?
As a junior in high school, I wanted to do everything art-related I could. I started working with textiles, I loved performing on stage with the theater or the band, and I was the president of the art club. That is when my arts teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Schulman told me about Collide. It sounded like the perfect organization for me, combining everything I already love with being able to share it and promote it locally through this amazing team. Every individual on the board is unique, and we all work together to make sure every event, program, fundraiser, or action goes well. I truly feel like we make a difference and I’m honored to be a member. 

What artist or arts organization do you wish more people knew about?
Personally, I wish more people knew about all the wonderful local theatre companies around Summit County! There is ANTIC, Act-it-up!, and Dynamics theater just to name a few. But they all are so amazing to take part of, or to simply just go see a show! No matter the time of year, there is probably a production in the works, so always be on the lookout! All of the cast and crew are volunteers and just love doing what they do; it really feels like a family. 

Why do you want people to support the arts and culture sector?
For me, art is everything. Anything can be transformed into art and it’s an outlet for so much energy. When someone supports an artist, they’re not only supporting their livelihood, they’re supporting their whole passion. It’s not easy doing what you love every day, or turning what you love into money, it’s very hard, and very rough if you can’t find support. Support someone’s dreams today. Buy that art piece, the photograph, the tapestry, go see a show…just find a way to get involved and help! You will never understand how wonderful it is to feel appreciated for your artwork; it is an entirely different feeling of gratitude.