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 Theresa Minick. (Have somebody you want to nominate for the spotlight? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
What was your first introduction to arts and culture in Summit County?
When my husband and I moved to Summit County, we were already theater, dance and music enthusiasts so it did not take long to discover Summit County venues like EJ Thomas, Akron Civic Theater, Weathervane, Actors Summit, Coach House, Musica, music at CVNP, etc. We also connected right away with a local museum, the Akron Art Museum, and various galleries.
How do the arts in Summit County impact your life?
One thing we love about living in Summit County is how art keeps extending and expanding its reach. At one time, it seemed that you needed to go to specific places to experience art; each space had its own art form. We are so lucky to have these designated spaces for the arts but now, in addition to these places, we are starting to truly live with art and experience the art of our local artists in our daily lives on a daily basis, wherever we go, both inside and outside……government spaces, hospitals, restaurants, libraries, coffee shops, parks, mural walls, community meeting spaces etc.
Engaging in the arts gives you the opportunity and “permission” to be in the moment, to pause. It is not to escape, but to experience, in an individual or communal way.
What artist or arts organization do you wish more people knew about?
There are so many artists and organizations that are deserving of our recognition, of our time, and our investment in their endeavors. And they represent an incredibly diverse group of creatives. Some of the other “Patron Spotlights” have shared some great examples.
I would also like to mention artistic groups/individuals representing some of our new neighbors (i.e. refugees and immigrants such as Himalayan Arts, Language and Cultural Academy, Nepali-speaking Bhutanese, Congolese, Hmong, and Karen) who share their traditions, music, dance, and cultural arts and products; and even their cuisine since Gastronomy is also considered part of the arts!
I also recommend storytelling events, such as PechaKucha Akron or events organized by Wandering Aesthetics. The variety of stories and the diversity of presenters help us to better understand who we are through sharing different points of view, perspectives, and life experiences.
In addition, I encourage residents of Summit County to seek out those artists and organizations that are having an impact in our neighborhoods; especially those who go beyond doing “for” a neighborhood but instead are doing things “with” the community members.
What is a can’t miss Summit County arts experience?
Attending openings is always a great arts experience. When attending a new exhibition, the energy is often palpable, and you are able to have a communal as well as an individual experience. Often, the exhibition is organized around a theme or topic. You can explore the theme or topic through the lens of the artist, through conversations with others, and also through reflecting on your own personal experiences and understandings.
There are so many wonderful galleries. I frequent Summit ArtSpace, the main floor gallery, AoRC on the 3rd floor, and also enjoy talking with artists who have studios throughout the building. CVAC in Cuyahoga Falls is another. There are so many galleries, small and large, throughout Summit County that provide thoughtfully curated exhibitions.