New Inclusive Digital Classes Available

Area service and cultural organizations have teamed together to offer free digital classes taught by professional artists for residents of all ages and abilities.

According to ArtsNow officials, two separate digital classes will launch in August that include Aging is an Art Form, hosted by Direction Home Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities; and Live From the Living Room: Digital Classes, hosted by the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board (DD).

“These partnerships are a direct result of Akron’s cultural planning process,” said Nicole Mullet, executive director of ArtsNow. “Direction Home and Summit DD came alongside the cultural organizations to share expertise and ensure the arts are threaded throughout our collective work.”
Live from the Living Room: Digital Classes include creative journaling, movement and dance, storytelling and visual art.

“This series of creative classes comes at a perfect time while we are all staying at home,” said Summit DD Director of Community Supports and Development Drew Williams. “More importantly, it offers something for everyone and of every ability. Opportunities like these are the foundation of community inclusion.”
Artists for this first round of classes include: Dara Harper and Diane Johnson (of Art Only Boutique), Julie Buckeye (of BalloFlex), Alexandria Couch, Yoly Miller, Greg Milo, Danette Rushboldt, Lindsey Jo Scott and Wandering Aesthetics Theatre.

According to ArtsNow officials, thanks to a partnership with The University of Akron’s EX[L] Center, two students will assist ArtsNow in implementing the work for Live from the Living Room. Anna Jeannine Kemper, an arts administration graduate student, and Alexandria Couch, a senior in the Myers School of Art, will assist with project management and teach courses through Summit DD.

“I am looking forward to using art, which is core to who I am and how I view the world, to bring joy into the lives of people of all abilities and backgrounds,” said Couch. “The arts are intended for all of us — we all have the ability to create.”

Aging is an Art Form is a new initiative that aims to change the narrative around what it means to grow older, according to ArtsNow officials. Artists will hold free classes in August for adults ages 60 and older and their caregivers.

“Our 60 and over population are valuable, vibrant and creative people in our communities, yet also at a higher risk for social isolation, especially in today’s environment,” said Lori Smith, training coordinator for Direction Home.
Partners of Direction Home include ArtsNow, Summit Artspace and Summit Metro Parks thanks to support from Akron Community Foundation.

For additional information or to register for Aging is an Artform, visit or contact Lori Smith at

For details on Live from the Living Room classes, contact Mullet at