Who We Are

ArtsNow works to leverage the arts and culture in Summit County to support and strengthen the region’s economic and social vibrancy.


ArtsNow envisions a Summit County where our arts & culture assets are fully leveraged to support and strengthen the region’s economic and social vibrancy. The public’s demand for and participation in arts & culture is high, and artists and arts organizations deliver diverse, innovative, and accessible offerings that make Summit County a highly creative community that is extremely attractive to artists, businesses, and residents. Because of the sector’s strength, Summit County’s arts & culture enjoys strong and growing support from the public and private sectors.


ArtsNow strengthens Summit County by advancing its arts & culture assets and building connections between arts & culture and the broad community. ArtsNow:

  • Provides residents of Summit County access to information about the diverse arts & culture offerings available in Summit County.
  • Aggregates and analyzes data about arts & culture to drive sector improvement.
  • Advocates for arts & culture across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
  • Convenes and connects makers and presenters to strengthen the sector’s impact and relevance.
  • Builds and strengthens funding for arts & culture.

dara harper headshot

Director of Programming
175 S. Main St., Suite #100
Akron OH 44308

Dara Harper is a creative entrepreneur and artist who has established Art Only Boutique, a company that produces original paintings in acrylics ranging from figurative to abstract compositions. Currently, Dara completed a 11,000sqft. street mural for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park titled “Finding Our Way Home” as part of the 2021 Boston Activation Project.

Dara graduated from The University of Akron with a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction. A Bachelor’s in Studio Art with an emphasis in Painting and a Minor in Art History. “Engaging the community and spaces through art is part of my purpose as an artist.”

She is co-founder and lead of the Akron Black Artist Guild, Public Art Commissioner with the city of Akron’s Public Art Program, and most recently serves as Director of Programming with ArtsNow.

Director of Finance
175 S. Main St., Suite #100
Akron OH 44308

In August of 2022, Chris Kaboth was selected to serve as the first Director of Finance for ArtsNow. Chris is a versatile, collaborative, and accomplished executive with a successful track record of leadership and building productive relationships to achieve business goals.

He has served as Vice President of Finance and President of a 100-year-old manufacturing company, has been involved in numerous nonprofits as both a committee member and board officer, and served in a variety of nonprofit administrative positions.

He has an MBA from Kennesaw State University and is a life-long supporter, advocate, and believer in the arts.

Executive Director
175 S. Main St., Suite #100
Akron OH 44308

Nicole serves as the Executive Director of ArtsNow, an organization that helps build and strengthen a thriving Summit County arts and culture scene to add economic vitality and social vibrancy to our region. In this role, she collaborates with local leaders and organizations to advocate for the arts and culture sector, connects local talent to resources, and leads a team that promotes the diverse catalog of arts and culture offerings across multiple platforms to Summit County residents.

In February of 2020, the board of trustees for The University of Akron confirmed President Gary Miller’s appointment of Nicole to a UA seat on the board of the Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc. (NETO). In addition, Nicole serves on the board of United Disability Services (UDS) and was elected to serve a second term with the Private Sector Network Council of Americans for the Arts representing Summit County and Ohio.

Also in 2020, Nicole received the Glass Half Full award from the GAR Foundation and in August of 2019, she was selected by Crain’s Cleveland Business as a Notable Women in Nonprofit.

Nicole is a graduate of Leadership Akron Class 34 and is a proud alumna of Torchbearers, where she served as member, committee chair, and board member from 2013 to 2017 and as president in 2016.

Communications & Marketing

Learn More About ArtsNow

Our Story          Partnership Opportunities          Donor Information          ArtsNow Timeline Board of Directors