It’s the perfect time for a cultural plan in Akron.

The energy surrounding arts and culture is building and a co-created plan for the future will help Akron remain a city that is open, inclusive, and a vibrant place to live.  

Arts and cultural experiences are essential to the development of a vibrant and diverse community.

We know that a dynamic arts and culture scene isn’t just a nice-to-have community asset. It’s a strong economic driver, a necessary asset to educating our youth for the jobs of tomorrow, and a core of healthy communities.

Vibrant opportunities to experience arts, culture, and the environment are the keys to creating places where the best employees want to live, work, shop, create, and contribute. Dynamic arts and cultural experiences for residents will also be a critical component to Mayor Horrigan’s efforts to increase population in the 62.4 square miles of the City of Akron.

Plus, the creative sector itself is a critical economic engine. In Greater Akron alone, the creative industry supports more than 17,600 jobs each year.

We have the data, and now we need your voice to create a plan of action.

In 2013, GAR Foundation and Knight Foundation commissioned a study of the arts and culture sector across Summit County. The Arts and Culture Landscape Study (link) showed that our community has many cultural assets, but needed additional help in telling their stories and connecting with residents, and as a result of this study, ArtsNow was created.

In addition, our city has been working hard to gather additional data around what Akron wants and needs. We’re so grateful to Akron Community Foundation for sharing data from the “On the Table” initiative, and the cultural plan will also be informed by the Blue Ribbon Task Force findings, the Knight Foundation’s 62.4 report, details from the Senior Citizens Commission, and much more.

Creating a Cultural Plan is the perfect next step for Akron. The work of the last few years has positioned us to create an actionable plan, fueled by the voices of Akron residents, of what the future of the arts and culture sector will be.

The Akron Cultural Plan will promote an equitable, world-class cultural environment that strengthens the City, advances cultural diversity, increases opportunities to create culture, and provides vibrant experiences for all residents.

The Akron Cultural Plan will set the standard for how we continue to celebrate our identity as a City that is known for prioritizing arts and culture. Akron citizens from every walk of life will be involved in this process, including elected officials, artists, business owners, and you!

This standard will be created through analyzing the city’s current cultural offerings, understanding how Akron residents experience arts,culture, and environment and determining the vision for the future of the community through providing opportunities for the public to share their ideas.

We are committed to being inclusive, open and transparent, and available.

 (Top photo of Cuyahoga Valley National Park by Tom Jones)

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