Arts & Culture Assessment For Summit County

Arts & Culture Assessment For Summit County

Civic Commons ideastream
on Jan 12, 2014

The Arts and Culture Assessment for Summit County (“ACASC”) was conducted from February - September 2013. It was conducted by The Osgood Group, with consultancy team members Patricia Cirillo, PhD, Cypress Research Group and Amy Morgenstern, Main Stream Enterprises, Inc. The project received oversight from a steering committee of 19 community leaders from Summit County, public, private and nonprofit entities including: arts and culture, economic development, city and county government, industry, higher education, K-12 education. You can view and download the report here.

Conversation Starter

The report provides nine key findings about the arts and culture sector in Summit County, including its financial health and stability, its connection to the community and how it fits into Summit County's future. We want to know: where can we go as a community to strengthen our arts? 

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What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2014-09-02T09:06:42+00:00
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Justyn Jaymes
on Feb 26, 2014
"I am also looking forward to the town hall meeting today, Feb 26 at 4 pm at Greystone Hall in..."
Judi Christy
on Feb 20, 2014
"I'm looking very forward to being part of the Town Hall discussion on Wednesday, Feb 26.  Even..."
Howard Parr
on Feb 07, 2014
"Want to be involved in determining priorities and developing next steps based on the Arts and..."
Emily Bean
on Feb 06, 2014
"Kudos to everyone involved in this project! As we enter our 2014 Arts & Culture cycle, I..."
Scott Malensek
on Feb 03, 2014
"I'd like to see someone or some group that meets with school art teachers in the county, meets..."
Tim Miller
on Jan 18, 2014
"Kirstin, I agree educators need to be in the conversation. As a Board Member of Friends of the..."
Bob Belfance
on Jan 16, 2014
"The Arts and Culture Assesment for Summit County is for the most part "right on the..."
Kirstin Toth
on Jan 15, 2014
"One of the ways we can strengthen arts in Akron and the region is to inlcude arts educators in..."
Howard Parr
on Jan 15, 2014
"You certainly made your point, David, and I don't think there is any question that this work must..."
David Kempers
on Jan 15, 2014
"Howard, thank you for responding. I do understand the process and that it was largely about..."
Howard Parr
on Jan 15, 2014
"David, the steering committee was the group pulled together to provide advice and oversight to..."
David Kempers
on Jan 14, 2014
"I don't mean to be a naysayer, but I see a problem from the get-go: You have a steering committee..."
Christine Mayer
on Jan 14, 2014
"I can hear you on the frog in the frying pan, Dottie.  But I also think the report gives us some..."
Dorothy Gray  Shinn
on Jan 13, 2014
"What's described in this report seems to me to be the classic scenario of the frog in the frying..."

Civic Commons ideastream

Civic Commons ideastream - 2014-09-02T09:06:42+00:00 - "The Arts and Culture Assessment for Summit County (“ACASC”) was conducted from February -..."

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Justyn Jaymes
on Feb 26, 2014 - 10:57 am

I am also looking forward to the town hall meeting today, Feb 26 at 4 pm at Greystone Hall in Akron.  In preparation, I was reviewing the ACA Final Report where I assume it is a type-o under financial trends:  "...Summit County had a very difficult 5 year period ending in 2007" since they say they looked at financial data from 2007-2011.  See you at the meeting!

 
Judi Christy
on Feb 20, 2014 - 11:26 am

I'm looking very forward to being part of the Town Hall discussion on Wednesday, Feb 26.  Even though I work in Canton, my interests and heart belong to Summit County.

 
Howard Parr
on Feb 07, 2014 - 9:11 am

Want to be involved in determining priorities and developing next steps based on the Arts and Culture Assessment?  Attend a special town hall meeting on Wednesday, February 26th at 4 PM at Greystone Hall in Akron.  Christine Mayer of GAR Foundation will kick things off with a presentation of the key findings of the assessment, followed by brainstorming in facilitiated work groups to develop ideas and recommendations for next steps.  No fee to participate, but registration is requested - to do so, e-mail welcome@janussmallassociates.com.

 
Emily Bean
on Feb 06, 2014 - 4:19 pm

Kudos to everyone involved in this project! As we enter our 2014 Arts & Culture cycle, I would love to see proposals for programs that attract more diversified audiences (particularly African American and youth) and that work to acheive greater awareness of the many offerings available throughout the county.

On a totally random note - I never knew we had a vibrant jazz culture. Maybe I can bring some of New Orleans back with me this month!

 
Scott Malensek
on Feb 03, 2014 - 7:24 pm

I'd like to see someone or some group that meets with school art teachers in the county, meets with concert venue sales reps to coordinate and fill the venues with music, plays, films, and art shows, has some way for artists and groups to register/announce/schedule their events in a way that is easy for everyone in the region to see (website, FB page?_meets with regional media sales reps monthly to review and promote the things registered or scheduled that trend the most popularI'd especially like to see more experiences like the akron art walk, and coordinate those with more groups, with media, and with professionals so as to enable more utilization of the arts in the area.I'd like to see the scope of "arts" expanded so it's not just painters, musicians, actors, and dancers.  I'd like to see culinary arts exploited (we have a MASSIVE collage of culinary experiences in the county ripe for businesses to share, and except for a few food events in the Summer and the occasional chili cook off...it's untapped).Look forward to hearing more from others

 

 
Bob Belfance
on Jan 16, 2014 - 2:24 pm

The Arts and Culture Assesment for Summit County is for the most part "right on the money." However, for professionals working for arts organizations in the 70's and 80's, it is old news.  We knew back then what the problem areas were and to some degree the solutions.  What we lacked was the leadership to motivate the "high-rollers" in the community to recognize the arts as vital to Akron's future. It's a slightly better climate now.  Perhaps the general attitude of business and industry will swing more favorably in the direction of Akron's arts community.

 
Kirstin Toth
on Jan 15, 2014 - 2:45 pm

One of the ways we can strengthen arts in Akron and the region is to inlcude arts educators in this and future discussions. We have a great opportunity to get feedback and direction about arts and cultural experiences for students of all ages. This report points to ways we can have better conversations with arts advocates, including teachers, especially when folks assert "there's no more arts education happening in the schools." This is completely untrue, but arts education today looks differently than it used to. True, funding cuts have reduced earlier learning opportunities for example in band and orchestra, so we need to figure out new ways to reach musical learners. We don't have the same classrooms as 25 years ago. From GroundWorks working with students at Portage Path Elementary, Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet's Reach Out and Dance at King Elementary, to the Akron Art Museum's work with preschoolers, and Summit Choral Society's work with high-schoolers after school, we need to be able to view arts education differently in the digital age.

 

Responses(1)

Tim Miller
on Jan 18, 2014

Kirstin, I agree educators need to be in the conversation. As a Board Member of Friends of the Akron School for the Arts (we monetarily support The Akron School for the Arts which is housed at Firestone High School), our board consists of current and former arts educators, as well as local business owners, individuals currently employed in the arts, elected officials, and students. This conversation is a conversation our board is also having. Hopefully this forum will give educators a countywide voice.

Funding has been cut (and I am speaking from a K-12 perspective), but there is evidence it is coming back because visual and performing arts are seen as important for a well rounded education. Akron Public Schools, for example, recently reinstated middle school instrumental music that had been cut a few years ago due to budget constraints.

Though I also agree with others in this conversaton that it may be an old conversation, I believe it is important to continue the conversation in order to try and get communication and collaboration between the various organizations started, and I commend those renewing/continuing the conversation.

 

 
Expand This Thread
David Kempers
on Jan 14, 2014 - 5:20 pm

I don't mean to be a naysayer, but I see a problem from the get-go: You have a steering committee for arts and culture that is almost devoid of the creators. Where are the artists and musicians??

 

As a musician both locally and around the country, I have seen this phenomenon everywhere. The musicians and artists are treated as an afterthought. In other words, those who make and understand the product the most are not even consulted. It's not much different than having Congress make decisions on teaching, science etc., without having one qualified teacher or scientist on their committees. Arts institutions all over have suffered due to this way of thinking, the Minnesota Orchestra being the most prominent example. Just because someone holds a fiddle or a paintbrush for a living, it doesn't negate their ability to understand the financial and economic issues that arts institutions deal with.

 

Make no mistake, there are some wonderful and passionate supporters of the Arts on your Committee, Dave Lieberth is certainly one of them. But you missed the big picture, even if including more musicians and artists is purely symbolic. We know our product, our strengths and our weaknesses. There are some smart cookies in the Summit arts community that could make positive suggestions as to improving the quality of these institutions. Very little will change unless the actual product makers are included in any dialogue.

 

Responses(3)

Howard Parr
on Jan 15, 2014

David, the steering committee was the group pulled together to provide advice and oversight to the assessment process.  The results of the assessment are based on hundreds of in-person and on-line interviews, conversations, and surveys conducted by the Osgood Group.  Individual artists were among those who participated in this way.  Inclusion of these folks was by design for exactly the reasons you outline.  Hopefully, this report is just the first step in an ongoing conversation through which we can all work together to strengthen our community through a more vibrant arts and culture scene.

 
David Kempers
on Jan 15, 2014

Howard, thank you for responding. I do understand the process and that it was largely about collecting initial data. At the same time, I hope I made my point.

 

I've been working in the arts for 30 years. In my experience, the groups and organizations that work with a spirit of inclusion (vs. exclusion) tend to be the successful ones. When it breaks down into us/them or employer/employee situations, it usually spells trouble. I appreciate the opportunity for dialogue here, and I hope it continues. Representatives of all aspects of the arts need to be included at every level.

 
Howard Parr
on Jan 15, 2014

You certainly made your point, David, and I don't think there is any question that this work must be done with a spirit of inclusion in order to be successful.  I know you'll agree with me when I say that inclusivenes needs to go well beyond folks like us who are directly affiliated with the producing side of the arts and culture sector.  In order to effect real progress, we need to have consumers and non-consumers join the discussion as well.

 
Expand This Thread
Christine Mayer
on Jan 14, 2014 - 2:52 pm

I can hear you on the frog in the frying pan, Dottie.  But I also think the report gives us some great news about the breadth and richness of Summit County's arts and culture scene.  We have 604 artists and arts institutions here -- amazing for a community of this size!  It feels like there is energy coalescing around the local arts scene -- fantastic new events taking root in the community (PorchRockr), new chapters for some of our more established arts institutions (new leaders at Art Museum, Tues Musical, the orchestra).  Let's circle the wagons to strengthen what we have, increase density and vibrancy of activity, and leap into the next great era of arts and culture for Akron.

 
Dorothy Gray  Shinn
on Jan 13, 2014 - 3:08 pm

What's described in this report seems to me to be the classic scenario of the frog in the frying pan, only it's not a frying pan but an embalming table, where the life has been draining out of Summit County arts and culture so slowly and for so long, that no one has noticed.