Summit Arts Leaders Call for More Local Funding

Dec 3, 2018

Some of the key stakeholders in Summit County’s arts scene are calling for more local support for arts and culture.

The heads of the Akron Art Museum, Summit Artspace and ArtsNow describe the state of the arts in the county as vibrant, essential and underfunded. Mark Masuoka, director of the Akron Art Museum was among the panelists who appeared at the Akron Press Club.

"The arts continues to always be undercapitalized. I don’t know any situation where you come in and say, 'We have enough money, we're good. We're just going to do what we’re going to do.' That conversation never happens," Masuoka said.

The panel said the Summit arts community needs to find a way to broaden its message, whether it's convincing people to buy local artwork for the holidays or securing more state and federal funding.

"It's easy sometimes to talk about education, but describing the impact of art and cultural experiences on everyone is not as easy a message," Summit Artspace Executive Director Kamelia Fisher said.

Unlike nearby Cuayhoga and Stark Counties, Summit County has no designated funding source coming from local taxes.