Develop, support, and protect high-quality facilities and venues for the creation, cultivation, and exhibition of Arts and Culture countywide.

A great Arts and Culture community requires great spaces for Arts and Culture to happen. These spaces range from large outdoor performance venues that seat several thousand to intimate black box theatres and listening rooms. They also include spaces for artists to live, work, and exhibit. The Summit County community has expressed a strong desire for more spaces that cultivate and support local Arts and Culture countywide. These spaces need to be accessible, flexible, and protected. In some instances, new facilities will need to be constructed, but adapting or supplementing the use of existing facilities is also a viable solution to cultivate more spaces for Arts and Culture.

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Develop diverse and sustainable funding mechanisms to ensure long-term success and vibrancy for Arts and Culture in Summit County.

In order for Summit County’s Arts and Culture community to thrive, significant, sustainable, responsive, and reliable funding is required. In Summit County, there are currently several public-funding mechanisms for Arts and Culture including: Restaurant Tax Grants; Recreation, Arts, and Parks Grants; Special Events Grants; Special Services Contracts; Percent for Public Art; and Fee Waivers. While these funding mechanisms provide basic support for Arts and Culture, they are very restrictive and leave significant gaps in need among Arts and Culture nonprofits, artists, and the creative sector as a whole. Substantial and strategic increases in funding are needed to ensure long-term viability of Summit County’s Arts and Culture sector. These funding increases may include new sources of public funding, but will also include the development of new private sources of support. 



Build creative programs that respond to our diverse community needs, interests, and dreams.

In many ways, programming is the most visible and identifiable of the Collective Priorities. Programming is the part of Arts and Culture that we see, attend, and participate in. As Arts and Culture grows in Summit County, it is imperative that the programming align with, reflect, and forward the needs, interests, and dreams of our community. Arts and Culture must tell the story of who we are, connect us across boundaries, teach us empathy, remind us of our values, and provide us with fun creative experiences. Arts and Culture can, and should, be seen as a platform to progress other community priorities and improve our overall quality of life.



Develop systems and tools that use data to drive decision-making and track the future of Arts and Culture in Summit County.

As Arts and Culture becomes increasingly important in Summit County, better data are needed to quantify impact, track results, and inform decision-making. In order to truly understand the scope and scale of Arts and Culture in Summit County, and to move forward as a premier Arts and Culture community, significant improvements are needed in the way we collect and use data. Enhanced data collection will enable more defendable economic impact analysis, help Arts and Culture organizations track progress, provide better connections throughout the creative community, and will ultimately help Arts and Culture flourish. 



Governance and Policy

Create administrative structures, systems, and policies to support the sustained vitality and growth of Arts and Culture in Summit County.

Create administrative structures, systems, and policies to support the sustained vitality and growth of Arts and Culture in Summit County.

One of the most substantial gaps in Summit County’s Arts and Culture sector is the absence of a strong governing organization or well-established Arts and Culture departments within local government. The need to develop a system of governance and supportive local policy is an urgent matter that requires immediate concentrated action. Without a strong system of governance and complementary policies, it will prove difficult for the other Collective Priorities in this plan to be moved forward successfully. 




Support the development and connection of places for Arts and Culture across Summit County geographies.

Arts and Culture is not limited to any one area, but exists in locations across Summit County. These hubs should be supported and cultivated in ways that are authentic, independent, and unique to the interests and needs of each specific community. A network of physical and programmatic pathways should be built to ensure unity and collective success. As new development happens in Summit County and as communities grow, Arts and Culture must be a critical part of decision-making and design. It cannot continue to be an afterthought. Arts and Culture can help Summit County develop in ways that hold onto the authenticity and history of our community and continue to improve our quality of life.



Support the needs of people and organizations through Arts and Culture in Summit County.

Arts and Culture in Summit County has, undoubtedly, reached such a high level of success to this point because of the passionate artists and nonprofits that have shouldered it forward. Further support of these admirable people and organizations is needed, and pathways to success for new artists and organizations should be cultivated. Another facet of this priority is to evolve Summit County into a net exporter of creative talent rather than an importer and programmer for talent from other places. Our young and rising artists must be fostered and supported in the same way our athletes are.