Summit Artspace connects artists and artist-serving organizations to the community and to the resources they need to thrive professionally, creatively, and financially.
Summit Artspace is a nonprofit arts organization that strives to support artists throughout every step of the creative process. Located in the Historic Arts District in downtown Akron, it is a hub for artists and arts supporters to connect and share ideas. With affordable studio spaces available to artists and creative organizations, the building is bustling with inspiration at every corner. Four times each year, Summit Artspace rotates exhibitions in its five galleries, allowing the public to access incredible art for free. It also coordinates public programs, such as ArtWalk, which engage the community with art and local creators.
About the Building
Summit Artspace’s historic building has been an Akron landmark since 1927 when it was commissioned by John S. and James L. Knight as the new headquarters of the Akron Beacon Journal. Standing three stories tall and boasting a whopping 55,000 square feet, the building has been an epicenter of excitement and creativity for nearly a century. On November 10, 1927, U.S. President Calvin Coolidge started the paper presses using a telegraph key in the White House. 20,000 visitors attended the threeday housewarming event that followed. The Knight brothers relocated the Beacon Journal in 1938 and the Akron Public Library purchased the building in 1940. It was used as the library’s About the Building main location until 1969. Small manufacturing companies used the building until 1976 when it was purchased by Summit County. Summit County has previously leased the building to the Historical Society, the MRDD board, and the Akron Work Center. The building is now leased by Summit Artspace and is enjoyed by resident artists, creative organizations, and the public. The building retains many of its original features, including a manually-operated freight elevator, John S. Knight’s safe, and of course, the ornate art-deco façade.