Summit Artspace, located at the corner of Market and Summit in the Historic Arts District of downtown Akron, is a hub for local artists and creatives. The mission of the nonprofit organization is to support local artists professionally, creatively, and financially. Summit Artspace also engages the community with artists by providing exhibitions and public programs.
Summit Artspace is home to artist studios, creative businesses, and five galleries with new exhibitions four times each year. It is the site of several local arts organizations, including the Akron Society of Artists and the Artists of Rubber City. There are offices, galleries, performance spaces, workshop areas, and meeting rooms available to mission-specific creative businesses. The building is owned by the County of Summit, which has been a significant and valued supporter of Summit Artspace. Summit Artspace attracts thousands of visitors each year both physically and virtually.
Summit Artspace is a nonprofit arts organization connecting artists and artist-serving organizations to the resources they need to thrive professionally, creatively, and financially. It provides artist studios, exhibitions, and programs in Summit County, and serves as a vital place for the public to engage with the creative community.
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 three-day 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 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 Summit County 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.
Heather Meeker, Executive Director
Heather Meeker is a results-driven nonprofit leader with a passion for achieving organizational vision in the arts, culture, and education fields. Her expertise includes strategic planning, team building, partnerships, project management, relationship-based fundraising, external affairs, and financial oversight. Heather is a specialist in creating artist-centered, artist-led initiatives as well as arts education partnerships. Before joining Summit Artspace as Executive Director in 2021, she was Executive Director of The Musical Theater Project for twelve years. Heather has her B.A. from Hiram College and her M.F.A. in Theatre/Arts Administration from Virginia Tech.
Phone: 330-376-8480, ext. 2
Natalie Grieshammer, Director of Artist Resources
Natalie Grieshammer is an artist, musician, and arts administrator from Akron, Ohio. She holds a B.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the Cleveland Institute of Art and an M.A. in Arts Administration from The University of Akron. Past positions include Gallery Director at Praxis Fiber Workshop, Member Program Manager at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and numerous programming and fundraising responsibilities at Akron Soul Train. Natalie is also Strategic Planning Advisor and Partner at Akron Recording Company, a recording studio and record label founded in 2018.
Phone: 330-376-8480, ext. 1
Grace Carter, Community Engagement Coordinator
Grace Carter is an arts and communications professional. She has her B.A. in Art History from Kent State University and is pursuing her M.A. in Arts Administration from The University of Akron. Grace has worked as a Curatorial Assistant for the We The People exhibition at Kent State University (2019) and was a Writing Intern for the Kent State University School of Art. She has also interned at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland and the Worthington Yards Gallery in Cleveland’s Warehouse District.
Phone: 330-376-8480, ext. 3
Sam Imrie, Gallery and Programs Assistant
Sam Imrie has her B.A. in Art History from The University of Akron Myers School of Art. She was a Gallery Assistant at the Emily Davis Gallery and is a Curatorial and Research Assistant at the Canton Museum of Art. Her research interests are the intersection between the visual arts and literature.
Antonio Rion, Development Intern
Antonio Rion joined Summit Artspace as Development Intern in August 2021. He is a Graduate Assistant from the Arts Administration M.A. program at The University of Akron. Antonio received his undergraduate degree from Kent State University in Music Performance with a concentration in flute. He has always been interested in the arts, specifically music. In his undergrad, Antonio was very active in ensembles. That was where he discovered his love for advocating for the arts. A native of Dover, Ohio, Antonio now resides in Kent.
Phone: 330-376-8480, ext. 700
In addition to four permanent staff members, Summit Artspace employs part-time interns and assistants.
Linda Diefendorff, President
Brio Performance Solutions
- Vice Chair, Public Affairs
Jim Pickard, President
Pickard Commercial Group
Diane Lightner, Equity Plan Administrator
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Samantha Holland-Coffield, Insurance Specialist
Associated Underwriters Insurance
- Jeanine Black, Chief Marketing Officer
Bounce Innovation Hub
- Megann Eberhart, Bailiff to Judge Jill Flagg Lanzinger
Barberton Municipal Court
- John Fitzpatrick, Senior Manager, Digital Initiatives
- Kurt Kleidon, President
Kleidon & Associates
- Irene Prezelj, Vice President of Investor Relations and Acting Vice President of Communications, Corporate Affairs, and Community Involvement
FirstEnergy Service Company
- Michele Setzer, Business Leader and Head of Operations and Innovation Practice
- Stephanie Smith, Marketing and Communications Specialist
Bober Markey Fedorovich (BMF)
- Crystal Snyder, Operations
Dimension Engineering LLC
- Michael Steel, Esq., Managing Attorney
The Steel & Company Law Firm
- Robert B. Trattner, Esq., Attorney/Partner
Thomas, Trattner & Malone, LLC
Resident Artists and Organizations
Our Resident Artists
Jaron M. LeGrair
Jennifer L. Worden
Our Resident Organizations
Akron Society of Artists
Artists of Rubber City
The Devil Strip
Ear Muscle University
Genesis Experience Theatre
Mecca Media- D Epps
Open Tone Music
The Sac/BMe, Ace Epps
Stewards of Historical Preservation (SHIP)
Summit Choral Society
Please use this secure link to access digital media such as the Summit Artspace logo, supplemental photos, et cetera. Additional media assets are available upon request. Please contact Grace Carter, Community Engagement Coordinator, to request additional media assets (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Media may contact Grace Carter, Community Engagement Coordinator, with questions.
Phone: 330-376-8480, ext. 3
Social Media and Website