Summit Artspace Media Kit

About Us 

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.  

Our Mission 

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.  

Lizzi Aronhalt  
April Couch  
Ron White  

Our 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 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. 

Photo courtesy of Akron Beacon Journal

Our Staff 

Heather Meeker, Executive Director

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.   

Email: heather@summitartspace.org 
Phone: 330-376-8480, ext. 2 

Natalie Grieshammer, Director of Artist Resources 

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. 

Email: natalie@summitartspace.org 
Phone: 330-376-8480, ext. 1 

Grace Carter, Community Engagement Coordinator 

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.  

Email: grace@summitartspace.org 

Phone: 330-376-8480, ext. 3 

Sam Imrie, Gallery and Programs Assistant 

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.  

Email: sam@summitartspace.org 

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.  

Email: antonio@summitartspace.org

Phone: 330-376-8480, ext. 700

In addition to four permanent staff members, Summit Artspace employs part-time interns and assistants.  

Our Board 

Executive Committee 

  • Chair 
    Linda Diefendorff, President 
    Brio Performance Solutions  
  • Vice Chair, Public Affairs 
    Jim Pickard, President 
    Pickard Commercial Group 
  • Treasurer 
    Diane Lightner, Equity Plan Administrator 
    The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
  • Secretary 
    Samantha Holland-Coffield, Insurance Specialist 
    Associated Underwriters Insurance 

 
Directors 

  • 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 
    Sherwin-Williams  
  • 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
    1848 Ventures
     
  • 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 

Lizzi Aronhalt  

Tom Baldwin  

Joan Colbert  

April Couch  

Teresa DeMio  

Bradley Hart  

Constance Laessig  

Jaron M. LeGrair 

Susie Lilley 

Sylvette Long 

Brittany Luciani  

Don Parsisson  

Janean Ray  

Hans Reich  

Teresa Scott  

Jessica Skinner  

Ron White  

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 

ZaBre Inspire  

Media 

Visual Media  

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 (grace@summitartspace.org). 

Media Contact 

Media may contact Grace Carter, Community Engagement Coordinator, with questions.  

Email: grace@summitartspace.org 

Phone: 330-376-8480, ext. 3 

Social Media and Website 

Follow Summit Artspace on social media: InstagramFacebookTwitter, LinkedIn 

Website: https://www.summitartspace.org/