Art Museum Interim Director Jon Fiume Can Tell You

Why Our Partnerships Matter to Our Students
Posted on 03/23/2021
Image of Akron Art MailOver the last few months, we’ve seen how partnerships can have a big impact on our organization. During these challenging times, we’ve looked to those around us for support as well as provided it when able. Partnerships benefit the communities we serve and strengthen our relationships. Many of the Museum’s partnerships have been with local organizations, such as the Akron-Summit County Public Library and Akron Public Schools. Others have been with smaller organizations like Choices: a Community Social Center, Mac’s Backs Bookstore and Akron Coffee Roasters to name a few. COVID-19 created unique challenges for us, but our strong partnerships helped us focus on our goals of interacting with the community as well as fulfilling our mission to enrich lives through modern and contemporary art.

Through Akron Art Mail and InterPlay: Art Play for All we were able to connect with a number of local organizations, artists, writers, and businesses. Through Akron Art Mail, hundreds of art postcards were distributed to the community, and the project has now grown to include over 200 community-created postcards that are currently on display in the Museum’s Beatrice Knapp McDowell Grand Lobby. Through InterPlay, thousands of posters were distributed locally and even internationally, and 2,000 posters were given to Akron Public Schools students. Neither of these projects could have come to fruition without so many talented partners. For full lists of those involved, please visit our website Akron Art Mail and InterPlay.

Through the Essential Experiences program, a GAR Foundation initiative involving Akron Public Schools and other community partners, the Museum was able to distribute 1,700 graphic novels and sketchbook kits to local fourth-graders. The sketchbook kits came with supplies along with a How-To Video to make books of their own. We also partnered with Ted Mallison, an artist who is originally from Akron but is now the Digital Production Coordinator at Georgetown University. Mallison illustrated the graphic novel, which helps guide students through their museum experience. He's also featured in a video the Museum produced for the project, in which he discusses how he created the artwork for the graphic novel, how he got started as an artist, and what tools and techniques he uses in his process.

Our most recent partnership is a joint project with Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and the Akron Civic Theater. Each week, participants can visit the Museum’s Instagram and TikTok to find clues and crack a code to help a Time Traveler who’s stuck in the year 2021. Along the way, they will learn interesting facts about the Museum, Stan Hywet and the Civic. Anyone can join in and play along. A clue will be posted each week on Sunday. After the fourth and final week, you can send in your answer to win a prize.

We understand that together we can make an even bigger impact. We are so grateful for these existing partnerships and the ones to come as we continue to create enjoyable and memorable experiences for the community.

With safe wishes and gratitude,

Jon A. Fiume
Interim Executive Director & CEO
Akron Art Museum

Image of Akron Art Mail Image of Kit Distribution
Akron Public Schools and Museum staff coordinate the
distribution of 1,700 kits.
Akron Art Mail exhibition in the Beatrice Knapp McDowell
Grand Lobby.


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