by Brit Charek
Just like we've done in years past (2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively), Joanna and I are reflecting on the past year's Akron Empire adventures before we embark on new ones.
Joanna has already posted her Year in Review, as well as her most popular guest posts, and now I'm excited to share with you mine!
1. Knight Arts Challenge in Akron (from September)
The Knight Arts Challenge is a $3 million, three-year initiative to draw the best and most innovative ideas out of local organizations and individuals seeking to engage and enrich the community through the arts. I wrote about this back in September when the challenge was seeking applications to encourage Akronites with big ideas for the arts to send in a proposal, and since then 58 finalists have been announced, including a project that I proposed on behalf of Crafty Mart!
2. The Bit Factory (from August)
I had such a blast touring this startup incubator in the heart of downtown. The space's design (by Dominic Falcione of Rubber City Fab) perfectly matches its contemporary and collaborative work philosophy. I've been lucky enough to return to the space for some really great after-hours events such as Pechakucha Akron and look forward to visiting it often in the future, as well as seeing what great ideas come out of the startups that are based there.
3. Fall Art Fest at the Gardener of Bath (from October)
Handmade goods, live music AND food trucks?! I'm in! Not to mention the Gardener of Bath's Art Fest seems to always be blessed with the most perfect sunny-but-breezy Ohio fall weather. I enjoyed working with the fest's organizer, Heather, to write this piece, but enjoyed attending the event even more! I was delighted to see some of my favorite local artists there as well as discover some new favorites-- I even saw my friend Chicaloo Kate, who came all the way from Michigan to vend! I can't wait until their next fest.
4. Tru Barre Studio in Merriman Valley (from March)
This studio offers the best workout in the whole Empire! Although I have to admit that I've gotten out of the habit of attending-- I went and got pregnant, which has seriously affected my stamina let me tell you-- I am counting on them to help me find my pre-baby body again this summer.
5. NEXTOhio (from March)
This was another event that I had I had the pleasure of writing about beforehand and then I was able to see the organizer's vision come to fruition. Although Annal Vyas claimed that "the event organized itself," I'm pretty sure it took quite a bit of effort to find half a dozen dynamic speakers to present pertinent information to Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs, organize a startup Pitch competition (not to mention the funding that goes along with it), and get hundreds of people to attend. I might have just been there for the free pizza last time, but if there's a NEXTOhio Conference in 2016, I'll make sure I mark my calendar.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned next week when I share my Top 5 Most Popular Guest Blog Posts from 2015. Thanks for reading!