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Release Date: May 25,2023

Summit Artspace to Host 2023 Arts Alive Awards

Akron, OHIO (May 24, 2023) — Since 2002, the Arts Alive Awards have recognized gifted artists, talented arts educators, and change-making advocates who bring the arts to life and shape our community’s culture. 

Summit Artspace invites you to attend the Arts Alive Awards benefit reception celebrating honorees in 14 categories on June 22, 2023, from 6-9 p.m. at 140 East Market Street. Tickets can be purchased on Summit Artspace’s website. Donations at every level are welcome and support Summit Artspace’s mission to help artists thrive professionally, creatively, and financially. The in-person event celebrating the 2023 recipients and benefiting Summit Artspace includes open galleries and artwork, music and entertainment, and a special program honoring the 2023 recipients. Heavy appetizers, desserts, and signature cocktails will be served. 

Those who cannot attend in person may register for the 30-minute prerecorded Virtual Ceremony Broadcast

The following Arts Alive award recipients were selected for 2023: 

  • Arts Alive Award: David Shimotakahara 
  • Lifetime Achievement: Eva Kwong 
  • Summit Artspace Champion: Peg's Foundation 
  • Arts Educator: Antoine Pastor 
  • Arts Patron: Liz Maugans 
  • Collaborative Project: River in the City (City of Cuyahoga Falls, ArtsNow, Collide: Cuyahoga Falls, and Curated Storefront) and Engage Akron Window Art Project (Da’Shika Street, Downtown Akron Partnership, GAR and Knight Foundations, and numerous local artists). 
  • Emerging Artist: Angel Newhem-Valenzuela 
  • IDEA Leader: Mia Klinger 
  • Outstanding Artist in Dance: Christina Lindhout 
  • Outstanding Artist in Theatre: Neema Bal 
  • Outstanding Artist in Music: Angie Haze 
  • Outstanding Visual Artist: Matt Miller 
  • Outstanding Literary Artist: Jason Blakley 
  • Rising Arts Leader: Jenn Kidd 

More information about the recipients, the awards, and the selection criteria can be found on the Summit Artspace 2023 Arts Alive Awards webpage. 

“For 25 years, Summit Artspace has championed the efforts of local artists, and we are thrilled to recognize this incredible group of arts professionals,” notes Diane Lightner, president of Summit Artspace’s Board of Directors. “Our local artists—and those who mentor and support them—make the greater Akron area a unique place to live and work. They challenge us to think differently and celebrate what it means to be human.” 

The Arts Alive Awards are made possible by Summit Artspace’s generous sponsors: FirstEnergy; County of Summit; Energy Harbor; Bober Markey Fedorovich; Brio Performance Solutions; Pickard Commercial Group; Robert J. Events and Catering; Steel & Company Law Firm; Synthomer Foundation; Young and Associates, Inc.; Meaden & Moore, Ltd.; R. Shea Brewing; Roetzel & Andress; Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLP; and media sponsor 91.3 The Summit. 

For more information about the 2023 Arts Alive Awards, contact Executive Director Heather Meeker ( 


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About Summit Artspace: 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 is located at 140 East Market Street in Akron, Ohio. Public hours are Fridays from noon - 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Summit Artspace is supported by The County of Summit, Ohio Arts Council, GAR Foundation, Akron Community Foundation, Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Peg’s Foundation and the Corbin Foundation. For more information, visit the Summit Artspace website or call (330) 376-8480.