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Release Date: November 11,2021

UA and Civic Theatre Advance AkronArts with New Partnership

(Akron, Ohio – Nov. 11, 2021) – The University of Akron (UA) and the Akron Civic Theatre (Civic) have formed a new partnership to advance the arts and support economic growth in Akron and the region. The initiative was announced jointly by UA President Gary L. Miller and Candice Carlyon, president of the Civic Board of Directors. 

The partnership emerged from the University’s faculty-lead AkronArts initiative which Miller announced earlier this year. AkronArts is designed to embrace and enhance the arts on UA’s campus and in the City of Akron and to present the Akron community as a national model of creativity, expression, authenticity, diversity and collaboration.

To advance that collaboration, the two organizations have entered into a one-year agreement that calls for the Civic’s executive director, Howard Parr, to serve as a special advisor for arts and culture to Miller, and to articulate and assist in execution of the community engagement components of the University’s AkronArts initiative. The partnership joins the booking operations, strategy and event oversight of E. J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, the Civic and Goodyear Theatre. AkronArts will mobilize partners toward a more effective, efficient, and diverse use of UA and other community performing arts venues, promoting collaboration among the venue operators to offer the most diverse, economical and appropriate performance venues for artists and patrons.

“A proven way for universities to support economic growth, inclusivity and opportunity in cities is through expansions of their visual and performing arts, music and literature,” said Miller.  “This exciting partnership between the Civic and UA’s AkronArts initiative expands our potential to have a real impact.” 

“This formal collaboration between the Civic Theatre and The University of Akron furthers the missions of both organizations and helps provide a coordinating approach to the arts in Akron and beyond,” said Carlyon. “We see this as an outstanding opportunity to facilitate more variety, accessibility and authenticity in regional arts programming. Audiences, artists and local businesses all stand to benefit.”  

Under the new agreement, the Civic will collaborate with UA on the AkronArts plan, spearheading a more coordinated community approach to the selection and use of performing arts venues and utilizing its expertise to evaluate, select and contract with artists. The result will be a more coordinated approach to arts venue management in downtown Akron.

The Civic will also assist Thomas Hall management in overarching operational strategy, engagement paradigms, booking support and event supervision. This activity will be coordinated with its oversight of the Civic, the Goodyear Theater and Lock 3 for the purpose of enhancing UA arts programming while simultaneously developing a broad and impactful community-wide approach to such programming.