Gift Akron Art

Akron Supports its Creators with a Passport to Small Business Saturday and Artists Sunday

With many downtown businesses pitching in, it feels like all of akron is coming together to celebrate and support its local and regional artists.

By Liv Ream and Summit Art Space (news release)

Don Drumm resuable shopping bag. Image from

Reject the Orwellian convenience of Amazon, and return to tradition. On Artists Sunday, shoppers are guaranteed to find - not only free parking and admission - but the nostalgic holiday atmosphere that comes with contributing to the local economy.

We started out writing a story about Summit Artspace, one of the major players in Akron's Artists Sunday event, but when we reviewed the Summit Artspace news release shared here on the Downtown Akron Partnership website, we recognized that Summit had created its own guide. A guide to art patronage and shopping in Akron.

Akron art is an institution.

It's also an ideal place to purchase gifts that both support arts in the community and offer something unique and special for everyone on your list.

"In Summit County, we recognize the incredible talent of our local artists and the value they add to our region," said Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro. "This year, as in years past, I urge residents and visitors to join me in bringing local art into our offices and homes by taking advantage of Artist Sunday.” 

In fact, there is so much going on for Artists Sunday that those who visit participating venues over the weekend will receive a Small Business Saturday/Artists Sunday Downtown Akron passport and can enter an exciting raffle to win handmade items by local artists and makers.  

Artists Sunday, celebrated the Sunday after Thanksgiving, is a national campaign to encourage shoppers to purchase from local artists and give unique artworks as gifts for the holiday season. Summit Artspace, Akron Soul Train, Akron Bazaar, Northside Marketplace and a host of other downtown Akron arts organizations and businesses are partnering to encourage visitors to shop downtown over the holiday weekend. 

Additional participating businesses include Akron Glass Works, Art X LoveDon Drumm Studios & Gallery, Zeber-Martell Studio & Gallery, Street Craftery, Curated Storefront, and many businesses in and around downtown. 

On Sunday, November 26, from noon – 5 p.m., Summit Artspace will host 25+ local artist pop-up vendors in addition to 25 resident artist studios on all three floors of its historic Akron building at 140 East Market Street. Shoppers can choose from a variety of handcrafted gifts and visit the Fall Exhibitions in Summit Artspace’s five galleries. For a list of vendors, visit Admission and parking are free. 

Other organizations getting into the act include performers and food vendors.

Bereka Coffee & Kitchen will be on hand for warm drinks and Ethiopian fare. Resident arts organization Summit Choral Society will present hourly performances of their children’s choirs and the Metropolitan adult chorus and Hearts For Music will join the singers for a special collaborative performance at 3:30 pm. 

Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan has issued a proclamation officially declaring November 26, 2023 “Artist Sunday” in the city.

“Akron is home to many talented artists whose work deserves recognition and support, as the arts enrich our lives and enhance the cultural fabric of our community,” he said. “I encourage all residents to celebrate this day by exploring the works of our local artists.” 

Visit Downtown Akron Partnership for more information on businesses and restaurants open during Artist Sunday. 

(left) Akron's Artists Sunday press kit includes a map of participating locations, a passport that visitors can pick up on the day and images of potential gifts. Images courtesy of Downtown Akron Partnership.

To reach content author Liv Ream, email her here.