*Article featured in the June issue of The Devil Strip*
Akron has a thriving arts scene and a blossoming tech community that both use creativity to bring about new ideas. Interestingly enough, rarely do those two worlds collide.
One random Tuesday night in May, the nonprofit ArtsNow and local co-working space OSCTechLab attempted to bridge the gap. They gathered 40-plus artists and techies to meet on the Akron Civic Theatre stage to bond over food and booze.
“I feel that something really special happens when you bring creative people together regardless of how that creativity manifests itself,” said Nicole Mullet, executive director of ArtsNow. “We’ve got a gentleman who’s creative and engaged with virtual reality talking to a visual artist who’s listening to live jazz being played by two incredible people and that creates a pretty special sort of environment where collaborations that you didn’t think could exist prior kind of come to fruition.”
Local musicians Dan Wilson and Theron Brown played jazz throughout the evening. The air buzzed with conversations, and the silos fell as people bonded over their creative natures.
Some of those in the tech community have been wanting to engage with the arts for some time. One such person was Bryon Delpinal from local software consulting company, Coffee and Code.
“Innovation really spawns from taking someone who thinks outside the box and taking someone whose head is way inside the box all day long, like myself, who is very focused on rules and merging whatever two ideas they have together because that’s when you really spawn new technology and new ways to think about things,” Delpinal said.
After a lot of positive feedback, Mullet thinks that this might become more than just a one-off event. She even imagines that the next one could potentially change the city for the better.
“What I would love to see next is what if we gave them a problem to solve? What if we gave this group of dynamically talented and extremely different individuals a real-world issue that Akron is facing and let them fix it. We let them ‘hack’ the problem.”
Her enthusiasm was infectious as she continued on.
“Let them actually take that talent and that skill set and turn that eye on the community because at the end of the day that’s why all of us do what we’re doing. We’re here because we love the community because we want to provide resources and increase the bandwidth and see this prove to be a successful, vibrant community.”
Check out website SummitLive365 for more cool events like this.
Thanks for reading,