Akron Art Museum Holds Grand Opening for Its New Civic Commons

words and photo by M. Sophie Franchi

Akron’s in for a huge treat. The Akron Art Museum’s Bud and Susie Rogers Garden, opening this Saturday, July 16, is like nothing Akron has ever experienced. Finally, people visiting downtown will have a public space worthy of a picnic, an impromptu yoga class or a lunchtime acoustic jam session.

While this new civic commons will be used for museum events and rentable for private events, the goal is for the space to be enjoyed by anyone spending time downtown.

The museum’s Design, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Dominic Caruso gave us a tour of the commons as construction workers put the finishing touches on the space.

“It’s kind of a love letter to downtown Akron, because there isn’t really a space quite like it,” Caruso said.

We agree, but we’re not going to give you all the juicy details. We wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise. Instead, go see it for yourself this Saturday during the all-day opening celebration.

The celebration is split into three parts. First, there’s a members preview, which begins at 10 am with a ribbon cutting, followed by a dedication brunch to the tune of the Woodwind Quintet, a performance by Verb Ballets, and an ice cream social with a performance by Singers Companye.

The free public celebration begins at 2 pm. The afternoon highlights include a seed bomb station, Sound Hive, which is an interactive sound sculpture by Michael Marras, another performance by Verb Ballets called Shape Imagination, Wandering Aesthetics Storytelling, guided garden walking tours and BUBBLES. Because everyone loves bubbles.

Then, evening shifts over to concert mode.  The evening programming starts at 6 pm and includes three of our favorite local bands: The Del Rios, Shivering Timbers and Wesley Bright.

You don’t want to miss this event, but if you have to, make sure to stop by the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden on your next walk through downtown. Or better yet, make it your destination.

For event information and registration, please visit the Akron Art Museum’s website.