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Summit County Launches Advisory Board for Diversity in Local Arts and Culture

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ArtsNow, the nonprofit group behind the Summit County Advisory Board, has compiled a diverse 15-member board that will more accurately represent the county.

The group ArtsNow has formed a 15-member diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility advisory board. Its goal is to create equitable access to the arts across all communities.

Cristina Gonzalez Alcala of the Akron Community Foundation, says her experience inspired her to write the equity statement for the board.

“People need to be acknowledged. We need to see people. We need to welcome them and that welcoming is part of me being Latina, me being welcomed here as an immigrant," she said. "Having a rich history of refugees and immigrants come here, we need to welcome them and respect them.”

Alcala says each member of the board was chosen based on experience with being marginalized because of identity.

Mason Lawlor is a senior studying journalism at Kent State University, with a minor in entrepreneurship. He has been a reporter for The Kent Stater for three semesters covering sports and the city of Kent.