Sponsors & Partners

Check out some of our primary sponsors and partners. This list is still growing as we continue to build more bridges!





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City Repair Presentation

This is a dream come true for us! We are excited to bring Portland’s City Repair Founder, Mark Lakeman, and his collegue Kirk Rea, to Akron for a very special GAINS – Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability meeting, hosted by Big Love Fest, this March.

Mark Lakeman is a pioneer in the reclamation and development of regenerative public places. In the last decade he has directed, facilitated, or inspired designs for more than three hundred neighborhood-led designs in public places in Portland, Oregon alone. Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc., and its various affiliates such as the The City Repair Project, The Village Building Convergence, and the Planet Repair Institute, he has also been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory organizations and urban permaculture design projects across the United States and Canada. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities.

Kirk Rea specializes in social equity and placemaking. Kirk works in allyship with other marginalized peoples using his visual art, community building, and permacuture background to engage in activism and advocacy. Volunteering with City Repair since 2011, Kirk also works as a affordable housing advocate and garden educator with the Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI).

This is all made possible through a grant from 8 80 Citieshttps://www.facebook.com/8-80-Cities-181713948536869/?fref=ts

Please sign up on Eventbrite so we know how many people to expect! It only takes a minute!

Looking for Sponsors

Hello fellow supporter of our community,

Building community is at the heart of our mission. To us, that means growing a sustainable way to live, thrive, and support each other in our goals and dreams. The arts can play a vital role in this process.

Big Love is an experience begun in February 2014, in which each year over 20 musicians, over 25 visual artists, many yogis, poets, food vendors, an elementary school, university students, community members, and many workshop-giving organizations come together to co-create a sustainable example of collaboration, zero waste, community, healing, and true Love in and with Akron. Spanning all three floors of the Musica complex and over 12 hours of programming, the last event brought more than 2,000 people through the doors! All this, and less than one bag of trash! It was a powerful example of what can be done when the community works together to inspire, support, and educate itself. The event is free to the public, though it asks for a donation if one is able to give. Based on that funding, we were able to pay a very modest token of gratitude to all the musicians and artists involved.  

This year, we look to expand the possibilities of what Big Love can be. We have already secured a generous gift of $5,000 from Knight foundation and are talking to other funders as well. We are extremely excited and humbled that our community believes in the team we have built and the network that we are growing.

We come to you to ask your support in our experience and cause. With even a modest donation of $100, a musician or artist can be sponsored. If we can raise only a few thousand dollars, we can provide all the materials for the artists to turn our new venue, the Summit Art Space into a new and creatively empowering environment for the day! Plus, we can purchase the compostable utensils and plates needed to keep our mission of zero waste attainable. We also have other levels at $250 (Bronze), $1000 (Silver) and a Gold Sponsor at $2500 and are open to other sponsorship terms, like sponsoring a stage or a room, etc. Each sponsor above $100 will be added to all printed and online materials, and will be thanked often throughout the event. $100 sponsors will be mentioned and linked to online, as well as thanked at the event.

This project is organized by the Akron Peace Project, HEALS, and the League of Creative Interventionists to name a few. Global Ties Akron is our fiscal sponsor, so your donations are tax deductible. Taking place on Saturday March 12th, this is integral to our time and the time of the year this experience takes place, winter – a time when inspiration and collaboration typically runs at its lowest point.

Thank you for your time, energies, and efforts in building a more compassionate, engaging, creative community. We look forward to discussing this with you before February 14th.

Namaste. Big Love. Contact “bigloveakron@gmail.com” 

To Prospective Partners

The name Big Love comes from the value of a greater community love, for a whole city in all its diversity. Big Love is a civically engaging arts festival that uses arts and culture to involve its participants in broader community building initiatives. Every aspect of this festival is interactive and participatory, from art installations, to vendor tables, to community-building workshops, to sustainability efforts, to cooking demos. What makes this festival unique is the hands-on atmosphere our community facilitates in creating a microcosm of Akron’s perfect city for a day. In years past with a crew of around 150 people (paid artists and volunteers), we have created spaces for a full days program of wellness, music, art, food and a wide variety of community engagement workshops. Big Love Fest’s strength comes from its inherently collaborative nature on everything from the music, art installations, workshops, and a myriad of organizations finding new ways to create something together. Part of the beauty of this experience is allowing people’s creativity to grow while uniting their creativity to a common theme.   

The theme of “Building Bridges” will permeate the majority of the festival artistically through the programming of the day. The interfaith wellness room connects individual’s faith to a more united worldview. The zero waste efforts build awareness of our individual and communal use and waste of materials. The art installations and activities bring together people of all generations, ethnicities and backgrounds. Another bridge occurs with collaborations across artistic mediums and between businesses and organizations. One major co-created space features the four sides of Akron represented through two artists of different ethnicities celebrating their side of town with local area nonprofits doing hands-on activities. This area features a stage where there will be workshops and performance art. The main stage/ third floor of the festival will connect the past with the future as a tribute to the old Howard St. Jazz District while creating a space that allows for fun, creative input on the redevelopment of Route 59. The past and the future are also connected through our mentorship/ leadership development initiatives at all stages of planning, designing and implementing the festival and ongoing projects.

Every aspect (music, art, community, etc.) and phase (planning, day of, post-fest) of this festival generates collaborations that oftentimes lead to meaningful partnerships throughout the year. This happens artistically with visual artists and musicians i.e. collaborative gallery shows, additions of new members to bands and award recognitions. Zero waste efforts have inspired businesses to adapt compostable products as well as inspiring other events to focus on their own waste efforts.

All this leads to a larger network of people that are invigorated to work on and facilitate neighbor-led placemaking design throughout Akron’s neighborhoods. This will be done with the help of Portland, Oregon’s The City Repair Project. Big Love Fest is a catalyst to promote and celebrate the beginning and expansion of this exciting undertaking.

We hope you see the value that this uplifting and empowering project brings to the whole Akron community.


*Big Love Core Team*


Hey everybody! It’s been awhile since the epic explosion of art, music, and community that was Big Love 2015. We danced, we learned, we stretched, we ate, and we mingled. We created some wonderful memories at the last festival (and the first one!) and we hope to create even more amazing ones at the next festival!
Our team has already started to think about how to make next year’s festival more energetic, fun, and engaging. We’ve been in search of a new venue to take the festival to the next level, and we think we’ve hit the jackpot. We have HUGE love for Musica, Uncorked, Urban Eats, and all our friends that work there, but we are growing much to quickly to be contained within that building.
We’re proud to announce that our new location for next year is… Summit Artspace!! We will be filling the entire building with art (although, we heard there’s already a lot there ;)), music, and community. All three floors!
Stay tuned as we plan for the next festival! We will be announcing more and more exciting news as we get closer to March! And if you want to get involved, please email “bigloveakron@gmail.com” with your interest.
In the meantime, check out our Photo Gallery and Video Gallery for highlights from the last festival 🙂