Staff Interview: Special Events Manager Sheri Stallsmith

Sheri Stallsmith joined the Akron Art Museum family this past August as the new special events manager. Recently she sat down to answer a few questions with Communications Intern Corey Jenkins.

 What is your background?

 I have been involved in event planning my entire life.  I was always a kid who was putting together parties for my friends. As an adult, I officially got involved in event planning in my hometown of Orrville, Ohio, when my mother volunteered me to plan an event. Professionally, I held a similar position at Hale Farm and Village before coming here.

What appealed to you about the position at the Akron Art Museum?

 I enjoy working in museums and I enjoy planning events, so this was a good fit for me. Akron is my home now; my kids go to school here and I wanted a job in this area. I also wanted to develop a career that would allow me to meet members of the community and to be involved in the community on a professional level.

What is your favorite piece in the collection?

Bordner Mural by William Sommer. I like the vibrant, happy colors and the shapes.  I like that it is an unusual interpretation of a farm.  It is a happy painting and part of me wants to be the kid in the painting because it looks like a pleasant, carefree place to be.

 What type of events are you currently developing?

 Right now I’m focusing on weddings.  I’ll be at the Today’s Bride Bridal Show on January 6 at the John S. Knight Center.  I’m also making connections within the community to expand the number of corporate events held at the museum.

What do you enjoy most about working at the Akron Art Museum?

 People. I like to be around people and I enjoy working with the staff and getting to know the clients. I enjoy getting to know people and it is a wonderful experience to be involved in someone’s special day or big event.

What type of events would you like to see developed in the future?

 In the short time that I have been here we have received a number of inquires from people who are interested in filming at the museum. We are housed in an amazing structure with fabulous architecture, so there is a lot of potential for utilizing the space for all kinds of film, print and virtual media. The museum’s rental business is only five years old, so there is a lot of room to develop and grow.  Many people still don’t even know that they can have an event here.  I’m working on changing that…

 Is there any information you would like to share with the public about the Akron Art Museum’s special events department?

 The space is very flexible and works very well for small and large groups alike. Since the architecture is so distinctive and visually interesting you are able to have an event here without splurging on decorations. Just don’t put a wedding cake in the front window on a sunny day or it will melt!

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