Whether your ambition is for a hobby that pays for itself, or a professional operation that is someone’s livelihood, these sessions will give you practical and usable tools to help you protect, produce and thrive. Learning while you enjoy a libation, some local culinary delights and of course great company – what could be better?

Beyond all the great info you'll get from our speakers. The Maker Sessions is also a place to connect with other local creative entrepreneurs! Food and drink for purchase are available at the Art Museum's Cafe. Don't miss this chance to network with fellow artists and makers along with free admission to the Art Museum's exhibits and galleries.

And just in case you missed it: here are some takeaways from last year's session  about "How to Be a Crafty Superstar" as reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Attention Teachers: Need CEUs to maintain your license? Let us know and we will get you a certificate to present to your principal. Learn out to integrate entrepreneurial practices in your classrooms! 

All Maker Sessions take place at 6pm at the Akron Art Museum.

The Maker Sessions are made possibly by the generous support of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Akron Community Foundation.


Session 1: Taxes for the Individual

January 25th
Akron Art Museum, 6-8pm
Instructor: Marie Cutlip

Marie Cutlip is a Certified Public Accountant, Personal Financial Specialist and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. She has 25 years as a certified public accountant under her belt and was the founder of Better Financial Solutions (CPA firm). Marie Specializes in working with closely helped businesses and individuals in tax and finance  (consulting and tax preparation) in offices located in North Canton and Cuyahoga Falls. She currently serves on several non-profit boards, such as; One Earth New Horizons, an international project in conjunction with NASA to send the ultimate message in a bottle to our solar system, Crafty Mart and Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce. Marie is also very active in American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and other financial literacy programs. She is a mother of two daughters and two granddaughters and her leisure activities include family time, swimming, biking, gardening and travel.

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Session 2: Stress Management

February 22nd
Akron Art Museum, 6-8pm
Instructor: Lora DiFranco, Lindsey Jo Scott, Vanessa Lee Abraham

Lora DiFranco is the founder of Free Period Press, a Cleveland-based publisher of products like the Habit Calendar, Schedule Magic, and You Got This: A Mantra Coloring Book.

Lindsey Jo Scott is a color obsessed artist and designer who is best known for her vibrant abstract paintings and modern woven wall hangings. After graduating from the University it Akron with a Bachelors in Studio Art and Psychology, Lindsey Jo explored her interest in prints and patterns by teaching herself the fiber art of hand weaving and now shares this old school craft through teaching beginner workshops. Lindsey Jo combines her love of painting, drawing and making with her work as a yoga teacher, believing that creating and experiencing art are both practices to be present and fully alive. Lindsey Jo lives in West Akron with her husband, Brad and their silly cat.

Vanessa Lee Abraham is an author and educator who specializes in the development of self-awareness and social and emotional intelligence in youth. She has created a number of resources including the Smile Inside companion handbooks. Vanessa’s previous roles include teacher, student welfare coordinator, consultant, trainer, and yoga instructor. She is currently focusing on making more products available to professionals who work with youth and the public. Follow her on Twitter @thesmileinside or learn more about her work at www.smileinside.us.

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Session 3: Intellectual Property

March 29th
Akron Art Museum, 6-8pm
Instructor:  Michelle Fabry, Pat Gerber, Billy Ludwig

Michelle Fabry is an intellectual property attorney and has been in the IP field for 9 years. Michelle practices intellectual property law, primarily focusing on patent and trademark prosecution. She has worked in both IP boutique and general practice firms in both Cleveland and Akron.

Pat Gerber is 53 years old with four kids (three girls and a boy, Ages 28, 25,16 and 10!) He started doing craft shows in 2009. Back then he did the usual craft fair stuff, cutting boards, wooden kitchen utensils and jewelry boxes. About eight years ago, Pat created a wooden robot character made out of repurposed hardwoods. The robots became so popular, he quit making the other goodies and focused solely on the robots. Today, he has over 25 different characters in the lineup and he adds to the list every year and proudly calls himself “Mr. Robot.” Pat has created everything from a marauding Viking to a Hula Girl. In July of 2015, he went part time at his regular job and started doing shows and making full time. So far it has worked out great! Pat is looking forward to the day when he can work for himself exclusively. 

Billy Ludwig is a digital artist best known for re-creating history with his SWvsWWII series mixing Star Wars with WWII. In the same vein, he is also credited for the Galactic Samurai series putting samurai themed versions of the Galactic Empire against ancient Japanese warriors. You can find Billy on the road the majority of the year at comic cons and art shows with his company Thirteenth Floor.

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Session 4: Branding: 

Developing Customer Personas
April 26th
Akron Art Museum, 6-8pm
Instructor:  John Myers

Tabitha Messmore Martin, MA, has been known alternatively as a Comma Expert, Word Nerd, Marketing Maven, and Venture Advisor Warrior Princess. She most enjoys combining her roles as advisor, writer, crafter, and entrepreneur, helping creative business owners market and grow their businesses. 
Her day job as a venture advisor at Kent State University’s LaunchNET office enables her to help a broad variety of student, faculty, and community early-stage entrepreneurs. In the course of her duties, she has been a multiple-time I-Corps Sites mentor and TEDx Kent State speaker coach, in addition to spearheading initiatives with the College of the Arts and the Center for Adult and Veteran Students.
While doing her Master’s degree (English Composition) and working as a writing consultant in the School of Law writing center, Tabitha co-managed the original chapter of the NEO Student Venture Fund. The Fund invests in local startups and gives students the opportunity to engage in the deal flow, due diligence, and venture evaluation processes. Under her tenure, the Fund invested in a local education tech startup that was recently purchased by a large ed-tech firm. 
Tabitha has taught Composition at The University of Akron, written and presented on writing theory, linguistics, and professional writing, including a study of linguistic structures in persuasive legal narrative writing at the Legal Storytelling Conference in London, UK. She also co-authored an article on multicultural communication in education, published in May 2014. 
She continues to copy edit academic journals and assist small business owners with content and marketing through her company, serves as the Communications Chair for the Greater Akron Chamber’s KNOW, and serves on the board for The Illusion Factory theater company in Akron, Ohio.

John Myers joined the University of Mount Union as the Entrepreneur in Residence in 2015, supporting entrepreneurial education, student start-ups and as Director of the Business Incubator in Alliance a joint venture between the community and the University. He also worked concurrently for a year with an early stage software company. Previously, John worked with the not for profit University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) as Executive in Residence and President of the Akron Innovation Campus for 10 years. At UARF he assisted in commercializing technologies and provided economic development and community outreach services for the University of Akron and the Greater Akron Chamber. John is a founding member of Akron ARCHAngels Investment Network, founded the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund and was a co-founder of ROOBREW Fine Craft Beers. Prior to all that John had a successful 30+ year career in various industries endemic of Northeast Ohio, leading manufacturing, sales, marketing and product development functions for privately held and publicly traded companies. 

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Session 5: Marketing: Newsletters, Websites & Social Media

May 24th
Akron Art Museum, 6-8pm
Instructor: Meghan Meeker

Meghan Meeker is the current Social Media Specialist at The University of Akron, where her particular focus is on content creation that inspires and engages. With a background in direct marketing, social media and digital advertising, Meghan managed the social media accounts of several brands in the Sherwin Williams family, bringing them into new social spaces and launching them into new markets. Her expertise in social media and online marketing also lent itself to an advisory and strategic role serving local companies who were trying to expand their reach in online markets while working for The Better Business Bureau.
In her free time, Meghan is an accomplished photographer – seeing a direct correlation between digital marketing and compelling imagery that connects to a brand/company. Meghan is a Northeast Ohio native who comes from a long line of gritty, witty, engaging, and civically-minded entrepreneurs. 

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