Akron Civic Theatre - CODAworx

Akron Civic Theatre

Client: Akron Civic Theatre

Location: Akron, OH, United States

Completion date: 2021

Project Team


Akron Civic Theatre

Akron Civic Theatre

Public Art Consultant

Janus Small Associates

Non-Profit Consultants

Artist, Designer & Fabricator

Nancy Gong

Gong Glass Works

Project Mgr for Glass Installation

Paul Clemens

RC Glass

General Contractor

Welty Building Company


The design of the artistic glass donor wall is the artist’s direct response to an undistinguished blank wall of the addition to the façade of the historic Akron Civic theatre and the colorfully embellished interior resembling a Moorish Garden all designed by architect John Eberson. The artist’s vision is to bring the excitement of the inside of the theatre to the outside of the theatre to make a visual connection between the new addition and the historic façade. The the primary function of the artwork is to honor the donors.

With references to Moorish architecture, the donor wall design pulls from old and new. The crown palms, pulled from Islamic design often a part of Moorish design highlight the vibrant red interior of the theatre. The smalti mosaic, a material used in the Byzantine, Italian and Spanish is used in a contemporary voice referring to the future.

The purple blue color of the donor panels references the sky at dusk before going dark as well as the purple parrot in the carpet design. Ask about the parrot story. The iridescent glass with tiny glass stars, some twinkling, are a reminder of the beautifully lit night sky complete with stars in the theatre’s ceiling.

The dimensional green fleur de lis squares are a connection to the marqui’s fleur de lis.


The choice of materials, smalti and kiln formed glass make the connection between the theatre's interior Moorish garden design and the clean and simple new addition. The choice of bold colors directly relates to the out of this world experience of the theatre's design.


As a landmark theatre which carries a great sense of pride for the community, in depth research with the client about the history of the theatre was at the heart of the design. It was important to convey that the exterior of the new addition make a visual connection to the theatre as well as to have clear legibility of the donor names.

Additional Information

All materials and artistic processes were selected and specified to endure the outdoor environment in all seasons in Akron.