Howard St. Heritage Courtyard is a creative placemaking initiative focused on celebrating the diverse heritage of North Hill and the history of African Americans on Howard Street. The activation of this space seeks to cultivate investment and activity on Howard Street, inspire community engagement through art, and mitigate social inequity by featuring BIPOC artists.

Designed by Jason Flakes, this 14’ modern totem pole design, made of cinder block finished with stucco, is an homage to the indigenous populations and represents the local history. The red line on the bottom of the pole articulates the history of redlining and the horrible effects of Urban Renewal in the neighborhood. The brightly colored yellow and orange “NH” will activate all four sides and the top of the totem will be cut in a crown shape symbolizing strength and prosperity. There are two 15’ x 4’ walls attached at the bottom with four sides to be activated with murals that rotate twice a year.

Howard St. Heritage Courtyard

One Community, Many Cultures.

Help support our North Hill community in Akron.

Jason Flakes, artist


Akron native committed to sharing his passion for art with the community through architecture, video production, and photography.

Jason is an award-winning filmmaker, international designer and distinguished TEDx Speaker with a mission to uplift lives through compelling storytelling and social design. Detail-oriented and socially aware, he employs diverse media to share impactful stories and address societal concerns. With a sharp eye for detail and a passion for social awareness, he leverages various media platforms to bring authentic and impactful stories to life. Jason's, "Hustle Equation" approach advocates work-life balance for personal and professional success.

Teaming up with the CDC, Jason designed an installation fusing earthworks and sculptures, capturing North Hills' vibrant and rich multicultural community. Guided by his life's journey and global experiences, he aimed to create a safe space for artist self-expression and relaxation.

Jason's attention to progress and diversity shines in this installation, reflecting Akron's values of collective community. He lights the way toward unity and transformative change, fueled by the heartbeats of his cherished community.

Charlee Harris


Akron Black Artist Guild member and Director of the East Ave Market & Gallery

Much of Charlee’s life has centered around the arts, from cross country family trips to art museums, to being an Alumnus of the Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts.

Her passion for the arts led her to working behind the scenes in the art world. Charlee has worked in the education department at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She has also served as a studio assistant to local artists, helping them operationalize the business of their art. Her expertise led her to launch the East Ave Market & Gallery that not only brings diverse art to the Kenmore neighborhood, but also provides local artists an opportunity to exhibit their work and local artisans a place to sell their products.

Charlee currently works to serve the community through advocacy and helping others to build their own table outside of the systems of status quo. She works to showcase artists, entrepreneurs, businesses, and natural environments as a writer for The Kenmore Connection, Signal Akron and CAN Journal publications. She also served as an AmeriCorps vista for a year at the Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance organizing The First Friday Events to help increase participation and support of local businesses.

She most looks forward to diversifying arts by being a core member of the Akron Black Artist Guild, by continuing to mentor local artists and artisans, and by collaborations with other organizations that could help further advance the skill sets and visibility of local artists and artisans.

Meet the Artists

Dara Harper

Dara Harper is a creative entrepreneur, artist, and educator who has established Art Only Boutique, a company that produces original paintings in acrylics, ranging from figurative to abstract compositions. As an educator, she has designed and developed an art curriculum adaptable for all ages using various art mediums and tools.


Dara Harper on facebook

Dara Harper on instagram

Natalie Warren

Ms. Warren is an independent art curator and content creator. She was selected as a Knight Arts Challenge winner in 2021 for her work in digitizing archival materials from the Opie Evans Collection alongside The University of Akron. When she’s not doing curatorial research for The Onyx Club, a self-founded digital art gallery, Natalie enjoys community volunteer work and exploring Summit County’s metro parks and green spaces.



Artist Jae Capo

JaeCapo is a nationally recognized expressionist artist. He is a self-taught artist expressing our ever-evolving feelings and emotions through storytelling on different mediums. Since the age of 8 his passion for the arts have been a consistent part of his life but it was not until 2016 when he realized what his true calling was. Since then he has shown artwork in more than 30 group exhibitions, 2 solo exhibitions and has collaborated with brands like University Hospital, Luc Belaire, Hennessy, Series by Cheeky, Beyond the Spectrum and more. The sky is the limit and there is boundary for what he wants to do next.

Jevante King-Woods
Instagram: @jaecapo


Nana Kwesi Agyare stands as a luminary in the realm of contemporary abstract art, illuminating the canvas with his vibrant interpretations of emotions and the human experience. Born in Ghana, Agyare's artistic journey commenced in his early years, deeply influenced by the rich cultural tapestry of his homeland.

Each stroke of Agyare's brush is a testament to his mastery, evoking a symphony of emotions that resonate deeply with his audience. His exhibitions across galleries in Cleveland have been a testament to his rising prominence, drawing art connoisseurs alike to witness the sheer brilliance of his creations.

Agyare's artistic philosophy transcends mere visuals; it is an invitation to explore the complexities of the human psyche through an interplay of shapes, hues, and textures. His works serve as a conduit, fostering introspection and dialogue, transcending language barriers to evoke universal emotions.         @kwesiagyareart            Kwesi Agyare / Facebook



Celebrate the Howard Street development project with our new activity coloring book
created by Art x Love.

We are asking for your help to celebrate the Howard Street development project and to provide feedback on Waters Park through our new activity coloring book.

Download the Activity Book as a printable PDF

Join North Hill CDC to celebrate the legacy of Howard Street Arts and Culture

NHCDC understands the importance of  public spaces that reflect the creativity of its residents and the impact of public art. We are looking for community members passionate about creating new experiences, supporting local artists and working collaboratively to build active public spaces.

Committee members will work collaboratively to select local artists, for Akron's first interchangeable mural wall, through evaluation of their portfolio submissions. Artists will be chosen twice per year, with the first art to be chosen by September, 2023

Join the Committee

Committee members will have the opportunity to participate in designing the Howard Street Heritage Courtyard opening day ceremony and other art and culture events

The frequency and location of meetings will be determined by the committee for the convenience of the volunteers.

Site plan
Howard Street Heritage Courtyard site plan

Status: Work In Progress

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