Sarah Crisp ‘08, executive director of Awakening Minds Art in Findlay, received a 2019 “20 Under 40” Leadership Recognition Award on Oct. 29 at the 24th annual ceremony in Toledo. She was among 200 nominated candidates.
At age 21, Crisp was developing the idea for Awakening Minds Art. The nonprofit organization opened in 2009 and quickly grew to eight employees. It provides therapeutic and educational programs to all ages and abilities, and serves over 10,000 people annually. A recent capital campaign allowed the organization to move into a custom-built facility.
Awakening Minds Art has won numerous awards including the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Champion Award, the Arts Partnership of Greater Hancock County Community Arts Awareness Award, and the Findlay Family Favorite award in a variety of areas in multiple years.
In addition to running her organization, Crisp is also Hancock Leadership Alumni Association’s vice chair, a member of the Arts and Heritage Council in Findlay, and served as president of BNI Northwest Ohio for two years. She is also an active Elks member and assists with fundraising.
Originally from Spencerville, Ohio, she came to the University of Findlay where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2008. With her passion for the arts and interest in brain development, she created Awakening Minds Art.
The “20 Under 40” program focuses on individuals in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves in their career and/or in the community. An independent panel of judges selects 20 candidates for recognition. It is intended that the program will further motivate young leaders in the area. Since 1996, 480 young community leaders have been recognized through the 20 Under 40 program.
Program sponsors include Eastman & Smith; Fifth Third Bank; Plante Moran; The Andersons, Inc.; University of Toledo; and Sauder Woodworking Co. The Toledo Business Journal serves as the media partner, and Leadership Toledo serves as the community partner. The Creative Block and Ulrich Pinciotti are creative partners. Community support is provided by EPIC Toledo, Imagination Station, The Toledo Repertoire Theatre, Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Opera, Toledo Zoo, and the Valentine Theatre.