YSU Summer Festival of the Arts July 12 and 13

Visitors check out art at last year's Summer Festival of the Arts on the YSU campus.

Visitors check out art at last year’s Summer Festival of the Arts on the YSU campus.

The 16th annual Summer Festival of the Arts, showcasing the works of more than 75 artists and featuring food and dozens of music, theater and dance performances, is July 12 and 13 at and around Youngstown State University.

Festival admission is free. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition, the Downtown Jazz Fest will be Saturday, July 12, in downtown Youngstown near the Central Square. Saxophonist Kim Waters is the featured artist. Tickets for the Jazz Fest are $10 and only available at the gate, which opens at 6:30 p.m. Patrons should bring a lawn chair.

Among the additional activities for the weekend are the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Summerfest, July 10 through 13, 220 N. Walnut Street. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Also, a Second Sunday Jazz Concert will be 5 p.m. Sunday, July 13, featuring the Phillip K. Jones Trio, at the Tyler History Center, 325 West Federal St.

Youngstown State University, The Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau, City of Youngstown and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are collaborating on the events surrounding the weekend.

The heart of the Summer Festival of the Arts is the artists’ marketplace that showcases the work of over 75 local, regional and national artists selling original, hand-crafted pieces such as jewelry, paintings, sketches, sculptures, glass, wood and textiles. Artists’ work has been juried, or selected, from among all of the applicants.

Family activities include the popular hands on art tent where children are encouraged to create various pieces of artwork under the guidance of a professional art teacher. Dozens of music, theater and dance performances are also scheduled at the event, which spans the entire length of the campus, from the McDonough Museum of Art to DeBartolo Hall. Numerous YSU departments will participate with activities and displays.

The McDonough Museum of Art will showcase “Voices of the Valley,” recorded by Story Corps where 30 conversations representing 60 individuals who, through entrepreneurship, redevelopment, technology, activism, faith and a deep connection to community, shared their stories about transforming the Valley. A listening center will be set up at the McDonough Museum during the Summer Festival of the Arts where visitors can hear the conversations.

An alumni exhibit will be presented in Bliss Hall’s Judith Rae Solomon Gallery featuring the work of select graduates of 2014 from the Art Department and alumni Joseph Perry, Keeley Black, Kathleen Gallagher, Devon Carr, and Erika Olson.

The Legal Creative commissioned local photographer Tony Nicholas to photograph the Brier Hill, Brownlee Woods, Downtown, Garden District, Idora, Rocky Ridge and Lincoln Knolls neighborhoods. Postcard art representing each neighborhood will be created and Festival attendees will be able to share a positive, personal story about those Youngstown neighborhoods on the postcards. The postcards will be on display in The Legal Creative’s tent throughout the SFA as a public art project. At the end of the Festival, The Legal Creative will mail the postcards to random people in different neighborhoods in the city and surrounding areas to foster connections between people of different backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles.

Community arts and culture organization, Power of the Arts, will host a Town Hall session on Friday, July 11 at 3 p.m. in Bliss Recital Hall, located on the first floor in Bliss Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University. The event is free and open to the public. The Town Hall meeting will also give attendees an opportunity to meet other representatives from arts and culture organizations who are committed to the power of the arts in the Mahoning Valley. Planning for future arts initiatives will also begin where those in attendance can voice their opinions regarding the direction of the Power of the Arts and how it can help propel the arts and culture in the Mahoning Valley.

In addition, many local arts and cultural groups will provide open hours and activities at their off-campus locations. The Butler Institute of American Art, Arms Museum, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor (Steel Museum), Oh Wow Children’s Museum, The Women’s Art Show at the YWCA, Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County Main Branch, St. John’s Episcopal Church, are a few of the groups. In all, over 30 arts and culture groups will set up displays and activities on-site or at their home location.

The Summer Festival of the Arts will also include the Festival of Nations, an ethnic festival welcoming over 20 ethnic clubs and churches that provide ethnic memorabilia, performances and food.

More information is available at www.ysu.edu/sfa or by emailing Lori Factor, festival coordinator at lafactor@ysu.edu

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