PBS Series Spotlights People Who Reflect Youngstown, Sharon

KENT, Ohio – “City Centric,” a new series focusing on people who reflect the fabric of Youngstown, Sharon, Pa., and four other cities in the region will premiere in September on PBS Western Reserve.

The weekly series will air on Fridays, Sept. 1-Oct. 6, at 8:30 p.m. It also will be available on demand via the PBS Western Reserve website, PBS app and YouTube.

The Youngstown episode will air Sept. 29, and the Sharon episode on Oct. 6.

The series begins with the Akron episode on Sept. 1. The Alliance episode will be Sept. 9; Canton, Sept. 15; and Kent, Sept. 22.

Each half-hour episode offers a look at a particular community through the lens of six notable community members in six categories: entrepreneur, revitalizer, entertainer, humanitarian, politician and future/youth.

The Youngstown episode includes segments on:

  • Samantha Turner, Youngstown councilwoman.
  • Sharon Letson, Youngstown CityScape director.
  • Aspasia Lyras-Bernacki, co-owner of Penguin City Brewing Co.
  • Jackie Popovec, of The Vindys rock band.
  • Patricia Stokes, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation.
  • Derrick McDowell, Youngstown Flea owner.

The Sharon episode focuses on:

  • Alane Jewell, businesswoman.
  • Jim Landino and his wife, Jen Krezeczewski, developer and businessman.
  • Molly Bundrant, Sharon councilwoman.
  • Michael Kotyk, Sharon recreation commission.
  • Taylor Galaska, Sharon councilman.
  • Tom Roberts, executive director of HopeCAT.

The host of each episode is Sthephanie Marie of Campbell. Marie is a native of Puerto Rico and was named Miss Ohio USA in 2020.

“’City Centric’ is more than a new series for PBS Western Reserve,” said Ryan Donchess, program and production manager and executive producer of the series. “It’s a passion project for us that highlights the many great people in our vast viewing area who enthusiastically strive to make their communities better.”

The show is the flagship series for PBS Western Reserve’s “LuminUS: Stories About Us” collection. These programs are focused on the northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania region.

For additional air times, go to PBSWesternReserve.org.

Donchess said additional episodes of “City Centric” are planned that would focus on different cities.

He believes that even viewers who do not live in the city being spotlighted will enjoy watching.

“The takeaway from our first season was that despite each city having a distinct personality, communities in our region have more similarities than differences,” he said.

In selecting the six residents to spotlight in each city, the production team talked to many people in that community, Donchess said.

Pictured at top: Sthephanie Marie of Campbell is the host of each episode of “City Centric.”

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.