The Update | Acclaimed Poet at Penn State Shenango; YSU Jazz Ensemble Concert

SHARON, Pa. – Author and poet Quartez Harris will appear at Penn State Shenango on Monday, Feb. 26, at 12:15 p.m. in Lecture Hall, Room 223. 

Admission is free and open to the public.

Harris, who struggled with reading and writing as an elementary and high school student, later developed a passion for poetry as a tool to write visually. In 2014, he published his first collection of poems, titled “Nothing, but Skin,” which earned first place at the Grand Tournament competition hosted by Writing Knights.

Harris’ second published poetry collection, titled “We Made it to School Alive,” was inspired by the experiences of the children he works with as a teacher, highlighting issues such as structural barriers, intergenerational poverty, gun violence and educational negligence, among others.

Harris was named the Ohio Poetry Association’s Poet of the Year for 2021 and was the first Barbara Smith Writer-in-Resident and Baldwin House Fellowship recipient.

YSU Jazz Ensemble in Concert at Kilcawley

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown State University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Kent J. Engelhardt, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

The evening will feature the premiere of “Drum and Bossa” by YSU undergraduate Mason Ciesielski. In addition, vocalist Elizabeth Jadue will sing “Black Coffee” and “Teardrops from My Eyes,” both of which were arranged by Engelhardt.

The Dana School of Music’s piano studio will perform at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at the Butler North building. Admission is free. The concert is part of the Music at Noon series at the museum.

Sci-fi Author Scalzi to Speak at YSU

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Science fiction author John Scalzi will deliver the keynote address at this year’s History Across the Humanities conference at Youngstown State University.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in the DeBartolo Hall auditorium on the YSU campus. The conference will raise funds for the development of a science fiction museum in Warren.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Scalzi, a resident of southwest Ohio, is the author of the bestselling novels “Old Man’s War,” “Redshirts” and “Starter Villain.”

PBS Station Launches Adventure Club for Kids

KENT, Ohio – From airing educational children’s programs to offering entertaining community events, PBS Western Reserve has always been a trusted resource for families. Now the station is introducing a membership option called Adventure Club, which offers opportunities for families to engage in fun activities together. 

Annual membership in Adventure Club starts at $60 per year for one child, with an extra $5 for each additional child.

The program, best suited for families with children ages 2 to 8, features exclusive offers from local museums and perks including an on-air birthday greeting, access to the station’s vast streaming library on PBS Western Reserve Passport and more.

For more information or to enroll, go to or call 800 554 4549.

Playhouse Receives $2K Grant from Thomases Endowment

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Playhouse has received a $2,000 grant from the Thomases Family Endowment of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation. 

The grant will be used to support its 2024 productions and educational programming, including the upcoming production of “Shrek Jr.” playing March 8-10.

Opera Tickets Go on Sale in July

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Opera Western Reserve will present “La Traviata” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at Powers Auditorium.

Tickets will go on sale July 1 by phone at 330 259 9651; at the DeYor Performing Arts Center box office, 260 W. Federal St.; and at

“La Traviata” will be Opera Western Reserve’s second production at Powers, following the success of “Carmen” last fall.

“La Traviata” tells the story of a French courtesan, Violetta, who attempts to find true love and leave her storied past behind her. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi with libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, “La Traviata” premiered in Venice, Italy in 1853, becoming one of Verdi’s most prolific works. It continues to be one of the most performed operas in the world.

Pictured at top: Author and poet Quartez Harris.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.