The Update | Art Exhibit at JCC Gallery; Two Restaurants Temporarily Close

YOUNGSTOWN – The work of local artist Susan Jacobs will be on exhibit from Jan. 3 to Feb. 27 at the Jewish Community Center, 505 Gypsy Lane.

A public reception will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 16. Jacobs, of Bazetta Township, is an artist, art teacher and entrepreneur. She started painting portraits of celebrities during the pandemic because the painting classes she teaches were suspended. 

She displayed them in a drive-by art exhibit in her front yard. Jacobs expanded her list of subjects, creating the “Every Day People” exhibition. Although many of the pieces have been sold, she was able to borrow a few for the JCC exhibition.

Jacobs, a retired public school teacher, is also the proprietor of a dog biscuit company, Blissful Biscuits. She is the founder of Community Artworks, and created the 20-foot “Mona Lisa Masterpiece” which hangs in Eastwood Mall in Niles.

Two Restaurants Temporarily Close

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Miracle on Federal Street, the Christmas-season temporary restaurant at 110 W. Federal St., downtown, will remain closed at least through New Year’s Eve.

The decision was made in the interest of safety because of the spike in COVID cases, and was announced on Facebook. The restaurant is actually The Federal, but given a holiday-themed makeover and a new menu. It will revert to being The Federal in the new year.

“While we are disappointed to end the Miracle on Federal this way, the health and well-being of our community is our top priority,” the restaurant management posted on its Facebook page. The restaurant’s reopening date will be announce on its Facebook page.

Also closed on New Year’s Eve will be Michael Alberini’s Restaurant in Boardman. The announcement was made on the restaurant’s Facebook page and cites “a sudden unexpected staff shortage” for the decision.

Michael David Alberini, owner of the restaurant at 1140 Boardman Poland Road, was arrested this week after police were called to his home. He was charged with domestic violence threats and unlawful restraint.

Auditions Set for ‘Thrill Me’

STRUTHERS, Ohio – Auditions for Selah Dessert Theater’s upcoming production of the musical “Thrill Me” will take place Jan. 4 from 6;30 to 8:30 p.m. The theater is located on the second floor of Selah Restaurant, 130 S. Bridge St.

“Thrill Me” is the true story of the kill for thrill team of Leopold and Loeb, who went on a crime spree in the 1920s that culminated in the murder of a teenage boy.

The cast calls for two males, age 20-30, with strong vocal and acting skills. Auditionees must bring a vocal piece that demonstrates range and ability. An accompanist will be provided. Actors should also be prepared to read from the script. Performances will be in mid-May. For information, contact director Mary Ruth Lynn at [email protected]

Square Dance at Scope Center

NILES, Ohio – The Friendly Squares will host its monthly square dance Jan. 8, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Niles Scope Center, 14 E. State St.

Gene Hammond will be the caller and Frankie Hammond will cue line dances. This will be a high/low dance with alternating tips for new dancers currently taking lessons and tips for more experienced dancers. Dress is casual and light refreshments will be served. Admission is $6 per person. For information call Gene Hammond at 330 506 3370.

Arms Museum, Tyler Center Closed in Jan.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Arms Family Museum and Tyler History Center will be closed for the month of January. Both sites will reopen Feb. 1. Hours of operation will be noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Stewart Media Archives is open by appointment only and can be reached at 330 743 2589, ext. 105.

Eagle Fest at Shenango River Lake

TRANSFER, Pa. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District will host the second annual Eagle Fest at Shenango River Lake Jan. 8 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Chestnut Run Swim Beach, 500 Saranac Drive (SR 846).

Guests will have a chance to observe and learn more about the bald eagles that have made several nests around Shenango River Lake, including on the river below the dam and throughout the wildlife areas. 

When the lake freezes and ice forms, open water becomes prime fishing opportunities for bald eagles, allowing for several daily observations last winter. Visitors have observed more than 90 juvenile and adult bald eagle nests in one day.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission will provide a presentation to start the day, followed by information about the lake and survey results from the day before. Tamarack Wildlife Center will also conduct two presentations, including several live ambassador birds. 

Park rangers will provide maps for anyone who wants to take a self-guided tour of the reservoir to spot birds after the presentations. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly for the weather, wear hiking boots and bring binoculars or spotting scopes.

For information, contact Shenango’s ranger station at 724 646 1124.

Lit Youngstown Receives Grants

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Lit Youngstown, a literary arts nonprofit with programs for writers, readers and storytellers, has been awarded $50,493 in grants for programming and operating funds.

Here is a breakdown of the grants:

  • $15,000 from the Ohio Arts Council’s Arts Resiliency Initiative, which will fund three writers-in-residence: poets Quartez Harris of Cleveland, Manuel Iris of Cincinnati and playwright Mike Geither of Cleveland. 
  • $11,113 from Ohio Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
  • $9,100 from The Youngstown Foundation to partially fund the Fall Literary Festival  scheduled for Oct. 20-22, as well as the First Wednesday Readers Series, outreach, writing workshops, grantwriting and operational expenses. The Williamson Family Fund of The Youngstown Foundation has also awarded an additional unrestricted grant of $2,425.
  • $6,600 Fund Making grant, a component fund of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, to help fund the Winter Writing Camp scheduled for Feb. 26, as well as outreach and grant writing. 
  • $6,000 from The Nathalie and James Andrew Foundation in unrestricted funds. $255 from The Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, which collected the  contributions to support of the Fall Literary Festival. 

Pictured: “Geneva Girls,” a painting by Susan Jacobs, included in her upcoming exhibition at the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.