The Update | Medici Museum Will Host Statewide Art Exhibition; Playhouse Chief Leaving Post

HOWLAND TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The Ohio Arts Council will present its 2021 Biennial Juried Exhibition at the Medici Museum of Art, 9350 E. Market St.

An opening reception will take place at 5 p.m. Feb. 8. The exhibition will run through May 15 and will feature works by 50 Ohio artists. Jurors were Jessimi Jones, Kevin Lyles and April Sunami.

The Medici Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Playhouse Executive Director Steps Down

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Kayla Boye, executive director of the Youngstown Playhouse, has resigned her position so that she can return her focus to her acting career.

The Howland Township native and Youngstown State University graduate shepherded the Playhouse through the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the theater remained closed for over a year. 

“I am deeply proud of the significant strides we have made to position the organization and our community for a bright future, and I am excited to see the next chapter unfold,” Boye said. “I am personally grateful to all of the individual and institutional funders who have supported the Playhouse through this crucial time. A vibrant theatrical landscape is essential to our community’s continued economic and cultural growth.”

Boye lives in Chicago where she is an actor and theater management professional.

John Cox, president of the Playhouse board of directors, said Boye’s involvement over the past 20 months has been invaluable.

“She provided a new focus and identity for us when we needed it the most,” Cox said. “Her unprecedented accomplishments have raised the bar for our organization, and her legacy of leadership will continue to benefit the Playhouse for years to come. Although her professional life will continue in Chicago, Youngstown will always be home.”

Since joining the Playhouse as development director at the start of the pandemic, Boye helped to sustain its operating budget via contributed revenue sources while completing Phase One of its ongoing capital campaign and overseeing the establishment of its first-ever endowment fund. 

She took over as executive director in April. In her nine months in the position, she guided the theater through administrative restructuring, alternative programming, and strategic planning. 

Labra Brothers to Release New Song

The Labra Brothers will release a new song, “Waiting,” on Friday on streaming services.

The new song from the Youngstown-based Latin-flavored rock and R&B band will also be included on an EP that will be released in the spring.

Spyro Gyra Coming to Robins Theatre

WARREN, Ohio – Jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra will come to the Robins Theatre March 10 for an 8 p.m. concert.

Tickets range from $25 to $45 and are on sale at and at the box office, 160 E. Market St., weekdays between  10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Spyro Gyra is an American jazz fusion band that was formed in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1974. The band’s music combines jazz, R&B, funk, and pop music.

Since then, it has sold over 10 million albums and played more than 5,000 shows on five continents.

Playhouse Receives $10,000 Grant from NEA

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The National Endowment for the Arts has approved the Youngstown Playhouse for a $10,000 grant to support its 2022 youth theater program. The Playhouse’s project is among 1,248 projects nationwide totaling $28,840,000 that were selected in the first round in the NEA’s Grants for Arts Projects category. 

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from The Youngstown Playhouse that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “The Youngstown Playhouse is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.” 

The Playhouse’a youth theater allows participants to perform in fully staged productions with no participation fees, complemented by regularly scheduled workshops and classes. The NEA grant will directly support the youth theater’s 2022 season, including The Youth Valley Players Showcase, an original revue (July 9-10) and the world premiere of “Excalibur High” (Nov. 12-14), written and directed by Mahoning Valley theater veteran James Canacci.

Lecture on Oak Hill Cemetery

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Traci Manning, curator of education for the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, will present a lecture on the historic Oak Hill Cemetery in Youngstown at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, in the meeting room of Chad Anthony’s Grille, 4698 Belmont Ave.

Her lecture is sponsored by the William Holmes McGuffey Historical Society.

Many prominent residents are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, on Youngstown’s south side.

Admission to the lecture is $10 ($5 for society members). For reservations, call 330 726 8277.

Jacobs Art Exhibition to Open at JCC

YOUNGSTOWN – A public reception for an art exhibition by Susan Jacobs will take place Sunday, Jan. 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown, 505 Gypsy Lane.

The exhibition of portraits of everyday people and celebrities will run through Feb. 27.

Jacobs is an artist, art teacher, entrepreneur and Bazetta Township resident. She is also the founder of Community Artworks, with her lasting legacy being the 20 foot “Mona Lisa Masterpiece” donated to and hanging in the Eastwood Mall.

Pictured: Kayla Boye is stepping down as executive director of the Youngstown Playhouse to focus on her acting career. (Photo courtesy of Photos for Keeps by Erin)

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