Upcoming Weekend to Feature Arts Festival, Other Events

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The 17th annual Youngstown State University Summer Festival of the Arts will take place on  and around the YSU campus  from 10 a.m. to  6 p.m. July 11 and 11 a.m.  until 5 p.m. July 12.

The annual festival, which will again feature the artists’ marketplace, live entertainment and family activities, is part of what is branded as the Summer Festival of the Arts Weekend.

Other events  include the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Summerfest, July 9 to 12; the unveiling of a new Abraham Lincoln portrait in the rotunda of the Mahoning County Courthouse  and the Downtown Jazz Fest downtown near Central Square, both July 11; and Gospel Fest 2K15 downtown July 12.

The heart of the Summer Festival of the Arts, the artists’ marketplace, will showcase the work of more than 70 local, regional and national artists where  original, handcrafted pieces such as jewelry, paintings, sketches, sculptures, glass, wood and textiles will be sold. Artists’ work has been juried, or selected, from all of the applicants.

Dozens of music, theater and dance performances are also scheduled.  The festival will span the length of the campus, from the McDonough Museum of Art to DeBartolo Hall. Performing groups and individuals will be featured throughout the two days in three venues. Many, including current students and alumni,  have ties  to YSU .

The festival will again have  a hands-on art tent where children are encouraged to create their own artwork under the guidance of a professional art teacher, and the Festival of Nations, an ethnic festival welcoming  more than  20 ethnic clubs and churches that provide ethnic memorabilia, performances and food.

Several YSU departments will participate with activities and displays as well.

In addition, the festival and Lit Youngstown have joined in a public literary art project that includes a contest of literary submissions of 50 words of ekphrastic writing—writing inspired by a work of art. The winning submission will be printed on a reusable, sustainable tote bag sponsored by Green Youngstown and the Mahoning County Green Team, and distributed to the public at the Summer Festival of the Arts. Lit Youngstown will exhibit all entries at its community tent where various activities, tours and readings will occur.

Just off campus, the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County will host activities and the festival itself will stage a Pop-Up Library where patrons ca check out library materials, sign up for a library card or learn about digital resources and branch services.

Because it is closed for construction during the festival, the John J. McDonough Museum of Art will collaborate with the Erie Terminal Event Space and Commercial Gallery, 112 W. Commerce St.,  for an exhibition of YSU alumnus Gary Taneri’s paintings. The 14 new paintings, including five large paintings inspired by vintage Polaroids of his family, are on display. An opening reception is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. July 10.

In conjunction with the event, YSU’s Department of Alumni Engagement will host the Theta Chi Alumni reunion at 5 p.m. July 11 at Williamson Hall, and the Half Century (50th-year reunion) Club at 11 a.m. July 12 in Kilcawley Center’s Presidents’ Suites. More information is available at 330 941 3119.

Many local arts and cultural groups will  provide open hours and activities at their off-campus sites. Among them are the Butler Institute of American Art, Arms Museum, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology, St. John’s Episcopal Church and the YWCA of Youngstown, which will hold its Women’s Art Show.

Other weekend events:

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Summerfest, July 9 to 12, 220 N. Walnut St. Hours for the festival are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 9, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 10 and 11, and noon to 6 p.m. July 12.

Portrait viewing of Abraham Lincoln: America’s Story – portrait viewing, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., July 11, 12:30  to 2:30 p.m. Mahoning County Courthouse Rotunda. Created by local artist Ray Simon , the commemorative portrait capturing the legacy of the 16th president will be installed permanently in the courthouse.

The Downtown Jazz Fest, 7 p.m., Central Square. The festival will feature saxophonist Paul Taylor, with opening act Jeff Green’s “The Jazz in the Park Allstars.” Tickets are available via the Covelli Centre website, Ticketmaster, and in person at the Covelli Centre box office, and Giant Eagle Ticketmaster outlets. All tickets are $8 in advance or $10 day of show, cash only.

Gospel Festival 2K15, 2 p.m., July 12, Central Square. Grammy Award winner Tye Tribbett will headline. Tickets, which are $45, $25 and $15 (for children) are available at the 2Deep Entertainment website or by calling 330 397 7567.

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

More information is available at the Summer Festival of the Arts website or by emailing Lori Factor, festival coordinator, at lafactor@ysu.edu.

Pictured: Pieces by artists working in various media will be on display and for sale at the Summer Festival of the Arts.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.