Youngstown Arts Festival Celebrates Creativity and Community

By Katie Merrill
Community Engagement and Events Coordinator,
YSU Cliffe College of Creative Arts

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Art has the power to transcend boundaries and bring communities together. In the heart of downtown Youngstown, the annual Summer Festival of the Arts is a testament to this belief.

Under new leadership by The Cultural Alliance, the festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.

This vibrant celebration of creativity showcases diverse artistic expressions, from visual arts and crafts to music and dance. With its rich history and commitment to fostering local talent, the festival has become a cherished tradition that entertains and enriches the lives of residents and visitors alike.

The Summer Festival of the Arts will take place July 8 and 9. Visitors can explore a wide range of artistic mediums, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry and photography. The visual delights continue with interactive exhibits, live art demonstrations, and workshops that allow attendees to connect with the creative process firsthand.

Celebrating the Arts

Throughout the festival, over 15,000 attendees are treated to a variety of performances on multiple stages featuring talented musicians, dancers, theater troupes, and more. The air is filled with the sounds of live music from different genres, ranging from jazz and classical to rock and folk.

The Children’s Entertainment Tent, sponsored by the city, will be a haven for young art enthusiasts and budding entertainers.

From captivating performances to interactive workshops, face painting, magicians, stilt walkers and dance parties, this vibrant section of the festival offers endless opportunities for children to explore their creative side.

Community Engagement

Beyond the artistic displays and performances, the festival fosters community engagement. It serves as a platform for local businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions to connect with the public. Visitors can learn about various community initiatives, discover local vendors and restaurants, and engage in family-friendly activities.

The festival’s commitment to accessibility is evident in its free admission policy, ensuring that art and culture are accessible to all community members, regardless of their economic background. This inclusive approach creates an environment where everyone can come together and celebrate the power of creativity.

The festival has a profound impact on the region, both culturally and economically. It attracts visitors from near and far, boosting tourism and stimulating the local economy. Restaurants, hotels and other businesses experience increased foot traffic, while local artists and vendors can showcase and sell their work to a broader audience. Moreover, the festival is vital in fostering a vibrant arts scene in the Mahoning Valley and inspiring the next generation of creative minds.

The festival nurtures artistic growth and promotes cultural exchange by providing a platform for artists to showcase their talent. It also creates a ripple effect by instilling a sense of pride and belonging within the community, strengthening its identity, and fostering a love for the arts.

The Cultural Alliance

The Cultural Alliance (TCA) fosters support for the advancement of arts and culture in Eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. The Cultural Alliance will be the leader for a thriving regional arts community and values strategic partnerships that strengthen the vibrant diversity of arts and culture.

To learn more about The Cultural Alliance or Summer Festival of the Arts, contact the author at

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.