Saturday, February 27: ‘Raise the Roof’ fundraiser to occur at Calvin Center for the Arts in Youngstown

Calvin Center

The Calvin Center for the Arts in Youngstown as seen from West Avenue in an undated image. (Electronic image courtesy of The Calvin Center for the Arts)

The Calvin Center for the Arts will host a “Raise The Roof” fundraiser from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27 in memory of building owner Sean Timms, who died unexpectedly last fall. 

Admission is $10 at the door, with all proceeds benefitting the Sean Timms Calvin Center Roof Repair Fund. The Calvin Center for the Arts is located at 755 Mahoning Ave. in Youngstown.

The evening will feature performances by several area bands, including Turbo Lovers, Punk Willie, The Limbs, Hawkeyes, and HamWater, as well as dance and flow arts performances by The Tribe of EOS, Third Street Bellydance, and Infini-Tribe. 

The event is BYOB, and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. There will also be a chance auction featuring local artwork, as well as gift certificates to local businesses, restaurants, and events. 

“Sean was a people person. He was a huge supporter of the arts, and a friend to everyone he met. He would joke that he was constantly surrounded by talented people, but that he had no actual talent of his own. But that was his talent . . . bringing people together,” said Robert Dennick Joki, director, Rust Belt Theater Co.

“The goal of this campaign is to keep Sean’s dream alive. His friends and family have come together in order to keep his beloved building open, but in order to do that we are asking for assistance from the community that Sean so selflessly served,” said Joki.

The Calvin Center is a 114-year old, three-story, brick building that is located in the Mahoning Commons neighborhood, just outside of downtown Youngstown. 

Built by P. Ross Berry, the building was originally constructed as an elementary school on the West Side of Youngstown, and later was used for many years by the Hungarian Presbyterian Church. After closing, it sat vacant for decades. Timms purchased and reopened the building in 2010 with the hopes of turning it into a community arts center.

Six years later, through the efforts of Timms and many others, the Calvin Center for the Arts became a popular hub for the local arts and athletics communities. The building is currently home to LCAA Sports, EOS Whole Fitness, and the Rust Belt Theater Company. 

Other organizations utilize the facilities as well, including Youngstown SOUP, The Victorian Players, U.N Act, the MV Trans/Partner Support Group and Mahoning Valley Players.

The building is regularly used by local photographers and artists for its architecture, and by both local and nationally touring bands as a concert venue. It has hosted weddings, baby showers, graduation parties, dance parties, art shows, fitness conventions, community projects, as well as numerous fundraisers for nonprofit groups, often at no cost to the organizations themselves.

Just as the Calvin Center for the Arts was beginning to hit its stride, Timms died unexpectedly last November from complications of a heart defect. He was 45. His passing left a huge hole in the local arts community.

“He would do anything he could to help someone in need. He was all heart, a truly selfless person. He touched the lives of all who knew him,” said Shannon Tareshawty, Timm’s sister.

The most immediate concern for the Calvin Center is the roof, which is badly in need of costly repairs. In addition to the “Raise The Roof” event, a crowd sourcing campaign has been set up to collect donations in memory of Timms. Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/seantimmscalvin.

© 2016 Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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