July 9-10, 2016: YSU Summer Festival of the Arts to feature art, music and food as part of expanded cultural weekend


The 18th annual YSU Summer Festival of the Arts will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, July 10 in and around the campus of Youngstown State University. (Image courtesy of YSU)

A weekend of arts, culture and jazz is planned for July 7-10 at numerous locations around downtown Youngstown and at Youngstown State University. Youngstown State University, The Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau, City of Youngstown, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Eric Ryan Productions are collaborating on the events surrounding the weekend.

Events include:

  • The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Summerfest, Thursday through Sunday, July 7-10, 220 N. Walnut St., in downtown Youngstown;
  • YSU Summer Festival of the Arts, Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10, in and around the campus of Youngstown State University;
  • Downtown Shutdown featuring The Clarks, Friday, July 8 at Central Square, downtown Youngstown;
  • Youngstown Wine and Jazz, Saturday, July 9, at Central Square, downtown Youngstown;
  • Gospel Fest 2K16, Sunday, July 10, at Central Square, downtown Youngstown.

• The 18th annual YSU Summer Festival of the Arts – The 18th annual YSU Summer Festival of the Arts will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, July 10 in and around the campus of Youngstown State University. An opening ceremony including a Color Guard from the Youngstown Air Reserve Base and remarks by YSU President Jim Tressel will occur at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 9 by the Kilcawley Center Fountain.

Patrons are advised that the Wick Avenue Parking Deck is closed for upgrades, thus parking is along Rayen Avenue and Fifth Avenue surface lots and the Lincoln Avenue Deck, with an entrance to the Festival near DeBartolo Hall where an information tent and other activities will be placed.

The weekend is being branded as The Summer Festival of the Arts Weekend. The heart of the festival is the artists’ marketplace that showcases the work of over 80 local, regional and national artists selling original, hand-crafted pieces such as jewelry, paintings, sketches, sculptures, glass, wood and textiles. Artists’ work has been juried, or selected, from among all of the applicants.

Family activities are central to this event and include the popular hands on art tent where children are encouraged to create various pieces of artwork under the guidance of a professional art teacher.

Dozens of music, theater and dance performances are also scheduled at the event which spans the entire length of the campus, from the McDonough Museum of Art to DeBartolo Hall. Numerous YSU departments will participate with activities and displays.

Select Summer Festival Arts Weekend activities:

• In addition to activities at the Main branch, the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County will host a Pop-Up Library where patrons may check out Library materials, sign up for a Library card, or learn about digital resources and branch services.

• Lit Youngstown will do a Storygami session where participants will select printed stories to fold into origami shapes, guided by booth staff. A giant chalkboard will be available for visitors to add to a story in progress, and an exhibit of photographs, Words Made Visible: Ohio Pastoral, will be displayed.

• The M Gallery will host a pop-up gallery exhibiting local artwork.

• The new City of Youngstown branding campaign, “The City of You,” will have representatives in attendance conducting podcasts.

• A classic car show will occur on Saturday, July 9 near DeBartolo Hall.

• The YSU Honors College will host a reunion from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 at Fok Hall, the new home of the Honors College (formerly Alumni House).

• YSU’s Department of Alumni Engagement will host the Half Century (50th reunion) Club at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 10 in the DeBartolo Stadium Club. More information is available by calling 330-941-3119.

• Nearly 25 performing groups and individuals are featured throughout the two days, many with ties to YSU as current students or alumni.

• In addition, many local arts and cultural groups will also provide open hours and activities at their off-campus locations. The Butler Institute of American Art, Arms Museum, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor (Steel Museum), Oh Wow Children’s Museum, The Women’s Art Show at the YWCA, are a few of the groups. In all, over 30 arts and culture groups will set up displays and activities on-site or at their home location.

The Summer Festival of the Arts will also include the Festival of Nations, an ethnic festival welcoming numerous ethnic clubs and churches that provide ethnic memorabilia, performances and food.

Weekend activities:

• St. Nicholas Greek Summerfest – St. Nicholas Greek Summerfest kicks off the weekend July 7-10 and includes live music and dancing, Greek food and pastries, and a display of cultural memorabilia. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday, July 7; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9; and noon-6 p.m., Sunday, July 10. Take out lunch service is available from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Admission is free.

The Clarks


• Downtown Shutdown – On Friday, July 8, The Clarks will perform on stage near the Central Square in downtown Youngstown during the Downtown Shutdown. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at the gate. Attendees should bring a lawn chair. The Clarks were founded in the fall of 1986 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. They played their favorite songs by their musical heroes covering the Rave-Ups, the Plimsouls, Hoodoo Gurus, and created a template for their own music. Thirty years later they are revisiting the music that inspired them in the first place with an album called “Rewind,” a collection of classics by R.E.M., the Replacements, and the Rolling Stones. The group includes Robert James, electric and acoustic guitars and vocals; David Minarik Jr., drums and vocals; Scott Blasey, lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars; and Greg Joseph, bass guitar and vocals.

Marion Meadows


• Youngstown Wine and Jazz
– For the sixth year, a jazz concert will occur in downtown Youngstown as part of the weekend. Rebranded Youngstown Wine and Jazz, the event will occur at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 9. The stage will be set up in the middle of Wick Avenue near Central Square. Several wineries and breweries have committed to the event and will set up adjacent to the stage. Tickets are $10 each and available at the Covelli Centre Box Office, at http://www.ticketmaster.com or at the gate. Guests should bring a lawn chair.

This year’s featured artist is Marion Meadows, saxophonist, composer, and contemporary jazz recording artist. Meadows began playing the clarinet and studying classical music at the age of nine. He started playing tenor sax in high school, and then migrated to soprano sax. He was intrigued by the styles of jazz musicians like Stanley Turrentine, Sidney Bichet, Johnny Hodges, John Coltrane, Sonny Stitt, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Dexter Gordon and others. After studying jazz at Rippowam High School in Stamford, Conn., Meadows attended Berklee College of Music where he majored in arranging and composition. He later went to the SUNY Purchase School for the Arts.

Meadows’ career began in the late 80s at New York’s Grand Central Station, where while waiting for a train, he pulled out his horn and began to play. His sound caught the attention of producer and television composer Jay Chattaway who introduced Meadows to legendary keyboardist Bob James. Meadows went on to record or perform over the years with Brook Benton, Eartha Kitt, Phyllis Hyman, Jean Carne, John Lee, among others.

Meadows became a member of a New York avant-garde band called the Aboriginal Music Society and in 1990 submitted a solo project to Novus/RCA, thus marking the beginning of his solo career. Meadows’ first RCA release “For Lover’s Only” was a huge success and was followed by “Keep it Right There.” He became a staple of the contemporary jazz format with his subsequent 11 recordings.



• 2DE Gospel Festival 2K16 – The 2nd annual 2DE Gospel Festival 2K16 will be headlined by gospel music icon Fred Hammond on Sunday, July 10 in downtown Youngstown. Gates open at 1 p.m. The event will also feature performances from Six Singing Shepherds, Victory at Liberty Praise & Worship Team, Warren City Wide Youth Choir, The Emancipation Choir, Youngstown City Wide Youth Choir, Kingdom Dancers, and more. Gates open at 1 p.m.

Hammond was a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist for the soulful black gospel group Commissioned during the 1980s and 90s, who also became one of the most popular praise and worship leaders in the field. Born in Detroit, Hammond began singing with his church choir at the age of 12. He played bass and sang with the Winans during the early 80s, then joined Commissioned later in the decade, showcasing his superb arranging, production, and songwriting skills as well as soaring vocals.

Hammond’s concurrent solo career began in 1991 with “I Am Persuaded,” and he released additional albums, gradually embracing an in-concert feel even on his studio recordings. Hammond set up his own label imprint, Hammond Family Entertainment, and released the CD/DVD set “Life in the Word” in 2010. “God, Love & Romance” followed in 2012.

Tickets for the 2DE Gospel Festival 2K16 are $20, $45 and $65 and may be purchased online at  http://www.2deepevents.com/ or via phone at 330-953-3340.

More information on the weekend of events is available at http://www.ysu.edu/sfa or by emailing Lori Factor, festival coordinator at lafactor@ysu.edu.

© 2016 Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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