Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"the power of the arts" series to begin wednesday - public welcome

as you look around Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, do you think artists and cultural organizations are more on the periphery or do they effectively occupy a leadership role, especially in terms of the development of the region?

if you want to delve deeper into this question, and get engaged yourself, then check out:

The Power of the Arts is a three-part dialogue series that gets underway this Wednesday, September 30 - from 4:30pm to 6pm at McMenamy's in Niles.

The first gathering is titled:
Valley Arts & Culture: What is Advocacy?

Donna Collins from Ohio Citizens for the Arts will discuss enhancing the greater community through advocacy.

The discussion is free and open to the public (with light refreshments), but reservations are required by calling 330.394.5600

The second part, on October 21st, is:
The Developing Valley: Works in Progress

The third part, on November 18th, is:
Our Arts and Our Valley: A Call to Action

you can click here to see additional details about the speakers and themes.

If you want to be a part of a movement to elevate the arts in the region, this may be a great place to start...

Friday, September 25, 2009

friday's downtown premiere of "Steel Valley" presents a question

Through the international media, the eyes of the world are upon Pittsburgh this week as the G-20 Conference is kicking into high gear.

And the emerging narrative describes Pittsburgh as a city that has successfully reinvented itself - into a cleaner, smarter, greener and more prosperous place.

Because Youngstown is a part of the Pittsburgh mega-region, the international press has found its way to the Mahoning Valley as well.

One piece from Britain's Daily Mail, and one from the BBC illustrate two intertwining stories for this corner of Northeast Ohio:

The slow-dying city vs. The innovative city of recovery

so a proper question may be:

"What is the future path of Youngstown and its people?"

- - -

it's along this question that Kevin DeOliveira's "Steel Valley" movie enters the scene and tells its story.

Here's the trailer:

The movie will be shown Friday evening in downtown youngstown for the first time ever.

Seating begins at 7pm at the DeYor Center on Federal Street.

Free show, donations welcome, open to the public.

- - -

The many news briefs this week regarding the premiere (here, here, and here with audio here) also tell the story of Mr. DeOliveira and his documentary, and it's a good example of someone just going out there and making it happen.
"Though DeOliveira is 21, that doesn't mean he isn't capable of making a quality production. He began working at local production house Accent Media when he was still in high school, where he continues to work while studying electronic media production at Kent State University."
perhaps DeOliviera's efforts are an example of what's possible in a place like Youngstown:

free to follow your passion,
space to get it done,
support for producing a quality product.

What's your path?

What do you want to see happen here?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ysu lights tower, tops off new business school

The urban landscape of downtown Youngstown changed a bit over the last week, as two YSU projects hit a milestone.

First, the communications tower just between Lincoln and Rayen Avenues received the final touches of its paint black and white paint makeover and *shazam*

the lights went on for the first time.

(photo [with back story] retrieved from YSU's Office of Marketing and Communications)

Second, earlier today the structural steel was topped off at the new $34 million building for the William College of Business.

You can see the design of the building here, and a construction cam of the site here.

here is a view looking up, as the building stretches from Rayen Avenue to Wood Avenue:

In the background of the photo above you can see the Youngstown YWCA, in the middle of its own $8.1 million historic renovation.

a bunch of other design and development news hit the papers this morning as well:

- moving in begins at Realty Towers, loan paid back to city
- HUD awards $10 million to YMHA, one of 36 green energy grants
- remodeled cafe at Butler to serve chicken francaise 7 days a week
- million-dollar upgrade to exterior of the PNC building on the way
- new pool to be installed near Wick Park

Monday, September 21, 2009

excitement builds at Youngstown's 2nd Grey to Green Festival

The success of the 2nd annual Grey to Green Festival illustrated Youngstown's full-court press in play: community volunteers, elected officials, university representatives, local farmers, students, and progressive citizens - all coming together to promote innovation and sustainability in the Mahoning Valley.

and the event reemphasized to me this concept:

that a single person with a great idea can be transformative in this town.

Kudos needs to be given to Deb Weaver, whose vision of this festival inspired and attracted a team of grassroots volunteers, which partnered with the leadership of many other organizations to pull off a kickass event.

a couple of hundred people were in Wick Park for the opening remarks, which included some of the following statements...

Congressman Tim Ryan on grassroots initiatives, venture capitalists, and the future of the region:

Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams on transforming urban america:

Will Allen from Growing Power in Milwaukee on bringing people to the table:

people were spilling out from the main pavilion:

the food court was so busy they ran out of food!

this piece received a lot of attention throughout the day:

kids, adults, vendors...all having a good time:

the Wick Park Revitalization project showed off its final design:

The Greater Youngstown 2.0 table even made an appearance:

the richness of the park, just off the YSU campus and a short walk downtown, really highlighted the beauty natural greenspace can provide:

more pictures soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

liminal youngstown: part I

sometimes it's the path traveled

that matters most

to find what's hidden in this world.

liminal youngstown.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

YBI and WCBA launch internship program

Have you ever wanted to work at the YBI?

Well, the award-winning Youngstown Business Incubator is partnering with YSU's Williamson College of Business Administration (WCBA) to launch the Entrepreneurial Internship Program (EIP) this fall.

The goal?

Expose students to entrepreneurship and increase their understanding of what is necessary to create and grow a new venture, explore new markets, and develop a customer base.

Interns will be placed with YBI and its Portfolio Companies, and will work for one semester for a total of 225 hours. Their salaries will be paid by YBI and WCBA’s Monus Entrepreneurship Center.

4 positions were awarded for fall 2009:

- Rose Shaffer, a senior marketing management major, will work with BizVeo which offers an internet-based, video training and competency testing solution.

- Jessica Sferra, a senior business administration major, will assist SenSource, a technology company that provides traffic and vehicle counting solutions and environmental sensors, with its marketing initiatives.

- Arianne Morris, a senior business administration major, is interning with Syncro Medical Innovations which has developed a unique magnetically guided feeding tube.

- Courtney Vitullo, a senior management information systems major, will work directly with YBI to promote new entrepreneurial programs with YSU and social media applications.

can you be next?

One simple step in connecting the the existing networks for updates:

LinkedIn GY2.0
- facebook - myspace

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another good opportunity to connect is at the YBI's monthly Innovation Series seminars.

next one is September 24th - 3pm - Thursday (week from today)

Summer Garden Food Manufacturing will host a presentation on environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and technology.

Besides a leading integrated production space, its new $12 million facility includes a research and development area, an innovative safety and quality lab, a culinary art center, and a process engineering development facility.

note: the program will be held at Summer Garden Food Manufacturing located on 500 McClurg Road, Boardman, OH 44512 - not downtown.

The program is free to attend, but reservations are greatly appreciated. Reply to Julie Michael Smith, Chief Development Officer, Youngstown Business Incubator at jmsmith (at) ybi.org or 330-259-7644.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dana School shines at DeYor Performances

Sunday afternoon marked the first "Dana at Deyor" concert of the Fall 2009 season - followed by the second of the series that evening.

Here's a quick clip of the YSU Chamber Orchestra playing Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Trumpets:

The first event was also the musical debut of the new dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts, Dr. Bryan DePoy. My accompanying friends (and Dana grads) thought it was great the dean of the school has a PhD in music performance.

Here is another clip, of the group closing out the performance with a piece by Romanian/Hungarian composer Bela Bartok:

quality music.

the announced dates for the rest of the semester include:
Monday, October 12 - YSU Concert Band and Wind Ensemble
Monday, October 19 - Fall Choral Concert
Monday, October 26 - Dana Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, November 22 - Faculty and Guest Recital

The performances take place at the Ford Family Recital Hall in the Beecher Flad Pavilion, next to the Powers Auditorium (formerly the Warner Theater) - all part of the DeYor Performing Arts Center in downtown youngstown.

from the outside:

The Dana School of Music has planned 50 performances for the fall semester, most free and open to the public. You can find the schedule here and a history of the 140-year old institution here.

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editor's note:

I found out about the "Dana at DeYor" performance through the literature passed out at last week's Canfield Fair.

According to the glossy material, these 6 special Dana at Deyor performances cost $5.00 for general admission. I emptied out my change bucket in my car to pay the entrance.

After standing in line for the ticket window, the price turned out to be $6.50 - good thing I was with friends.

While the buck-fifty was no big deal really, let's hope prices are correctly advertised in the future.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama lands in Youngstown for events at GM Lordstown

Just around 11:25am:
"We know that the battle for America’s future will be fought and won not just in the big cities, not just on the coasts, but in towns like Elkhart and Pittsburgh; Warren and Youngstown."
c-span video here.

speech text here.

nice work, mr. frangos

Realty Towers all lit up at night.

Friday, September 11, 2009

who's ready for the saturday gauntlet?

Even though it's past Labor Day, this saturday is gearing up as a day one just heads to downtown youngstown in the morning and spends all day and all evening soaking up the city.

What follows is a guide to Saturday, September 12 2009.

- - -

9am - breakfast at Cafe Cimmento or the Golden Dawn

10am to 5pm - commencement of the Grey to Green Festival at Wick Park.

While others have blogged about the event here, here, here, and here, the official website of the Fest can be found here.

schedule of puppet shows, speakers, musicians, tours, farmers markets, movies here.

list of vendors and engagement booths here.

4pm - Youngstown State Football home opener (tailgating beforehand) all tickets $5 to celebrate the first game of the season

8pm - Youngstown Symphony 1st show (pops and musicals) of the upcoming season

all afternoon and into the evening - Pabsolutely Fest at the Royal Oaks with food and music by bands from NYC, Detroit, Pitts, and local faves.

and you can dunk in the tank some Little Steel Derby Girls

1:30am - puerto rican food at Papa's

4:10am - leave the Lemon Grove with some carrot juice

youngstown farmers' markets still going strong through september

Did you know Youngstown has its own form of currency?

While the downtown and northside farmers' markets take traditional cash as well, the wooden dollars are accepted by the markets' vendors.

This year, the markets are accepting food stamps, giving people access to fresh fruits and vegetables as some neighborhoods only have smaller junk-food filled convenience stores within walking distance.

Let's step inside the market on a typical saturday...

Thanks to Carmella Pesa, you can get fresh-baked zucchini bread, banana bread, and other baked goods. Fantastic quality.

Canned goods, bbq, braided garlic, cookbooks, breads, soaps, a cornucopia of veggies, and good people can be found here from 9am to 1pm at Wick Park for the rest of September.

want to see a video on how a city works?

check it out: