Who We Are
Power of the Arts is an initiative dedicated to promoting and advocating for the visual, performing, folk and media arts in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.
Power of the Arts was founded in 2009 under the sponsorship of The Raymond Wean Foundation, The Community Foundation, and the Youngstown Foundation. The newest initiative is to purchase a building in order to create an arts and culture center. We are calling this project Loop Youngstown.
Our Mission Statement: To create and sustain a collaborative structure for the Arts and Culture community to effectively participate in our region’s revitalization and economic development and to positively impact our citizens’ quality of life.
Board of Directors: Terry Cloonan , Chairman / Sharon Letson (Youngstown CityScape), Vice Chair / Rebecca Davis (Butler Institute of American Art) Secretary / William Mullane, Treasurer (Gallery Director, Trumbull Art Gallery) / (Mark Gasser (Gasser Chair Company Inc.) / Michael McGiffin (Stambaugh Auditorium) / Karen Schubert (Lit Youngstown)
LOOP Youngstown Arts + Culture Center Advisory Board: Venise Abell, Eric Alleman, Tony Armeni, Betsy Barrickman, Melanie Clarke-Penella, Dragana Crnjak, Shawn Crum, Dirk van der Duim, Cindy Castro DiRusso, Elizabeth Ford, Adam Lee, Robyn Maas, Melissa Miller, Bill Mullane, Tony Nicholas, John Noga, Bill Perkins, Kristina Rule, Karen Schubert, Michael Staaf, Jimmy Sutman, Abby Wendle
This is what we are up to:
LOOP Youngstown Community Survey of Arts & Culture Needs
The well-being of arts and culture institutions and activities at all levels goes hand in hand with the economic stability of urban and rural centers.
In 2009, under the sponsorship of The Raymond Wean Foundation, The Community Foundation, and the Youngstown Foundation, 250 interested members of the arts and economic development communities gathered at the Butler Institute of American Art to examine issues related to the health of our artist and cultural landscape. The Power of the Arts Initiative was born. Since that meeting, more than 1,000 people have engaged in achieving the goals of Power of the Arts. They come from all walks of life…visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, design arts, public service, community development and the private business sector.
These people, organizations, and businesses understand the rich arts and culture heritage of the Mahoning Valley. They understand that our arts and culture infrastructure and pool of talent surpasses many communities twice our size. They understand the importance of preserving our rich heritage and the economic benefit that flows from that preservation and nurturing.
The goals of Power of the Arts are threefold:
1) Develop an entity that will raise the visibility of, participation in, and community revitalization role of arts and culture in the Mahoning Valley.
2) Develop and implement a plan to secure public funding for arts and culture in the Mahoning Valley.
3) Develop a method by which to assist local arts and culture entities and individuals to maximize exposure for their efforts and events, as well as to provide a structure though which these groups can communicate with each other; private businesses benefit from their events; and various public and quasi-public entities assure mutual benefits to all.
In 2015, Power of the Arts formed its own 501-C-3 organization to give it a more permanent structure. Its members have also formed an independent Political Action Committee to help implement the goal of a steady stream of public funding for our arts and culture community.
Power of the Arts will use its platform to help promote and develop the arts and culture sector in the Valley. Our website will be a space to promote deeper connection, understanding and celebration of the arts.
In addition, the Arts Means Business Arts Development series will continue to host dynamic local and regional speakers who talk about many in-depth aspects of arts and culture.
Power of the Arts is renewing its efforts for the formation of an Arts and Culture District within Mahoning and Trumbull Counties as provided for in the Ohio Revised Code. These districts are semi-autonomous entities with the ability to place local funding options on the ballots to give local communities the chance to back their own arts and culture entities with public support. This ongoing effort is centered on legislative activity to give Mahoning and Trumbull Counties the same rights as Cuyahoga County to achieve our goals.
Power of the Arts is moving strongly and boldly into the future to fulfill the goals of our members, our institutions, and our communities.
You can view “Solidifying our Structure and Community Service Strategic Plan for 2015-2017”, developed in association with Janus Small Associates, by clicking on the link below.
In 2010, Americans for the Arts worked with Power of the Arts to undertake an arts and culture economic impact study, available here.