The Summer Festival of the Arts, the mid-summer celebration of creativity at Youngstown State University, returns this weekend.
The SFA, now in its 16th year, will showcase the works of more than 75 artists. It also will feature music, theater, dance performances and an ethnic-heritage area.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, and admission is free.
The SFA is the core event around which several others will revolve.
These include the Downtown Jazz Fest on Saturday on Central Square, featuring nationally acclaimed saxophonist Kim Waters. Jazz Fest tickets are $10 and only available at the gate, which opens at 6:30 p.m. Attendees should bring a lawn chair.
Other events this weekend include St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Summerfest, today through Sunday at the church grounds at 220 N. Walnut St., near Choffin Career Center. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Summerfest includes authentic Greek food, music and dance.
Also, a Second Sunday Jazz Series concert will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Tyler History Center, 325 W. Federal St., featuring the Phillip K. Jones Trio. Tickets are $25 at the door and include dinner.
The heart of the Summer Festival of the Arts at YSU is the artists’ marketplace, which showcases the work of dozens of regional and national artists. Original, hand-crafted pieces, including jewelry, paintings, sketches, sculptures, glass, wood and textiles, will be on display and available for purchase.
A jury panel selected the artists from a pool of applicants for their exceptional quality.
Family activities at the SFA include the hands-on art tent where children can create 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.
The McDonough Museum of Art will showcase “Voices of the Valley,” recorded by Story Corps. The exhibition compiles 30 conversations with 60 individuals who, through entrepreneurship, redevelopment, technology, activism, faith and a deep connection to community, transformed the Valley. A listening center will be set up at the McDonough where visitors can hear the conversations.
An alumni art exhibit will be presented in Bliss Hall’s Judith Rae Solomon Gallery featuring the work of select 2014 graduates of the YSU art department and alumni Joseph Perry, Keeley Black, Kathleen Gallagher, Devon Carr and Erika Olson.
The Legal Creative, a Valley organization that works to promote the arts, commissioned local photographer Tony Nicholas to photograph the Brier Hill, Brownlee Woods, downtown, Garden District, Idora, Rocky Ridge and Lincoln Knolls neighborhoods. Postcard art representing each neighborhood will be created, and festival attendees will be able to share a positive, personal story about those Youngstown neighborhoods on the postcards.
The postcards will be on display in the Legal Creative’s tent as a public art project. At the end of the festival, the postcards will be mailed to random people in different neighborhoods in the city and surrounding areas to foster connections between people of different backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles.
The Summer Festival of the Artsl also will include the Festival of Nations, an ethnic festival welcoming more than 20 ethnic clubs and churches that provide ethnic memorabilia, performances and food.
In addition, more than 30 nearby arts and cultural groups will provide open hours, displays and activities at their off-campus locations, including the Butler Institute of American Art, Arms Museum, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor (Steel Museum), Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology, the Women’s Art Show at the YWCA, Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County Main Branch and St. John’s Episcopal Church.