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WRITER: Andy Gray

Arts council gifts Valley $150K in grants

Ten organizations in a three-county area will receive more than $150,000 in grants from the Ohio Arts Council. Nearly two-thirds of that money will go to the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, which will receive a $100,919 sustainability grant. Executive Director Louis A. Zona said the money is helpful with the high overhead costs of operating a museum the size of the Butler. “Utilities eat us ...

Valley native promises magical start to Olympics

Warren native Tori Piper said the opening ceremony of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is one not to miss. She should know. This is the fourth Olympics the 2005 Warren G. Harding High School graduate has worked, and most of her time so far in Tokyo has been involved in how to light and capture that ceremony for NBC’s coverage of the event. “This opening ceremony is definitely one to tune into,” she ...

WonderStruck prepares for debut at LCC

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment: • WonderStruck music festival, put on by the folks responsible for LaureLive, makes its debut this weekend at Lakeland Community College. Festival organizer The Elevation Group announced one lineup change this week. Noah Cyrus dropped off the bill on Sunday and will be replaced by KennyHoopla, a Cleveland native who’s released a couple of ...

A buffet of Buffett

Jimmy Buffett’s show this summer at the Pavilion at Star Lake was canceled, which means Parrotheads haven’t had an area concert by the man who brings Key West to the North Coast since 2018. Buffett might not be making local landfall, but four of the 11 members of his Coral Reefer Band will join Fins to the Left when it performs Saturday at the Warren Community Amphitheatre as part of the River Rock at the ...

Gullickson brings harmony to Buffett favorites

Tina Gullickson doesn’t do a lot of gigs with Jimmy Buffett tribute bands, but she has an added incentive when Fins to the Left calls. During a telephone interview from her home in southern California, Gullickson said she has cousins in the area, so those trips to perform at the Warren Community Amphitheatre give her a chance to visit with family. Gullickson, who has been a backup singer in Buffett’s ...

No longer ‘Forbidden,’ Rust Belt returns

Rust Belt Theater Company returns Friday to live performances with an old favorite. The musical revue “Forbidden Youngstown” will be staged for five shows over three weekends at the Calvin Center. “The audience is familiar with it, and I knew a lot of the performers would want to come back,” Rust Belt founder Robert Dennick Joki said. “It was a smart choice to ease back into live ...

Mayer, Killers announce 2022 tours

John Mayer, who will play Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls in September with Dead & Company, will focus on his own music for 2022 concert in Pittsburgh. Mayer will play PPG Paints Arena on Feb. 25 in support of his new album “Sob Rock,” his first solo album since 2017’s “The Search for Everything.” Tickets will go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster. The Killers also have ...

YSO conductors in 2021-22 season vie for top post

YOUNGSTOWN — Five guest conductors who will lead the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra during 2021-22 will be considered to replace Randall Craig Fleischer as its music director. Fleischer served as YSO’s music director and conductor from 2006 until his unexpected death in August 2020 at age 61. Chris Jaskiewicz, vice chair of the Youngstown Symphony Society board, said, “We’re trying to see who is a ...

Cultural Alliance to promote arts regionwide

YOUNGSTOWN — The Cultural Alliance announced its mission Friday to promote area arts and culture and to use those elements to promote the region as a whole. Representatives from Ballet Western Reserve, Butler Institute of American Art, JAC Management Group, Youngstown Playhouse and Youngstown State University have been meeting for about 18 months to discuss ways to promote both eastern Ohio and western ...

BWR's 60th anniversary celebration to be on ‘pointe’

YOUNGSTOWN — Ballet Western Reserve will celebrate its 60th anniversary with two full-length ballets and a gala event featuring its alumni. The season was announced at a Wednesday morning news conference at its West Boardman Street studio. “We are all so proud that Ballet Western Reserve has been a continued and vital presence in the arts community and that we are celebrating our diamond anniversary,” ...