Lit Youngstown hosts reading, announces grants

Three writers will read from their work at Lit Youngstown’s next First Wednesday Readers Series event.

Poet Samantha Imperi of Cuyahoga Falls is a Realtor and student at The University of Akron in the NEOMFA (Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing) program.

Fantasy writer Cassandra Lawton of Niles also is a student in the NEOMFA program. She also has a master’s degree in social work and aims to bring creative writing and its healing effects into therapeutic and community spaces. She’s had flash fiction published in Bridge: The Bluffton Literary Journal and nonfiction published in Entropy.

Nonfiction writer Rachel Roberts of Akron is a partner at Twisted Beauty Publishing, a NEOMFA candidate in nonfiction writing and co-editor-in-chief of the Rubbertop Review at the University of Akron. She owns a publishing company and music label, and is a singer-songwriter who currently plays with two bands.

The program co-hosted by Adam Lee starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Soap Gallery, 117 Champion St., Youngstown, and will be followed by an open mic. Admission is free.

Lit Youngstown, a literary arts nonprofit with programs for writers, readers, and storytellers, also announced it has received more than $50,000 in grants for programming and operating funds.

The Ohio Arts Council awarded a $15,000 Arts Resiliency Initiative, which will fund three writers-in-residence: poets Quartez Harris of Cleveland and Manuel Iris of Cincinnati and playwright Mike Geither of Cleveland.

This initiative is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the OAC.

A Ohio SHARP grant for operating support in the amount of $11,113.33 was awarded by Ohio Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Rescue Plan Act. .

A Youngstown Foundation award of $9,100 partially will fund the Fall Literary Festival 2022, scheduled for Oct. 20-22, as well as its First Wednesday Readers Series, outreach, writing workshops, grantwriting and operational expenses. The Williamson Family Fund of The Youngstown Foundation also awarded an additional unrestricted grant of $2,425.

A $6,600 Fund Making Grant, a component fund of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, will help fund the Winter Writing Camp scheduled for Feb. 26, as well as outreach and grantwriting. Outreach will include developing writing groups for cancer survivors in collaboration with Yellow Brick Place.

The Nathalie & James Andrew Foundation awarded $6,000 in unrestricted funds, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown collected $255 in Share-the-Plate contributions in support of the Fall Literary Festival.

According to Lit Youngstown Director Karen Schubert, “We are so honored and grateful to have this support and encouragement. We thank these foundations and donors for the ways they are lifting up our community.”


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