We published our 2019 Annual Report! Thanks to all–you put the light in Lit Youngstown. There were so many to thank, our hearts are full. We hope we haven’t forgotten anyone, but if we did, please let us know.
Join us in thanking Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell for a $500 contribution toward the upcoming Winter Writing Camp, noting “It is a pleasure to support this initiative.” This is HHM’s third year in Winter Writing Camp funding, and we are so appreciative.
We are also profoundly grateful to the Youngstown Foundation for matching contributions made through the Support Fund at the Foundation, and for selecting us as a $500 recipient of the Youngstown Foundation Promotion and Goodwill Fund. The Foundation is a force for good in our community, and it’s terrific to receive this endorsement.
Five years! It’s gone by in a flash. Let’s take a moment to celebrate all we’ve done together. And then let’s have a party!
Since January of 2015 we have hosted nearly 400 writers, celebrating local talent and visiting writers who have won prestigious awards. Local writers from age 6 to their 80s have shared poems and stories at open mics. (Photos: Mary Biddinger & Mary Quade, Lena Carson, Yahia Tahat, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Jimmy Sutman, Marjorie Maddox)
Hundreds of participants have learned about aspects of writing and publishing at workshops and classes taught by local teaching artists, and sessions at Winter Writing Camp and Fall Literary Festival.
Lit Youngstown partnered with the Public Library of Mahoning & Trumbull County to write a successful National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant, and hosted 33 distinct activities culminating in a visit by author Luis Alberto Urrea, pictured here with local musicians the Labra Brothers. Only two Big Reads took place in Ohio this year, including ours! Reader non-writers have a place with us, too, with book discussions and readings such as Urrea’s, to a packed house.
We are grateful so many community partners have worked with us on projects and events, including the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Summer Festival of the Arts, JCC, YWCA, YNDC, Hubbard & Kinsman Public Libraries, Park Vista, Soap Gallery, McDonough Museum, YSU, UUYO, Purple Cat, Lake to River, WYSU, the National Council of Negro Women and many others. Our partners help us extend our reach and give us a chance to support the incredible work they are doing.
In addition, we’ve helped make a modest boost in the local economy by supporting local businesses whenever possible, and by bringing in state and federal grant money and writers who purchase meals and lodging while attending events such as the Fall Literary Festival. (Photo: Fall Literary Festival dinner at the Hilton DoubleTree, photo credit Jill Christman)
Words Made Visible engaged hundreds of writers and artists, culminating in poetry excerpts stamped in sidewalk squares at St. John’s Episcopal Church and by the Commerce Building downtown. (Photo credit: Melanie Buonavolonta & Ashley Dillon)
Many YSU undergraduate and graduate student interns have helped us develop and implement programs and materials, giving the students insights into running an arts nonprofit.
In addition, we have used the literary arts to foster discussions on healthy food access with food policy activist Mark Winne, whose research in Youngstown is featured in his latest book. Our oral history project Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories tells the stories of twelve African-American women in our community. Food for Thought book discussion has taken up themes of food, the American experience, and humankind and the natural world. And we learned about Youngstown’s literary ancestor, Michael McGovern, the Puddler Poet, whose labor poetry had a national following at the turn of the 20th century.
Thank you to everyone who had a presence in our first five years. It has really felt like the building of a community, and we are so grateful.
Turn the Page with us!
Please consider celebrating Lit Youngstown at 5 with a contribution to help keep us going strong. For donors of $50+ (or $5.00+ monthly installments), we have a special commemorative calendar with some of our favorite images from the last five years. Major donors of $500 and higher are listed on our website.
Please click here for more information on how to contribute by check, Paypal, credit card, monthly installment or via the Youngstown Foundation.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for contributing any level of support. Mark your calendar for a big thank you party January 25!
Executive Director Karen Schubert
Board of Directors: Elaine Arvan Andrews, Tricia D’Avignon, Tim Francisco, Anne Garwig, Liz Hill, Courtney Kensinger, Nicole DiPiero, Nicole Robinson, Elizabeth Skeels, Penny Wells
P.S. Many people have told us they would have paid more for a class or event. We keep our pricing low to be as inclusive as possible, and your donation will help keep us going in these hard times. Thank you!
Plans are underway for the 3rd annual Winter Writing Camp! This free, all day writing workshop for all ages and experience levels will take place Saturday, February 8 from 9:30 to 4:00. Registration will open in January!
One hundred writers of all ages gathered last Saturday for some literary fun. We took a few pics, and we’ve seen great ones from you, as well. Thanks to all who made this day possible.
Join us for an enjoyable, high-energy day of writing and storytelling Saturday, February 16, 2019, 9:30-3:00, at St. John’s Episcopal Church and the main library on Wick Ave. Seats are limited so register soon, but if you are unable to attend, please let us know right away. The deadline is February 1 or when all seats are full.
Word play, blackout poetry, writing the fantastical, adding mystery to your story, free writing and many more topics and activities will be on the menu, as well as cookies & open mic for those who would like to bring a poem or story to share.
The Winter Writing Camp is co-hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, with sessions for all writers, from kindergarten up, and all levels of experience. Participants under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Free registration includes lunch. Free childcare all day for children 5 and under. It is allowable for adults to bring small, non-disruptive children into sessions, but we hope that offering childcare will give adults a moment to enjoy uninterrupted time with older children.
If you have a disability, please let us know when you register. We’d like to the make the day as enjoyable as possible for you.
We will meet at 9:30 at St. John’s, where each participant will receive a schedule and list of sessions. Please park in the lot at St. John’s or the library, or behind St. John’s on Walnut St. by the MVR. As we will be walking between buildings, weather-wise outerwear and footwear are recommended.
Questions? Let us know: Info@LitYoungstown.org.
Join us in thanking our sponsors who make this day possible: the Nathalie & James Andrews Foundation; Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell, Ltd.; the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley; Maureen Reardon; Crist & Rosemary Weaver; the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown & Cultivate: a Co-op Café. Thank you!
Winter Writing Camp, February 16, 2019, will be an daylong event for writing enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels, held at St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County.
Do you have an idea for a writing workshop? Submit your proposal here. The deadline is January 7 or until all spots are filled. You may submit up to three proposals, but please submit each separately.
We are looking for workshops for kids in elementary school (who may have an adult with them) and middle school, as well as teens only, teens and adults, or all ages.
Workshops that include a writing prompt and time to write are preferred, although we will consider other kinds of sessions such as editing, plotting a novel, or researching history.
Hats off to the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley for their microfunding initiatives, giving projects a boost with both funding and community engagement.
We are crazy honored to be a presenter for the first Soup. Our pitch will be for the Winter Writing Camp February 16, a cost-free, high energy day of writing activities for writers of all ages. Other presenters are ABC Diamond Girls, Shepherd of All God’s Children, and YSUScape. Whichever project you vote for, you’re sure to walk away with a belly full of delicious soup, and a feeling that good things are happening in our communities. We hope you can make it!
Valley Soup is a microfunding dinner inspired by both the original Detroit Soup and the former Warren Soup and Youngstown Soup events. In conjunction with Giving Tuesday, the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley is putting on this event to spark and fund innovative projects that will benefit the Mahoning Valley.
HOW IT WORKS:
• Attendees pay $5.00 at the door (Christ Episcopal Church, 2627 Atlantic Street NE, Warren, OH 44483) and receive a ballot. There are no tickets or advanced reservations.
• Everyone listens to four (4) presentations, limited to four (4) minutes each.
• Guests have the opportunity to ask questions of each presenter for two (2) minutes.
• After the presentations, everyone eats soup, salad, and bread (included in the $5.00 entry fee), while socializing and discussing the four (4) proposals.
• During dinner, each attendee votes on their favorite presentation.
• Volunteers tally the votes and the evening’s winner gets the cash collected at the door to carry out their project.
Join us on Nov. 27th and vote for your favorite! The winner takes home the evening’s proceeds (and possibly some matching funds!) to help carry out their project!
Visit www.cfmv.org/soup for more information or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org | 330-743-5555.
What a fun-filled day! Our Winter Writing Camp attendees were wonderful, and gave us some great feedback so we can make next year’s Winter Writing Camp even better.
Many thanks to our underwriters: an anonymous donor; Churchill Commons Giant Eagle; Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell; Liz Hill; and The Supplyroom. We also thank our teaching artists, cookie bakers, volunteers, hosts–St. John’s and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County–and all who attended.
We’ll do it again next year. Meanwhile, we’re busy planning for the Fall Literary Festival September 21-22. Hope to see you there.