(WSB file photo)
It’s a birthday party – and something of a rebirth-day party. Nearing its eighth anniversary, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center is continuing its rolling revamp/relaunch and inviting you to “Thrive 8” on March 1st, two weeks from Saturday. The announcement is more than a “here’s what’s happening at our gala” – it’s also context for what’s happening behind the scenes:
Back in what was known as “The Golden Age of Youngstown,” people would flock to the historic Frank B. Cooper School for youth programming, classes and public events, including Youngstown’s popular old-school dance parties.
With the transition of staff and economic issues that can plague any nonprofit, events were put on the back burner while Youngstown’s parent organization, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA), re-grouped to strategize the next phase of the organization, leaving Youngstown somewhat quiet while they worked behind the scenes on the planning.
With the hiring of Director David Bestock in 2012, himself a Youngstown resident, passionate performing artist and long-time arts advocate, DNDA has put the leadership of this once-vibrant arts hub as a top priority. And not only is Bestock focusing on revamping its arts programming and promoting its facilities as a competitive public-event-rental venue, he is inviting the community to re-invest and join the momentum towards a complete revitalization. The first step, in that vein, was an Open House attended by hundreds last fall.
This spring Bestock introduces Youngstown Thrive 8, a dance party that is both for families and party goers.
“In late February, we turn 8 years old,” says Bestock. “So we’re throwing a party for our community. There will be live bands, DJs, arts activities, fun for the whole family and then a late-night dance party.”
Change is definitely underway at Youngstown. Under Bestock’s leadership, last summer, Youngstown was an integral part of the Delridge Mural Program, which paid at-risk youth to work with teaching artist Andrew Morrison to paint murals on twelve traffic signal boxes along the Delridge corridor.
(WSB photo, August 2013)
Bestock sees these community outreach events as essential to Youngstown’s re-vitalization and future.
“We know there are folks out there who used to come to every one of our dance parties back in the day,” continues Bestock. “With The Thrive, we are hoping our friends, new and old, will come back to Youngstown and enjoy a night of dancing and community”.
The public is invited to join in on the birthday activities- from live bands to DJs to kids’ arts activities and other surprises, The Thrive has something for everyone.
YOUNGSTOWN THRIVE 8
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW
SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2014 | 6- 9p Family friendly fun | 9p- 1a 21+ Dance Party
LIVE BANDS | DJS |KID ART | FOOD&DRINK | CASH BAR |NEW YOUNGSTOWN MERCH
Tickets: $10 Adults -$5 Kids (12 and under) brownpapertickets.com
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