People swarmed downtown this weekend for Penguin Production’s second annual Federal Frenzy — a celebration of the visual and musical arts in Youngstown and the surrounding areas.
Attendance compared to last year seems to have grown by leaps and bounds. Friends Roastery and Circle Hookah Bar played host to bands in addition to The Federal, Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts and O’Donold’s Irish Pub, all of which participated last year.
Last year, the acts started early in the day, around 2 p.m. and played to empty streets. This year, people were there early and by 7 p.m., Federal Street was filled with people of all ages.
It was a great example of what Youngstown and its citizens are capable of when people come out to celebrate together.
Youngstown State University and the city in general are beginning to work together planning events and are seeing more success with them.
The Student Literary Art Association, the YSU chapter of Alpha Psi Omega and the Student Government Association joined forces to collaborate for content and to launch the new edition of “Jenny Magazine” at the SOAP gallery.
We’re a small city — our population is only around 65,000 according to the 2013 Census. For something to work, we have to come together to create events.
In a big city like Cleveland or Pittsburgh, both with populations between 300,000-400,000 people, a fraction of the city can show up at an event, and the event will still be successful because they’re pulling from a larger pool of people. In Youngstown, we don’t have that luxury.
Last month, two art galleries decided that instead of competing, they would work together. M Gallery and the SOAP gallery held openings on the same night. They billed the event as an art hop. Lots of people braved the rain and visited both galleries. Youngstown Cinema held a screening following the openings and nearly every seat was filled.
These events prove that when people work together within the city or within the university, great stuff can come to fruition.
If people want Youngstown to become a better place to live and have fun in, working together on events like Federal Frenzy and the art hop will help. When we can bring several audiences to the city at the same time, it creates a critical mass and the city comes to life.
More concerts, art shows and bars will start to see Youngstown as a place where people get excited about coming out to events. We just need to take an active role and work together to make things happen. Spread the word.
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