YOUNGSTOWN – The Cultural Alliance announced on Friday its mission to promote the arts and culture of the region and to use these elements to promote the region as a whole.

Representatives from the Ballet Western Reserve, the Butler Institute of American Art, the JAC Management Group, Youngstown Playhouse, and Youngstown State University have been meeting for about 18 months to discuss ways to promote eastern Ohio and the western Pennsylvania.

“A regional effort allows us, as a larger organization, to draw more attention to this region to support not only the arts but also the economy of this region”, said the president of the alliance, Dr. Charles Amedia Jr., at a Friday press conference at the Covelli Center community. Bedroom.

Warren Mayor Doug Franklin said businesses looking to locate their businesses don’t focus on city limits.

“They are looking at the regions and what that region has to offer,” Franklin said. “It’s a perfect example of our coming together, united as one, for some kind of branding and bragging about what we have in terms of culture and art. “

Ken Bigley, vice president of JAC Management, said the group operates under the philosophy that “All boats go up at high tide… The idea is not to erase anyone’s individual identity but to improve the global appeal ”of the region.

Reverend Lewis Macklin, who sits on the Youngstown Playhouse board of directors, echoed those sentiments, likening the wedding ring to a pot of chili.

“They are added to the set, but their uniqueness is not compromised,” Macklin said. “What we contribute to this process gives it its flavor and beauty. The Cultural Alliance represents the beauty and essence of this community.

The group is working with an outside consultant who has developed a similar plan for Nashville, Tenn. And although many of the alliance members are traditional arts organizations, Amedia said the Cultural Alliance is “everything we consider our heritage in this community,” and which includes the arts as well as athletics, county fairs and ethnic festivals.

One of its first tools unveiled is a website,, which includes a calendar of activities for participating organizations. In addition to being a source of visitors, the objective is to avoid scheduling conflicts that force artistic organizations to compete with one another.

The alliance is in the process of applying for 501c3 association status. Phyllis Paul, dean of YSU’s Cliffe College of Creative Arts, said once this status is granted, the alliance could help member organizations raise funds and apply for larger grants and donations than individual members. might not be able to attract on their own.

YSU President Jim Tressel said more people were working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and realized they didn’t have to live in the same place as their employer.

“In order for us to have this culture so that people want to live here, raise families here and grow up here, we have to have activities,” Tressel said. “The activity is so critical.”

Membership in the Alliance is open to non-profit organizations, businesses, organizations and individuals who support or are involved in cultural or artistic venues, presentations, festivals and other activities that aim to engage the public and enrich the artistic or cultural life of the region.

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