Power of the Arts is proud to be associated with three educational programs serving the Mahoning Valley.  These programs are innovative, forward looking, practical, and designed to integrate Arts and Culture into our daily lives.

Sponsored by Power of the Arts, Arts Mean Business is a quarterly series is designed specifically for artists, from emerging to established, and art enthusiasts to receive relevant information and connect you with available resources to expand and professionalize your arts-based business.  Over the past three years it has offered a wide ranging field of topics from the legal form of an arts business, to copyright law, to resume writing.  Each program is aimed at providing practical information on the business of the arts to those attending.  All sessions are free; however, registration is required.  Look for the announcement of the 2017 Series.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., has selected the community of Warren, OH, to participate in one of the premier arts education programs in the country.  Targeted toward students in kindergarten through eighth grades, Any Given Child uses existing arts programs in the schools and area arts organizations to integrate the arts throughout the curriculum. Warren is the smallest of the 20 cities selected by the Kennedy Center and the only school district in Ohio.  The program is being led by SMARTS / Students Motivated by the Arts  (See below).

Any Given Child seeks to bring access and equity to each student’s arts education, using a model that combines the resources of the school district, local arts and community organizations and the Kennedy Center. With the assistance of expert consultation services provided by Kennedy Center staff and consultants, community leaders develop a strategy for arts education that is tailor-made for the school district and community.

Since the program’s inception, Any Given Child sites have reported numerous successes: some school districts have hired additional teachers or added staff positions; new sources of funding for arts education have been established; communities have expanded arts offerings for students; and sites have provided professional learning for classroom teachers, arts specialists, and local arts organizations to build their capacity to deliver high-quality arts education to students. For more information on the Kennedy Center, go to


SMARTS community art school provides access and early training in the arts for our region’s K-12 youth with a focus on under-served populations. SMARTS engages public and private organizations, schools, and artists in cooperative projects designed to enrich our community, promote student achievement, inspire self-discovery, and impact cultural and academic literacy through fine and performing arts.

SMARTS has been successfully transitioning to the community since January 2014 as a stand-alone community-based art school which seeks to motivate students to succeed in all areas of life by teaching them the discipline and focus that creating art takes. It will achieve full operational status by summer of 2017 in its new location in the Ohio One Building in downtown Youngstown.  This year it is the recipient of the prestigious Ohio Arts Council’s Governor’s Award for Arts Education Programs. SMARTS is currently in process of an “All in One” Campaign for SMARTS which is creating a trans-formative facility in the historic Ohio One Building in downtown Youngstown.  In addition to leading Any Given Child, Warren, OH SMARTS will ‘plant’ a visual arts and music teacher at South Side Academy, SMARTS Beats for students with disabilities will take place at a partner school, and SMARTS will provide arts classes in several after-school programs.

SMARTS quality arts education classes and teaching includes visual arts, music, dance, theater, and creative writing. SMARTS has received many awards and distinctions including being noted as a Coming Up Taller Semifinalist twice, 2006 and 2010. Keck is Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Youngstown, and serves on many Boards including the Mahoning County Salvation Army, the Power of the Arts Initiative, the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, and the Rotary Club of Youngstown. Keck was a nominee for the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber’s Athena Awards this past spring. You can support SMARTS at

For more information contact Becky Keck, SMARTS Executive Director, City Centre One, 100 East Federal Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44503, or Jill Merolla, Supervisor of Community Outreach and Grant Development, Warren City Schools, 105 High Street, Warren, OH 44481, 330-841-2321, Ext.