The Power of the Arts is an initiative dedicated to promoting and advocating for the visual, performing, folk and media arts in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.

Mission Statement: To create and sustain a collaborative structure for the Arts and Culture community to effectively participate in our region’s revitalization and economic development and to positively impact our citizens’ quality of life.


Karen Schubert

Board of Directors

Terry  Cloonan , Chairman  / Becky Keck, Vice Chair   (Executive Director SMARTS – Students Motivated by the Arts) / Mark Mangie,  Secretary (Mark Mangie Law) / William Mullane, Treasurer  (Gallery Director, Trumbull Art Gallery) / Bonnie Burdman   (Youngstown Area Jewish Federation) / Rebecca Davis  (Butler Institute of American Art) / (Mark Gasser  (Gasser Chair Company Inc.) / Jamie Jamison (YSU, Instructor Dept. of Communication) / Sharon Letson   (Youngstown CityScape) / James McClellan (Youngstown Playhouse)

About POA

The well-being of arts and culture institutions and activities at all levels goes hand in hand with the economic stability of urban and rural centers.

In 2009, under the sponsorship of The Raymond Wean Foundation, The Community Foundation, and the Youngstown Foundation, 250 interested members of the arts and economic development communities gathered at the Butler Institute of American Art to examine issues related to the health of our artist and cultural landscape. The Power of the Arts Initiative was born. Since that meeting, more than 1,000 people have engaged in achieving the goals of Power of the Arts. They come from all walks of life…visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, design arts, public service, community development and the private business sector.

These people, organizations, and businesses understand the rich arts and culture heritage of the Mahoning Valley.  They understand that our arts and culture infrastructure and pool of talent surpasses many communities twice our size.  They understand the importance of preserving our rich heritage and the economic benefit that flows from that preservation and nurturing.

The goals of Power of the Arts are threefold:

1)   Develop an entity that will raise the visibility of, participation in, and community revitalization role of arts and culture in the Mahoning Valley.

2)   Develop and implement a plan to secure public funding for arts and culture in the Mahoning Valley.

3)   Develop a method by which to assist local arts and culture entities and individuals to maximize exposure for their efforts and events, as well as to provide a structure though which these groups can communicate with each other; private businesses benefit from their events; and various public and quasi-public entities assure mutual benefits to all.

In 2015, Power of the Arts formed its own 501-C-3 organization to give it a more permanent structure.  Its members have also formed an independent Political Action Committee to help implement the goal of a steady stream of public funding for our arts and culture community.

Power of the Arts is stepping up its efforts to achieve our goals.  We are becoming pro-active in digital promotion of member events.  We are coordinating our calendar with those of local Visitors and Convention Bureaus to achieve maximum exposure not only for our members, but our community.  We are meeting all our members on a one-on-one basis to see what needs they have that Power of the Arts can provide.

Of note is the continuation of its Arts Means Business Professional Development series.  These quarterly events have reached hundreds of people, hosting dynamic speakers that talk about the practical “business” of arts and culture; for example, what business form to use, how digital marketing works, or how to apply for grants.

Finally, Power of the Arts is renewing its efforts for the formation of an Arts and Culture District within Mahoning and Trumbull Counties as provided for in the Ohio Revised Code. These districts are semi-autonomous entities with the ability to place local funding options on the ballots to give local communities the chance to back their own arts and culture entities with public support. This ongoing effort is centered on legislative activity to give Mahoning and Trumbull Counties the same rights as Cuyahoga County to achieve our goals.

Power of the Arts is moving strongly and boldly into the future to fulfill the goals of our members, our institutions, and our communities.

You can view “Solidifying our Structure and Community Service Strategic Plan for 2015-2017”, developed in association with Janus Small Associates, by clicking on the link below.


KEEP INFORMED – Sign up for POA’s News and Other Communications ——Click Here


Organizational Members

Artists of the Rust Belt
Ballet Western Reserve, Inc.
Butler Institute of American Art
Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County
JAC Management Group
Janus Small Associates
Lit Youngstown
Opera Western Reserve
Random Acts of Artists
Rosewood Studio
SMARTS, Students Motivated by the Arts
Southside Fine Arts Academy
Stambaugh Chorus
The Soap Gallery
Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership
Warren Philharmonic Orchestra
Youngstown CityScape
Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation
YSU + Thomases Gallery at the JCC
YSU College of Creative Arts & Communication

Artist and Individual Members

Janie Altrogge
David W. Ambrose
Ian Beniston
Germaine Bennett
Claudia Berlinski
Karen Borkes
Bonnie Deutsch Burdman
Jim Bugos
Sharon Cline
Michael Crist
Rebecca Davis
Leanna J. Dunaway
Susan and William Everett
Lori A. Factor
Jennifer Gasser
Mark Gasser
Michael Gibson
Adam Gregory
Madeline Grimes
Kris Harper
Jacob D Hostetler
Rebecca Keck
Anthony Kropp
Jean Lam
Christine Legow
Lauren Lenio
Sharon Letson
Matt Martin
Shirley A. McElhaney
Janet Moy
William Mullane
Tony Nicholas
Anita Philibin
Terry Polonsky
Daniel Rauschenbach
Zachary Repphun
Kristina Rule
Tamara Sigler
Elise McKeown Skolnick
Janus Small
Gary Taneri
Mary June Tartan
Andy Thomas
Evie Zimmer