YSU welcomes guests to annual Festival of the Arts

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This year's event has over 80 artists and vendors from around the country for guests to browse

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown State University celebrated the 21st anniversary of the Summer Festival of the Arts on Saturday.

This year’s event has over 80 artists and vendors from around the country for guests to browse.

“We’ve got vendors from Ohio, Pennsylvania and just about everywhere,” said volunteer Wendy Akers.

Akers has been a volunteer for the festival for the past two years. She said her favorite part is the variety of art on display.

We’ve got jewelry, we’ve got handmade instruments, we’ve got music and painting and photography. Just about any type of art you would like or like to come see, we’ve got it here somewhere on campus,” she said.

Micheline Thompson is an artist at the festival who designs moccasins for children.

“I wanted to do something worthy. My opportunity to be able to work in town and be able to contribute back to the community, especially the disabled veterans,” Thompson said.

Thompson said she went to Chicago a year ago for shoe designing school.

“Prior to that, I have never even known how to run a sewing machine. I’ve never done any patterns. I’ve never done design. I don’t come from a design background,” she said.

Thompson was originally from Lebanon and said during the 80’s, the U.S. Marines helped out her neighborhood a lot.

“This is my way of saying thank you. Giving back to our local community, and particularly to our disabled veterans and working with the VA hospital here in Mahoning Valley, has truly been an amazing experience,” she said.

Akers said this festival is a wonderful way to explore art.

“A lot of people think that art is something that belongs on a wall in a museum. You look at it, but don’t touch, but here at the festival, we invite you to come see it, come touch it, come play with it. We have a kids tent where kids can make art and show that art is for everyone,” Akers said.

The Festival of the Arts will continue Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit ysu.edu.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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