Since the early 1980’s the Ward Bakery building has been an incubator for artists, musicians, actors, film makers and those involved in cultural pursuits. By the turn of the 21st century, the Ward Bakery had established itself as a grass-roots driving force behind Youngstown’s cultural community. With the advent of the Artists of the Mahoning Commons and the seasonal Open Studio Sale in 2003, we became a significant part of the Youngstown Renaissance.
Currently, the Artists of the Mahoning Commons Open Studio Sale draws upward of one thousand people during the two or three day run. We provide access to culture for the surrounding community; suburban and inner city alike. Conveniently positioned at the Interstate 680 exits, we are easily available.
While our organization is greatly supported financially by the suburban communities, our emphasis is to provided cultural opportunities to those of Youngstown’s inner city. Located at the juncture of the lower West Side and the upper South Side, we find ourselves surrounded by a community that has suffered economic, social and cultural disenfranchisement.
We provide Youngstown residents with immediate access to those who work in the Youngstown cultural scene, including University employees, artists, musicians, actors and museum workers. We offer opportunities for Youngstowners to show their work, and we offer volunteer opportunities, especially to Youngstown State University students. Our events are free to the public, as we believe that all people should enjoy the cultural richness that our city has to offer.