All nonprofits seem to ride some sort of roller coaster of ups and downs, and DNDA is no exception. When I became Youngstown Director 5 years ago, I stepped in at the bottom, ready to start us clicking our way towards greater heights. Well, we’ve been clicking, baby!!
When I stepped in, I had one goal in mind: Save Youngstown. I had seen what the founders envisioned: A bustling arts center focused on supporting low-income youth of color, and encouraging youth to sing, shout, dance, rap, create and collaborate. I could easily envision rentals that included primarily other service organizations, and burgeoning and professional arts groups. I could see the potential for a place for us all to learn from one another. With artists living upstairs in affordable housing, collaborating with the orgs and activities downstairs, I could see a place buzzing with life, with art, with youth and creativity. When I took the job 5 years ago, things were darkened from the economic downturn and quiet. So I rolled up my sleeves and exclaimed a resounding, “Yes!”
This amazing building turns 100 years old this year. It is a center of community, a hub of arts and culture, a safe space for youth of color, queer youth, anyone, everyone. It is my honor to carry the torch, if for no other reason than to keep the lights on.
At DNDA, we’ve been doing more than keeping the lights on. Our programming is robust and diverse, and we are living the mission of DNDA here every day – integrating Art, Nature, and Neighborhood to build and sustain a dynamic Delridge.
Please come party with us on December 3rd. If you know Youngstown, I’m guessing you love Youngstown. And if you love Youngstown, I hope you will also join me in donating $100 to support the foundation (literally and figuratively) for the next 100 years. Every $100 brick counts towards sustaining this beautiful space so many call their home away from home.
Join us for the party of the century! And if you’re unable to, please consider donating a brick of $100 towards our goal.
I hope you will join me in celebrating all that this building is, has been, and will continue to be.
Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association