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Lit Youngstown receives relief grants

One will match money raised in a fund-raiser that ends July 20.
LIT Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN — Lit Youngstown has received funding from the Ohio Humanities and Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley to help offset programming cancellations due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

The Arts & Culture Crisis Relief Challenge Grant from the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley will match up to $2,500 of contributions raised in a special fundraiser for the literary arts nonprofit that ends on July 20. 

Lit Youngstown also will receive $3,800 from the Ohio Humanities, part of the federal CARES Act of 2020 administered by the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Liz Hill, Lit Youngstown treasurer, said the grants will make up for many events, including fundraisers, that were canceled.

“It was devastating to cancel readings, community projects, other events in a very busy spring, including a celebration of Walt Whitman and a party marking our first five years,” Hill said. 

Some of the planned programming has moved online, Hill said, including readings and the Fall Literary Festival.

New online programs include writer-partner interviews posted on YouTube featuring local writers Eric and Julie Cancio Harper and Canton poets Robert Miltner and Molly Fuller. Another is the PenPal Project which has matched more than a dozen local children with penpals from around the country and world. 

Hill said she is encouraged by the support from the community and beyond.

“As Ohio Humanities Pat Williamson noted in the award letter, Ohio’s cultural organizations have survived crises in the past, and we will survive this, too,” Hill said.