Story behind the downtown amphitheater’s name

Local News

The Youngstown Foundation thought the amphitheater project was the perfect opportunity to give back

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Foundation has been around for 100 years. It was looking for a project to celebrate that achievement and learned about the amphitheater.

The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre is ready to entertain the city. The summer acts are set and Friday, it all begins.

“The renderings that I’ve seen over the years don’t do it justice to what the real amphitheater looks like,” said Jan Strasfeld, executive director of the foundation. “It’s incredible.”

Strasfeld was going door to door, looking for the perfect project to be a fitting recognition of the foundation’s century of excellence.

“After all that research, we concluded the best thing was to provide a project that enhanced the quality of life for every resident of Youngstown. So the amphitheater made sense,” she said.

The naming rights were a $3 million commitment. The foundation has $120 million in charitable funds as of this week.

Now the Youngstown Foundation name will be seen and mentioned every time the amphitheater is used. Plus, it will help people understand the work the foundation does.

“We fund across the board — arts, education, culture, social services, health care, environment, economic development,” Strasfeld said.

She sees the amphitheater name as a way to showcase philanthropy and promote positive change.

The Youngstown Foundation supports many local nonprofit organizations.

“I hope it inspires people to understand who we are and what we do, and how they can help pay it forward for future generations,” Strasfeld said.

The Youngstown Foundation was started in 1918 with $33,000. Again, it’s grown to over $120 million.

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