Youngstown State University's Summer Festival of the Arts does more than provide a weekend of entertainment and activities for visitors.
It also shines attention on the arts groups, museums and attractions that provide entertainment and activities the other 363 days of the year.
Festival coordinator Lori A. Factor said the result of that philosophy is the event keeps growing in its 14th year.
''Our partnerships continue to strengthen,'' she said. ''That's a result of doing things consistently. People want to be involved with us instead of us having to beat the bushes to get people involved.''
This year will see information booths from the Cleveland Playhouse and arts programming in Lawrence County, Pa., both of which wanted to be a part of this year's event. They will join a long list of local organizations.
''Rust Belt Theater Company, Ballet Western Reserve, SMARTS, Easy Street, the Oakland - those arts and cultural groups see the benefit of being able to have a captive audience where they can give out their schedules and do impromptu performances,'' Factor said. ''We give them a lot of leeway to do what they want.''
WHAT: 14th Summer Festival of the Arts
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Youngstown State University
HOW MUCH: Admission is free
10 a.m. Panyard Steel Drums (Kilcawley Fountain)
11 a.m. Jenny literary magazine open mic (Lemon Grove Stage)
11 a.m. Youngstown Area Community Concert Band (Festival of Nations)
Noon Jamie Marich (Lemon Grove Stage)
Noon Dana Gypsy Jazz Ensemble (Kilcawley Fountain Amphitheater)
Noon Erie Heights Brass (Festival of Nations)
Noon Miss Kate Gore (McDonough Museum of Art)
1 p.m. Simon (Lemon Grove Stage)
1 p.m. Burke School of Irish Dance (Kilcawley Center Chestnut Room)
1 p.m. Colors of India (Festival of Nations)
1:30 p.m. Pig Iron Press open mic (McDonough Museum of Art)
2 p.m. Ralph Rich (Lemon Grove Stage)
2 p.m. ''An Accident Waiting to Happen,'' a musical cabaret featuring Robert Pecchia and Carly Magnuson (Kilcawley Center Chestnut Room)
2 p.m. Rachell Joy (Kilcawley Fountain Amphitheater)
2 p.m. Krakowiaki Polish Folk Circle (Festival of Nations)
3 p.m. Taylor Saunders (Lemon Grove Stage)
3 p.m. J.D. Eicher and the Goodnights (Kilcawley Fountain Amphitheater)
3 p.m. Living Traditions Folk Ensemble (Festival of Nations)
4 p.m. UN Act Family Variety Show featuring Brandon Martin (Lemon Grove Stage)
5 p.m. Rocco Sait (Lemon Grove Stage)
5 p.m. Youngstown Film Festival shorts program (Kilcawley Center Chestnut Room)
5 p.m. Conjunta Riquena (Kilcawley Fountain Amphitheater)
6 p.m. Michael Andrecic (Lemon Grove Stage)
6 p.m. Lars Brondum and Mark Hanley (Ward Beecher Planetarium)
11 a.m. County Mayo (Kilcawley Fountain Amphitheater)
Noon Youngstown Connection (Festival of Nations)
1 p.m. Taylor Saunders (Lemon Grove Stage)
1 p.m. Ballet Western Reserve (Kilcawley Center Chestnut Room)
1 p.m. YSU Dance and Dance USA (Butler Institute of American Art)
1 p.m. Dana Gypsy Jazz Ensemble (Kilcawley Fountain)
1 p.m. Troupe Shabaana (Festival of Nations)
1 p.m. Nan Midgley (McDonough Museum of Art)
2 p.m. Ralph Rich (Lemon Grove Stage)
2 p.m. Opera Western Reserve Fun with Opera (Kilcawley Center Chestnut Room)
2 p.m. Youngstown Area Ukrainian Dancers (Festival of Nations)
2 p.m. Student Literary Arts Association Open Mic Literary Reading (McDonough Museum of Art)
3 p.m. Liz McBride (Lemon Grove Stage)
3 p.m. Jeff Green's Players Express (Kilcawley Fountain Amphitheater)
3 p.m. Harambee Dance Troupe (Festival of Nations)
4 p.m. Tullsen Brothers (Lemon Grove Stage)
4 p.m. St. John's Greek Orthodox Dancers (Festival of Nations)
The Festival of Nations, which spotlights the different ethnic groups that have settled in the Mahoning Valley, continues to grow as well. More than 20 ethnicities will be represented with a combination of food vendors, information booth and live performances, she said.
The Artists Marketplace seemed to draw interest from a wider geographic area as well.
''Dare I say it, maybe because the economy is getting a little better, artists are feeling more comfortable coming farther to exhibit,'' she said. ''We have two coming from Florida, we've got folks from New York, different parts of Pennsylvania, Michigan.''
They will join many locals artists who will be selling original hand-crafted pieces, including jewelry, paintings, sketches, sculptures, glass, wood pieces and textiles.
''We want to make sure the artists who are here are masters of their craft and serious about selling, as opposed to exhibiting, their work,'' Factor said.
In addition to the artists featured in the juried marketplace, a collaboration with ArtsYoungstown will display ''personal statement flags'' created by anyone who wanted to participate in the public art project that will be displayed around campus.
Live performances are planned on multiple stages, and several museums in the downtown area will have special displays and events in conjunction with the weekend, which coincides with the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Summerfest (running today through Sunday) and the Smoky Hollow 5K Race (starting at 7:45 a.m. Saturday)
In conjunction with this year's festival will be a Friday performance of ''Vincent,'' a one-man show written by Leonard Nimory. Rodd Coonce will play all of the characters in the play, which is based on the letters between artist Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo.
It will be staged at 8 p.m. at Dorian Books, 802 Elm St., Youngstown. Tickets are $20 and can be reserved by calling 330-743-2665 or 330-744-9980.
Admission is free for most Summer Festival of the Arts' attractions, and most of the events and performers are returning from past years.
''We've tried a lot of different things,'' Factor said. ''We know what really works, and we stick to those three, four things we're really, really good with.''