Bowling Green Home & Lifestyle wrote about FFOYA House and founders Toby and Amanda for their April 2016 issue. Writer Mary Nestor did a great job delving into our mission here at FFOYA House.
The Chamber of Commerce measures success by charting trends like job growth and revenues raised, but there are other ways to quantify a vibrant infrastructure. And if Robert Tobias and Amanda Crawford have a say in the matter, the definition of a successful economic model for their newly adopted hometown will definitely come with a backbeat.
Crawford and Tobias, or Amanda and Toby, as they prefer to be known, have quickly become an essential part of the downtown district. She is a journalist on tenure track at WKU teaching writing and reporting, as well an accomplished lyricist. They met in Phoenix, Arizona, where Toby, a lifelong musician whose work has been described as perfect for “a darkened room and an open mind,” fronted the band Former Friends of Young Americans.
After moving to Bowling Green almost two years ago, Amanda and Toby established FFOYA House, which on the surface is a funky recording studio in a converted Victorian on Kentucky Street where they offer a sliding scale to local musicians to produce studio quality tracks for distribution to a larger audience. But their real mission is to make connections across a landscape of musicians, poets, fine artists and even farmers with the ultimate goal of establishing a network of people in support of progressive causes.
FFOYA House had the chance to partner with Hope Harbor to raise awareness about one of the most important issues in a college town or any town: sexual assault. Following the annual Take Back the Night march, we hosted a concert and a Sexual Assault Awareness Month art show to benefit Hope Harbor, a sexual trauma recovery center serving Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren Counties in Kentucky.
Three bands -- Rose Hotel, V.V. Lightbody and Astronomy Club -- volunteered their time and talents in the music portion of the event. Artwork by eight artists also was selected for a gallery display on the themes of sexual violence, body image, healing, recovery and empowerment. (See the art and read more about the art show here.) A free library with books ranging from spirituality to feminist fiction was offered as part of the event, too.
You can see a video of the Take Back the Night march posted by Joe Imel of BG Daily News here.
Shelby Bruce wrote a walk-up story about the event for the College Heights Herald. From wkuherald.com:
Hope Harbor Inc., a nonprofit crisis counseling center, and WKU’s Counseling and Testing Center will be partnering with the Former Friends of Young Americans House tonight to host a Take Back the Night event and benefit concert.
The march will start at 6 p.m. at the Warren County Justice Center at 1001 Center St. Following the march and a candlelit vigil, participants are encouraged to gather at the FFOYA House at 1035 Kentucky St. for a live concert.
The event recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and is held to protest the idea of people being assaulted while walking outside at night, according to Alayna Milby, the director of crisis intervention at Hope Harbor.
“It’s to raise awareness that women should not be afraid to walk at night in fear of being assaulted,” Milby said.
FFOYA House Mission
To foster a spirit of equality and fairness, bridging gaps between artists, activists and community members. Using art (not celebrity) as an impetus for change.