Funded Projects from 2007

ALIA MUSICA Pittsburgh
$8,000 » ALIA MUSICA Pittsburgh, 2007 Seed Award project support

ALIA MUSICA Pittsburgh was a group of emerging young composers and musicians who presented a season of six concerts and recorded a commercial CD. The group presented new music composed locally and created a network of support for emerging musical talent in Pittsburgh.

“Allentown Stories” (2007)
Lucas Stock, 2007 Community Murals mural

Members of the Allentown community chose to celebrate their storied history in this mural, taking a nostalgic glimpse at the past through recreations of actual photographs from the area’s past. For artist Lucas Stock, getting a first-hand account of Allentown’s history proved surprisingly easy: Caliguri Plaza, the building on which the mural is located, houses both the Teeter Totter Child Care Center and a high-rise for elderly tenants, and the seniors in residence jumped at the chance to get involved with the project. The influence of their ideas enabled Stock to capture memorable scenes like a late 19th century General Store, the ribbon cutting ceremony for a town trolley, and the Knoxville Incline, which previously connected Allentown with the South Side and earned fame for being the world’s only incline with a bend. Divided between two walls, the center and focus of this uniquely positioned mural serves as a colorful contrast to its outer edges, using the Brown Line light rail train, which runs between the city and Allentown, to symbolize modern life in the neighborhood. Now, the mural helps Allentown residents of all to ages embrace their community’s past, as well as the new stories created each day.

Alternative Transportation Festival
$25,000, 2007 Engage Pittsburgh project support

Alternative Transportation Festiva engaged the people and city of Pittsburgh in activities and events that raised awareness of key issues relating to transportation including environmental concerns, the state of public transit, alternative fuels and vehicles, and urban cycling.

Art Olympic Theatre
$10,000 » The Tom Museum, 2007 Seed Award project support

Art Olympic Theatre, a project of The Tom Museum, invited local and visiting artists to compete in a variety of themes and artistic mediums and make winning pieces of art within a specific period of time. Equal parts gallery opening, sporting event, and theatrical performance, each event helped make art more accessible to a wider community through a uniquely engaging program.

Basic Mechanics and Biofuels for Women
$5,000, 2007 Seed Award project support

Basic Mechanics and Biofuels for Women was a beginners’ auto mechanics and alternative fuels workshop for women in Pittsburgh. Participants received a basic, hands-on overview of the processes involved and built the foundations of a working mechanical knowledge.

“Bloom” (2007)
Gerry Tonti, 2007 Community Murals mural

While its beautiful, scenic view of the city defines Mt. Washington for most Pittsburgh residents, the area also holds local treasures that may come as a surprise to those who don’t live there. Shiloh Street is home to restaurants, shops, and a beautiful city park, but visitors to Mt. Washington rarely tread past the overlook area on Grandview Avenue. Residents of Mt. Washington saw a Sprout mural as an opportunity to not only make a beautiful contribution to their community, but also entice visitors to discover its full potential by venturing onto Shiloh Street. With this intention in mind, artist Gerry Tonti created a design with a focus on the wall’s upper-right-hand corner—the portion of the building that can be seen from Grandview Avenue—to draw viewers further into the community. For the scene itself, community members wanted a visually pleasing design that would reflect the idyllic calm of an evening spent gazing at the city skyline. The mural’s skillfully painted, delicate cherry blossoms and serene blue hues help to create this soothing feeling. Now, Mt. Washington residents and visitors alike can make a leisurely walk past this mural and onto Shiloh Street part of their relaxation routine.

“Bridging the Generations of Bloomfield” (2007)
Monika McAndrew, 2007 Community Murals mural

In the Bloomfield community—known famously throughout the city as “Pittsburgh’s Little Italy,”—there’s a lot to celebrate: a thriving business district with Italian-themed shops and restaurants, a rich multicultural history, and the “Little Italy Days” street fair that began in 2002 and draws an approximate 20,000 attendees annually. Artist Monika McAndrew festively combines all of these elements in her Bloomfield mural by depicting a parade from the community’s past to present. The background consists of a true-to-life streetscape, complete with the area’s most iconic piece of architecture, the Bloomfield Bridge. George Washington and his men bring up the rear of the parade, harkening back to the area’s Revolutionary War era roots, when Washington provided its namesake by describing it as a “field of many blooms.” Next to take up the path are pairs of traditionally clothed German and Italian [or Polish?] immigrants, representing the waves of different ethnicities settling in the area. Finally, a present-day grandfather and granddaughter lead the parade and suggest the community’s multi-generational appeal today. The entire scene is framed by the outstretched hands of a romantic couple fit for classic Italian cinema, warmed by the glow of the sunset color palette chosen by McAndrew. Whatever brings you to the area next—be it a romantic dinner date, an ethnic festival, or a mid-day errand—make sure to include viewing this mural in your next Bloomfield experience!

The Community 2.0 Challenge
$8,000 » Heritage Health Foundation, 2007 Seed Award project support

The Community 2.0 Challenge, a project of Heritage Health Foundation, provided a venue for uncommon collaboration among people who were engaged in the community but lacked the resources to implement their ideas. A year-long contest encouraged residents in Braddock, Swissvale, and Rankin to present proposals to solve problems in their communities. Writers of winning proposals were eligible for a cash prize and a role in the project’s implementation.

“Connected” (2007)
Will Schlough, 2007 Community Murals mural

Artist Will Schlough’s colorful take on the twisting architectural elements of M.C. Escher’s work evokes the interconnectedness of the Greenfield community. With help from enthusiastic community group Connect Greenfield!, over 300 local residents voiced their opinions on what they wanted to see in the mural, using a ballot box installed on the side of the PNC Bank where it is now located. The inhabitants of this mostly residential area identified their homes and their close relationships with one another as the aspect of Greenfield in which they took the most pride, and embraced the meeting of these two concepts in the melded houses and pathways of Schlough’s vibrant design. Now, this mural stands to remind residents and passers-by of the strong ties at the heart of Greenfield.

Creative Reuse Pittsburgh
$7,500 » Creative Reuse Pittsburgh, 2007 Seed Award project support

Creative Reuse Pittsburgh was a project to collect byproducts and surplus from regional manufacturers and other businesses and then sold the materials to the public. The organization provided new options for handling commercial waste materials, created opportunities to learn about and contribute to environmental stewardship, and offered hands-on public creativity events to infuse new energy into Pittsburgh’s communities and organizations.

$7,500 » PA Cleanways of Allegheny County, Inc., 2007 Seed Award project support

Flowfest, a project of PA Cleanways of Allegheny County, Inc., was an art, music, and ecology festival that fostered an awareness of Pittsburgh’s rivers, celebrating the waterways as part of the landscape and promoting engagement in their stewardship.

The Flying Destructicate New Visual Language Panel
$1,000 » Encyclopedia Destructica, 2007 Grand Ideas project support

The Flying Destructicate New Visual Language Panel, a project of Encyclopedia Destructica and Josh Tonies, included a live performance and video screening. The project additionally brought together the interdisciplinary artists whose work was featured in The Flying Destructicate New Visual Language, a book by Encyclopedia Destructica. The panel contextualized the content of the book and allowed artists to discuss critical issues within their disciplines.

The Great Wilkinsburg Clean and Green Festival
$3,000 » Wilkinsburg Clean and Green, 2007 Seed Award project support

The Great Wilkinsburg Clean and Green Festival, a project of Wilkinsburg Clean and Green, was a one-day event held on the grounds of the Jane Holmes Residence and Gardens. The Festival promoted aggressive participation in community beautification projects and presented information, entertainment, and interactive programming to assist the Wilkinsburg community in the revitalization of its neighborhood.

Green Vision for East Liberty Vacant Lots
$20,000, 2007 Engage Pittsburgh project support

Green Vision for East Liberty Vacant Lots, a project of GTECH Strategies, was a continuation of the work that began with Pittsburgh’s Green Forum, aimed at reclaiming vacant lots around the neighborhood of East Liberty. Having already put forth efforts to reclaim brownfields in Hazelwood for energy crop cultivation and biofuel production, GTECH Strategies moved toward East Liberty’s smaller open spaces with a focus on creating community gardens that can continue to proliferate into the future, taking over blighted lots too often used for illicit activities and greening them while also giving an opportunity for work and education for low-income, disadvantaged youth from the community.

A Guide to Local Foods
$5,500 » Urban Foodworks, 2007 Seed Award project support

A Guide to Local Foods, a project of Urban Foodworks, was a listing of Pittsburgh restaurants, farmers markets, grocery stores, and food vendors who grew, produced, or made use of local foods. The printed guide was an informative resource for food enthusiasts, green consumers and those new to the idea of thinking globally and eating locally. The printed guide was additionally supported by a web component that invited user feedback.

Guide to Paddling the 3 Rivers Water Trail
$8,000 » Friends of the Riverfront, 2007 Seed Award project support

Guide to Paddling the 3 Rivers Water Trail, a project of Friends of the Riverfront, was a printed and electronic guide to the system of canoe and kayak access sites on the rivers of Allegheny County. Complimentary to the public, the guide engaged young people in the recreational opportunities available on Pittsburgh’s rivers and riverfronts.

Gumband & Lost and Found
$40,450 via 2 grants, 2007 Engage Pittsburgh project support

Gumband & Lost and Found was a mobile phone based event notification system designed to present and share real-time information about cultural events, businesses, and directions in Pittsburgh. partnered with the project to provide initial data including events listings, business listings, reviews, and classifieds.

$10,000, 2007 Seed Award project support

Hotmetalhappening was a series of metal casting performances utilizing the flow and manipulation of molten iron. Through live performances, a team of local and national artists and tradespeople used recycled metals in artistic and technical demonstrations, creating site-specific sculpture and performance art. The series taught audiences about a historical industrial process linked to Pittsburgh and created visually compelling works of art.

In Service
$10,000 » Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Bricolage, 2007 Seed Award project support

In Service, a project of Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Bricolage, was a multimedia performance and film project, combining live performance, projected video, and still images to recreate the first-hand experiences of men and women serving in the Iraq War as soldiers, government officials, and war correspondents. In a community theater setting at the downtown Harris Theatre, native Pittsburghers recounted their personal war narratives, telling the stories of how world events shape our city and its people, and how our world is changed, too, by people here at home. Also part of the project was a gallery of photography on display at the Melwood Screening Room, featuring the work of local photographers reflecting on the war, complementing stories with striking imagery and creating a complete, powerful, emotional experience.

Jazz Live at the Hurricane
$6,500 » Hill House Association, 2007 Seed Award project support

Jazz Live at the Hurricane, a project of Hill House Association, was a series of concerts that reimagined the sights and sounds of the legendary Hurricane Club. Celebrating local jazz legends like George Benson, Art Blakey, Lena Horne, Ahmad Jamal, and Stanley Turrentine, contemporary jazz ensembles performed programs of jazz favorites and modern hits.

$7,500 » Strong Women, Strong Girls, 2007 Seed Award project support

Mentor2Mentor, a project of Strong Women, Strong Girls, was a program that matched volunteers for Strong Women, Strong Girls with professional women in Pittsburgh in a mentoring relationship. The program provided young women with mentors who were role models with experience in their desired fields and who could provide a fresh perspective surrounding modern career issues.

One Cold Hand
$1,000, 2007 Grand Ideas project support

One Cold Hand, a project by Jenn Gooch, connected the Pittsburgh community by focusing on one common, but unfortunate, event–the loss of a glove. Centered around the website, the project magnified and explored the concept of loss, while also collecting and saving gloves lost throughout the city in the chance that they may be found again, creating a representative emblem of hope and community. Over the course of a winter, One Cold Hand collected 450 gloves and returned more than a dozen to their owners. The project was covered in over 145 media outlets worldwide through the Associated Press, including the New York Times and BBC Radio London, and locally in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tribune Review, and on KDKA television news.

The Original
$7,500 » The Original, 2007 Seed Award project support

The Original was a free magazine dedicated to highlighting the talents of young leaders and artists in the Pittsburgh region. The Original was published twice a year in a format that emphasized innovative photography, design, and writing. Created entirely by students, The Original nurtured young people in their creative endeavors and provided these individuals with valuable community exposure.

Salvage/Salvation Part 5: ARISE
$8,500, 2007 Seed Award project support

Salvage/Salvation Part 5: ARISE explored the philosophical, emotional, and material implications of what we discard. ARISE was an art and urban renewal project in which a collection of local artists and students transformed an abandoned church in Braddock into an installation space. The first step in revitalizing the building for future use as a community center, the process of salvaging the space was part of the artistic intention of the installation.

The Skinny Building: Final Installation
$850 » SkinnyBuilding, 2007 Grand Ideas project support

The Skinny Building - Final Installation, a project of SkinnyBuilding, was the last show in the space after an early Seed Award helped support the use of Pittsburgh’s landmark Skinny Building as a place for public art installations. One final exhibition was planned in 2007 before the ownership of the building changed hands and prohibited future access to the space. For the exhibition, local illustration artists Mike Budai and Brian Holderman teamed up for a first-ever collaborative installation of their unique and entertaining screen-printed characters.

Still Speaking: Oral History and Spoken Word Theatre
$7,000 » The Pittsburgh Project, 2007 Seed Award project support

Still Speaking: Oral History and Spoken Word Theatre, a project of The Pittsburgh Project, introduced spoken word and performance poetry as powerful tools for passing on an oral history. This series of workshops and performances gave voice to Pittsburgh’s young urban residents and deepened their understanding of language and storytelling.

Take A Letter
$5,000 » New Hazlett Theater, 2007 Seed Award project support

Take A Letter, a project of New Hazlett Theater, presented a new performance work that integrated the language, techniques, and sensibilities of theater into performance art and experimental film. The performance, Y Knows Y, was part of an experimental series of projects incubated by the New Hazlett Theatre that blended disciplines and encouraged artists to reach their next level of accomplishment.

“Trainscape: Community and Industry” (2007)
Anthony Purcell, 2007 Community Murals mural

Swissvale may be located centrally to popular Pittsburgh attractions like Kennywood Park and the Waterfront shopping district, but the community has an identity all its own: it’s not only a beautiful, residential area with many local businesses and resources, but actually has its own mayor. Artist Anthony Purcell was challenged to come up with a design that would fit a very long, low wall for his 2007 mural in the heart of this unique area. Fortunately, he discovered that one critical piece of Swissvale’s history fit this shape perfectly: a train. Famous Pittsburgh entrepreneur George Westinghouse founded railroad equipment supplier Union Switch and Signal Company in Swissvale in the late 19th century. Westinghouse’s company employed many Swissvale residents, and proved to be an important part of the community’s development. While these historic roots provide the background for the iconic engine in the mural, Purcell also used a cartoonish style and bright color palette to transition into Swissvale’s present. The pleasant, rolling hills and houses on the right side of the mural represent the community today, with its abundance of green space and picturesque homes. Purcell’s mural, too, has become a distinct part of this striking landscape.

“Urban Flora” (2007)
Katherine Young, 2007 Community Murals mural

Shadyside community members have a tendency to flock to long-standing neighborhood establishment Doc’s Place, the home of Urban Flora. In the mural, autumn-hued birdlife gathers and repopulates an otherwise bare tree. Young conceived this idea as the inverse of leaves dying and falling to the ground, with the birds congregating in the tree just as those who live, work, and shop in Shadyside gather in the area’s Walnut Street shopping district. These people wanted a mural with stylish sophistication to complement their surroundings, and immediately fell in love with Young’s elegant design. She used stencils to create an elegant Damask pattern on the upper-portion of the wall, while sketching the trees and flora along the bottom by hand in chalk. She also incorporated exposed brick into those segments, allowing the wall’s color to become a part of the mural—a first for Sprout Public Art.

Urban Roots Hip Hop Symposium 2007
$10,000 » Royal Tribe Music, 2007 Seed Award project support

Urban Roots Hip Hop Symposium 2007, a project of Royal Tribe Music, promoted scholarship, education, and economic opportunities in the urban community. Featuring a keynote address by hip-hop pioneer Chuck D, the symposium offered discussion panels, workshops and a who’s who of local government, nonprofit, and African American leaders.

Vaudeville Carnivale
$3,100 » Zafira Dance Company, 2007 Seed Award project support

Vaudeville Carnivale, a project of Zafira Dance Company, showcased Pittsburgh performing artists at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in a festival-like atmosphere to highlight contemporary approaches to Old World theater. The Zafira Dance Company, a troupe inspired by vaudeville, burlesque, variety shows, and circuses, transformed the lobby and auditorium of the Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre into a gypsy carnival atmosphere with food, vendors, and performances.

“What A View” (2007)
David & Fran Hawbaker, 2007 Community Murals mural

David and Fran Hawkbaker’s 2007 mural in Observatory Hill can be found near local high school Perry Traditional Academy, a magnet school specializing in math and science programs. Because many of the school’s students bus in from other areas, members of local group Observatory Hill Inc. worried that this distance might prevent them from forming a close attachment to the community. When selected for a Sprout Public Art mural, they wanted to make sure that the design would appeal to these students and give them “a visual sense of pride as they board the buses each day.” The artists—both art educators by profession—chose to feature figures based on actual neighborhood kids, in order to engage them more strongly with the piece. While the young people play and talk on the right side of the mural, a figure representing an important piece of the area’s history stands to the left, depicted in a style resembling an old photograph. This is Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a naval hero in the War of 1812, who serves as the namesake for the school, its mascot the Commodores, and the area where it is located, Perry Hilltop. It is also interesting to note that this wall, with its many windows, might not seem like an optimal location for a mural, but the exciting design elements included cause the obstructions to disappear into the art. David and Fran have both completed other Sprout murals, including David’s 2006 East Carson Street Treasures in the South Side, and Fran’s 2008 Peace, Hope, and Charity in Marshall-Shadeland. All of these works showcase the artists’ ability to develop thoughtful designs that overcome architectural challenges and strongly engage communities.

Worms for a Better World
$10,000 » PRC and Construction Junction, 2007 Seed Award project support

Worms for a Better World, a project of the Pennsylvania Resources Council and Construction Junction, was a vermicomposting initiative and community engagement project that used the food waste from the East End Food Co-Op to educate the public about sustainability. Inside Construction Junction (just up the street from the Co-Op), the PRC operated a large urban worm farm, a 4’ x 8’ x 4’ bin where worms compost the organic waste, reproduce and multiply, breaking down the waste while creating fertilizer with their castings and producing more worms to be used in similar projects elsewhere in the city. The worm farm also acted as a learning space, where community members could attend workshops and demonstrations about sustainable vermicomposting and how it can be implemented at home.

Zany Tent
$25,000 » Zany Umbrella Circus, 2007 Root Award project support

Zany Tent, a project of Zany Umbrella Circus, was a professional theatre tent for circus performances and rental to community groups for events and festivals around the world. The Zany Tent is a unique, colorful spectacle which in size, technical capabilities, and appearance is unlike any other venue in the region. With this tent, Zany Umbrella Circus expanded their audience, generated revenue, and created new original work in the Pittsburgh region, as well as in locations as far-reaching as Amman, Jordan and New Orleans, LA. As an asset to organizations and festivals, the tent was a vehicle for performances in places where there was no theater