Funded Projects from 2012

Activating Pittsburgh Youth
$25,000, 2012 Spark research

Activating Pittsburgh Youth, a project of The University of Pittsburgh’s Activation Lab (Act Lab), integrated prior research into a practical theory that could be used immediately to guide the development of informal and formal learning experiences. The project will worked with the Sprout to integrate activation into ongoing development; interviewed college students who grew up in the Pittsburgh region to identify how they became activated towards science, technology, or art; developed a new assessment for activation in art; and worked with community organizations to develop pilot projects that illustrated how activation could be integrated into the design of networked experiences for Pittsburgh’s children.

ALLOY Pittsburgh
$8,000 » Kipp Gallery at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2012 Seed Award project support

ALLOY Pittsburgh, a project of Kipp Gallery at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was a visual and performing arts initiative developed for the Carrie Furnace National Historic Landmark. The program was a laboratory where 15 emerging artists from the Pittsburgh region created site-based projects that investigate the creative reuse of a post-industrial site. The completed artworks were simultaneously presented in a one of a kind art event to be held at the Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark in the fall of 2013. The project promoted the work of emerging and underrepresented artists from the Pittsburgh region and encouraged interaction between the artists and the surrounding communities of Braddock, Homestead, Swissvale and Rankin. In addition to interactive public tours and the event reception, the project engaged the local community through public discussions and lectures throughout the summer and fall of 2013.

Art at the ’Mat
$1,000 » The National Lint Project, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Art at the ’Mat, a project of The National Lint Project, was an art exhibition at Trey’s Laundromat in Pittsburgh’s Brighton Heights neighborhood that worked to build connections between community art-maker Cheryl Capezzuti, her neighbors, the owners and patrons of the local laundromat and the Brighton Heights Citizens Federation—as well as the city of Pittsburgh at large. The art exhibition featured an installation of flying creatures created from dryer lint donated by launderers and neighbors from all over the city, reintroducing The National Lint Project to the city after an eight-year hiatus from the public eye and fostered camaraderie and community between the city’s residents.

Carrie Deer Film Project
$10,000 » Rivers of Steel National Heritage Are, 2012 Seed Award project support

Carrie Deer Film Project, a project of Rivers of Steel National Heritage Are, documented the lives of the artists who built the famed 40’ deer sculpture at Carrie Furnace in 1997, breaking the law to make a statement about salvage and art.

Center Video Diaries
$3,000 » Greater Connellsville Area Community Center, 2012 Seed Award project support

Center Video Diaries, a project of Greater Connellsville Area Community Center, rekindled interest in the Greater Connellsville Area Community Center and encouraged participation from community members to find new ideas for services, classes, civic clubs, adult trainings, meetings, competitions, fundraising, and more. To accomplish this, the project invited community members to share memories of the Center through video interviews and the collecting of memorabilia, facilitated by volunteers. Video Diaries premiered at the Community Center’s Edwin S. Porter Theater and was broadcast on local access cable TV.

Clay Case
$10,000, 2012 Spark project support

Clay Case, a project of Union Project, was a clay kit for families to do together at home. This studio-to-go included all the materials, tools, tips, and inspiration to create and learn with clay. After the making, families could bring their creations to Union Project’s studio to be fired, get a Clay Case refill, try the potter’s wheel, and see artists at work in a community studio. The Sprout Fund support made it possible to develop this product and give away 200 kits and begin sales of 100 kits to Pittsburgh families. Other Clay Case supporters included Standard Ceramic Supply and Whole Foods Market.

Commons Knowledge
$7,500 » Allegheny Commons Initative, 2012 Seed Award project support

Commons Knowledge, a project of Allegheny Commons Initiative, was an educational awareness project that included the placement of QR codes on significant heritage trees, as well as historic monuments and sculptures in the historic Allegheny Commons in the North Side.

Community Supported Art (CSA PGH)
$6,000, 2012 Seed Award project support

Community Supported Art (CSA PGH) created “shares” of art from local artists to be purchased by art patrons across the city, similar to the boxes of produce from local farms as part of an agricultural CSA.

Conflict Kitchen Relocation
$25,000 » Conflict Kitchen, 2012 Root Award project support

Conflict Kitchen Relocation, a project of Conflict Kitchen, supported the relocation of Conflict Kitchen to Oakland. Conflict Kitchen was a take-out only restaurant that served cuisine from countries with which the United States was in conflict. The food was served out of a takeout style storefront that rotated identities every six months to highlight another country. Each iteration of the project was augmented by events, performances, and discussions that sought to expand the engagement the public has with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the focus country. Operating seven days a week in the middle of the city, Conflict Kitchen reformatted the pre-existing social relations of food and economic exchange to engage the general public in discussions about countries, cultures, and people that they might know little about outside of the polarizing rhetoric of U.S. politics and the narrow lens of media headlines. In addition, the restaurant created a constantly changing site for ethnic diversity in the post-industrial city of Pittsburgh, as it presented the only Iranian, Afghan, and Venezuelan restaurants the city had ever seen.

$1,000 » University of Pittsburgh, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

CONNECT-Back, a project of the Congress of Neighboring Communities, was a citizen’s advisory council engaged to bridge Pittsburgh’s many and varied neighborhoods through policy-focused solutions. With 37 representatives from Pittsburgh’s urban core—the city proper and the first-ring suburbs that share its border—CONNECT-Back acted as an innovative forum for officials and communities they represented to work together on numerous shared opportunities and challenges with a goal of empowering and engaging citizens in their neighborhoods through policy education and community awareness.

Connellsville Area Historical Museum
$5,000 » Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville, PA & Connellsville Area Historical Society, 2012 Seed Award project support

Connellsville Area Historical Museum, a project of Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville, PA and Connellsville Area Historical Society, helped to preserve Connellsville history by creating the first and only Connellsville Historical Museum. The project encouraged intergenerational learning about local history using a modern day ‘around the campfire’ approach. Instead of recording older community members’ personal histories, the project created opportunities for civic-minded community individuals to work together for a common goal and share life experiences.

CreatION Sound
$11,020, 2012 Spark project support

CreatION Sound was a unique collective of musicians, roboticists, and educators that collaborated to synthesize music and technology in an engaging and accessible way. CreatION Sound presented a series of educational workshops focusing on building robotic musical instruments. This artistic exploration is demonstrated in two public concerts at Bellefield Hall in Oakland. The first concert introduced the series of workshops presented at the Falk and Waldorf Schools. Children were taught how to apply technology and robotic principles to the creation of music and musical instruments, and displayed their works in an interactive presentation. The culmination was a final concert, in which the children performed alongside IonSound Project. Both concerts incorporated newly commissioned works by local composers, and roboticists designed robots to artistically interact and respond to the commissioned works.

Downtown Public Art Project Conceptual DesignBeck & Yasko
$2,500, 2012 Downtown Public Art Project honorarium

Downtown Public Art Project Conceptual DesignCiocci & Barton
$2,500, 2012 Downtown Public Art Project honorarium

Downtown Public Art Project Conceptual DesignKozloff
$2,500, 2012 Downtown Public Art Project honorarium

Downtown Public Art Project Conceptual DesignO’Hearn
$2,500, 2012 Downtown Public Art Project honorarium

Downtown Public Art Project Conceptual Design RevisionsBeck & Yasko
$1,000, 2012 Downtown Public Art Project honorarium

Downtown Public Art Project Conceptual Design RevisionsCiocci & Barton
$1,000, 2012 Downtown Public Art Project honorarium

Downtown Public Art Project Conceptual Design RevisionsO’Hearn
$1,000, 2012 Downtown Public Art Project honorarium

Downtown Public Art Project Conceptual Design Revisions IICiocci & Barton
$1,000, 2012 Downtown Public Art Project honorarium

Dream Flight Adventures Playtesting
$10,000, 2012 Spark project support

Dream Flight Adventures Playtesting, a project of The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, developed a playtesting program for nonprofit and for-profit partners to prototype their educational products and activities with children and families in the Museum’s MAKESHOP. The Children’s Museum developed a sustainable, revenue generating playtesting service that provided potential clients with high-quality feedback from the Museum’s child and family audience regarding the functionality and effectiveness of their product. To implement the project, the Children’s Museum shared its own expertise designing learning-rich, deeply engaging experiences for children and families, while at the same time providing access to MAKESHOP, a one-of-a-kind space where children and families engaged in DIY (do-it-yourself) projects with traditional and digital tools, materials, and processes. By using MAKESHOP as the site for the new playtesting services, playtesting clients had access to a valuable, technology-rich learning environment that catered to children of all ages and demographics.

The Drift
$6,900, 2012 Seed Award project support

The Drift was a floating platform for creative projects that explored the rivers and waterfronts within the City of Pittsburgh. As a mobile site for artworks, performances, and other creative endeavors, The Drift attracted audiences along the rivers and encouraged communities to explore one of Pittsburgh’s most underutilized public spaces. The project expanded this platform to support a broader array of programming through an open call for proposals for the 2012-2013 season.

Fineview Fitness Trail
$10,000 » Fineview Citizens Council, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Fineview Fitness Trail, a project of Fineview Citizens Council, organized the stairs in the Fineview neighborhood of Pittsburgh into a formalized network of trails that provide runners, hikers, and walkers with a clearly marked course and introduce them to the challenges, vistas, and history of Fineview.

Friend-Field Postcard
$1,000, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Friend-Field Postcard, a project by Felipe Castelblanco and James Southard, was a participatory art project that invited all the residents of Friendship, Bloomfield and Garfield to pose for neighborhood group portraits. Developed by Carnegie Mellon University visual artists Castelblanco and Southard, these portraits were then printed and distributed throughout the community as postcards, encouraging residents to reach out to each other across neighborhoods, developing relationships that tie the bordering communities closer together. The postcards were also available in the neighborhoods as a souvenir to represent the conviviality of collective action and community-building.

Front Street
$1,000 » Sara McCool, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Front Street, a project of filmmaker Sara McCool, was an interactive arts and culture talk show shot live and broadcasted on the internet. Each episode revolved around a particular issue and showcased guests whose work was relevant to that topic, highlighting the vibrant artistic and activist communities in Pittsburgh and creating deeper discussions on topics of importance to the area. Recorded in front of a live audience in the comfort of McCool’s apartment, guests like Shadow Lounge’s Justin Strong, Assemble’s Nina Barbuto, and comedian Davon Magwood discussed their personal experience with the confounding realities of racial humor, political artwork, gentrification, and more—all from their seat in the show’s iconic, overstuffed pink couch.

Garfield Hops Project
$10,000, 2012 Spring project support

Garfield Hops Project, a project of GTECH Strategies, was an urban gardening initiative that turned vacant land in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood into a hop garden. In collaboration with the Hops Project and Garfield Community Farm, the Garfield Hops Project broadened the city’s agricultural sources, engages community residents and urban farmers, and produced a feedstock for locally sourced beer-makers like nearby East End Brewery, who used the hops in some of their brews. Like the Garfield Community Farm, the volunteer gardening site was another project of urban renewal and reinvention for the community of Garfield as it transformed from blighted neighborhood to model of sustainable living, providing residents with a meeting place for community building and enrichment.

$5,000, 2012 Seed Award project support

Group was a program that compiled the activity of peers in a room. group existed on nine progressive platforms: Agree, Breathe, Ingest, Trim, Contact, Voice, Act, Fatigue, and Release. Held in a hotel meeting room, this audio-visual experience combined a 90-minute musical score and a large inflatable set mapped with dynamic video projection.

Hazelwood Sister Circle
$1,000 » POOR LAW, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Hazelwood Sister Circle, a project of Hazelwood People of Origin Rightfully Loved and Wanted (POOR LAW), was a local community group designed to connect the blighted Hazelwood neighborhood through building the self-worth of individuals within it. A women’s group created within POOR LAW, the Sister Circle focused on empowering female residents 17-21 through writing. In the form of a self-published zine, Sister Circle allowed young women to speak freely about issues like violence and abuse, health and wellness, and community as they connected with the history of Hazelwood through the neighborhood’s longtime residents’ stories and wisdom.

Healthy Artists Movie Poster Exhibition
$5,000 » Healthy Artists, 2012 Seed Award project support

Healthy Artists Movie Poster Exhibition, a project of Healthy Artists, bridged the gap between the city’s artists, college students, and healthcare advocates and educators.

$1,000 » Nina Sarnelle, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Hotspot, a project of Sisters of the Lattice, was a series of interactive viewing experiences or “ceremonies” that connected audiences technologically and metaphysically. During the ceremonies, audiences watch the Sisters’ 2012 film Link while seated in individual sauna pods, encouraging a highly meditative state meant to connect viewers physically and conceptually with the diverse members of their shared community. The film itself was also about the connectivity of people, as it followed the willfully conjoined techno-mystic Sisters on a journey around the United States, uniting individuals using silicon wafers, tablet computers and other technology to translate human energy. As a living work of public art, Hotspot aimed to engage participants in an ongoing discussion of spiritual, technological and human connection, asking questions about humans’ complex and evolving relationship with their technology.

$4,000, 2012 Spark project support

Insta-tangram, a project of MITCH Collective, put a new twist on outdoor steamroller printing by combining an ancient Chinese puzzle, relief printmaking, digital fabrication, and interactive large-scale printing. Building on previous whiz-bang art displays for outdoor festivals in the Ohio Valley, schools, artists, and organizations on both sides of the river generated woodcut designs that were then carved with a CNC router. The pieces of wood fit together like a large tangram and participants rearranged the wood into various designs during outdoor art festivals in both Ohio and West Virginia. Once the large woodcuts were inked up, they were printed by a steamroller and put on display at the MITCH Collective gallery space and around town.

$6,000, 2012 Spark project support

Invent-a-Bling was an electronics design kit that provided children with an assortment of smart materials and components that could be embedded in a variety of dynamic projects. The kit provided materials such as color changing fabrics, sensors, solar panels, conductive ink, and many more components with interesting properties for young designers to investigate. The project partnered with Assemble to hold a series of workshops to test the first version of this kit, where they demonstrated many wearable projects that can be created using the kit, such as color-changing scarves and LED tilt headbands..

Jazz Conversations
$1,000 » Maggie Johnson, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Jazz Conversations, a project of Maggie Johnson, connected generations of jazz music lovers to each other in March 2013 in Lawrenceville. The project featured two gatherings during which jazz music lovers shared stories, experiences, and music to bridge a widening gap between generations.

Knit The Bridge
$8,000 » Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, 2012 Seed Award project support

Knit The Bridge, a project of Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh in conjunction with Fiberart International 2013, brought together more than 1,600 people from all over Southwestern Pennsylvania to the downtown Andy Warhol Bridge in colorful quilts during the summer of 2013. The grassroots community “yarn bomb” was the largest of its kind in the United States, celebrating Pittsburgh’s exciting contemporary arts scene during the Fiberart International exhibition with more than 580 knit panels covering the iconic bridge. From retirees in Cranberry to professors in Shaler to teen boys in the North Side, Knit the Bridge united the region regardless of age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, neighborhood or even knitting ability, creating a fun, bright and beautiful project organized by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh and project manager Amanda Gross.

Learning Pathways for Activation in Pittsburgh
$25,000, 2012 Spark project support

Learning Pathways for Activation in Pittsburgh, a project of The Learning Research & Development Center, worked with four groups of organizations on pilot projects that demonstrated the concept of designing intentional pathways for activation in science, art, and technology in the Pittsburgh region. The supported organizations included Carnegie Museum of Natural History Museum with the YWCA, The Andy Warhol Museum with Artist Image Resource, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy with Oglebay Institute, and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The team met as needed with the four partnerships, providing consulting support around the idea of activation and the opportunities to build powerful activation pathways in a connected learning network. They conducted pilot research and assessment work in the sites and made recommendations about how activation pathways for new programs could be developed or improved.

Life is a Lab
$1,000 » Literary Arts Boom, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Life is a Lab, a project of Literary Arts Boom, was multimedia storytelling project that connected youth to older generations in Bloomfield, Garfield, and Friendship by having them listen to a true story, ask questions, and then retell the story through written words and imagery. The final products were a community storytelling event and a zine that displayed the youth’s work.

Liquid Light
$12,600, 2012 Spark project support

Liquid Light was a collection of interactive exhibits that investigated water’s ability to transport light, bend light, and inspire experiments exploring the nature of light, color, motion and the nature of perception. This hands-on program allowed children and adults to experiment with illuminated laminar flow streams of water. Laminar water streams behave like large fiber optic cables permitting light to be carried and bent within the water flow enabling water to simultaneously propel and illuminate a variety of kinetic experiments. The program was solar powered, transportable, and ready for use by organizations interested in science, education and environmental studies. Programming offered children from 3-12 fun, age-appropriate activities. In addition to serving Pittsburgh local organizations and communities, the project team reached out to school districts in the West Virginia panhandle and the northern counties of Pennsylvania.

Louisa Street Bicycle Steps Runnel
$10,000, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Louisa Street Bicycle Steps Runnel, a project of the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPCD), designed and created a bike runnel on the city steps found on Louisa Street in Central Oakland between Coltart and McKee Avenues. A bike runnel is a grooved track that runs alongside a staircase, making it easier to transport bicycles up or down the stairs. The project, a collaboration with Springboard Design and the City of Pittsburgh, also included the plan to design a bicycle boulevard between Halket and Atwood Streets with particular focus on the public space improvements at the runnel. In a student neighborhood full of bikes, infrastructure like a boulevard and runnel would encourage safe cycling that benefits everyone on the streets.

Made in PGH
$1,000 » Elliot Williams, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange sponsorship

Made in PGH, a project of Elliot Williams, was a website repository of products made in Pittsburgh along with the people who made them, the companies that made them, and groups that were focused on making in general. This project connected Pittsburgh makers to customers and to each other.

Main Street Mosaic
$5,000 » Fayette Young Professionals Network (FYPN), 2012 Seed Award project support

Main Street Mosaic, a project of Fayette Young Professionals Network (FYPN), was a project to create a mosaic public art piece on a Fay-Penn Economic Development Council property at the busiest intersection, “five corners,” in downtown Uniontown. The bright, abstract, and lively work of art was the first of its kind in Uniontown and rehabilitated a blighted lot. The Fayette Young Professionals Network chose to make it a mosaic mural so that community members of all ages and cultures can take part in placing the pieces on the wall. By being a part of the creation of this highly visible mural, volunteers built pride in Fayette County and formed a bond with fellow community members.

Mean Girls
$7,000 » Strong Women Strong Girls, 2012 Seed Award project support

Mean Girls, a project of Strong Women Strong Girls, illustrated the impact of bullying on young women and engaged the community in an open discussion on the highly relevant subject of how bullying starts at an early age on the playground and continues through college and into the workplace. The project was fueled by the eye-opening art work of ten nationally recognized artists. Curator Jill Larson partnered with Strong Women, Strong Girls to bring Mean Girls to SPACE Gallery from February 22 - April 28, 2013. The art exhibition was a springboard to gain awareness, encourage dialogue and promote positive social change. The artwork for Mean Girls revolved around eight community engagement events, including a spoken word performance, a youth workshop and a hands-on installation project during the April 2013 Gallery Crawl.

The National Road Juried Art Exhibition
$1,500 » Friends of Market Street Arts, 2012 Seed Award project support

The National Road Juried Art Exhibition, a project of Friends of Market Street Arts and the Frank L. Melega Museum, established an Annual Regional Exhibition showcasing the visual artistic talent of the region. The exhibit was open to all artists 18 and older living and working in Fayette, Washington, Greene and Westmoreland counties. The project also worked with the Art department at CalU to provide hands-on opportunities for art majors to experience the workings of such an exhibit and of the festival.

Ninety: Pittsburgh in a Board Game
$1,000, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Ninety: Pittsburgh in a Board Game, a project by Adam Shuck, was a board game that lets players run for mayor across Pittsburgh’s ninety city neighborhoods. Born out of a city walkabout in summer of 2012 that toured all 90 of Pittsburgh’s distinct neighborhoods in eleven hours, Ninety is both an exceptionally entertaining board game and an exploration of the city, encouraging players to learn more about their neighbors across any number of rivers, gorges or bridges. With Sprout Funding, Shuck and his partners produced multiple copies of the game to take on tour around the city to let residents play and inspire conversation about the place we all call home.

Painting With Natural Selection
$13,050, 2012 Spark project support

Painting With Natural Selection was an installation that brought evolution into view as an interactive, hands-on experience. This project modified certain open source simulation software and created an interactive exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh based on the simulation. Painting With Natural Selection studied what children ages 5-9 thought and knew about evolution, how using the installation might help them learn more about evolution and what role this type of interactive technology could play in science education in general. Painting is both an educational tool, where children can run different evolutionary experiments, and a medium to create digital art – a visual generative system based on biology. The project allowed for easy and immediate use so kids could get creative right away as they developed an intuitive understanding of the ebb and flow of evolutionary processes. Painting With Natural Selection required active participation to be complete; the virtual organisms responded and evolved in real-time creating a nascent visceral connection between the individual and their impact in the virtual world that led to an awareness of their footprint in the world and wonder at life’s adaptability.

Palimpsests: Ghost Signs of Pittsburgh
$4,500, 2012 Seed Award project support

Palimpsests: Ghost Signs of Pittsburgh was a series of 25 photographs documenting the complex and subtle beauty of fading painted advertisements on brick walls across the city.

Pittsburgh Zine Fair
$500 » Little Tired Press, 2012 Sprout Sponsorship sponsorship

Pittsburgh Zine Fair, a project of Little Tired Press, encouraged personal expression and the sharing of knowledge by generating an environment where independent artists and writers could engage with the Pittsburgh community. A supplementary goal of the Zine Fair was to offer the general public an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge of the zine community. The event fostered an experience in which people of all ages, gender, background or race could engage self-published creators, zine collectors, local retailers and other local organizations in a relaxed environment.

Remake Learning Fellowship
$10,000 » Tim Cook & The Saxifrage School, 2012 Remake Learning fellowship

Tim Cook’s Remake Learning Fellowship, a project of Saxifrage School, developed a handbook for Student Voice in Education Reform, a living resource document that gave students greater agency in their education. It was represented in print and digital formats as an open-ended, remixable resource created through open-source means for students and teachers alike to examine their learning practices, while at the same time providing structure to the new and innovative method of learning for which it plans. The Handbook explored how our education system works and what educational reforms concerning policy, technology and pedagogy can be made to improve it for future generations, making sure to give students a powerful voice in these decisions that affect them so greatly.

Remake Learning Fellowship
$10,000 » William Penman & Carnegie Mellon University, 2012 Remake Learning fellowship

William Penman’s Remake Learning Fellowship, a project of Carnegie Mellon University, involved a series of roundtable discussions where the subject of multimodal literacy was broached with teachers of youth in Pittsburgh’s libraries, science centers, and afterschool programs. The findings of these roundtable discussions, bolstered by Penman’s own academic research paper on the topic, was then translated into a large, narrative, infographic-style cartoon shared freely online as a resource for learning about the issues inherent in multimodal learning and how to work to answer them.

Sea Land & Air Challenge
$15,000, 2012 Spark project support

Sea Land & Air Challenge, a project of Pennsylvania State University Electro Optics Center (EOC), used the EOC’s expertise in unmanned sensor systems to provide the next generation of engineers and technicians hands-on experience with engineering technologies. The project used competitive, fun activities as a powerful way to expose students to STEM career pathways and helped develop an interest in engineering concepts. It additionally provided regional high school students with experience in the design, integration, and testing of sensors (e.g. cameras, temperature sensors, GPS) of remote control vehicles. Student interaction with engineering mentors exposed students to a ‘real-world’ engineering process and helped incorporate scientific skills with hands-on experience. The experience inspired students to pursue STEM education and opened a doorway to a wide range of educational and career opportunities.

$1,000 » Casey Droege, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

SIX x ATE, a project of Casey Droege, was a free dinner and lecture series promoting local artists, a stronger arts network and a more interdisciplinary conversation in Pittsburgh during which six artists are asked to present or perform work based on a theme while one cuisinier creates a three course meal based on the same theme. This project connected local artists, the arts network, and dinner guests starting in March 2013 in the Strip District.

Sleeping With Strangers
$1,000 » Birmingham Foundation, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Sleeping With Strangers, a project of Birmingham Foundation, was facilitated conversations between individuals and groups that held an interest or potential for future partnership with the Hostel to be opened in the Southside by the end of 2013. This project connect those interested in a Pittsburgh Hostel starting in March 2013 in the Southside.

Song for Pittsburgh
$1,000 » Jennifer Nagle Myers, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Song for Pittsburgh, a project by Jennifer Nagle Myers, was a one-day, six-part performance piece for Pittsburgh. At noon on Sunday, April 21st, six singers in six locations throughout the city sang the same song, three times over the course of an hour. Acting as a spontaneous art “happening” that spoke to the spirit of Pittsburgh, the original song and performance was meant to embody every resident of the city, regardless of age, race, religion or gender, and was performed simultaneously in Squirrel Hill, Homewood, Hill District, South Side, North Side and Friendship in an effort to connect the city through song and community.

SPEAQ Open Mic Nights
$5,000 » Dreams of Hope, 2012 Seed Award project support

SPEAQ Open Mic Nights, a project of Dreams of Hope, provided a safe, creative environment for LGBTQ young adults (aged 17-24) in Pittsburgh, while also fostering the next generation of arts organizers. The heart of the program was a Young Poets Advisory Board of five young people who planned, promoted, and ran an open mic night for LGBTQ youth at the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty once a month. The Advisory Board was a diverse group of young artists excited to learn how to organize arts events in the city of Pittsburgh. This program empowered the next generation of LGBTQ artists and activists, giving them a chance to SPEAQ their minds and enrich the city.

The Squirrel Hill Kruzhok
$5,000, 2012 Seed Award project support

The Squirrel Hill Kruzhok was a creative film documentation of a work-group whose core participants were elderly members of Pittsburgh’s Soviet diaspora of the early 1990s.

Steamrolled Pittsburgh
$5,000 » Construction Junction, 2012 Seed Award project support

Steamrolled Pittsburgh, a project of Construction Junction, used a construction grade steamroller to print 4’x 8’ wood-cut prints comprised of 8 representations of Pittsburgh neighborhoods that are home to a branch of the Carnegie Library. A group of 8 artists were given the task of designing one of 8 different neighborhoods of Pittsburgh in a 2’x2’ wood block. When assembled, the 8 blocks came together to form a patchwork assemblage of the city in a 4’x8’ space. Prints were distributed to 8 separate library branches where each branch developed an engaging display that worked within the library’s space constraints and installation preferences. The live steamroller demonstration took place at Construction Junction’s annual Big Pour event.

Study of Urban Wildlife Using Streaming Video
$10,000, 2012 Spark project support

Study of Urban Wildlife Using Streaming Video furthered the understanding and appreciation of life sciences and ecological stewardship in school children. Through the development of a new Chimney Swift tower at Shaler Area High School, streaming video technology and integrated informational panels and QR codes led users to a web landing page. The tower was installed by Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania to attract Chimney Swifts that then occupied the tower, built nests, and ultimately raised their young. District instructors use the streaming video to enhance studies of life sciences and ecological stewardship with their students.

Take p-ART
$10,000, 2012 Spark project support

Take p-ART offered digital storytelling workshops that engaged youth to facilitate the creation of digital media art pieces. These art pieces related their particular perspective on important issues in their community ranging from the environment to bullying, school change to inspiring adults. Making use of various mobile technologies, youth-created movies and images critiqued existing news stories from major/ local news sources in an effort to increase traditional print and digital media literacy. These critiques, investigated topics such as authorship, purpose, content, and credibility, flowed from best practices and guidelines established in literature provided by The Center For Media Literacy and also The National Association for Media Literacy Education. Completed individual stories were displayed prominently as part of standing digital exhibits at the local library. Beyond the digital artifact created, youth were also invited to return to their respective libraries in order to, along with supervising adults, guardians, and members of the team, disseminate physical artifacts (buttons, posters, flyers) to local establishments to further the civic causes chosen by participating youth. These sessions provided valuable reflective insights for each participant while amplifying digital social capital in the Pittsburgh area, invigorating community organizations to take further action.

Think Outside the Box Box
$8,750, 2012 Spark project support

Think Outside the Box Box was a tool for educators and child care providers to create opportunities for creative play during recess, daycare playtime, or anytime. Think Outside the Box Boxes (TOBBs) were placed in play areas and supplied with a variety of safe and durable scrap materials collected by the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. Children re-imagined their world using these reclaimed loose parts, learning and practicing skills in art, creativity, engineering, problem solving, and socializing through play.

Transit Tales
$20,000, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

Transit Tales was a a multimedia storytelling project about how public transit affects the lives of people in Allegheny County. In partnership with the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group and Pittsburghers for Public Transit, Bricolage Production Company recorded stories about public transit from all kinds of people– riders, non-riders, and transit workers- and then shared them through radio, the Pittsburgh City Paper, social media, and live performance.

We Are Here
$1,000 » Lindsay Dill, 2012 Social Innovation Exchange project support

We Are Here, a project of Lindsay Dill, was an online map of Pittsburgh “Third Places” and colorful signs that lead people to the identified community gathering places that create a sense of belonging and encourage community engagement. This project connected Pittsburghers and visitors to Pittsburgh to “Third Places” starting in January 2013.