Funded Projects beginning with U

UnConference 2013
$5,000 » PAEYC, 2013 Spark sponsorship

UnConference 2013, a project of Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC), was an annual two-day conference where educators and technologists could “play together,” learning about how to use emerging technology for learning experiences in the classroom. The conference centered on the idea of a “hackathon,” where teams comprised of technology developers, user interface and design experts, and marketing professionals built open source apps submitted by regional teachers and educators and voted on by the public, but also featured other engagement opportunities including a number of “field trips” to creative tech spaces around Pittsburgh helping to remake learning, including TechShop, MAYA Design Inc., CMU’s CREATE Lab, and the MAKESHOP at The Children’s Museum.

Unicorn Mountain
$10,000 » Unicorn Mountain, 2006 Seed Award project support

Unicorn Mountain, a project of Unicorn Mountain, was a Pittsburgh-based artists’ collective. Unicorn Mountain created collaborative publications featuring independent comic art, literary nonfiction, and independent music. With the publication of Volume Two, Unicorn Mountain delivered a collection of cross-disciplinary art, including a CD compilation of numerous local acts.

University Avenue Neighbors and Friends
$1,000 » Perry Hilltop Citizens Council, 2017 One Northside project support

University Avenue Neighbors and Friends, a project of Perry Hilltop Citizens Council, brought together residents of University Avenue and Perrysville Avenue to clean up their street, plant flowers, and get to know each other. These small acts were a first step to creating a block organization, with the hopes of taking on larger projects as well as building strong relationships between neighbors.

Unknown Prose/ Art Greenhouse
$7,040 » Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University, 2003 Seed Award project support

Unknown Prose/Art Greenhouse, a project of Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon, brought local hip-hop group Unknown Prose to the recording facilities at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Music. The project provided exposure, experience, and viability to emerging local musical talent.

Unlisted: Second Steel
$2,500 » New Sun Rising, 2013 Seed Award project support

Unlisted: Second Steel, a project of New Sun Rising, collided the perspectives of Pittsburghers and newcomers to create site responsive performance pieces, forming a Performance as Research lens through which to (re)view the city. The project combined research and international perspectives with the disciplines of performance and curation in an exploration of the urban environment. By using an innovative and cross-disciplinary artistic format to confront pressing and critical questions about revitalization in Pittsburgh, Unlisted unearthed local perspectives and linked Pittsburgh with the international dialogue about the structure and future of cities. In September 2013, Unlisted produced Second Steel, three public performances in neighborhoods that complicated Pittsburgh’s revitalization narrative: Townhouse (East Liberty), Alco Parking Lot 7H (intersection of Lacock and Sandusky Streets), and 2308 Centre Avenue (an empty lot).

Unlocking Student Success: Keys to the Keystone Exam
$1,050, 2015 One Northside project support

Unlocking Student Success: Keys to the Keystone Exam, a project led by Maria Searcy, raised awareness about the Keystone examination, helping to provide students with the support they need to pass the exam successfully and parents with information to support their children during the testing and remediation process. Through a community forum at Project Destiny, the project helped make parents of the class of 2017 and beyond aware of the new graduation requirement. A student panel gave testimony about the Keystone examination and remediation process and PPS employees responsible for Keystone testing and Curriculum were available to answer questions. Parents were provided information and resources from the PA Department of Education to help support their children in successfully passing the test.

Unsmoke Systems
$8,000, 2008 Seed Award project support

Unsmoke Systems was a multi-year arts initiative in Braddock that established a community resource, events venue, and studio space for young artists. The project launched with an exhibition of Pittsburgh-based artists during an evening of local music, dancing, and food.

“Untitled (Wilkinsburg)” (2003)
Brian Holderman, 2003 Community Murals mural

Now a popular and prolific artist, Brian Holderman first took on a large scale endeavor with this 2003 mural for the Sprout Public Art Program. This street scene exhibits Brian’s iconic mixture of slightly abstract, modernist arrangements and playful, cartoonish sensibilities. The stylized Wilkinsburg text hidden within the mural gives the piece a welcoming aspect, with a hip, floating style. In fact, the energetic, all-over motion of the composition, combined with the eclectic and disjointed images make this piece come alive with the sense of rhythm that it exudes. The mural location, chosen by the Wilkinsburg Community Mural Committee, overlooks a grassy area where Wilkinsburg stages its summer jazz concert series and other public gatherings and activities.

Up Next, KST Youth Producers
$15,000 » Kelly Strayhorn Theater, 2015 Hive project support

Up Next, KST Youth Producers, a project of Kelly Strayhorn Theater, was a summer intensive young producer initiative for teens. The program supported local students interested in pursuing careers in the arts by giving them practical experience. For this pilot program, teenagers were mentored through the creative process as well as in the production and promotion techniques needed to present a viable finished product for the marketplace, such as creating a budget, marketing, lighting, sound, and ticket sales.

Upper Mon River Towns Public Art Program
$5,000 » Pennsylvania Environmental Council, 2011 Seed Award project support

Upper Mon River Towns Public Art Program, a project of Pennsylvania Environmental Council, was an initiative to encourage communities along the Monongahela River to relate to the river in a new way and to provide a welcoming element for visitors. The effort installed two new public art projects in the towns of Point Marion (Fayette County) and Greensboro (Greene County). Regional artists were selected by the host communities on the basis of their creativity in capturing the region’s transforming relationship—from industrial to recreational—with the river.

Urban Edible Garden Classroom
$7,500 » Penn State Extension of Allegheny County, 2013 Seed Award project support

Urban Edible Garden Classroom, a project of Penn State Extension of Allegheny County, was a gathering place and educational catalyst for urban gardeners. The UEGC provided workshops, delivered educational content through extensive and permanent signage, hosted growing trials of fruits and vegetables, and provided food access in an urban food desert. With Penn State Extension staff serving as coordinators and workshop leaders, and the city’s Edible Garden’s program granting technical assistance, soil testing, and educational content, programming for the UEGC was directed at both amateur gardeners and urban residents that had an interest in becoming “agricultural entrepreneurs” by creating value-added products from fruits and vegetables grown in the city.

“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 Hike
$1,000, 2004 Grand Ideas project support

Urban Hike organized walking tours of Pittsburgh neighborhoods on and off the beaten path. Each hike included great views of the city, exposure to interesting architecture and interactions with various community stakeholders. Exploring the unique character of each neighborhood, the hikes served as history lessons, adventures, and meditative reconnections with the city, engaging residents with the very topography of the city itself.

“Urban Paradise” (2006)
Gregg Valley, 2006 Community Murals mural

Urban Paradise was created by Gregg Valley at Myriam’s in the Uptown community of Pittsburgh, a transitional housing refuge for women. Myriam’s and the community of Uptown asked for the mural to depict a bright, hopeful scene; something comforting for the clients and staff of Miryam’s that would also create a virtual oasis amidst a heavily blighted urban area. Valley proposed this stylized forest landscape design, which seemed to capture the visions of the community. This mural offers a sense of escape and renewal, hope and faith in the city, and a new way of “greening” within the harsh urban environment. Keeping with the tone he set with his 2005 mural in Carnegie, Valley succeeds in channeling the community’s vision of rebirth, health and vitality into a monumental work of 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.

Urban Stitches
$5,000 » YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, 2013 Hive project support

Urban Stitches, a project of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, was a math-based sewing project within the YWCA’s TechGYRLS program that engaged girls in grades 6-12 from Homewood, Lincoln, and Larimer. . The program was designed to fill the void created by area schools when traditional home economics programs were cancelled. Partnering with the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh’s TechGYRLS program, Urban Stitches Foundation encouraged creative learning outside the classroom – and reinforced disciplines such as patience, the ability to follow instructions, math and mechanical skills, independence, and self-confidence. The hands-on, tactile sewing skills the foundation taught provided a way for youth to comprehend math concepts such as fractions and measurement conversion. The program also opened doors to potential career paths such as tailoring, custom-made clothing, and home décor. By encouraging kids to use self-directed, creative energy to obtain immediate, tangible project outcomes the foundation extended children’s opportunities to learn abstract principles like mathematics beyond the classroom.

US Play Coalition 2014 Conference Stipend
$1,000 » PAEYC, 2014 Remake Learning conference stipend

US Play Coalition 2014 Conference Stipend, a project of PAEYC, enabled Cara Ciminillo, Operations Director, and Ernie Dettore, Professional Development Instructor, of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young People (PAEYC), to attend the US Play Coalition 2014 Conference on the Value of Play in Clemson, SC from February 16-19, 2014. The US Play Coalition’s annual conference focused on “The Value of Play: Collaboration and Creativity”, addressing our ability to create partnerships between schools, businesses and community centers. Cara and Ernie attended the conference to make connections with the national movement toward advancing play in children’s lives, and to get ideas for how play organizations can work more collaboratively here at home. Additionally, immediately following the conference, Cara and Ernie traveled to Baltimore, MD to present at KaBOOM’s annual staff retreat (100+ staff).