We all know our bridges are pretty awesome. So, how do you make them even more awesome? Take color and fiber and an army of knitters and turn one of the “three sisters” into an enormous community-led public art installation: you Knit the Bridge.
Led by an idea sparked by Amanda Goss, a growing community of knitting enthusiasts plan to attempt one of the largest “yarn bombs” in the world. In recent years, yarn-bombing–a type of street art where everyday objects and fixtures in public spaces are covered with yarn–has become a popular movement that has drastically increased the popularity of what was once deemed a lost art form.
The group behind Knit the Bridge hopes to “literally and figuratively weave the region together,” by yarn-bombing one of the three sisters bridges in the summer/fall of 2013. The installation will be made by over 400 volunteers from across the region in advance, and many segments have already been submitted. When it is removed, sections will be distributed to local shelters and community living facilities to be reused as blankets and wall hangings.
“Knit the Bridge is a dynamic art project that brings together diverse groups from throughout our community and embraces one of Pittsburgh most distinct assets, our bridges,” said Mary Ellen Solomon, Awesome Pittsburgh Trustee. “It’s a colorful way to engage people and to celebrate the region’s thriving arts scene. Knit the Bridge is just one more cool idea that makes Pittsburgh awesome.”
Awesome Pittsburgh is excited that Knit the Bridge will be giving a demonstration at its upcoming quarterly award party on Tuesday, April 30th. The Awesome Pittsburgh party is from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Union Project at 801 N. Negley Avenue in Highland Park. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information on the Knit the Bridge project and to volunteer to knit a section, interested parties can visit knitthebridge.wordpress.com or facebook.com/knitthebridge.
Need your quarterly allotment of an accumulated assemblage of awesomeness?
Then come on down to Awesome Pittsburgh’s next public party:
Tuesday, April 30, 6:30-8:30pm
801 N. Negley Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Join our trustees and friends in celebrating recent $1,000 award winners, applicants, and all the awesome projects and ideas in Pittsburgh. Our 15th award winner, 60 Seconds of Pure Freedom, will be there to tell you about their first skydive winner’s experience and how you can nominate your loved ones to be next to jump. Our 16th winner, Knit the Bridge, will be there to give a demonstration of their craft and we’ll announce our 17th winner that night!
While you’re partying, learn more about all the awesome things going on at the nonprofit Union Project, participate in a mini-awesome idea competition, and sample snacks created and donated by Kate Romane, founder and chef at local foodie fave E2, and house caterer at the Union Project.
Feel free to tell us you’re coming on our Facebook event and of course feel free to forward the invite to friends. We can’t wait to see you there!
More than just an awesome way to quench your thirst, Juice Up 412 is a social enterprise that uses their products – delicious and unique fruit and vegetable juices – to educate underserved communities about health, wellness and nutrition as well as food justice.
has already generated buzz with their pop-up juice bars around the city -including a featured appearance at Awesome Pittsburgh’s 1st Birthday Party – but they have even bigger plans to engage the community and find ways to remedy health disparities in low-investment communities. Juice Up 412′s Majestic Lane explains:
Our vision is to bring innovative juices to the area through diverse, creative media and inspire a broader conversation about access & behavioral norms in order to educate and empower traditionally underserved demographics regarding health & wellness.
The grant money will help to fund their first effort: the “I Juice” Campaign, a short video that highlights local thought leaders and changemakers to explain the importance of ‘juicing’ as well as the benefits a healthy diet can provide. This short grassroots video will be shared throughout social media to raise awareness of the Juice Up 412 project as well as introduce general health and nutritional concepts to the community. In addition, the Juice Up crew will host a three-part film series, showing topical films in open neighborhood spaces. These Movie Nights will also feature juicing demonstrations, presentations from local food and health industry experts, and a forum for conversation and community action.
Find out more about Juice Up 412 by following them on Twitter or liking them on Facebook and try some of their juice today!
Awesome Pittsburgh awards $1,000 grants on a monthly basis to individuals or groups who propose ways of making Pittsburgh stand out in the global economy, connect our communities, or celebrate art or technology and make the city a better place to live, work and play. Submit your short proposal here.
We grow up so fast. On Thursday, January 31, 2013, please join Awesome Pittsburgh Trustees, awardees, and friends to celebrate Awesome Pittsburgh’s first birthday!
When: Thursday, January 31st from 7 – 9 pm
Where: AVA Lounge, 126 S. Highland Avenue, East Liberty (map)
Visit our Facebook page to let us know you are coming, or just show up and surprise us!
With all the buzz around the “maker” movement, it’s easy to forget that for generations, sewing machines allowed people to dream up and make new creations in their own homes everyday. Our November winner, Urban Stitches, has a mission to reintroduce sewing to the young people of Pittsburgh. “The goal of Urban Stitches is for young people throughout the city to have the opportunity to learn to sew irrespective of their family’s financial status. Our instructors are eager to pass the love of sewing and the enjoyment of imagining, discovering, and creating on to the next generation,” says Tameka Reed, the leader of the Urban Stitches program.
Sewing instruction has become increasingly rare for students in a lot of schools. In fact, the idea for Urban Stitches came to Ms. Reed when she discovered that the local schools no longer offered sewing classes. That’s when she decided to develop and offer a course at no cost to students. Urban Stitches will provide an opportunity for teens ages 13-18 to learn outside of the classroom in a less intimidating setting. Reed, a Pittsburgh native and former Clarissa School of Fashion Design student, plans to use Awesome Pittsburgh’s $1,000 grant to purchase several sewing machines for the program and offer classes as part of an 8-week program.
Congrats to Urban Stitches!
Awesome Pittsburgh awards $1000 grants every month to great ideas like Tameka’s. Any idea that you believe is awesome is eligible, and submissions are due on the first of each month. Apply today!
Update 2/5/13: Tameka is launching the classes for 10 young women ages 12-18 at George Westinghouse High School in collaboration with the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. She’s looking for donations of sewing machines, notions, patterns, fabrics, zippers, buttons, etc. If you’ve got anything to donate, please contact Tameka (sew_1 [at] msn.com) - your generosity will help introduce a new generation to sewing!
Our monthly deadline for applications has been moved from the 15th to the 1st (by Midnight). We’ll still announce the winner by the end of the month. If you’ve submitted over the past 4-5 weeks, don’t worry. We’re holding on to those applications and will consider them with others coming in by Nov. 1. As always, our simple application form is here.
New to Awesome Pittsburgh? Here’s some language from a post a year ago that captures some of our intentions:
Fabled sports teams. Beautiful hills and rivers. Pride in neighborhoods. World-renowned universities, employers, and nonprofits.
All this and more makes the Pittsburgh region awesome. But most importantly, it’s the hundreds of daily, unseen acts of people being good neighbors and mentors. It’s the inspiring ideas fermenting in people’s garages and backyards, in their workrooms and classrooms. It’s the hidden creativity and talents waiting to be unleashed.
In short, our region’s awesomeness comes from people like you.
And we hope people like us, the trustees of Awesome Pittsburgh. We’re unabashed in our pride in living here and in our belief in our fellow residents. So much so that we’re willing to put up our own hard-earned cash to fund awesome ideas. We’re not Carnegies, Hillmans, or Dietrichs. But, like them we believe in Pittsburgh and in Pittsburghers (new and old).
We believe in your ability to make our region even more awesome.
You can submit your idea for advancing awesomeness in the Pittsburgh area here. And if that awesome idea hasn’t quite gelled yet, don’t worry. We’ll make more $1,000 awards for ideas submitted in the coming months.
So bring it on. Inspire us, wow us, move us, make us laugh or weep with joy. In short, be the awesome people we know you can be!
How often do you get to include the word ‘awesome‘ on your resume? Here is your chance! We’re looking for a passionate, organized, independent and innovative individual to join us this fall as the Awesome (Marketing and Events) Intern.
Here’s what we can offer:
- A unique experience to work with an entrepreneurial group of individuals to help make Pittsburgh better $1000 at a time
- Practical work experience in the marketing/communications/events field
- The chance to participate in monthly Awesome Pittsburgh Board meetings
- An opportunity to attend award celebrations where you can network professionally with awesome people
- These words on your resume: Awesome Intern
Here’s what we will need you to do:
- Find creative ways to use social media, traditional media, professional networks and other outlets to encourage applicants and promote awardees
- Write and distribute news releases that make reporters and bloggers say, “wow, that’s awesome”
- Create and maintain databases of media contacts, community organizations and outreach outlets
- Develop strategies for spreading awesomeness throughout Pittsburgh via speaking engagements, networking opportunities, community partnerships, etc
- Plan quarterly award celebrations (Awesome Parties!)
Some nuts and bolts info:
- The internship is based on 5 – 10 hours a week. Most of the work will be done virtually – we have no brick and mortar office.
- The internship is unpaid. But — we can’t stress this enough — your resume will say “Awesome Intern”
- The internship will start in October 2012.
To learn more about Awesome Pittsburgh, visit http://www.awesomepgh.com. To apply, send us an email to
say why you’d be an Awesome Intern and be sure to attach your resume email@example.com.
Where can you meet a cross-section of Pittsburgh’s creative minds, social innovators, community champions, and passionate entrepreneurs? At Awesome Pittsburgh’s next party of course:
- Awesome Pittsburgh Award Winner Celebration
- Monday, Sept. 17, 7pm-9pm
- Bar Marco, 2216 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh
We’d love to have you join us to meet cool people (likely cooler than us), be inspired by our previous $1,000 winners, and maybe – just maybe – have your chance at pitching your awesome idea to the crowd. And, of course, you already know that our great host – Bar Marco – is already famous for its awesome cocktails!
Stop by our Facebook event page and let us know you’re coming, and feel free to bring an awesome friend.
And don’t forget our next monthly application deadline is Sept. 15. Submit your idea for making the Pittsburgh region more awesome at http://www.awesomefoundation.org/submissions/new. We’re happy to hear heartfelt ideas, inspiring ideas, ingenious ideas, and well, “absolutely crazy, make you laugh with surprise, Holy Crap That’s Awesome” ideas.
To so many of us, computers are arcane devices that other people program for us so that we can read our email, tweet our support for the Pirates, and watch Pittsburgh Dad videos. In reality though, anybody can learn to code once you realize that, at its core, programming is simply a process of communicating with the computer, giving it instructions to perform tasks for you. Our June winner, The First Bytes Society, understands this and wants to engage young students in the magic of coding in a fun, hands-on way.
“What makes the First Bytes Society approach a little different than traditional computer science education is that it will focus on creating tangible results that students can easily share with their peers,” said Nathan Good, creator of The First Bytes Society. The curriculum and schedule for the class are being finalized, and Mr. Good says that he has several offers for space and volunteers on board to staff the program. The program will be designed for students between 5th and 9th grade and will encourage diversity, targeting groups often underrepresented in computer science.
“First and foremost, the First Bytes Society is about exciting young students–especially those who might otherwise not have easy access to computing–about the world of programming and debunking the myth that it is only intended for ‘the nerdy kids,’” says Mr. Good.
If you are interested in the program as it develops, follow The First Bytes Society on Twitter (@firstbytes).
UPDATE 7/25/12 – Nate’s project received some love from Pop City this week at http://www.popcitymedia.com/forgood/awesomefirstbytes072512.aspx
Join the Awesome Pittsburgh Trustees at the third-ever Awesome Pittsburgh Party! Now with extra awesomeness at Future Tenant!
- Monday, June 4, 2012
- 7:00pm until 9:00pm
- 819 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA
At the party, we’ll:
- Announce our May 2012 grant winner,
- Give updates on March and April awards, and
- Hold an awesome competition with 2 winners/prizes – one chosen and funded by the Awesome Trustees and the other chosen and funded by the attendees! (donating to the prize is optional)
So, whether you’re feeling awesome yourself, are a friend of awesome, or just on your way back from the Arts Festival, stop by Future Tenant for some more art and a whole lotta awesome! http://www.futuretenant.org/
Future Tenant is Downtown, right in the middle of the Three Rivers Arts Festival!
It’s often said that we all have a story to tell. Well, Pittsburgh, here is your chance to contribute a sentence of your own to a much bigger story, thanks to our April winner: Exquisite Machine, an interactive creative writing project that will engage the community in collective storytelling.
Deanna Mulye, creator/project director of Exquisite Machine, describes the goals for the project:
We want to give people an excuse to be creative and a reason to write. We hope that the project delights people in a personal, unexpected way, and that through Exquisite Machine we will be able to reach a range of individuals, from unsuspecting people just walking down the street to students, writers and artists looking for a creative outlet.
The physical machine will appear at a variety of locations around the city. Participants will be able to input a sentence that they would like to see transformed into a complete story. A group of creative individuals will turn these sentences into brilliant bits of fiction at a series of writing sessions at venues across the region, culminating in a book that can be shared with all of the contributors and the rest of the community.
Awesome Pittsburgh’s $1,000 grant will support the construction and operation of the machine, a device that will allow individuals and groups to initiate, contribute to and complete stories at various locations throughout the Pittsburgh area. Exquisite Machine will launch this summer and will be ongoing. Individuals and organizations interested in collaborating with Exquisite Machine are encouraged to visit http://exquisitemachine.org for more information.
Remember that the deadline for the June award is Tuesday, June 15th. Get your submissions in today!
We’re excited to participate in the 14th Annual Entrepreneur’s Growth Conference, a day-long program for small business owners by Duquesne University’s Small Business Development Center. The event takes place on Wednesday, May 9th at Duquesne.