Award #56: John Riegert

In 2015, Brett Yasko invited 400 artists from a diverse set of genres to portray his friend, John Riegert, himself an artist.  Fifteen years ago, John began suffering from mental illness and much of his world had unraveled over the subsequent years.  Brett couldn’t compensate the artists for their time or materials, but hoped a few artists…

Award #55: Traveling Accessible Playground

Ian Neumaier explained the idea behind the Traveling Accessible Playground in his application: On the playground, what do inclusive groups of children, with and without disabilities, have to build together, throw at one another, and fight over? Often nothing. Ian’s organization, Find Some Flow, believes play and playfulness is for the masses. That attitude won…

Award #54: Street Side Karaoke

We all have a favorite song whose lyrics are indelibly etched in our brains, but would you sing that song publicly and on the street? The Street Side Karaoke project, winner of Awesome Pittsburgh’s latest grant, seeks to find out. This is not your mama’s karaoke. Street Side Karaoke is served up with a twist:…

Award #53: Doors Open Pittsburgh

If you’ve ever house hunted, you know the best part is gaining access to interior spaces which are typically inaccessible. Imagine gaining entry inside old buildings that reveal Pittsburgh’s rich history. Picture yourself standing on stage at Heinz Hall, smiling behind the Mayor’s desk for a photo opp or discovering a vault. Earlier this summer,…

Award #52: The Long Song

The Long Song: “Exactly the Kind of Unique Idea that Awesome Pittsburgh Likes to Make Possible” The Long Song has existed in Jennifer Nagle Myers’ sketchbook for years but on May 22, along Penn Avenue from Highland Avenue to Main Street, her idea will spring to life. The Long Song is not just a song,…

Award #51: The Family Farm

Awesome Pittsburgh trustees were immediately drawn to Josh Inklovich’s pilot project The Family Farm due to its very personal nature. Fifteen years ago, someone offered Josh a job after he was released from prison and for the past decade, he has worked to “pay it forward.” Upon realizing how unprepared many former inmates are to…

Award #50: Wanna CEEMI?

Wanna CEEMI?, February’s recipient of a $1000 Awesome Pittsburgh grant, was developed by multimedia artist and classical guitar instructor Gil Teixeira, a native of Portugal. Gil began CEEMI in London as part of his final project of his Music Leadership Masters program at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. His project swayed…

Award #49: Mobile Dyeing Class

The Steel City Fiber Collective (SCFC), winner of December’s $1000 Awesome Pittsburgh grant, will provide Pittsburghers the chance to rent space and equipment for knitting, crochet, dyeing, spinning, weaving, and fiber preparation. They also plan to host classes for the fiber art community. Says SCFC founding member Nora Swisher, “A mobile dyeing class will make…

Award #48: Sugar and Spice Ice Cream Boat

Talk about novel. There are houseboats, showboats, powerboats and dreamboats, but how about ICE CREAM BOATS? Seriously original. Which is why Kevin Heenan’s project won over the hearts and minds of Awesome Pittsburgh trustees who voted for Sugar and Spice Ice Cream Boat to receive the $1000 grant to put this grand idea in motion. Kevin’s motivation is simple….

Award #47: SisterFriend

During one of her personal volunteering stints, Tamara Whiting recognized an overlooked and under-discussed need of Pittsburgh women living in poverty: feminine hygiene products. Says Whiting, “Women living in poverty typically know where to find a safe place to sleep or a hot meal to eat. But when it comes to thinking about feminine care,…

Award #46: H3O/OO3

Recent Awesome Pittsburgh grant recipient Steve Gurysh is the co-founder and co-director—along with Scott Andrew—of the Drift, an artist-run platform that creates temporary art while exploring the three rivers in Pittsburgh. H3O/OO3 is one in a series of single evening performances held beneath the Veteran’s Bridge along the north shore of the Allegheny River that…

Award #45: Black Girls Do Bike

Lest you think that black girls can’t or don’t or won’t ride a bicycle, this project is here to educate you otherwise. Note: it helps, when pronouncing this project out loud, to stress the word “DO” because this group wants you to know that black girls and women really DO bike. Seriously. Monica Garrison, founder…