Deirdre Kane and Dora Walmsley are two Pittsburghers who have a dream — one they share with many of their Upper Lawrenceville neighbors — to open a fresh retail corner store offering grocery staples, prepared foods, and bulk items (like grains and rice). They also envision the 52nd Street Market being a community meeting place — a space where neighbors can come together for a cup of coffee and conversation. The women are more than just dreamers — they have a combined 25 years of restaurant industry and food service experience between them, including working at the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank so there is an understanding of food insecurity and equitable access to food. They also have a building owner who is working with them, as well having many professional mentors, and have surveyed their community.
“Umoja” means “unity” in the Swahili language of Africa. The Umoja African Arts Company’s mission since 1989 has been to increase awareness and appreciation of the rich culture of the continent of Africa. One way they do this is through their signature event — the African Arts in the Park festival — which brings together people of all cultures in Pittsburgh to enjoy the “explosive beats, insistent rhythms and haunting melodies of African music, drumming and dance.”
When the Mattress Factory says it has “art you can get into,” it’s being literal. The North Side museum displays room-sized environments that are created by in-residence artists from around the world — some 600 since its inception in 1977. Every five years they hold a live auction of work from artists who have exhibited there, the proceeds of which benefit their artistic programs, exhibitions and education outreach. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Mattress Factory and they’ve put together over 50 original works by an impressive list of both established and emerging artists for the auction block.
It’s been an epic news year in Pittsburgh. Between the amazing twists and turns of the mayoral race, the spectacular rise of the Pirates and the equally spectacular downfall of the Orie sisters, one might say it’s achieved a Shakespearian level. And who better to follow the plot than the team behind “Off the Record” — the annual, musical satire that takes it’s own twisted view of Pittsburgh news and newsmakers. The show is a presentation of the Pittsburgh Newspaper Guild/CWA which includes Post-Gazette journalists and local SAG-AFTRA actors and performers among those it represents. And it’s all for a good cause as the primary beneficiary of the evening is the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.
Each October, the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh holds their annual celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and teachings. Gandhi was born on October 2nd and the United Nations General Assembly has established that day as the International Day of Non-Violence to honor his work. This year’s event will be held on Sunday, October 6th from 2:00 to 5:00 PM.
Treading Art is a Pittsburgh-based business and online cultural resource which provides a curated guide to our city. Their “Discover Pittsburgh” is a free and open to the public program of events that highlight our region’s cultural resurgence. From October 3rd through October 7th, you can take their lead and discover the many treasures to be found in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Downtown, East Liberty and Lawrenceville, and in Millvale, PA.
In August, East Liberty Development, Inc. held their Circulation & Mobility Public Kickoff event to give the public a chance to voice their vision on how to make East Liberty a better place to “walk, roll, bike, bus, drive and park.” They’re looking for ongoing public participation in the planning processes for improving parking, walkability, and accessibility by holding a series of workshops. Each will be held at the Carnegie Library – East Liberty (130 S. Whitfield Street) from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. A light dinner will also be served at each event.
Community gardens provide numerous benefits. They preserve green space, create a sense of community, provide exercise and nutritious food, and improve the overall quality of life in a neighborhood. Grow Pittsburgh teaches people how to grow food in urban areas through a variety of programs including encouraging and assisting people to start community gardens. This year, Grow Pittsburgh has a new program: The 2013 Community Garden Sustainability Fund.
Pennsylvania state law requires PennDOT to prepare an update to Pennsylvania’s Twelve Year Transportation Program every two years and submit it to the Pa. State Transportation Commission (STC). It’s then sent to the Governor, the General Assembly and the Secretary of Transportation. The purpose of the program is to evaluate the condition of our transportation system and create a blueprint of prioritized transportation projects in order to ensure economic development throughout our state.
With another mass shooting just this week, guns are once again in the headlines, But, these types of events tend to overshadow some statistics that are far more likely to impact the average person. For example, according to The New England Journal of Medicine, living in a home where there are guns increases the risk of homicide by 40 to 170% and increases the risk of suicide by 90 to 460%. And, a report filed by the Washington State Department of Social Health Services found that, “a child or teen is killed once every seven and a half hours with a gun, either by accident or by suicide. In 72 percent of these cases, the firearm used was housed in the victim’s own residence.” The statistics locally are equally harrowing.