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Book collects and captures personal moments of Pittsburghers

Last year, the Hillman Photography Initiative at the Carnegie Museum of Art launched A People’s History of Pittsburgh. The project invited Pittsburghers to share personal photographs and stories. The collection task that followed gathered everything from large format black-and-white portraits dating back to the 1880s to color Polaroids of the 1970s to camera phone pictures from the 21st century.

From 2014 to 2015, the project grew into a digital archive of over 1,500 images, illustrating the ways in which snapshot photography has been used to document everyday moments while more broadly attempting to unearth a city’s cultural history through the photos of its people.

In the end, more than 200 images were selected for the accompanying print version of A People’s History of Pittsburgh: Volume One. The book contains a seamless flow of images that cycle through common family suppertimes, sports outings, dance recitals, first kisses, and more. The editors intentionally stripped the photos of their accompanying captions, allowing the viewer’s own history to be evoked and revisited.

Last month, the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh and the music collective VIA celebrated the launch of A People's History of Pittsburgh with the multi-faceted event #NOWSEETHIS.

And now, a People's History of Pittsburgh Volume One is on sale for $20 online and at Spaces Corners, an artist-run photobook gallery and project space in Troy Hill.

To learn more about the initiative and to explore the digital archive, visit www.nowseethis.org.
 

It's camo time: Upcoming events honor hometown heroes

As summer's patriotic holidays approach, the iconic camo print that's synonymous with U.S. soldiers is flexing its muscle at special local sporting events honoring veterans.

To commemorate Flag Day on June 14, the Veterans Leadership Program (VLP) invites veterans and the public to attend the Kids & Camo 5K / Family Fun Day in White Oak Park. The 5K Run/Walk begins at 10 a.m., with a BBQ lunch after the race. Those not participating in the 5K are also invited to enjoy the BBQ lunch and festivities including a three-legged race, sack race, arts and crafts, volleyball, horseshoes and a corn hole competition.

Participants can register for the 5K or one-mile run/walk at www.vlpwpa.org/5k.  Registration is requested for the free lunch and activities.

In addition, the Pittsburgh Brewing Company (PBC) just released a second Pirates Collector Series beer can -- the “Camo” can -- to its 2015 lineup through select distributors. To tie in to the Pirates camo jerseys worn at Thursday home games and to pay tribute to local vets, PBC will donate tickets and camo merchandise to area VFWs for every Thursday home game.

Proceeds from each case of IC Light camo cans sold through July 5 will benefit the local It’s About the Warrior Foundation and will be presented at the Pirates game on July 9. The evening ends with a stadium-wide salute to the veterans and troops.

National pancreas nonprofit matures from local origins

If you or a loved one had pancreatic cancer 18 years ago, little information was available to help, and only a limited amount of research funding existed for the physicians and caregivers treating the disease.

Consequently, the very first chapter now known as The National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) started here in Pittsburgh in 1997. 

Today, the NPF advocates for research and therapies for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer and has given more than $2.5 million toward groundbreaking research. The foundation has grown to 22 chapters nationwide thanks to volunteers and doctors around the country who donate their time and talents to raise money through events each year. So far, 2015 festivities have included a family bowling night, followed by the summertime gala on June 19 and a Pancreatic Awareness Walk on Aug. 16. Funds raised support patient care, along with education and research for healthcare providers in the form of one-year grants of up to $25,000 toward local research.
 
For more information about the Foundation, visit http://www.pancreasfoundation.org/. To purchase tickets for the Courage for a Cure Gala on June 19 at the Heinz Field East Lounge, go to http://bidpal.net/npfgala2015.
 

Opposition grows against Azalea as Pride 2015 concert headliner

So far, Pittsburgh Pride has generated more conflict than its “All You Need Is Love” theme implies.

The choice of Australian rapper Iggy Azalea as the headliner for the region’s largest gay pride concert sparked protests among the city’s LGBTQ community against The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh, which organized this year's Pride in the Street concert. The controversy stems from past racist and homophobic remarks the pop star made publicly.

Reaction came swiftly after Delta’s announcement of the June 13 concert headliner, and opposition continues to grow. At publication of this story, more than 900 followers have joined the “Shut it down” Facebook campaign. Other LGBTQ groups and faith communities from around the city are rallying strong support of the campaign.

“The Iggy Azalea thing was just a last straw for folks,” Michael David Battle of the Garden of Peace Project told the Pittsburgh City Paper.

Arts organization Dreams of Hope plans to use the concert itself to express opposition.

“The best way we can affect the change we seek is to use the visibility of Pride Fest to share our vision of what Pride should be,” said the group’s Executive Director, Seth Rosenberg. “We will march, we will staff our information table, our theatriQ youth performance ensemble will take the stage -- and we will use all of these platforms to express our displeasure with the current state of Pittsburgh Pride.”

Last week, Azalea cancelled her upcoming fall tour though she assured fans that special events -- including Pittsburgh Pride -- will remain as scheduled. Delta, likewise, has shown no sign of cancelling at present.

“If we believed that Iggy Azalea was racist or homophobic, we certainly would not have selected her to headline Pittsburgh Pride. We also don't believe she would have agreed to come if she was racist or homophobic,” Delta said in a full statement to the City Paper. “We believe that the push back is part of a larger discussion happening across America as it relates to race and gender. We believe that same conversation needs to happen here in Pittsburgh and today [we] reached out to several community leaders about facilitating a discussion about race and gender specifically as it relates to the LGBT community.”
 

Anti-litter commercials from amateur filmmakers wanted

The Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) invites local filmmakers to create Pittsburgh-centric public service announcements to send the message of the impact littering has on the local environment.  

Last fall, the PRC launched a campaign to encourage residents to share anti-litter messages via 21st-century technology such as social media and electronic communication. This year, the PRC continues its battle against littering by launching the second phase of its Crying Steelers Fan campaign, a take reminiscent of the widely aired 1970s campaign depicting a tearful Native American looking upon a spoiled urban landscape.

"Serving as the centerpiece of our campaign is the Crying Steelers Fan video, which strives to forge a connection between the region's pride and litter prevention," says PRC Regional Director Justin Stockdale.
 
According to Stockdale, notable Pittsburghers will select two winners. The winning entries will air on KDKA-TV later in the year. Submission deadline is July 3, 2015. Complete contest instructions available at http://prc.org/littercontest/.
 

Pittsburgh parks curator receives national honor

Thanks to her role as parks curator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Susan Rademacher will receive one of the highest national honors from the American Society of Landscape Architects. 

The ASLA bestows the honorary member title on those who've provided notable service to the profession of landscape architecture. Since its founding the 1899, the society has granted honorary membership to only 176 recipients, including former President Jimmy Carter, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Robert Redford and Ladybird Johnson. 

Since joining the conservancy in 2007, Rademacher has served as the project leader for the recent renovation of Downtown's Mellon Square and wrote the 2014 Princeton Architectural Press book Mellon Square: Discovering a Modernist Masterpiece.

Rademacher was editor in chief of Landscape Architecture magazine from 1984 to 1987 and was a founding editor of Garden Design magazine. She served as both president of Louisville's Olmsted Parks Conservancy and assistant director of Louisville's Metro Parks Department from 1991 to 2007. 

As parks curator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Rademacher has completed master planning and project design for the Walled Garden in Mellon Park and Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain. She is currently working on Cliffside Park renovations; master plans for Arsenal Park, Leslie Park, and McKinley Park; Heth's Run in Highland Park; and the Northeast Fountain in Allegheny Commons.

Students from YMCA Lighthouse Project in Homewood strut their stuff

Teen filmmakers, poets, step dancers, performers and photographers from Homewood will share their talents on stage at the Kelly Strayhorn Theatre tonight at 6 p.m. as part of an end-of-year celebration for the YMCA Lighthouse Project.

High-school students will perform original hip-hop songs, rock 'n' roll acts, film, artwork, fashion designs and culinary treats. The YMCA Lighthouse Project's two hip-hop groups -- Exclusive and Young, Wise & Motivated -- will be selling their albums during the event.

The YMCA Lighthouse Project is an after-school program at Westinghouse Academy, a low-performing high school in Homewood. Despite the high dropout rate at Westinghouse, every Lighthouse Project participant goes on to graduate from high school, according to a press release from the YMCA.

The Kelly Strayhorn Theatre is at 5941 Penn Ave. in East Liberty.

CMU offers Tartan gear created by 3-D printing technology

PieceMaker Technologies, a local startup that develops self-service, 3-D printing kiosks, recently announced its partnership with Carnegie Mellon University as the college's first official licensee for 3-D printing. 

PieceMaker founder and CMU grad Arden Rosenblatt said that the company's first Shapeways.com storefront will offer officially licensed, 3-D printed Tartan gear. Just in time for graduation, the very first product offerings will be aimed at the class of 2015.

"As with everything in 3-D printing, each order from our Shapeways store is made on demand, but with this initiative, PieceMaker is stepping into the online world with two limited edition offerings," Rosenblatt said in a statement. 

Shop the Shapeways store here

Sales of new local beer support tree plantings along region's waterways

Beer drinkers and tree huggers alike are toasting a new initiative to plant trees along stream banks in the region.
 
Purchasing Ryeparian Rye Pale Ale, a new locally made beer, will support the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's efforts to plant trees along river banks to improve water quality in the area. Five percent of all Ryeparian Rye sales will go toward the program.

Distributors across Pennsylvania and 12 counties in northeastern Ohio now carry Ryeparian Rye Pale Ale, which was crafted by Bob and Jodi McCafferty. Longtime supporters of the conservancy, the McCaffertys own the North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock, Butler County, and the Harmony Inn in Harmony, Beaver County. 

“I’m a supporter of all who wish to coexist in a clean environment together, and a bigger fan of the Conservancy’s efforts to achieve that,” said Bob McCafferty, who is carrying Ryeparian Rye on tap at both of his restaurants.

The beer's name comes from the term "riparian zones," which are the essential land areas next to streams and rivers. 

In 2013 and 2014, the conservancy planted more than 23,000 trees along riparian zones to improve water quality. During spring 2015, the group plans to plant 5,580 trees and shrubs over 28.9 acres. 

Brooklyn online mag compares borough to 'Burgh

“Could the next Brooklyn be Pittsburgh?”  asked a recent article in Brooklyn Based, the online lifestyle magazine covering all things creative and cutting-edge in New York City’s most populated borough.

The story chronicled testimonies from several young ex-Brooklynites, who vacated their cramped expensive environs for the easier opportunities, extra space and more affordable living of Pittsburgh.

The young professionals in the article ranged from STEM and public service professionals to artists, chefs, and developers, many of whom were native Pittsburgh boomerangs. Other non-native transplants, who’d not before considered moving here, spoke in amazement once they took the chance and placed roots.

“l feel like Pittsburgh is Brooklyn 10 to 12 years ago,” a non-native transplant observed. “There are still plenty of neighborhoods [where people can afford] to buy homes, to rent storefronts and really pursue their passions, and that’s something I think is increasingly harder to do in central Brooklyn.”

"The low cost of living here makes it feel like you're taking home $10,000 to $20,000 more," another source noted.
There are downsides for the new transplants, too -- the transit system for one. Pittsburgh’s long winters, of course, received a unanimous thumbs-down, though none of the sources planned to uproot their more spacious, less expensive lifestyles to head back to Brooklyn anytime soon either.

Read the full article here.
 

Garfield pop-up store gains national following

Ever since Elana Schlenker offered female customers a 24 percent discount at her Garfield pop-up shop throughout the month of April to mark Equal Pay Day, the movement to raise awareness of the unequal pay gap between men and women has caught on across the United States and beyond.

Last month, the national and local media converged on Schlenker’s small, artsy store, 76<100, when it charged men full price and women 76 percent of full price to represent the pay gap of 76 cents earned by women for every $1 earned by men.

The idea is more than a message and catchy storefront name, however. “We’re looking at the issue from different angles,” says Schlenker. With funding from The Women & Girls Foundation and others, the graphic designer and Polish Hill resident also hosted various events from skill-building workshops to a bus tour of local art installations. 

Now that the movement is gaining momentum, individuals have contacted her from across the country to learn how to start similar initiatives. Activists from Sweden, South America, the Netherlands and Australia have even shown interest, though Schlenker says her focus for now lies in the United States.

Her first stop is New Orleans, where Louisiana’s pay gap is a dismal 66 cents to the dollar. She and New Orleans photographer Tammy Mercure will launch 66<100 in the fall.

Schlenker says she’d like to do one or two locations a year that adjust to individual state’s gender-gap figures.

Learn more about the movement.
 
 
 

Family of Pittsburgh firefighter featured on Ellen

Viewers of The Ellen Degeneres Show know the host and comedienne enjoys sharing stories that inspire her. One such story featured Matt Onyshko, a City of Pittsburgh firefighter with Engine Company 32, who has been battling ALS for more than seven years. He and his wife Jessica first appeared on DeGeneres’ show in October where they shared their story and their positive spirit.

During that first appearance, the firefighters of Engine Company 32 surprised the Onyshkos onstage. The close friends had covered Matt Onyshko’s shifts at the firehouse since he went off the job three years ago and ensured that Matt would continue to get paid.

Just last week, the show’s Ellen’s producers and the firefighters arrived with cameras rolling at the front door of the Onyshkos’ Brighton Heights home. They stopped in to announce that the family would receive a living room makeover from HOUZ.

According to DeGeneres, the show will return to the Onyshko home in a few weeks to feature the results of the Houz makeover.
“You make a choice,” Matt Onyshko had said during his first appearance on the show. “To either have fun or be in pain. We really have nothing to complain about.”  

A gofundme page has been created to help the Onyshkos.
 

Local Etsy artist takes wholesale business to next level

When e-commerce site Etsy went public last week, Etsy crafters in Pittsburgh and across the world gained global attention, too.

The New York Times recently profiled Highland Park artist Amy Hamley’s association with Etsy before the company went public. Hamley, who makes jewelry and decorative items out of porcelain, credits Etsy for taking her wholesale business to the next level. She started the business is 2008 and made it her full-time pursuit in 2010.

“I’ve gained as many buyers and retail stores as I had in the entire three years doing it on my own,” she told the Times.

Since Etsy’s beginnings in 2005, the massive online site for vintage and handcrafted artisan goods has provided a vehicle for sellers to display their work for low sales fees plus a 3.5 percent commission. This changed the game for artisans, who used to depend on street fairs, arts festivals or gift trade shows to market their items. But with tens of millions of unique visits to Etsy’s site each day -- many of whom are retailers buying products wholesale-- sellers like Hamley gained a level of visibility never before granted to artists like her.
 
Last year, Hamley moved her studio out of her Highland Park home and launched Redraven Studios from a building converted from an old ice cream shop in Sharpsburg. She was one of a select group of Etsy sellers worldwide invited to attend the ringing of the stock market bell the morning the company went public. She was also among the small gathering of artisans who set up shop in Times Square to display and talk about her work. 

Pittsburgh is home to a number of Etsy crafters who bring their imaginations to market at the e-commerce site.

Source: The New York Times, Nasdaq, Upstart Business Journal

Pittsburgh competes for Outside Magazine's Best Towns 2015

Outside magazine has included Pittsburgh in its competition of 60 U.S. cities to determine the best towns of 2015. 

Based on outdoorsy criteria like access to trails and public lands, walkable restaurants and neighborhoods, farmers markets and a good beer scene, online voting for the competition begins on May 4. 

Cast your vote for Pittsburgh here

Satisfaction: The Rolling Stones come to Heinz Field

The Rolling Stones have announced a round of tour dates, and they include a stop in the Steel City. The British legends will hit Heinz Field on June 20.

The Zip Code tour will once again reunite singer Mick Jagger, drummer Charlie Watts and guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood.

The last time the Rolling Stones played North American stadiums was during their "A Bigger Bang Tour" in 2006. They opted for arena venues for their "50 & Counting" tour in 2012 and 2013.

"We love being out on the road and it is great to come back to North America," said Richards in a statement. "I can't wait to get back on the stage!"

And quite the stage it will be, including a section that juts far into the crowd, allowing the Stones to interact with fans. As is the band's practice, the stage design will employ cutting-edge technology to enhance the performance, including video screens and special effects.

Check out the complete list of tour dates here.

Original source: The New York Times
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