Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Few Hit Pics from Leadership Pittsburgh's" Pop Up" Event in Uptown

From the Asylum Coffee Bar to the Zany Art of Sculptor James Simon, Pop Up Pittsburgh was a feast of sights, sounds and BBQ sauce aromas!
Photos from The Deaf Club and Passports: The Art Diversity Project
see previous story posted for more details or visit Leadership Pittsburgh.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Storm Rains Cancelled Concert but Didn't Dampen Spirits

Gray Skies got grayer, on the evening of June 17th as the Hill District was poised for its annual Pittsburgh Symphony Engagement Concert. Still, no one suspected a storm with record rainfall three times the amount of the previous record set in 1973 would cancel the evening. Even as barges were breaking from their docks on the Monongahela, hopeful Symphony fans were still filing into St. Benedict the Moor Church on Centre Avenue with their umbrellas in hand, looking forward to an evening of entertainment. Even the flickering of the lights did not dim the hope that the concert would still go on. It wasn't until the largest clap of thunder and the final power outage that Jessica Schmidt, of the PSO and Terri Baltimore from the Hill House Association announced to committee members, volunteers and the expanding crowd that the Pittsburgh Symphony was --alas--unable to perform.

Within minutes, the crowd was filing to the back of the church not to leave, but to eat, drink punch and chat. In the dim light, jazz musicians exchanged stories with classical musicians, nuns brought candles for the tables, ushers held battery powered lights over the cookies and punch as people gathered goodies and talked, and children played hide and seek among the long carved pews. In no time flat, the rained-out affair became a full scale social event with the all charm of an impromptu, moonlit bar-b-que.

"I'm in no hurry to leave," said one participant settling in. "If you have to ride out a storm, this is the perfect place!"

In fact the beauty of St. Benedict the Moor, was punctuated by slivers of light coming through the stain glass windows; and the door through which attendees occasionally peeked to see how deep the water was running over the sidewalk, making light of whether or not they would be washed out of their shoes or high heels. Then slowly, over the period of a few hours, they all left, content overall with the evening.

Special thanks go to the Symphony engagement committee for their gallant efforts: Demareus Cooper, Terri Baltimore, Jessica Schmidt, Janine Davis, Dr. Nelson Harrison, Elbert S. Hatley, Carrie Henderson, Marlene Jackson, Christine Bethea and Rachel Walton ,

The next Symphony Concert is planned for March of 2010.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Food, Art and Entertainment Update for Pop-Up Pittsburgh

John Ross, is only one of several artists being asked to provide fun and funky furniture for Pop Up Pittsburgh's Recycled Interiors Home at 114 Miltenberger Street.
Sauce MasterThrowdown Event Details:
On Saturday, May 30, 2009, from 1-3 p.m. POP UP PITTSBURGH! will host a community sauce tasting competition in Uptown. POP UP PITTSBURGH! will provide locally grown salad greens and chickens, which will be grilled during the event, to enjoy with the sauces. The competition will take place in the Uptown neighborhood on Locust St. between Gist St. and Miltenberger St. The event is open to Uptown residents, friends and other interested folks to show off their cooking talents. The winning sauce will be determined by the highest number of votes accumulated per team. Votes will be cast by event attendees (1 vote per person). Winners will be announced at 4 p.m. Prizes include $100 worth of gift certificates. All teams must register in advance by completing and turning in the official Sauce-Master Throwdown entry form. The maximum number of teams is limited. Please sign up early. Questions and E-mail queries to: AlexiAlexis Miller <

An Artz Explosion @ Duquesne University with Global Dinning, Art Auctions and Drummers

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Uptown to Hop with first-ever" Pop up Pittsburgh" Event Highlighting Neighborhood Assets and Potential

Pop Up Pittsburgh! "Uptown on the Move," is an exciting event scheduled for Saturday, May 30th and hosted by Uptown Partners and the Leadership Development Initiative, which is a consortium of diverse emerging leaders who focus on regional issues. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature exciting nodes around the party route – the “superblock” bounded by Fifth Ave., Gist St., Locust St. and Miltenberger St. – spanning art exhibitions, live music, a theatrical premiere, residential open houses, an oral history film, a BBQ Sauce Cook-off (served up with locally grown greens and chicken), fun activities (in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Museum) and much more. Its family-friendly fare, that will get everyone talking and thinking about locating their home or business in and around the historic Hill District! Click on the Pop Up website (mentioned above) for more details.

Image by Christine Bethea/Frog mosaic @ the James Simon Studio on Gist Street created by Simon and the Braddock Youth Project

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hill District Symphony Engagement Committee Gears Up for June Performance at St. Benedict The Moor Chruch

Full House at the Hill House for the Symphony performance last year!

Strings are the theme for 2009, when the Pittsburgh Symphony brings its lively orchestral sounds to St. Benedict the Moor on June 17 at 7 pm. PSO Resident Conductor Daniel Meyer will conduct a string orchestra comprised of PSO musicians. The concert will include Terrance Hayes, reading his own poetry in conjunction with the PSO’s performance of Jean Sibelius' piece for strings, Rakastava. PSO bass player Micah Howard will be featured as a soloist, and music by Tchaikovsky, Ellington, Holst and Turina will be featured. The Hill House Association hosts the performance evening, which will include an all-audience reception following the concert. Tickets cost $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (65+), and $4 for students K-college. For tickets, call: 412.392.3148. Or visit All ticket proceeds will benefit the arts programs of the Hill House Association.

Hill District Symphony Committee members include:
Chair, Damareus Cooper,Terri Baltimore, Janine Davis, Elbert Hatley, Christine Bethea, Carrie Henderson, Marlene Jackson, Jessica Schmidt and Rachel Walton

PSO Conductor, Dan Meyer with Hill House,
CEO, Evan Frazier and Damareus Cooper,
Chair of the Hill District Symphony Engagement Committee