Community XR is an opportunity for Pittsburghers to try virtual and augmented reality for free. This series of events is a collaboration between Pittsburgh Community Television<https://www.pctv21.org/> and XRconnectED<http://www.xrconnected.com/> and rotates to different locations throughout the city. Community XR promotes digital literacy and encourages Pittsburgh residents to learn how they can create for XR and about related educational and career opportunities. This is a family-friendly event, including AR coloring activities for children. The first Community XR event takes place on Saturday, October 12, at the Millvale Food + Energy Hub at 112 E Sherman St, Millvale, PA 15209. Click here for more info and to register.
Above: Melanie Sandoval reads with Aaron, a student from Spring Hill Elementary School involved in the after school reading program the Comic Book Shop, which received a 2018 ONS Mini-Grant.
Sometimes a lot of funding is needed to get a project off the ground, and sometimes it isn’t.
For those small-scale community projects, New Sun Rising’s One Northside Mini-Grants are back. Created to support community members in their efforts to elevate their neighborhoods, Northsiders can apply to receive $1,000 in funding to support initiatives that strengthen connections, increase accessibility to resources, and activate significant places in their community.
Applications will be released on August 1, 2019, accepted on an ongoing basis, and reviewed bi-monthly. Deadlines to submit applications is 11:59 p.m. on: August 31, 2019; October 31, 2019; January 30, 2019; March 31, 2020; May 31, 2020 based on the availability of funds.
One Northside Mini-Grants will be announced in September 2019, November 2019, February 2020, April 2020, and June 2020.
Grant recipients may also receive additional support through New Sun Rising and the One Northside Mini-Grant Street Team to develop their project and secure additional resources. Applications are currently being accepted for those who would like to join the Street Team; they must be Northside residents and will support community members in their efforts to advance the ONS vision.
Members of the Street Team will receive a stipend of $1,500 and must be able to commit 60 hours in total, including training, throughout the months of August, September, October, November in 2019 and February 2020. Individuals of the Street Team are expected to educate and support community members about ONS Mini-Grants and help submit applications, as well as communicate the mini-grant program with residents and program partners individually and at neighborhood events.
Individuals who are awarded mini-grants may be able to find additional funding through ioby, which gives local leaders the ability to crowdfund the resources they need to build real, lasting change from the ground up. Pittsburghers specifically have raised over $500,000 for community programs. Currently, the ioby One Northside Crowdfunding Challenge will double donations to Northside projects.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend Information Workshops to meet with New Sun Rising staff and the One Northside Mini-Grant Street Team to learn more about the application process. Additionally, the Street Team will be available for informal meet-ups at community locations as requested. Check the schedule online at www.newsunrising.org/project/
Interested applicants are invited to attend the One Northside Community Project Support Slam Kickoff event from 6-8 p.m. on August 21 to honor past grantees and share information about ONS and ioby. Location is to be decided and updates will be posted on New Sun Rising’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
New Sun Rising is also seeking up to five community members to serve on the Mini-Grant Evaluation Committee, which will review applications virtually and meet six times over the coming year to discuss and approve them.
Those interested in becoming a member of the ONS Mini-Grant Street Team can send their resume or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
The preferred method to submit mini-grant applications is online at www.newsunrising.org/project/
Printed applications will be accepted at the Allegheny and Woods Run Carnegie Libraries during normal business hours and by postal mail. Individuals can also submit their application as attachments to email@example.com
Above: Daniel Stiker (center) tabling for New Sun Rising at Pittonkatonk in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Leigh Solomon Pugliano)
The combination of passion and profession could be defined as soul work; the feeling of fulfillment through actively contributing to the common good. It’s something that most hope to obtain during their lifetimes and they’re fortunate to find it.
“Looking back at where I had joy and where I thought I could find it, and meaningful soul work, was with nonprofits,” said Daniel Stiker, the Director of Culture + Operations at New Sun Rising.
Originally from the Pittsburgh area, Stiker left for several years in the late 1990s and moved to New York City. While there, he worked for a dotcom and got involved with the Beggar’s Group Theatre Club that primarily focused on underground and political performances. He said it was a life changing experience for him to be involved with a performing group that focused on important issues and “made a difference.”
“Theatre often moves people, sometimes to action, and that’s the theatre that I like,” Stiker said.
Similarly, nonprofit work is about moving people to action. Stiker said being heavily involved in theatre prepared him for his role in the nonprofit world and how to effectively communicate with people to create positive change.
Devin Montgomery, co-founder and executive director of Protohaven, began working with New Sun Rising in 2017 and Stiker was his primary contact. Montgomery said Protohaven was conceived to “preserve a community workshop” that would have otherwise disappeared without the fiscal sponsorship and guidance from NSR. Today, Montgomery said Protohaven is a nonprofit professional space for entrepreneurs and makers of any kind to create and scale their projects, “whatever that may be.”
“It was so helpful to go in as a new nonprofit and talk to someone who had a great deal of experience working with different funders and navigating [grant] requirements,” Montgomery said. “Dan has dealt with so many people in the same position that he really has a breadth of experience working with people in our situation that you don’t see in many other places.”
Stiker brings that cognizance to New Sun Rising, but it’s also what drew him to the nonprofit. When he returned to Pittsburgh in 2001, Stiker started a theatre company with Heather Lynn McNeish Gray and was able to land a tech support position with a large local nonprofit. Wanting to make more of an impact in the nonprofit realm, Stiker went back to university and obtained his bachelor’s and graduate degree in nonprofit management.
He began working with an organization that he loved, but still felt that he wasn’t fulfilling his soul work. So, in 2014 he founded the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival.
It was around this time Stiker heard about New Sun Rising and that it was looking for a board member. He ended up becoming the Vice Chair for the board with NSR Founder and Executive Director Scott Wolovich as Chair, and staff positions opened up as the nonprofit grew.
“At the time, and now, the mission of New Sun Rising is that soul work,” Stiker said. “It’s making an impact and working for the common good.”
Today, as the Director of Culture + Operations, Stiker works closely with Wolovich and Jamie Johnson, Manager of Performance Improvement. They touch base with every project, with Stiker and Johnson being the main contacts for fiscal sponsorships.
Ebony McQueen-Harris, founder and principal consultant at LEVELS Consulting, worked with Stiker around 2016 when she was managing Ignite Northside, a program under NSR that provides emerging social businesses and community project leaders with mentorship and development workshops. McQueen-Harris said what she has appreciated the most about Stiker is his realistic approach and support of those businesses and projects that NSR works with.
“Dan takes an objective stance when working with someone and asks ‘Is this business a viable fiscal sponsorship entity?’” McQueen-Harris said. “Business owners in the startup stage can be sensitive to critiques because it’s their baby, and I understand that, but Dan is kind of off the cuff and says, ‘This is your baby, but this is what I’m seeing and the things you need to consider.’”
Montgomery echoed this sentiment and said that Stiker’s ability to be “approachable and empathetic” makes it easy for others to open up and be frank during difficult conversations.
“That is very valuable and something about his personality that makes him suitable for the role he’s in.”
Are you a Cancer? Even if you’re not – come out to celebrate! This birthday party (more like a neighborhood block party) will be a guaranteed good time! Come out to enjoy music, dancing, food, and drinks! Reconnect with old friends while building new relationships.. dont’ miss out!
On June 3, 2019 PearlArts Studios kicks off pearlPRESENTS, a 7-day dance festival highlighting a dynamic line-up of acclaimed Pittsburgh-based and national dance artists at the New Hazlett Theater.
The festival will feature seven days of dance performances, workshops, and masterclasses. Participating artists include STAYCEE PEARL dance project & Soy Sos, Sidra Bell Dance New York, slowdanger, Maree ReMalia, Island Moving Company, chitra.MOVES and more! The festival will feature a variety of dance genres and bring together some of the country’s most talented dancers, providing the opportunity for audiences to see them on the same stage for first time.
Headlining pearlPRESENTS is an extravagant, soul-themed fundraising gala benefiting our educational outreach, residency programming, dance projects, and the acquisition of a new space to call home.
Above: PearlArts Studios at New Sun Rising’s Vibrancy Awards in March 2019. PearlArts participated in the first iteration of the GROW Residency program. (Photo by Sean Gray)
You’re invited to apply for New Sun Rising’s GROW Residency program. As a participant of this program, you’ll work the Director of Opportunity and the NSR team to move towards the growth and sustainability of your business or organization.
The GROW Residency program will provide flexible, ongoing support to growth stage businesses, nonprofit projects, and community/collaborative initiatives. Residents will have access to workshops and services specifically designed to meet their needs, including up to 8 hours of consulting and capacity building support per month.
The GROW Residency curriculum includes:
- Business Mentoring
- Professional Development
- Organizational Development
- Networking / Connecting Opportunities
- Revenue Model Development
- Advocacy (introduction to potential funders, collaborators, and partners)
- Review of Grants and Project Proposals
- Pitch Development
Successful completion of the residency will move your organization through strategic action and planning that promotes long-term value and profitability. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive an unrestricted financial award of $2000 and access to grants and loans via the GROW Vibrancy Fund. Each cohort will have 7 participants selected by a committee of judges.
Applications close on May 24th. The 2019 GROW Residency Program kicks off on June 12th. To learn more about the program before you apply, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting. Apply here.
Free Event | RSVP Required (available on Feb 24th at noon)
Lead and created by local artist Sara Tang, this workshop is a guided creative exercise for participants to chart personal experiences (mental illness, madness, chronic illness, disability, childhood, medical, traumatic, or positive experiences, etc) in a map format, and then to create an expressive art piece and visual poetry piece based on their experiences. Through using a creative medium to think about their experiences in a new way, participants can connect their mental health experiences with other events in their lives and how those may relate to one another.
This workshop is part of Inside Our Minds’ Radical Mental Health Series, sponsored by the Opportunity Fund. Learn more at www.insideourminds.org/radical-mental-health.
About the Creative Facilitator
Sara Tang is a Pittsburgh-based artist, creative facilitator, and illustrator. She is a member of the notwhite Collective, an affiliate member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, and has worked with those affected by cancer and other complex life experiences in creative therapy excavation. Learn more about Sara’s work at www.draw-me-in.com.
Accessibility and Venue Information
The Millvale Community Library is accessible for wheelchair and mobility device users by a permanent ramp at the side of the building (from Grant Avenue). ASL interpretation will be provided. There will also be earplugs on hand at the workshop for anyone who would like some. Please message the Inside Our Minds page with any questions.
|The Orchestral Debut of “Casop: A Requiem for Rice” on February 13, 2019 will feature libretto which recovers the voices of the enslaved by acclaimed historian and executive producer, Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black, and original score by composer, three-time Emmy Award-winner John Wineglass.|
Please join us to appreciate people and organizations that have helped Storyburgh since our inception in 2016 and to be inspired by the passions and works in our communities.
Pamela Monk and Teresa Stayton of Penn State University in collaboration with Storyburgh will present a Moth-style storytelling featuring the following scheduled storytellers (in alphabetical order):
- Adrienne Walnoha, former CEO of CHS Corporation (Community Human Services)
- Anthony Stewart, CEO of Deco Resources, environmental subject matter expert
- David Shifren, Police officer, the story subject in “Making the Right Moves”
- Sean Collier, editor/writer/comic/podcaster
- Scott Wolovich, New Sun Rising Executive Director (Community Development, Social Enterprise Incubator)
- Torrey Shineman, regional Moth winner & assistant professorMusic by Matthew Petronko
Also, we will feature slideshows of published Storyburgh storiessuch as:
- Rachel’s Journey by Dana Getz
- Ultimate Diversity by Neil Strebig
- The Roboburgh Dilemma by Richard Xu
- Life Continues by Michaelina McGee
- Sister Janice by Jennifer Szweda Jordan
- Loving a “24-hour” Child by Amy Whipple
- Equity Cafe series by Alyse Horn-Pyatt and Brian Conway
- Hilltop Mens’ Group by Martha Rial and Alyse Horn-Pyatt
- and many more
and printed-posters of the following stories:
- Drag is for Everybody by Gabrielle Keane
- Once Bullied Now a Surgeon by Kimberly Rowen
- Dancing Alone by Megan St-Esprit McKivigan & Morgan Triska
- Making the Right Moves by Rebecca Peters & Madeline Quasebarth
- Lead Laden Soil by Alyse Horn-Pyatt
- Train Like a Champion by Pamela Monk
Limited light refreshment will be served; cash bar is available.
Huge thanks to Ace Hotel for providing space and logistic support to make this event possible.
Sample our Western Pennsylvania wedding cookie table favorites and be part of the creation of a cookie table book in this benefit for VOICE (Butler’s Victim Outreach Intervention Center), Young Writers of the Western Pennsylvania Wring Project and Animal Friends.
Share stories with cookbook author Suzanne Martinson, of “The Fallingwater Cookbook” and retired food editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, portrait photographer Linda Mitzel of Linda Mitzel Photography and journalist/WPWP teacher consultant Jane Miller of The RUFF Writers of New Sun Rising, a new family/school/neighborhood writing project.
Register in advance with Jane at 412-849-5574 or by email to email@example.com or Linda at 412-303-9657; or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is FREE for home bakers (suggested 5 dozen donation) and $20 suggested donation for other guests.
The New Sun Rising is pleased to announce the awardees of the Transformative Teaching Artist Awards. These awards are made possible through the generous support of The Heinz Endowments’ Transformative Arts Process (TAP). The goal of this initiative is to move towards a more Just Pittsburgh by invigorating the field of teaching artists and arts organizations that have a demonstrated practice of challenging structural inequities, bringing transformative arts centered experience to youth and teaching artists in and from traditionally underserved African American and black communities.
The Transformative Teaching Artist Awards from New Sun Rising believes that quality teaching artists should be recognized for the important work they do in Pittsburgh’s African American and black communities. Teaching artists play critical roles in the lives of the youth they serve, providing not only artistic skill building, but caring, support, and mentorship. Yet those teaching artists who have chosen this as their life’s work face great challenges in building teaching artist careers. Most of our teaching artists are underpaid and under-recognized. The delivery system for teaching artist instruction is fragmented; and arts instruction is often not assigned a high priority in public or out of school time programs.
All 23 applicants who were considered have an extensive track record of combining artistic skill and the complementary skills of an educator. The selection committee consisted of peer artists and determined the 10 finalists after a thorough review and discussion of their skills, eligibility, and dedication.
Congratulations to the Transformative Teaching Artist Award Recipients:
Ira Cambric III
Geña (Maria) Escoriaza
Maggie Lynn Negrete
The ten award recipients will each receive an award of $5,000. These awards are recognition awards which may be used in any way the recipient deems fit. The Transformative Teaching Artist Awards add validation, strengthen networks, and increase visibility for the artists who choose to do this important work. It is our hope that these recognition awards can play a part in acknowledging teaching artistry as an impactful and recognized profession.
For more information please visit http://www.newsunrising.org/our-programs/vibrancy-funds
About New Sun Rising:
Since 2005, NSR has empowered more than 400 community leaders, supporting innovative organizations that create economic opportunity, solve social challenges, & strengthen the vibrancy of place. NSR’s vision is to promote equitable development in collaboration with the neighborhood partners we serve.
The New Sun Rising Vibrancy Fund invests in leaders through a series of targeted challenges. Funds are distributed through a number of flexible mechanisms, including: Traditional Grants and Awards, Recoverable Grants, Crowdsourcing Matches, and Loans. The Vibrancy Fund provides support for businesses, community projects, and collaborations with innovative solutions to our seven interrelated strategies for developing equitable, vibrant communities. New Sun Rising’s core strategies for building vibrancy include: Culture, Sustainability, and Opportunity.
About the Heinz Endowments:
The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping our region prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to its work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls Southwestern Pennsylvania home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive.
Press contact Jamie Johnson, Manager of Performance Improvement, email@example.com, 412-407-9007
Shining a light on the projects and businesses supported by the Vibrancy Funds
Neighborhood: Pittsburgh, Homewood
Program: Launch Culture
Grant Awarded: April 2018
A once vacant lot in the center of Homewood is now home to a vibrant, active space. Depending on the day of the week and time, you may find yogis lined up for a pay-what-you-can yoga session, a neighborhood birthday potluck for one of the young residents, or a late-night dance party with DJ spinning motown and local vendors selling their creative wares and art.
“Kenny’s exists to give residents a new and different experience while allowing people from outside the neighborhood an avenue to experience the greatness that is Homewood,” said Demi Kolke, the Founder and Owner of Kenny’s.
Demi built deep roots and connection with the community, through years of working with the local community development group, Operation Better Block. During her time working on various community development projects, she kept hearing the same thing from the residents of Homewood; they wanted to return their neighborhood to its former glory. They would reminiscence about the how Homewood used to be – a neighborhood with a thriving business district, strong community ties, and neatly maintained rowhomes.
The story of Homewood is not unique to the City of Pittsburgh. Currently, the neighborhood’s population is just 17% of its peak of 35,000, leaving nearly 2,000 vacant lots and 600 empty buildings in the majority Black neighborhood. The blight has been more persistent than in other neighborhoods due to structural racism, elevated crime activities, and lack of investment, leaving Homewood slower to rebound than other neighborhoods within the City.
That didn’t stop the neighbors from taking action on their own. Kenneth Stubbs was one such neighbor dedicated to changing the narrative of the neighborhood he was so proud of. At first, he was weary of Demi, a young woman originally from North Dakota. His hesitation soon faded and they formed a strong and unlikely friendship.
Tragically, that friendship came to an end when Kenneth was murdered in 2014.
In his honor, Demi purchased a vacant lot that he had owned and turned into a safe, accessible, informal outdoor gathering space: an idea born from countless conversations with him. She named it Kenny’s in his honor.
“I named the space Kenny’s to keep Mr. Stubbs’ dedication to the community giving and service alive,” explains Demi, “Every time a person asks me ‘Why the name Kenny?’ I get to tell them about my friend and they work he did in the community.”
Kenny’s website describes the space as a “community and cultural gathering space”. The intent is to give a platform for the great activities that are going on in the neighborhood.
One night in June, Demi’s former employer, Operation Better Block, hosted a summer kick off potluck. Residents brought dishes, kids chased each other on the grass and neighbors met one another, many for the first time.
For Robert Bey, resident and former friend of Kenneth, Kenny’s space means an opportunity to get to know his neighbors. He is thankful for the access to the space so he can program it for the kids in his neighborhood.
“If I want to host barbecue or something like that, all I have to do is contact Demi and ‘BOOM!’ – we bring the barbecue grills out here and cook hamburgers and hot dogs for the kids and have something for them to do.”
The Vibrancy Funds will be used to continue such programming the space throughout the summer so everyone will be able to participate in the events on site.
Kenny’s sits on a corner, with a bevy of energetic children to one side, and the older residents who remember what Homewood once was on the other. In addition to the Vibrancy Funds, Demi has secured funds from Lively Pittsburgh to offer additional programming centered around building connections between the generations.
Kenny’s is always going to be about resident-driven ideas and programming, Demi vows. It’s about giving the neighborhood a positive, open atmosphere to promote health and wellness, art and culture, entrepreneurs and existing businesses
Much like Mr. Stubbs himself, Kenny’s the space, is not there to work for the community, but rather with the community.
You can check out a full list of upcoming events at Kenny’s here.
The Vibrancy Funds are made possible by a gift from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.
Interested in finding out how we can help bring your idea to life? Contact us.