45 new projects funded on Pittsburgh’s Northside during 2017
We Are Glad You Are Our Neighbor Picnic
Sprout announces 16 more grants for community projects working to improve the quality of place, education, and employment in their Northside neighborhood.
The One Northside Neighbor-to-Neighbor grants program catalyzes innovative community projects and creates opportunities to engage residents and contribute to the One Northside vision. Through support from The Buhl Foundation, grants of up to $1,000 are offered to provide immediate support for small-scale community projects with broad resident support on Pittsburgh’s Northside.
After a thorough review, The Sprout Fund is pleased to announce the 2017 funded projects, 45 projects that received $1,000 Neighbor-to-Neighbor grants. As part of their proposals, applicants wrote the headlines that appear below as examples of what the news will say at the successful conclusion of their projects.
Neighbor-to-Neighbor projects supported in 2017
A Lot of Good Times
“A LOT OF GOOD TIMES… Fineview shares a vision for a creative parking space.”
Christine Whispell’s Quality of Place project for Fineview transforms a neglected and under-utilized parking lot into a community event space. A lot cleanup will clear away debris and fix the pedestrian pathways between the street and the parking lot. Additionally, lighting will be installed and trees blocking visibility from the street will be cleared to make the parking lot safer for the community to use for events.
“Providing Our Future Leaders of Tomorrow with ‘All-Star Smiles’ Read how a local college student is changing oral education with prevention”
Brytney Humphries’ Quality of Education project in Central Northside teaches healthy oral habits to students at Manchester Academic Charter School. The 6-week oral health curriculum will introduce and reinforce a new oral hygiene topic each week and will also include a parent-teacher meeting so that the healthy habits taught through the program can be encouraged both at school and at home.
Beautification and Celebration of Arch Court Senior Program
“Neighbors come together to celebrate new street-scaping and courtyard garden enhancements!”
Audrey Woods’ Quality of Place project in Central Northside engages seniors at Arch Court and their neighbors in street-scaping workshops. Artists will design outdoor low relief concrete planters for the seasonal plantings in the courtyard garden and street-scape. Community volunteers will help to fabricate and install the relief sculptures and a community-wide celebration will showcase the project activities while raising awareness about senior living at Arch Court.
Brighton Heights Block Party
“Brighton Heights residents come together to celebrate their community with a Block Party.”
Richard Weiss’ Quality of Place project in Brighton Heights, a project of Emmanuel Christian Church, encourages positive community interaction in order to help bridge the divide within the neighborhood. Building on past community events, the Block Party will showcase local music groups, businesses, and organizations through a family-friendly event that encourages all residents from Brighton Heights to take part.
Bus Stop Beauties
“Observe more than stars in Observatory Hill.”
Autumn Williams’ Quality of Place project for Perry North / Observatory Hill brings a neglected flower bed at a Perrysville Avenue bus stop back to life. Now that the city is no longer maintaining the flower bed, residents will plant and take care of perennials in the flower bed.
Cinemagic in Troy Hill
“Hollywood on the Hill – Troy Hill Cinemagic at Work!”
Patty Renwick’s Quality of Place project for Troy Hill enables a neighborhood movie series to continue into its second year. The movies will be shown using the Northside Sound System equipment at Troy Hill Citizens Park when the weather is nice and Provident Charter School in the early winter. Neighborhood youth will help set up and hand out snacks at the movie screenings, which will focus on educational and environmental films.
Crafteroni and Cheese
“Nothing Cheesy About Kids Sewing and Cooking with Crafteroni and Cheese in Brighton Heights (Except the Cheese!)”
Donna Nyambe’ Quality of Education project in Brighton Heights is a 6-week program that teaches basic cooking and sewing skills to middle school students. The weekly sessions will focus on project planning, learning to use a pattern, fabric selection, cutting, and using a sewing machine to create a backpack or garment of their choice. Students will also learn basic cooking skills, selecting fresh ingredients from a local grocery store and learning to use the tools needed to make 3 dishes that they could easily replicate at home.
Engaging Seniors: Bringing Steps in Motion to a Larger Audience
“Connect with senior citizens on the North Side to hear their stories of using the public steps of Pittsburgh in a North Side animated film!”
Catherine Drabkin’s Quality of Place project in Central Northside and the surrounding Northside brings the Steps in Motion project to a broader audience, specifically Northside senior citizens, and uses it to collect stories about the history of the steps. Through a series of events, senior citizens will watch the Steps in Motion animation and then reflect on how the city steps have been used over time. While younger generations work to maintain and repair the steps throughout the Northside, this project aims to preserve the stories of this unique feature of Pittsburgh.
Establishing Connected 4 Community
“Community members of Lower Brighton Heights have come together and have created something unique and special for all to enjoy, a true destination accessible by bike from the Allegheny River Trail.”
Kelly Day’s Quality of Place project in Brighton Heights creates a community group within census tract #2703. The group will work to help neighbors get to know each other and advocate for what is best for their community through monthly meetings, newsletters, and community events such as a neighborhood BBQ. They will also work to make the neighborhood more visually appealing and connected with solar lights, outdoor games, and a community bulletin board.
Family Legacy Award
“Thinking Positive About Families On The North-Side”
Eleanor Williams’ Quality of Education project for Allegheny Center, Central Northside, Perry North / Observatory Hill, and Perry Hilltop / Perry South, a project of North Side Partnership Project, recognizes the achievement of a Northside family that excels in academics, sports, and performing arts. The second annual event will use a dinner to recognize the selected family, promoting their positive activities in the community and highlighting them as role models for local youth.
From Pantry to Plate
“Neighbors eating from pantry to plate delicous food.”
Naomi Wilson’s Quality of Education project in Brighton Heights hosts food demonstrations at the Greater Allen AME Church as a way to provide health and wellness education in a fun atmosphere. Nutritionists from the community food bank will help to plan the 6-week program, using food available at the food bank. A wellness coach will additionally provide education on diabetes and heart disease.
Front Door Campaign
“Fabulous Front Door for the Food Pantry”
Anne George’s Quality of Place project for Fineview helps to create a dignified entrance to the Northside Food Pantry through the installation of a sign, lighting, and new paint for the door. The professionally made sign will be lit with LED bulbs in order to raise visibility and increase safety while the overall updates will work to maintain the sense of dignity volunteers and staff want all patrons to feel when they are there.
Goats on the Hilltop
“Friendly herd of goats sets the stage for new community connectivity projects.”
Gavin Deming’s Quality of Place project in Fineview and Perry Hilltop / Perry South, a project of Goats on the Hills, brings goats to lots infested with knotweed to help improve the façade and help make maintenance easier going forward. The selected lots will help create a nature path connecting Fineview Playground and continue improving the area where a new welcome sign is being installed at the entrance of the Perry Hilltop and Fineview neighborhoods.
Grazin in the Grass (Old Northview Heights Reunion)
“’Grazin in the Grass’… The Old Northview Heights Tradition Returns”
Bill and Kim Gandy’s Quality of Place project for Northview Heights, a project of Allegheny City Historic Gallery, brings back the tradition of an annual Northview Heights neighborhood festival featuring food, live music, and the promotion of peace in the community. This year’s event will take place at Riverview Park and will additionally include a candlelight vigil for former residents whom have passed.
Halloween in the Park
“Halloween Returns to Troy Hill: The Spirits of Past Haunts Bring New Life to Residents”
Holly Coleman’s Quality of Place project in Troy Hill, a project of Troy Hill Citizens, provides a safe place for youth to trick or treat and encourages other community members to participate by handing out treats, helping to decorate, working the refreshment/grill station, and enjoying the Halloween-themed movies and music. Hygiene packs will also be distributed by Troy Hill Citizens and children will have the opportunity to win educational items in a raffle.
Harbison Ave. Little Free Library
“Little AND Free AND Library – Three Words Everyone Loves, Now Open in Brighton Heights”
Sarah Steers’ Quality of Place project in Brighton Heights makes books more easily accessible to residents on Harbison Avenue who have a difficult time getting to a public library. The project will build and fill a Little Free Library that will then be installed on Harbison Avenue, including books for all ages. The community will help to decide where the little free library will be located.
Helping Kids Dream Big!
“Beyond neighborhood walls: How one community helps kids dream big!”
Betty Davis’ Quality of Education project for Northview Heights and Perry Hilltop / Perry South partners with Tickets for Kids to enable low-income youth to attend cultural and sporting events. Local organizations help to identify the youth participants and volunteers work to provide transportation to and from the events in addition to providing snacks and t-shirts for the children.
Historic and Contemporary Congregations of Allegheny City/North Side
“The Enduring Congregations of the Northside’s Core: Past and Present”
Amelia Gehron’s Quality of Place project in Allegheny Center and Central Northside features a walking tour of the surviving religious congregations on the Northside. The role of religious communities was and continues to be a vital feature that adds to the quality of life for many Northside residents. The tour will focus on the impact these congregations have had on past and present Northside life.
Infant Mental Health Project
“Northside Nonprofit Helps New Parents Nurture Smart and Well-Adjusted Babies”
Vicki Sirockman’s Quality of Education project in East Allegheny / Deutschtown develops a new series of classes for parents that encourages positive cognitive and mental health development in infants. The class curricula will be developed in partnership with Project LAUNCH, a new infant mental health advocacy and education initiative. The classes will seek to teach new parents skills to reduce the effects of toxic stress in babies. Parents who participate will be given MAYA Money that can be cashed in for baby supplies as an incentive to participate.
It takes a village to raise a child – Saving Our Sons and Daughters
“It takes a village to raise a child.”
Cecelia Ware’s Quality of Education project for Brighton Heights, California-Kirkbride, and Marshall-Shadeland, a project of Infinite Lifestyle Solutions, works with youth at John Morrow Elementary School who have had multiple suspensions or expulsions. The 8-week program addresses ongoing issues of youth violence and lack of respect for authority by teaching critical thinking skills to help resolve conflict. The project will additionally have 4 parent workshops that focus on positive parenting skills and building relationships with school administration.
Manchester Growing Together Farm is POWERED UP!
“The Manchester Growing Together Farm is truly rooted in the Manchester community. We’re POWERED up to build our community into a self-reliant, healthy neighborhood where our children and families can thrive.”
Lisa Freeman’s Quality of Place project for Manchester brings electricity to the community farm in order to expand the offerings. Not only will electricity allow programming to take place all year around and in the evenings, but it will also enable the farm to expand it’s programming by having cooking classes for low-income families, artistic performances, and film screenings.
Manchester Native Plant Garden at Shelby’s Corner
“Truly the Manchester neighborhood gets a better quality of life due to a N-2-N quality of place grant!”
Betsy Coleman’s Quality of Place project in Manchester, a project of Friends of Shelby’s Corner, brings neighbors together through planting and caring for plants and trees at Shelby’s Corner. Monthly work days and volunteer appreciation events encourage residents to help tend to the garden space, get to know each other, and collect donations from local businesses. Friends of Shelby’s Corner will also be working to improve positive public relations for the neighborhood through community events at the garden.
Money Matters 2017 Financial Bock Party!
“Quinerly Financial Group rocks the Northside with their “Money Matters” 2017 Block Party!”
Simone Quinerly’s Quality of Education project in Allegheny Center launches an event featuring hands-on activities that educate youth on financial literacy. The event will target Northside youth ages 3-18, who will learn financial skills appropriate for their age group. High school students will learn about financial aid, loans, and scholarships along with banking and budgeting while the younger attendees will focus more on the concepts of money and saving using a savings jar. Parents will additionally be given the opportunity to sign up for a 529 college savings plan during the event.
Mortgage for Men
“Northside is the #1 Safest Community to Live In Due to the Sudden Influx of Homeownership”
Fred Smith’s Quality of Place project for the Fineview, Perry Hilltop / Perry South, and Troy Hill encourages Northsiders to invest in their community through homeownership. The homeownership workshops will feature a mortgage representative and a financial manager to help potential first-time homebuyers learn about the process and various resources that are available to them. The workshops will additionally showcase the value in homeownership along with information on maintaining property.
North Side National Night Out 2017
“Marshall-Shadeland community comes together to celebrate hope and unity!”
Samantha Ellwood’s Quality of Place project in Marshall-Shadeland is part of a annual national movement that focuses on a community-building campaign, promoting police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. The North Side Night out will help to build the relationships needed for strong communication and a strong community through positive interactive. The event will begin with a cookout at Providence Connections followed by a community parade down Brighton Road to continue the festivities at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Woods Run.
Northside Lot Tenders
“Northside Communities Join Forces to Battle Blight”
Debbie Reed’s Quality of Place project in California-Kirkbride mobilizes volunteers through the California-Kirkbride Neighbors and Charles Street Valley Area Council to clear and beautify vacant lots. The project aims to bring pride to the neighborhood and provide safe places for children to play through regular volunteer days that tend to neglected greenspaces.
Northside’s Got Talent
“The Performing Arts Promote Mutual Respect”
Theodora Cotten’s Quality of Education project for Brighton Heights, Perry North / Observatory Hill, and Perry Hilltop / Perry South, a project of Greater Allen Performing Arts Center, introduces Northside youth to performance art through voice, piano, and group dance summer classes. The program works to overcome neighborhood strife by bringing youth together through the arts and a celebratory event where school supplies will be distributed.
Ntosake Leadership Training Delegation
“Perrysville Hilltop NTOSAKE women on the move and making a difference one child/family at a time!”
Betty Tate, Frances Haynes, and Bonnie Kenney’s Quality of Employment project enables the 3 Northside women to attend the 2017 Ntosake Women’s Leadership Training in Kansas City, MO. This annual training focuses on providing a toolbox of leadership skills that level up and build on what they have learned in previous years. The women will then implement these skills through their work with Northside youth.
Observatory Hill Business District Light-Up Night
“Changing Perceptions; the Start of What Unity Looks Like in Observatory Hill!”
Dorrie Smith’s Quality of Place project in Perry North / Observatory Hill helps to highlight the neighborhood’s business district with a community event during the holiday season. Light-Up Night will take place at the 5 Corners of Observatory Hill, where East, Baytree, Mairdale Streets meet Perrysville Ave. Carolers and church choirs will sing throughout the business district and Santa Claus will give out small gifts for children in an effort to bring vitality and attention to the businesses while also encouraging unity within the neighborhood.
“Picture This! Brighton Heights Teens and Tweens See Through New Lens!”
Kate Kelley’s Quality of Place project in Brighton Heights teaches basic photography skills to Northside teens through a 10-session photography course. Using the Northside as their classroom, the student photographers will document the exterior of many beautiful and significant neighborhood landmarks of the Northside: school buildings, monuments, playgrounds, bridges, churches, businesses and houses. The photographs of the students will be professionally printed and displayed at a public event.
“Pigeons are flying again on Spring Hill!”
Linda Wallen’s Quality of Place project for Spring Hill / City View uses the creation of public art to bring together Spring Hill Elementary students and elderly residents at St. Ambrose high-rise to decorate ceramic pigeons. The pigeons will be mounted in public places throughout the Spring Hill and a scavenger hunt map will be created in order to engage other members of the community in the project.
“Pittsburgh VegFest- a go to summer festival brining folks to the cities North Side is back and better than ever!”
Leila Sleiman’s Quality of Place project in Central Northside brings together local food vendors and animal welfare organizations through a family friendly outdoor festival at Allegheny Commons Park. This free event has hands-on activities for kids, including a bounce house, henna and face painting, and projects with Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.
P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Annual Gathering for Loss Loved Ones – Stop the Violence
“PROMISE GROUP once again was able to successfully reach the community and help victims that lost loved ones by remembering and sharing there experience.”
Ebony Hubbard’s Quality of Place project in Central Northside, a project of the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Group, is an event that enables Northsiders to speak out about youth violence and conflict resolution. Positive speakers inspire attendees to work together along with law enforcement to make the community safer. Those who have lost loves ones to violence will also share their stories as a way to remember them and encourage others that there are better ways to resolve conflict than violence.
Promoting Community Gardening and Healthy Eating
“Welcome to Ballfield Farm! The place for our community to enjoy health and happiness!”
Sandy Kessler Kaminski’s Quality of Place project in Perry Hilltop / Perry South brings awareness to Ballfield Farm by painting a mural on the side of the farm’s storage shed that includes the Ballfield Farm logo. The project would increase the farm’s profile in the neighborhood, promoting a community resource where food is grown collectively.
Provident Charter School Indoor Garden
“Provident Charter School Helps Give Students Access to a Healthier Lifestyle”
Rachel Owens’ Quality of Education project in Troy Hill will bring an indoor garden at Provident Charter School to life with soil, plants, lighting, and gardening supplies. The project will not only teach students about gardening but also harvesting, cleaning, preparing, and eating produce throughout the school year. The Grow Sphere where the garden will be housed was made possible through the Let’s Move Pittsburgh program at Phipps Conservatory.
Reach Out and Read comes to the Northside!
“Your doctor gave you what? This Northside Doctors’ Office Promotes Health and Literacy”
Trina Peduzzi’s Quality of Education project in Central Northside brings the Reach Out and Read program to the Pediatric Alliance – Allegheny office. Reach Out and Read is a national program whose goal is to prepare the youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. The pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners will advise parents to read frequently to their children and, at the same time, distribute free, brand-new, developmentally- and culturally-appropriate books to children from 6 months through 5 years of age at each regular checkup.
Rediscovering Four North Side Neighborhoods
“Discovering and Exploring Four Unique Northside Communities”
David Grinnell’s Quality of Place project for the Fineview, Marshall-Shadeland, North Shore, and Troy Hill neighborhoods creates walking tours for each of the four neighborhoods focusing on each ones distinct pattern of historical development and transformation. The tours will look at both the origins of the communities and how they adapted to change in the broader history of the region. GTECH walking tour brochures will be incorporated into the tours to encourage participants to explore more of the neighborhoods on their own.
Save the EARTH….Sew a BUTTON
“Local Costume Designer gives up film for bigger issue … Saving the Planet one Button at a time!”
Lisa Marie Bruno’s Quality of Education project in Brighton Heights and Spring Hill / City View teaches sewing to Northsiders as a way to cut down on textile waste. Sewing classes will be organized with local youth service providers and churches, using clothes with missing buttons to not only help Northsiders learn a new skill but to also save the garments from being thrown away.
Spring Hill Reading Celebration
“Spring Hill Students Learn to Love Reading—at School and at Home!”
Stephen Weiss’ Quality of Education project for Spring Hill / City View celebrates reading with families at Spring Hill Elementary. Students will receive free books and will be able to participate in book-related crafts and reading games. Parents will receive information about the importance of reading along with tips and games to encourage reading at home. Following the celebration, students will be given the opportunity to earn more books throughout the school year by reading and completing book reports.
Steps in Flux
“Steps in Flux: New Fineview Steps Mural Inspires Mental, Physical and Artisitc Acuity”
Brigette Davitt’s Quality of Place project in Fineview transforms the Fineview-Briggs Avenue steps into a visual experience through color, shape, and typography. Using forced perspective, the steps will be painted to create a typographic puzzle that is simultaneously visible as an abstract mural. Additionally, solar lighting will be used to make the steps safer at night and the adjacent picnic area cleaned up, with native plants used to landscape the area surrounding the steps.
Summer Hill Entrance Sign
“Summer Hill emerges from the shadows with eye-catching, mosaic welcome”
Georgiann Lucas’ Quality of Place project in Summer Hill, a project of Summer Hill Citizens Committee, brings together residents to create a welcome sign for the neighborhood. A local mosaic artist will design the sign and lead two workshops to teach residents how to make and glaze mosaic tiles. The community will also assist with the assembly of the mosaic and maintain the site where it is installed, which is highly visible to not only residents but also commuters passing by the neighborhood entrance.
University Avenue Neighbors and Friends
“Everything is possible with good neighbors!”
Robin Alexander’s Quality of Place project for Perry Hilltop / Perry South brings together residents of University Avenue and Perrysville Avenue to clean up their street, plant flowers, and get to know each other. These small acts will be the first steps to creating a block organization, with the hopes of taking on larger projects as well as building strong relationships between neighbors.
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Education Project
“Marshall-Shadeland Residents Learn about Domestic Violence and How to Get Help”
Ginger Underwood’s Quality of Education project in Marshall-Shadeland educates the community, primarily women, on the Victims of Crime Act. The objective is to empower residents and to make referrals to resources in the community, if needed, through a workshop series that focuses on child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence and a conflict mediation training.
Video promoting positive things about Northside
“Filmmaker features local Northside attractions”
William Gandy’s Quality of Place project for Central Northside, Allegheny Center, Allegheny West, East Allegheny / Deutschtown, and Manchester creates a video showcasing businesses and residents on the Northside. This documentary-style video will promote the Northside as a safe and authentic group of neighborhoods with lots to offer for families from the perspective of a Northside resident.
We Are Glad You Are Our Neighbor Picnic
“Wherever you are from, whatever language you speak or whatever religion you practice we are glad you are our neighbor. Come celebrate our neighbors.”
Greg Blackmans’s Quality of Place project for Central Northside brings several Northside church communities together with the members of the Somali Bantu community for a day of celebration. The event will feature an opportunities for each group to share their talents, music, food, and stories to help build a sense of welcome and support for the Somali Bantu community. The project hopes to open up the dialogue between Northside neighbors to help enrich each others’ lives.