The premise for Assemble, Pittsburgh is simple – to provide an open physical space in an urban neighborhood in Pittsburgh where artists, technologists, and “makers” of all kinds can gather to collaborate, create, and learn from one another. Key to this model, too, is the community component – artists learning from technologists – experts imparting their wisdom on children – neighbors uniting to promote creative thinking and confidence building among friends and colleagues, students and teachers and more.

Opened in April of 2011 in the burgeoning Penn Avenue Arts District, nestled between Lawrenceville and East Liberty, Assemble is, quite simply, “a place where one can engage” or where individuals can satisfy their interests and curiosities through hands-on activities, mostly centered on arts and technology. In a more complex sense, Assemble also provides “physical and nonphysical social and creative connections”, fostering a sense of community and providing a happy medium for everything from film screenings to technology events or arts workshops and community activities for both children and adults.

The shared space is open to groups from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Tuesday – Friday and Saturdays from 12 noon – 4:00 pm. Events are ever-changing and open to the public.  Executive Director, Nina Marie Barbuto, Bachelor of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University, oversees the entire program, and is herself, a local multi-tasker with a background in sculpture, creative writing, design, and technology. It is through her that events and workshops are scheduled, and she does make it her business to allow for a wide array of activities and provides inclusion for local educators, artists, and innovators on a regular basis.

Through Barbuto and her affiliations, the group has deep connections to The Carnegie Museum, I Made It Pittsburgh (where she is co-founder), and other renowned community arts organizations and collaborative communities. While Assemble redesigns their current web site, more information can be found on the group on their Facebook page, on Foursquare, and on Yelp.