Thank you to our friends at Depiction for creating this amazing rendering of Latham St. Commons. Depiction illustrates architectural renderings through visual storytelling, and brings life, vibrancy, and an artful eye to a variety of projects. Check out their work! AMAZING! (www.depictionillustration.com)
Night Owl Bakers is the cornerstone project of LSC, culminating our previous programming and mission. The NOB program seeks to: 1.) To provide an innovative approach to workforce development and employment; 2.) To create a network of young adults entering the workforce with skills-based training that are tethered to the whole person/whole community approach and 3.) To better understand how a community can co-create a better future with young adults who are often left in the margins of new economic opportunities.
NOB and its related programming will also serve as a resource for early stage entrepreneurs with a passion for expanding their culinary skills (i.e. caterer/baker, food truck/street vendor), and for individuals who dream of developing their own food enterprise. We know that commercial kitchens help grow a city’s local food economy. Eventually, we will expand our process to include on-site access to branding, packaging design, and marketing.
The day started with Marie, Emma, and Nick heading out to explore the neighborhood. The first stop was Nelson Mandela Park. We had some fantastic questions and prompts to help inspire the day. We explored our perceptions of time by using slow motion and stop motion video plus the Boomerang app.
Themes emerged around the simplicity of motion--from water flowing from a drinking fountain to the bees buzzing around the flowers. Hope and Honesty joined us to explore the Penn Avenue Corridor. We responded to the signage and the graphics that appeared on the storefronts. We used the everyday as a prompt for our own forms of expression, reflecting on the question from our poetry workshop from a few weeks earlier: "Who are you acting for"
After a delicious lunch at Whole Foods, we headed to the Carnegie Library of East Liberty to edit the videos. It was there that we added Fatimah to the effort. We decided collectively to assign roles for the editing process, combining videos from everyone's day. The editing lab at the library made it simple for us all to work efficiently on a multitude of tasks. From editing the individual video clips to composing a collective music score, the final video showed how well we all worked together.
All of our efforts came together for the First Fridays event. The event itself was a bit of a challenge in that the rain made it difficult for people to move around. But we had spurts of activity between the downpours. Projecting videos inside of the garage bays gave folks a chance to dry off from the storms moving through the area too. It was an amazing evening that summarized all six of our feasts. We left LSC that evening feeling full and dreaming about what amazing things would happen next in the old garages.
Penn Ave. First Friday event
Doors open at 6:00PM-9:00PM
Friday Feasts are a series of workshops to help our team better understand the current, interconnected “life” problems that many young adults in Pittsburgh face. With so many outside pressures, we believe that in order to change the current landscape, young adults must have an understanding of who they are, and most importantly, where they fit into this new, often confusing narrative. Our goal this summer is to co-create novel learning practices where young adults can experience a fuller and more connected sense of their identity, what they are a part of, and that they are capable of taking the next big "life" step prepared, confident and connected.
This Friday we focused on ways we take of ourselves, plan for the future and alternative ways to mange day-to-day stress. Thank you to Jen Butera from http://www.jbuterayoga.com, Doctor Lovie Jackson, Janette Schafer from Wesbanco, and Nick Liadis. It was such a beautiful day.
This past Friday at the Commons was constructive with our interns learning about project planning and assembly from Eric Anderson while learning how to construct chairs out of cardboard.
After a lunch break, the students decorated their chairs with their own poetry.
This past Friday at Latham Street, we took a look at the Visible and Invisible actors in a community. We spent the morning speaking with Pastor Tim from the Center of Life Church in Hazelwood about how a community can change when it is divested from by the city. In the afternoon we took a look around our own back yard where we could make a difference directly.
NPR Morning Addition morning story:
By Margaret J. Krauss
Week One is off to a great start! We spent the day learning about one another and ended the day designing and playing games about our life experiences and concerns.
We can't thank Bloomfield Garfield Corporation in partnership with Carlow University's, College to Career Pathways Program for supporting our efforts this summer. We can't wait to meet your students and work with them this summer.
A big shout out to New Sun Rising for helping with insurance and advice and all the volunteers helping to run workshops this summer.
"If we each take responsibility in shifting our own behavior, we can trigger the type of change that is necessary to achieve sustainability for our planet"
Sending a huge thank you to Peoples Gas for two years of funding to help support the Night Owl Bakers program! We looking forward to celebrating our first loaf with you.
Celebrating communities and the different values that empower them.
Exquisite coloring celebrates communities and the different values that empower them. Each participant starts with a form to fill out their name and contact information as well as the three types of capital they think are most important to communities that they care about. After selecting their three types of capital, they receive the corresponding colors and a square to color in. This coloring activity does not assume the importance of one value over the other but does ask that participants color within the lines of their square. This activity is inspired in part by the “Exquisite Corpse,” a method that collectively assembles words or images. Post by Emily Wazlak
Kids Cooking Show
As we began planning for the May Mash-Up, we had to come up with an objective and purpose for the event. After reviewing the things we learned about food, health, community, and social capital, we determined that our main objective for the night was to bridge gaps in the community and bring people together over food.
One of our very first concepts was an exquisite corpse. This was a way to weave two different perspectives together by having people come together and draw different parts of the same object while getting them thinking about healthy food. We started combining aspects of several of these ideas. We decided to make vegetable characters that kids could color and attach a recipe to the other side of the sheet. The purpose of this exercise was to help kids get excited about healthy foods, put their artwork on the refrigerator, and hopefully convince an adult to help them make the recipe. We tested the idea at Assemble. We learned that kids were less excited about “Rockin Radish” or “Zippy Zucchini” and more excited about the actual recipes. So the the next iteration included the recipe on the same side of the paper as the illustration.
As we thought more about the May Mash-Up event, we decided to create a scene where the community could imagine a cooking show in the space. The idea was to have kids decorate a recipe and then pretend to make it on a “Kids Cooking Show”. They could dress up as chefs and get their pictures taken with a cooking show backdrop. Post by Kaylee White (project partner Tamara Cartwright)
The Good Mood Grocery Store
Understanding community's cultural fabric through food preferences
Working in Garfield, I explored ways to broaden a community's understanding of their diverse cultural fabric through their food preferences. A subsequent goal was to start conversations between people living in the same community and encourage them to share their food experiences and ideas. Good Mood Grocery Store represents a grocery store’s façade, which allows participants to show foods they like or dislike. Several suggestions are drawn on cards that they can pick while other cards are blank to allow them to draw their personal selection. This project aims to create a platform to empower communities to think about their food choices as experiences that deeply connect to their identity and to use them to inspire and give ideas to others.
While some of the participants understood the activity by simply interacting with the prototype, many still needed a prompt to be able to do it. Some participants – younger and older - took time to draw the foods that they didn’t find in the pile and some even had a long conversation about why they picked that food. One participant also shared the name of her favorite food magazine that she uses regularly to learn how to cook more vegetables easily. Another participant talked about the value of buying local food and where it is possible to find tasty vegetable. Generally, everyone felt more comfortable thinking about foods they love rather than the ones they dislike. Finally, bad weather forced us to set-up the station at the back of the pod, and the size of the board were not conducive to conversations between groups of people. Therefore, everyone stayed with their group and shared their stories with me instead of other participants. Goals for further design iterations would be to rethink the framing of the activity to make it even more intuitive and simple to interact with, to make the physical space and the prototype more conducive to conversations between groups and finally to have prompts ready to generate these conversations and main takeaways for the participants. Post by Imane Fahli
Communities thrive when the people living in them know they matter. Take time to consider the values that matter to you in our community and discover how they determine your unique worth here. People were asked to weave things that mattered to them. We spent several months running workshops to understand the needs of the community and other forms of capital that help to shape the identify of a community. Words on the canvas were derived from these workshops and conversations.
M.A.P. The 15206
The community was asked to help map the different types of capital within a mile of Latham St. Commons. Capital is as an asset, something you value. It comes in many forms, both tangible and intangible, formal and informal. A community relies on all kinds of capital to flourish. Help build upon the network of care shaping the 15026. Based on our research we identified assets that the community relies on (health care, social services, people, places of worships, places for learning, etc). We created a series of icons that represented those assets. People were asked to use a pen tell to us the name of the asset. They were also asked if there a memory, person or story attached to the asset. The weather forced the group to move activity inside, making it impossible to facilitate a discussion around the table. We gathered a ton of great data but not enough rich stories. We will try again in June!
We hope you can all come to learn more about the fun we’re having building community at Latham St. Commons. This event will feature a little bit of a lot of things. Learn more about Night Owl Bakers, Kelly Lane: Organic Clothing, and sign-up for home lead test kits. Find out what it means to M.A.P. the 15206, play with your food moods, and get crafty with exquisite coloring. This event is for all ages and we can’t wait to see you there. Children are especially welcome to join our community cooking show!
Friday, May 05, 2017
@ Latham St. Commons
30 Latham St., Pittsburgh PA 15206
"Raising Bees" happen when the collective action and talents of the community come together to build a barn—or in our case a 10' x 18' garage insert. This experimental space will be used to house summer programing, monthly pop-up events, community meetings, etc. We are hoping people with carpentry skills and a passion for working with community will join our efforts. Lots of hands make light work.
April 01, 2017
Lunch, snacks and lots of laughs provided.
Thank you to all the participants who attended our first workshop on exploring news forms of capital. Erica and Alex set the tone by introducing Ethan Rolland's Eight Forms of Capital (financial, social, living, experimental, spiritual, cultural, material, intellectual). Everyone got the chance to created a personal capital map and share back with the group. One participant remarked “This is making me think about how I can live my life differently – but what does it mean to build a better life?”. The evening was filled with great conversations and ideas for building a more connected sense of place. Thanks for a wonderful evening. We will see you soon.