On a pedestal, spring 2021

Raise clubs and more

Armed with six years of success in helping African American students prepare for the future with squash. Steel City Squash (SCS) is preparing to build a new facility in the Larimer district that will dramatically change its offering. Building on a successful model, the athletic and academic program teaches invaluable skills – teamwork, fitness, discipline, community service – through squash lessons, travel and competitions, academic tutoring, and mentoring for life skills that young people get when entering college and the world of work help.

As the University of Pittsburgh (her former home) prepares to remove its squash courts, SCS is raising funds for its new $ 6.5 million home, a community-based center that houses 120-150 students Fourth to twelfth grades can stop by and hang out, go out, work on squash, do homework and have something to eat. The multipurpose room will also host the squash teams of Chatham University, a long-time partner of SCS, and Chatham players will act as peer mentors for the SCS participants. Next year, SCS will complete its first grade of undergraduate students, and to date SCS has raised $ 2.5 million including grants from the State of Pennsylvania, the Talbott and Carter Simonds Foundation, and others. For those interested in participating, please visit www.steelcitysquash.org.

Pittsburgh Arts – The Show Must Go On!

After a year of countless businesses in the Pittsburgh area being forced to shut down as “minor”, it’s great to see how many art groups are raising the curtain on a new post-COVID era. The Pittsburgh Ballet Theater was pioneering. With the help of four foundations, PBT bought a new mobile stage, which it used together with 20 other artist groups during a two-week dance, music and theater series on Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park in May. The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera is also staging a double show for the 75th anniversary of the season “Summer under the Stars” at Heinz Field. And the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will return to Hartwood Acres this summer. We applaud these groups for breaking the malaise and giving Pittsburgh a cultural pulse again.

Con Alma – brings jazz to the city center

Kudos to Con Alma partners Chef Josh Ross, General Manager Aimee Marshall and Music Curator John Shannon for expanding their music venue Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside, into the downtown cultural district. The new space on Penn Avenue will include a 12-seat bar, a lounge with sofas and two-seaters, and a 60-seat dining room. They hope to open in June and combine their creative and delicious menu with jazz.

Cultural heritage – a shining example of public service

At the start of the pandemic, Paula McWilliams and her team at Heritage Community Initiatives are committed to continuing their mission of providing education, nutrition and transportation to families in 40 eastern Pittsburgh communities. Since then, Heritage students have received personal training five days a week for up to 10 hours a day, healthy and delicious meals have been prepared for children and seniors at risk, while people using Heritage Community Transportation have been able to get to their workplaces in essential shops, as well as access to health care and daily errands six days a week. At a time when many in similar fields thought of themselves and their responsibilities first, the Heritage team deserves special recognition for fulfilling their mission of helping others.

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