BikePGH and the Office of Public Art Announce Community Partners for City Steps Initiative
Bike Pittsburgh (BikePGH) and the Office of Public Art (OPA) are pleased to announce the selection of four community partners who will collaborate with artists to design and implement events activating their city steps this coming fall. Nine community groups from neighborhoods across the city submitted applications to be considered for partners in the initiative.
Communities will work with artists to activate their steps in Fall 2019. The selected organizations are:
- Fineview Citizens Council
- Polish Hill Civic Association
- Troy Hill Citizens, Inc.
- West End Community Group
Ten-day city steps celebration in Pittsburgh this Fall
Culminating in Fall 2019 with a ten-day city steps celebration, the initiative will partner the selected organizations with artists to design and implement temporary activations of neighborhood city steps. BikePGH and OPA released a Call for Artists (RFQ) to select up to four artists or artist teams to create public events celebrating city steps and neighborhood connections. The organizations will participate in selecting the artists with whom they will collaborate. Each artist or artist team will receive an artist fee of $3,500, and will have a budget of $15,000 to implement the events. Additional production support and project management will be provided by BikePGH and OPA.
“Everyone knows Pittsburgh has challenging topography, but they might not know that Pittsburgh has hundreds of public staircases that serve the vital purpose of connecting our hilly neighborhoods without the need for a car. Thousands of residents rely on these stairs for transportation and this project will highlight vital connections across the four communities,” said Scott Bricker, Executive Director at BikePGH.
For more information about this project, including how to apply as an artist, please visit: tinyurl.com/OPA-Submit. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 11:59 PM. Late submissions will not be accepted.
The goal of the initiative is to create excitement, awareness, and engagement around city steps for the purposes of increased investment, preservation, and utilization.
Pittsburgh has approximately 800 sets of steps – more public staircases than any other city in the United States. The steps are an important and under-resourced connection between communities, which thousands of residents rely on for transportation and recreation. Nearly two-thirds of the steps are in low- or moderate-income areas and many are located in the City’s hilliest neighborhoods. Many of these neighborhoods also lack strong public transit resources. Maintenance of the steps has proved an enormous financial and logistical challenge — some staircases are in such disrepair and built in such intricate surroundings that repairing them equates to undertaking a small bridge repair project.
The city steps activation project will amplify the work of the City Steps Plan and draw attention to the resources that are being invested in city steps, while celebrating Pittsburgh’s unique urban landscape. The partnership is designed to activate the City-wide conversation about city steps, and generate new types of activities that can continue beyond the life of the project. This program is generously supported by the Hillman Foundation.
BikePGH is a bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization. Since 2002 Bike Pittsburgh has been transforming Pittsburgh’s streets and communities into vibrant, healthy places by making them safe and accessible for everyone to bike and walk. For more information visit bikepgh.org.
Office of Public Art (OPA) is the leading agent and advocate for public art in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Founded in 2005, OPA is located at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and works with communities and artists throughout the region by providing public art education, commissions, project management, artist selection, and artist residencies in the public realm. OPA collaborates with individuals and organizations in both the public and private sector. For more information, visit: publicartpittsburgh.org.
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