The Sprout Fund has been offering innovative outlets to expand and strengthen Pittsburgh’s arts community since 2001. While most people are familiar with two specific programs by Sprout, community murals and the Hothouse Party, the organization has always been focused on making our city a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family. According to Dustin Stivers, Program Officer, Engagement & Collaboration at The Sprout Fund, “Sometimes this mission has driven us to work with communities to beautify the region, like with our Public Art Program. Other times, big annual fundraisers have helped amplify the mission of the organization, like with Hothouse. All the while, we have been developing and implementing programs that give agency to artists, educators, emerging community leaders, and other engaged citizens. While the programs may change from time to time, Sprout’s mission remains the same.” And that’s a mission we can surely stand behind.
You may have noticed a distinct lack of Hothouse parties in recent years. It was often voted the Best Party of the Year by the media, and we certainly enjoyed seeing what they came up with year after year. We asked Dustin about where Hothouse has gone, and if it will ever return, “Hothouse was a blast – we miss it, too! Although, the event is taking a hiatus in order to allow us to focus on new initiatives, like Spark – a program that is designed to create a connected learning community in our region. While it doesn’t look like Hothouse will be back any time soon, smaller events like Sprout’s Harvest Gathering, which is coming up on Nov 2 from 5:30-9:30pm at our offices in Garfield, will keep the party going.” So if you’ve been craving some of the inspiring energy of a Sprout Fund party, this event is not to miss!
Just like at a Hothouse event, the Harvest Gathering will offer a glimpse at what The Sprout Fund has been up to recently. You can engage with Sprout board members and staff and discover recent projects funded by Sprout’s Seed Award. You can also enjoy complimentary food and drink, while Edgar Um and Lungs Feet Face play you some jams.
Latest tracks by Edgar Um
So what kind of projects have been funded lately, you ask? Dustin mentioned two Seed Awards and one Spark project you should definitely check out.
1. ) Carrie Furnace Deer Film Project – “In 1997, a group of young Pittsburgh artists completed a yearlong adventure of personal and artistic growth that forever changed their lives. The Carrie Deer 40’ site-specific salvage sculpture visually embodies Pittsburgh’s abandoned industrial sites’ return to nature. As a collective artistic effort, it is remarkable for the use of on-site materials, exceptional as a work by volunteers, astounding as a work never expected to be publicly seen, and thought-provoking in its mill-like construction process.
This story is a glimpse into the early experiences of the artists who have become leaders in the Pittsburgh arts community. Surviving 15 years on the abandoned site, respected by copper vandals and graffiti artists, the Deer is now the central public artwork of the revitalized site and a breathtaking stop on the Hard Hat Tours.”
2.) The Drift – “The Drift is a floating platform for creative projects that explore the rivers and waterfronts within the City of Pittsburgh. As a mobile site for artworks, performances, and other creative endeavors, The Drift seeks to attract audiences along the rivers and encourage communities to explore one of Pittsburgh’s most underutilized public spaces. The project will expand this platform to support a broader array of programming through an open call for proposals for the 2012-2013 season.” The image you see to the left is Azimuth, part of The Drift Project, that was integrated into this year’s VIA New Media & Music Festival.
3.) Think Outside the Box Box – “The “Think Outside the Box Box” is a tool for educators and child care providers to create opportunities for creative play during recess, day care playtime, or any time! Think Outside the Box Boxes (TOBBs) are placed in play areas and supplied with a variety of safe and durable scrap materials collected by the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. Children re-imagine their world using these reclaimed loose parts, learning and practicing skills in art, creativity, engineering, problem solving, and socializing through play.”
As you can see, The Sprout Fund is doing plenty of awesome stuff to make Pittsburgh a fun and inspiring place to live. To get the scoop on all of their recent projects, you can head to the Harvest Gathering, Friday, November 2, from 5:30-9:30PM at their offices located at 5423 Penn Avenue.