2016 CREATE Festival artist Ian Brill. Image courtesy of the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

The Pittsburgh Technology Council (PTC) announced the return of their annual CREATE Festival, and they’re calling for submissions—and this year, they’re awarding stipends of $250 to $1000.

Launched in 2009, CREATE showcases creatives in the region working in the arts and technology. The event kicks off the opening weekend of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival and features a full day of workshops, panels, performances and opportunities to engage with new work at events such as the Innovation Salon and Creative Marketplace, where artists and makers gather to show off and sell their wares.

Kim Chestney, director of Creative Industries Acceleration at PTC, says CREATE serves mainly to recognize the creative industries and help artists become entrepreneurs.

“There’s a business aspect to it in terms of empowering people to understand how to use their creativity to make a living and be prosperous and turn it into something sustainable,” says Chestney.

This year will see a lot of firsts for the festival, including a new venue in the August Wilson Center. The lineup will also include IdeaFest, a new CREATE event featuring short talks, performances and conversations exploring the power of creativity.

For the first time ever, PTC will also offer stipends to artists, musicians and performers who apply to participate in the CREATE festivities.

“We have a lot of great sponsors this year that have allowed us to give some money back to the community and provide some great opportunities for artists of all kinds to get engaged with the festival,” says Chestney, adding that the stipends range from $250 to $1,000 and were provided by Dollar Bank and Comcast.

The stipends are available for interactive and creative activities, installations and art exhibitions at the Innovation Salon, and short performances for IdeaFest.

In addition to arts submission, PTC is also seeking nominations for the Creator of the Year awards, which recognize four individuals doing outstanding work in Pittsburgh’s creative industries.

“We’re trying to get a diverse group of people who represent the different aspects of all the great creativity that makes Pittsburgh an awesome place to live,” says Chestney.

Artists can also enter the CREATE Awards for a chance to win prizes designed by Ashley Cecil and Lori Hepner, two graduates of PTC’s first-ever Co-CREATE Business Ignition program.

The 2017 CREATE Festival takes place from 12-9 p.m. on June 1 at the August Wilson Center (980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222). The deadline for the CREATE Awards is February 15. Submissions and Creator of the Year nominees are due by March 1.

Amanda Waltz

Amanda Waltz is a freelance journalist and film critic whose work has appeared locally in numerous publications. She writes for The Film Stage and is the founder and editor of Steel Cinema, a blog dedicated...