Link on Penn Wilkinsburg

Get your “Passport to Wilkinsburg” at Link on Penn and travel along Penn Avenue for a free community event that will highlight the good things happening in the borough through art, activities, live music, and food.

Link on Penn will be held this Saturday, May 21 from 1 to 4pm at the site of the former Penn-Lincoln Hotel (Center Street and Penn Avenue). The festival is a project of Leadership Development Initiative XXIII, a program of Leadership Pittsburgh. Every year the LDI class plans Pop up Pittsburgh, modeled on the “Pop Up City” concept which seeks to momentarily revitalize a neighborhood that has excess vacant land. The idea? Develop a temporary, low-cost initiative that has the ability to surprise, provoke, and entertain city residents and visitors in ways that change perceptions about the places where they occur.

One highlight of the afternoon will be the #wilkinsburgstories project, with a “listening lounge” for the visitors to enjoy the stories of local business owners and neighbors, old and new, as well as original poetry.  The #wilkinsburgstories are available for preview on, such as this interview with Wilkinsburg High School senior Davon Moultrie about how he wants to affect positive change in his community.  Stories such as Moultrie’s will be archived within the Folklife Collection of the Library of Congress.

As a part of the day, participants will receive a “Passport to Wilkinsburg”, which will include discounts to local businesses and a program of the day’s events that include the Carnegie Museums dinosaurs — real and replica specimens, artifacts and hands-on activities.

In addition to the children’s activity area, Link on Penn will feature a lineup of  local musicians and vendors.  The Sanctuary Project’s annual block party will also be a part of the event, and will include face painting, free family photos, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, carnival games with prizes, and more.

Link on Penn is presented by Huntington Bank and in partnership with the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation, Neighborhood Allies, and the Sanctuary Project.

Maya Haptas has an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and is a freelance writer covering various topics from architecture and urban design to wellness and skateboarding. She is currently the assistant editor of Bigfoot Skateboarding Magazine.