Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council receives $500,000 grant

The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) just received a $500,000 American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the local arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. GPAC will regrant these funds to small nonprofit organizations and independent artists in Allegheny County in 2022.

The one-time grant will provide general operating support for nonprofit arts groups with budgets of less than $250,000 and provide funding to independent artists for the creation of art. Forty percent of the funds will go to BIPOC artists and organizations. GPAC will announce the complete grant details and eligibility in the spring of 2022.

In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $20,200,000 to 66 local arts agencies nationwide for sub-granting.

This grant is the second of three installments of the NEA’s American Rescue Plan funding. Last April, the NEA announced that 40% of its $135 million in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 states, jurisdictional and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs.

The third installment of ARP funding to arts organizations to support their own operations will be announced in early 2022.

“The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies, including the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector recover and reopen, while ensuring that American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably,” says Ann Eilers, acting chair of the NEA. “These grants recognize the vital role of local arts agencies and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”

WYEP launches Reimagination 2022

Reimagination: The Teen Recording Project that Rocks is back for its ninth year.

91.3 WYEP’s annual program connects young musicians with professional mentors to record and produce original music. Since 2013, the program has engaged with more than 240 area teens, several of whom have gone on to become Grammy and Emmy Award winners.

Online applications are open through mid-January.

Students receive studio time at The Church Recording Studio, The YMCA Lighthouse Project, Red Medicine Recording Studio and other area studios to record and produce their own track for the cohort’s compilation album released by 91.3 WYEP.

The Reimagination 2021 album was digitally released this June. Teen artists had the opportunity to perform live at the Dollar Bank Three River’s Arts Festival and at an event to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Schenley Plaza, the home of The WYEP Summer Music Festival.

Thanks to a viral moment from one of this year’s artists and the winner of the 2020 WYEP Singer-Songwriter Competition, Lindsay Liebro, the Reimagination 2021 album has gained almost 14,000 streams around the world on Apple Music and Spotify.

Oldsite, a new mineral named after a Carnegie Museum of Natural History employee. Photo by Dr. Anthony Kampf.

New mineral named after Carnegie Museum of Natural History employee

Oldsite, a new mineral collected at Utah’s North Mesa mines, was named after Dr. Travis Olds, Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s assistant curator of minerals. The International Mineralogical Association verified the mineral, which was accepted in October 2021 by a global team of scientists. Oldsite is named in recognition of Olds’ contributions to uranium mineralogy.

Oldsite forms from the interaction of air and water with uranium and iron sulfide ores in the humid underground environment, leading to crystalline deposits on the surfaces of mine walls. It occurs as tiny yellow, rectangular blades measuring up to 0.3 millimeters in length. The crystals are thin and brittle and dissolve in water.

“Oldsite is unique because it helps us fill in some puzzle pieces about how uranium behaves in the environment,” Olds says. “The way its atoms connect to each other in the crystal structure tells us about the conditions that led to its formation. This information can be useful to help keep uranium out of drinking water, or to clean up nuclear waste.”

Focus on Renewal makes a historic appointment

The Focus on Renewal Sto-Rox Neighborhood Association (FOR) recently appointed Diona Jones to the position of deputy director of community programs. She is the first African-American in executive leadership in the organization’s 53-year history.

Jones will oversee FOR’s direct care programs, including early childhood development, kindergarten readiness, parenting education and support, library services, arts and cultural programming, nutrition and wellness, and housing and emergency funding.

Photo by Golden Orchid Photography.

Phipps will offer pop-up weddings this spring

On Sun., March 27, the Special Events Hall at Phipps will transform into a dreamy space to host a limited number of pop-up weddings. All you have to do is book a 90-minute time slot and the staff will take care of the rest.

The pop-Up wedding package is priced at $3,500 and includes: photos from Andria Zutich Photography, cake and dessert from Bethel Bakery, a bouquet, a boutonnière and floral decor from Allison McGeary Florist, a ceremony performed by Mark DeNuzzio of A Simple Vow, music by violinist Steven Vance, and a champagne toast.

In addition, all guests will receive tickets to experience Phipps’ spectacular Spring Flower Show: Sunshine and Rainbows on the day of the ceremony.

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