Sara Innamorato

During the momentous week ahead, it’s inspiring to share the work of native Pittsburgher Sara Innamorato, who is deeply invested helping to make the city a more livable place for all. Sara’s passion for inclusive community development, and environmental and social justice shines throughfrom her work managing a community garden and assisting with the first strategic plan for a local creative reuse center, to organizing one of Pittsburgh’s largest beer festivals. Founder of her own consulting firm, Innamo Co., Sara was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug after overseeing marketing and communications for GTECH Strategies. When not helping organizations tell their stories, Sara can be found fixing up her new home in Lawrenceville and attempting “to bake the perfect loaf of sourdough bread.”

Monday, January 16

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

I’ll start this day with a (very) early wake up call and head over to the Thelma Lovette YMCA for my Strong Women Lifting group by 6:30 a.m.

Since I managed to get out of bed this early on a Monday, I’ll head over to the Unstuck Meetup. As a solo business owner, it is so wonderful to have support from a group of people who are interested in supporting one another.

Since I’m in East Liberty and I work for myself, I’ll set up shop at Zeke’s Coffee.

After a few hours of emails and planning the week, I will head to the Kelly Strayhorn Theater for their MLK Celebration, and then over to the Union Project for their event, The Transition State of America: the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, to continue the conversation.

Coro Pittsburgh
Coro Pittsburgh Women in Leadership 2016 cohort.

Tuesday, January 17

My current project is working with the URA and The Forbes Funds coordinating the 2017 Steel City Codefest, so there is plenty of work to do.

I’ll spend the morning working from Catapult, a flexible coworking space in Central Lawrenceville. Then I’ll head Downtown for a lunch meeting with Christine Marty from the City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Innovation and Performance. The Steel City Codefest is partnering with the City for Inclusive Innovation Week, March 31-April 7. We are brainstorming about speakers for our wrap-up event at the Ace Hotel Pittsburgh.

This evening I’m hosting a session at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Hill District Branch called Is There an App for That? The goal of this event series is to help people from the civic and nonprofit sector solve their tech issues, while our team sources impactful challenges for our Codefest participants to work on this year. I’m not a techie, so I’m lucky to have folks like Connor Sites-Bowen who runs Code for Pittsburgh to serve as experts.

The day isn’t done yet! My former Coro Pittsburgh Women in Leadership cohort member Olivia Benson (no, not from Law & Order: SVU) and I are working on a project our cohort started called She Runs, which aims to get more women in local office. We applied for a #100Days grant through The Sprout Fund, and we have a lot of emails to send and events to plan. What better way to organize than over late-night tacos at Tako.

Sara Innamorato
Sara and her best friend, Emily.

Wednesday, January 18

The coffee shop of the morning is Espresso a Mano, with my friend Mary, where I’m working on sending sponsorship requests for another client, Casey Droege, and her event, The Pittsburgh Photo Fair, coming up in April.

This afternoon I get to have lunch at the Ace Hotel with a lovely friend, fellow lady entrepreneur, and bowtie extraordinaire, Nisha Blackwell.

The evening takes me to the Allegheny branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on the Northside for another Codefest Community session.

On my way home, I’ll stop by my neighborhood cake shop, the Butterwood Bake Consortium, for a slice of delicious, late-night cake, while I send some evening emails.

Thursday, January 19

This morning is our final community session for Codefest at the Downtown branch of the Carnegie Library. I’m so excited to see the challenges that the folks from nonprofits and government agencies decide to submit!

Did I mention I like coffee? I’m spending the afternoon working alongside my friend Pam at The Abbey in Lawrenceville. Setting work dates with other amazing women is one way that I stay productive and curb the loneliness of working for myself, and fortunately, Pittsburgh has a lot of inspiring, powerful and wonderful women.

In the evening I’m off to celebrate Marita Garrett‘s announcement to run for Mayor of Wilkinsburg over at Biddle’s Escape (more coffee and women in office, yay!).

Afterward, I’ll head to Chatham for a screening of Trapped, a documentary about the reproductive rights of women.

Friday, January 20

6 a.m. wake up call! I’ve just started walking normally again, just in time for another Strong Ladies meetup at the Y.

I’m working with videographer Ryan Haggerty to film interviews with past Codefest participants. This morning I’m heading Downtown to Planned Parenthood of Western PA to interview their team about the It’s Okay to Ask Someone app, a sexual health text line that was a Codefest challenge back in 2014.

In the afternoon, I’ll head to the August Wilson Center for the Inauguration Day Alternative event with my friend Jess. While I’m there, I’ll take in the powerful Optic Voices exhibition in their lobby.

In the evening, I’ll be at Repair the World again for their Turn the Tables: Racial and Education Justice dinner catered by one my favorite restaurant joints, B52.

Sara Innamorato
Sara’s cat, Rafiki.
Sara’s cat, Rafiki.

Saturday, January 21

I’ll spend the day at the Summit Against Racism, the rally and march in East Liberty and the sister Women’s March Downtown.

In the evening, I’ll grab a bite to eat with a friend at Apteka and reflect on the day.

Sunday, January 22

This was an intense week, full of tough, but necessary dialogue. I need some time to process everything and translate to action.

In the morning, I’m going to take some self-care time and sleep in, spoon my cat, Rafiki, and watch a documentary or two.

In the evening, I’ll head to my neighborhood watering hole and pizza joint, Spirit, for a drink and a slice.

I’ll head to bed early, because there is a lot of work that needs to be done, plus I have a 6 a.m. date with the gym.

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Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.