Shaunda Miles
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Shaunda Miles, director of public relations for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, shares daily highlights from her itinerary for the week of July 21 in NEXT Up. From Shaunda: “ALL weekend plans are subject to change if it rains and the ROCKY marathon runs on television. :)”

Monday, July 21
The day begins with an early morning practice swim session at the Thelma Lovette YMCA in the Hill District.  I am conquering fears and I am determined to snorkel on my next vacation! Lunch meeting with Linda Reznik of River City Arts Management at Penn Ave Fish Company (Downtown), and a late afternoon visit to the O’Reilly Theater to exchange ideas and gain insight into current trends in theater management. I’ll head to the Northside in the evening to eat dinner with my Pittsburgh family before heading home. Most likely, they will want Wiseguys Pizza. “The Don” with pepperoni is a household staple on Mondays. I’ll enjoy the time with my boyfriend Sager McDill Sr. and his three kids: Sager Jr., the Skater and BMX biker, Maria the Fashionista and “Momma” Melanie (she is oh so responsible!).

Tuesday, July 22
It’s my Mom’s birthday! She’s in New York, and I am an only child, so my day will begin with a fairly lengthy conversation with her! I will enjoy a morning cup o’ joe at Crazy Mocha on Liberty Avenue with Jenn Saffron, director of communications at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) during one of our bi-weekly coffee catch-up and brainstorming sessions. We spend time planning to take over the world! Mwah-ha-ha-ha….

In the evening, I will stop by Katz Plaza for a free performance of Kenia (part of JazzLive) before heading to East Liberty for a small cell group at Mount Ararat Baptist Church. This will be my first small group session, so I am excited to meet other 30-39ers in the group.

Wednesday, July 23
In the early morning, I’ll be back at the Thelma Lovette YMCA, practicing my kick! Then, I will spend the day all over the city: AM meeting in North Hills at H&R Block to complete my 990 for my 501c3, demaskus Theater Collective. PM meeting at CMU to discuss the Trust’s TONY party and future plans and then back to the Cultural District to work on various projects. Then, I will end the evening with the sweet sounds of Boyz II Men and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall.

Thursday, July 24
Jordynn Ford, a PR intern from Slippery Rock University and family member of Pittsburgh native and Tony Award-winner Billy Porter, will be spending her last day with us. We’ll do lunch in Bloomfield at Roxanne’s Take-Out and Catering to celebrate Jordynn’s work. In the evening, I will head to a weekly meeting with Pastor Brian J. Edmonds of Macedonia Church, on Bedford Avenue in the Hill District, to discuss projects he needs assistance with for the week. Then, home to North Hills.

TGIF!
After a weekly senior staff meeting, I will be back at Penn Ave Fish Company with a Pittsburgh reporter. You could call it an addiction to the sushi, bisques and PFC salad (with blackened tilapia) … I will catch the CLO’s Ring of Fire at the Cabaret before heading home.

Saturday, July 26
I always look forward to breakfast on Saturdays! Depending on the taste buds, I will visit one of my favorite spots—Carmi’s or Lindo’s (Northside), Cocoa Cafe (Lawrenceville) or Pamela’s (Squirrel Hill). I will likely end up in the Cultural District or on the Hill—working. At some point, I will end up at the Market District in Robinson to grab some groceries. The rest of the day will be spent with family on the Northside—unless I score tickets to see Bill Maher at Heinz Hall.

Sunday, July 27
The week will probably wrap up visiting Sager’s family far east of Pittsburgh. His parents have been married for 50 years and always offer some great words of wisdom. This is typically the second “church service” of the day! I am also fed very well. 😉

Monday, July 28
I’ll be excited to see and pitch the sold-out ArtCity: Green Artists and Writers workshop under the leadership of Tracy Edmunds. There will also be lot of talk and work relative to jazz with Janis Burley Wilson, including a recap of this year’s festival—one great way of overcoming the Monday morning blues.

Photo by Jennifer Saffron.

Jennifer Baron

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...