AIR artist Darrell Kinsel using the Rosa Villa's facade for political activism.

Every so often at NEXT we run down some of the latest Pittsburgh crowdfunding projects. In this installment, we highlight a batch that aims to benefit the public good, from public art to public transit, public discourse to public health.

Screenshot from Pittsburghers for Public Transit Indiegogo video.
Screenshot from Pittsburghers for Public Transit Indiegogo video.

Pittsburghers for Public Transit

27% funded, 8 days to go (as of 12/4)

What do you do when your bus line gets cancelled? Take it on the chin? Walk 10 miles in the snow to work? No, you fight back! Pittsburghers for Public Transit was founded in 2010 by public transit workers, riders and supporters to fight against transit cuts, which creates “transit deserts” that leave riders stranded. Currently, the group is fighting to expand bus lines to underserved areas in Garfield, Penn Hills and the North Hills. Your donation will be used “to support community campaigns for adequate and affordable transit service.”

412 Food Rescue

412 Food Rescue

44% raised, 20 days to go (as of 12/4)

We’re partial to 412 Food Rescue not just because they do great work, but also because NEXT editor-at-large (and all-around rock star) Leah Lizarondo is one of the founders. 412 Food Rescue has a simple premise: almost half of the food we produce goes to waste, and yet millions go hungry. In Allegheny County alone, 1 in 5 families are food insecure—meaning they do not know where their next meal is coming from. That numbers a staggering 176,000 people. 412 Food Rescue takes perfectly good, healthy food and produce from grocery stores, restaurants and other commercial establishments that would otherwise be destined for the landfill and distributes it to those in need. The group relies on volunteers to pick up and transport the food, and they are raising funds for a refrigerated truck so that they can collect and distribute even larger donations. As a bonus, for every person who attends their free event on December 7, Involvemint will donate $20 to their campaign (up to $2,000).

The Rosa Villa, across from the Andy Warhol Museum.
The Rosa Villa, across from the Andy Warhol Museum.

Activist Print

4% funded, 19 days to go (as of 12/4)

A product of The Andy Warhol Museum and Artists Image Resource (AIR), Activist Print will commission three local artists to create socially and politically inspired print work over the course of 2016. The work will be displayed on the facade of the Rosa Villa, the vacant former bar/restaurant that sits across the street from the Warhol (where Shepherd Fairey’s mural once stood). The project is “inspired by the long history of artists using silkscreen and/or print based media to raise awareness of contemporary issues and inspire change.” Your donation will go toward allowing the three selected artists to “access AIR’s print shop, purchase materials and receive technical support from AIR.”

The Glassblock: A Web Magazine of Pittsburgh

72% funded, 12 days to go (as of 12/4)

Here at NEXTpittsburgh, we are big fans of Eat That, Read This. Adam Shuck’s snarky, trenchant daily news compendium is a must-read, and our writers have been known to beam a bit whenever one of their stories makes the roundup. Now, Shuck, along with local filmmaker/musician/dancer David Bernabo, is launching a full-scale web magazine, The Glassblock. Details are still being finalized, but its stated goal, “to inform, entertain and showcase creative work from Pittsburgh,” is something we at NEXT can get behind. Donations will go toward paying Glassblock contributors. As a bonus, anyone who contributes $30+ gets an invite to the Glassblock end-of-Kickstarter-campaign party at Spirit.

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adopting identity

Two crowdfunders want to head to Brazil. Local filmmaker Liana Maneese is creating a documentary, Adopting Identity, which will “raise questions around race and the complexities of race in Latin America . . . and Pittsburgh.”  Also, local Batucada samba group, Timbeleza, is raising funds for two weeks of Samba instruction in Rio and Salvador.

Additionally, history myth de-bunker Professor Buzzkill, of the popular Professor Buzzkill podcast, is raising money to fund the podcast and host live Buzzkill events across the country.

Churchview Farm


Sustainable family farmette, Churchview Farm, which NEXT profiled in June, needs help funding a new greenhouse, among other structures.

Last but not least, Eliza’s Oven Bakery, currently located within the Pittsburgh Public Market, is hoping to move to a stand-alone, brick-and-mortar storefront, in Point Breeze.

Brian Conway

Brian Conway is a writer and photographer whose articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and local publications. In his free time, he operates Tripsburgh. Brian lives in the South Side.