Location: High Meadow, the educational hub of the Fallingwater Institute, in the Laurel Highlands

Featured guests: Ashley Andrykovitch, curator of education at Fallingwater

3 things that surprised me:

1. When Edgar J. Kaufmann entrusted the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy with Fallingwater, he imagined that it could be a place that welcomed artists, scholars and designers. That wish informed the creation of the Fallingwater Institute in 2015, which hosts workshops, camps and residencies.

2. The Kirkpatrick family, who owned what is now High Meadow, were friends with the Kaufmanns — they likely even attended parties there — so they bought 66 of acres land just up the hill from Fallingwater and built a split-level house there in 1964. Like the Kaufmanns, the Kirkpatricks also donated their house and property to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and it was transformed into the High Meadow campus. Architects from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson reimagined the house in 2016 so that it could better accommodate resident artists, workshop participants and others.

3. The Kirkpatrick’s old garage has been transformed into the Cheteyan Studio, a space designed for all sorts of art practices. There’s a fully equipped woodshop, cabinets full of painting supplies and drawer after drawer of art materials. Ashley showed me an outdoor studio space where participants can work on messier artistic projects.

One thing that didn’t make the final cut: While driving into the facility, we noticed an array of solar panels that provides the campus with electricity. Additionally, the site isn’t connected to the public sewer system. All the wastewater is cleaned at a on-site facility and the water is reused in the toilets on campus.

Additional info: You can learn more about Fallingwater Institute and see what classes are coming up at High Meadow on the website.

Want more Yinzer Backstage Pass? Check out our visit to Fallingwater where we went behind the scenes and even explored the basement.

Boaz is the host of NEXTpittsburgh's Yinzer Backstage Pass video series. He is also an author, filmmaker, advertising copywriter, teacher, experiential storyteller, talk show host, gardener, kazoo museum curator and so much more.