Beethoven + Coldplay + Pittsburgh Symphony = FUSE@PSO

Earlier this year the Pittsburgh Symphony performed the first in the series of mash-up performances called FUSE@PSO. The next FUSE@PSO performance is Beethoven + Coldplay and takes place on Tuesday, October 6. I had the opportunity to meet Steve Hackman who is the conductor of these performances last week. He is new to Pittsburgh and doing some really interesting things to get more new faces to the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Here is a video of the last FUSE@PSO performace which was a mashup of Brahms + Radiohead:

Steve is eager to meet more Pittsburghers and talk about his work. In the spirit of mashups I am working with Steve to put together a Meet the (Music) Maker event at TechShop this Sunday.  Steve will talk more about his work and the FUSE@PSO performances.  If you are interested in learning more about Steve, the Pittsburgh Symphony or TechShop, I hope you will stop by on Sunday evening.


Meet the (Music) Maker with Steve Hackman from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Free – please register at

Follow: @TechShopPGH @PGHSymphony @SteroHideout & #FUSE@PSO


Summer Harvest: Come Support 412 Food Rescue and Help Fight Hunger in Pittsburgh

summer harvest 1

On July 25th, The Livermore will be hosting Summer Harvest, an event that celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh while raising money for an important social cause: fighting hunger in Allegheny County. All proceeds from this event will go to 412 Food Rescue, a non-profit started by Leah Lizarondo (The Brazen Kitchen) and Gisele Fetterman (The Free Store).

summer harvest 3
412 Food Rescue hopes to “rescue” every bit of food that stores can no longer use and convert them into meals for more than 175,000 “food insecure” people in Allegheny county, including over 43,000 children.

According to the Pittsburgh City Paper, this space is largely occupied by food banks that are unable to accept every donation in time to adequately provide for those in need. 412 Food Rescue’s approach quickly finds donors and brings the food directly to households in need, much like an “Uber for food-rescue.”

The co-founders of 412 Food Rescue: Gisele Fetterman (left) and Leah Lizarondo.

The co-founders of 412 Food Rescue: Gisele Fetterman (left) and Leah Lizarondo.

With the additional support of Jenny Liu, Geoff Misek, Nate Cochran, Jessie Schalles, and Shawn Rancatore, 412 Food Rescue won both the Jury Prize and the People’s Choice award at Steel City Codefest in February 2015. Currently they are actively recruiting volunteer drivers, app developers, and fundraisers to further their cause.

Summer Harvest will feature some great perks for its attendees:

Tickets are $20 ($25 after July 21st) to attend, and every cent of proceeds from this event will go directly to 412 Food Rescue. According to Lizarondo, for every ticket sold at Summer Harvest, 412 Food Rescue will be able to provide meals for a family of four for an entire week.

412 Food Rescue

Food rescued for many needy families. Photo courtesy of 412 Food Rescue.

Summer Harvest is supported largely in part by Startup Weekend Pittsburgh (@swpgh), a local group of community leaders who organize 54-hour events that teach entrepreneurship through competition. The next Startup Weekend will be a civic-themed competition on September 18-20 in Pittsburgh’s Allentown district.

Lee Ngo, Summer Harvest co-organizer and one of Startup Weekend Pittsburgh’s community leaders, says that Startup Weekend has been a core presence in Pittsburgh for over three years, cultivating a family of solutions-oriented collaborators in the community. He feels that it was time that they give something back to the city and make a real difference in the lives of Pittsburghers who struggle daily.

This is the first time that Startup Weekend Pittsburgh has ever donated to another cause in the city. Community leaders believe 412 Food Rescue is an obvious first choice, as it is introducing a substantial difference in the way our city engages intelligently with food in our community.

For more information or to purchase your tickets, go here:

Summer Harvest is also accepting sponsorships and donations for the event. Contact Lee Ngo for more information.

#tbd: Paint a mural during the Three Rivers Arts Festival

The Three Rivers Arts Festival opened yesterday. Lots of people are planning on coming down to see the art, but come between 11am and 2pm from today through June 14th and you can help create it. Muralist Kim Beck has begun stenciling an 850-foot mural underneath the Fort Duquesne Bridge and is ready for volunteers to help fill in the “paint by number” with black, white and gray paint.
Looking at her Tumblr, you can see that Kim Beck (previously featured on I Heart PGH) has a fascination with the mundane and ephemeral aspects of the urban landscape, like billboards, sky writing and plastic security fencing. She carries that idea forward here with the mural that depicts common, hardy, native plants. In other words, weeds. I like the project because it works at different scales; up close I think it will read as almost abstract because of how large the plants will be, and from the other side of the river it will be cool to see weeds sprouting at the foot of the city.
If you miss the window to help with the mural, you should still stop by and see some of the items on display. Riverlife has partnered with the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects to showcase past proposals by young architects on how to better utilize “urban voids”. The proposals were submissions to the Young Architects Studio Competition over the last few years, which was created as a way for young architects to express themselves and be involved in Design Pittsburgh, an annual event held by the AIA to celebrate architecture and give awards for design. The exhibit will last all summer, and Riverlife is planning events in the outdoor exhibit for every Wednesday through the end of August. Stay tuned for more details on those events as they become available. The mural and gallery are collectively known as #tbd, so follow Riverlife on Twitter, search that hashtag or just keep reading I Heart PGH.
So come down and create some art of your own, this weekend or any day until the Arts Festival closes on June 14th. Between 11am and 2pm you can help paint a mural under the Fort Duquesne Bridge. If you’re walking, it’s most easily accessed by walking towards the Point fountain and turning right after walking under the bridge. When you hit the Allegheny River, walk upstream until you see people with brushes and rollers. See you there.

Walk, Don’t Drive Down Penn Ave. On Sunday Morning

I took this photo at the 2014 OpenStreetsPGH event.

I took this photo at the 2014 OpenStreetsPGH event.

This Sunday, May 31st, 2015, the streets from Market Square to Lawrenceville will be closed to traffic and open to people. Don’t panic, this is a good road closure.  Last year Open Streets spanned from Market Square across the Roberto Clemente Bridge.  This year, OpenStreetsPGH will be over 3 miles long from Market Square to Lawrenceville.

Paris, Bogata, Tucson and now Pittsburgh

Español: Ciclovia em Bogotá

Español: Ciclovia em Bogotá (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the ideas behind Open Streets is to give people an opportunity to interact with their city in a way that is not centred around cars.  This is an idea that has been taking hold in other cities around the globe.  The Paris Respire, which translates to Paris Breathes, closes certain roads to traffic on Sundays from 9am-5pm.  Cyclovia Tuscon takes place twice a year and has quite a following.  (BTW if you are interested in learning more about cycling in Tucson, check out Bicycle Tucson @BicycleTucson a great blog run by Mike McKisson who was kind enough to give me a tour of Tucson by bike when I was there in January.)

Open Streets PGH Locations & Schedule for May 31, 2015

The streets are closed to traffic and open for fun from 8am to Noon on Sunday.  There are events planned for the following locations along the route:

  • Market Sqaure
  • 8th & Penn
  • 23rd & Penn
  • Leslie Park (on Butler Street in Lawrenceville)

You can see the entire OpenStreetsPGH Schedule for Sunday, May 31, 2015 here.

Five Stops to Make at Open Streets PGH

With so many events happening on Sunday, its hard to know where to start.  Here are five events that we think you should check out along the route.

1. Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer Pop Up Shop at Wildcard

Pittsburgh’s most awesome gift shop has invited their vintage selling friends to set up shop on Sunday am.  Stop by and pick up some old and new gifts for an old friend and make some new friends with these vintage lovers.  Visit the Facebook event for more info.

Follow: @pghvintagemixer @wildcardpgh

2. The City Spree 5K & 10K

The City Spree is a unique twist on your road race.  You and your team pick your own course to run. Use the code OPENSTREETSPGH to register for free.  Register online here.  The 5k run is sold out but there is still time to register for the 10k run or the 5k walk

  • 9am – 10k Run
  • 9:30am 5k Walk
  • 10am 5k Run SOLD OUT

Follow: @CityofPlay

3. $5 Coffee + Fresh Cinnamon Roll @ Franktuary

Stop by Frankturary before brunch for coffee and a cinnamon roll from 8am-10am. Regular brunch begins at 10 am.

Follow: @Franktuary

4. Walking Tour of Downtown with PHLF

Learn about this history of downtown Pittsburgh on a walking tour led by Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. Meet in front of the CLOCK in Market Square 10am.

Follow: @PHLF

5. Try Out the New Pittsburgh Bike Share

t-pittsburgh-bike-share-logoYou’ve seen the stations popping up.  The bikes are being rolled out today and the brand new Pittsburgh bike share, which is named HealthyRidePGH launches on Sunday. I’ve had the chance to try out bike shares in Denver, Chicago, Milwaukee and New York.  This is great news for the ‘burgh.  If you haven’t had a chance to use a bike share before, the bike share lets you “rent” a bike at one station and return the bike to another station. You can read more about how HealthyRidePGH works here.  A 30 minute ride is $2 or you can sign up for a monthly membership for $12 or $20 a month.

Follow: @HealthyRidePGH

Getting Around Town on Sunday Morning

OpenStreetsPGH has partnered with ZTrip app.  Use code PGHTours to get $15 off.  (If you want to try Uber or Lyft use code IHEARTPGH to get your first ride free.)

OpenStreetsPGH on Pittsburgh Today Live

Kim O’Dell from the Heinz Foundations and Mike Carroll from Bike Pittsburgh were on KDKA’s Pittbsurgh Today Live earlier this week to give a preview of OpenStreetsPGH.

Follow: @Pgh_Today_Live @BikePGH @KimODell412