Bonnie Pfister

Watch videos, learn more at Athena-Pittsburgh.com. / Look for updates under #PghAthena on Facebook and Twitter.

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It’s that time again — time to recognize the extraordinary women in the Pittsburgh region who go above and beyond in their work and mentorship of other women. Nominations are now being accepted through June 30 for the 2015 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards.

Taking its name from the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom, the traditional ATHENA Award recognizes a woman who demonstrates excellence in her profession, contributes to her community and helps other women to succeed. Last year’s recipient was UPMC Health Plan’s Diane Holder. Amelia Papapetropoulos,  founder of Young Women in Energy and a catering business founded to serve workers at remote shale rig locations, received the ATHENA Young Professional Award, geared toward emerging leaders age 35 or younger.

Wondering how to go about crafting a nomination? Check out this tip sheet put together by Pittsburgh Magazine Publisher Betsy Benson.

There are hundreds of ATHENA International-affiliated events presented around the world each year, but Pittsburgh’s gathering is one of the largest. More than 900 women and men are expected to attend this year’s luncheon on Friday, Oct. 9 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Learn more and submit nominations at Athena-Pittsburgh.com by 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 30. (Nominations will only be accepted online.)

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development — of which ImaginePittsburgh.com is an initiative — organizes the annual ATHENA awards ceremony.

Bonnie Pfister

Pittsburgh’s got jobs — plenty of them. There are 20,000 positions open today across the 10-county region on the ImaginePittsburgh.com. That’s a one-stop shop for information about employers, careers and job postings that are updated nightly from more than 1,000 jobs boards and orporate websites.

Here are few of the jobs available right now from ImaginePittsburgh.com’s Featured Employers 

Insurance Agent at Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

Search Engine Marketing Specialist at MARC USA

Technical Support Desk Coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh

Assistant Director of Residence Life at Washington & Jefferson University

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the parent organization of ImaginePittsburgh.com, is hiring for several positions including a web developer, market research analyst and a both a director and administrative coordinator for investor relations.

Not quite what you were looking for? Check out our Neighbors page to see what kinds of careers young and mid-career professionals are pursuing. You can reach out to the Neighbors for networking ideas via the LinkedIn addresses include in their profiles. And stay up-to-date with new job postings and other news about building a great life in the Pittsburgh region via our monthly newsletter, our RSS feedFacebookTwitter or  LinkedIn.

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Written by Laurie Bailey

In 1989, when Bill Generett, Jr. left his Point Breeze home for Morehouse College in Atlanta, he vowed he would never return to Pittsburgh. But after earning a bachelor’s degree and subsequently a Juris Doctorate from Emory University, practicing law in Atlanta for 14 years and then in D.C. and even a stint in Shimabara, Japan teaching English, he returned in 2004 and hit the ground running.

Generett, 43, actively serves on several nonprofit boards and advisory committees, including the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, Pittsburgh Economic and Industrial Development Corporation, Phipps Conservatory, Innovation Works and more.

As the new president and CEO of Urban Innovation21, Generett manages the organization’s public private partnership, connecting the region’s successful innovation economy to underserved communities. Taking an entrepreneurial approach to developing programs among local, regional and national stakeholders, he and his team have been recognized nationally for their work.

As the inaugural president of Urban Innovation21, what is your biggest challenge in connecting the successful innovation sector with underserved communities?

The region has done very well in terms of transforming its economy. I’m excited because we played a role in that through the Keystone Innovation Zone (an incentive program that provides tax credits to for-profit companies less than eight years old within specific industries and boundaries). Part of our mission is to always make sure that communities that aren’t connected are included. Stakeholders are focusing on that issue, but we all have a lot more work to do.

There is an education component that we really have to figure out–how we can make sure that we are teaching our kids and getting the right education for jobs in the new economy, making sure we’re giving our kids a good STEM education, especially in our public schools. We also have to work to make sure students attending our colleges and universities are getting exposure to internships and job opportunities in the new sectors.

We have a very large internship program. We pay students from Duquesne, Point Park, Carlow and CCAC to work in tech and innovation companies and also advanced manufacturing companies. We do about 100 internships per year. I wish we could do 1,000 or 2,000. That’s what the need is.

We need to figure out how stakeholders across the region can provide more opportunities like that for our students because the reality is if you don’t have an internship these days, if you’re not exposed to industry, your chances of getting a job are pretty slim.

If you take UPMC and PNC (who have their own internship programs) out of the mix, we have the largest innovation economy internship program in the region. Sixty percent of the participants are women, which you generally don’t see, and 40 percent are African American; we are really proud and excited about that. A lot of our students are first-year Community College, Pittsburgh Promise recipients.

What is your vision for Urban Innovation21? 

We have some good programs that are going well. We are actually going across the county talking about inclusive innovation and the best practices that cities and innovation sectors can use to include more (people) so that’s good. At this point we want to figure out how we can help others who are starting to do the work that we do so that they can have an impact and collectively, we can really create an impact.

What does success look like?

Success looks like having a city where we are not talking about any kind of inequality – there will always be differences, but (a city) where the differences aren’t so stark. One of the things that it’s hard for me to accept is that for as great we are doing, African Americans here are the poorest group of African Americans in the top 50 metropolitan areas in the country. We have these statistics that are polar opposites in many ways. Success is seeing that gap closed.

As a newly appointed member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (advising U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker), what knowledge will you take with you from Pittsburgh when working with those from other regions of the country?

Our innovation started in 2007, and we are really one of the first organizations in the country to work in high growth clusters to disconnected communities. What we’re seeing nationally, whether it’s urban or rural areas, is that the innovation sector is trying to figure out how to do that. I think we’ve done some things exceptionally well. I have a wonderful board that has allowed me and our team to really take an entrepreneurial approach to this issue because there is no road map. We are taking that to the National Advisory Council.

I’m the head of the subcommittee, the Democratization of Innovation. The goal is to figure out how innovation can impact more people, looking at the types of things that can be implemented without legislative approval relatively quick. What you see across the country is that nobody has been able to do inclusive innovation well. But because of our foundation community and corporate community we’ve been able to start working on the issue before many others started to concentrate on it.

You’ve been an entrepreneur, executive, corporate attorney and teacher. What’s next?

I tell students that everybody has to think like an entrepreneur.  I love the work that I’m doing as long as I feel like I’m having impact. I’m going to do this; where I do it, how I do it, in what capacity I do it, I’m not sure, but I love this work. I feel this utilizes all my skills. It’s interesting, when I started I thought, “oh, I’ll probably do this for a year or two.” I’ve gotten other offers to do other things, but I really love the work.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?

You know there are several. We were one of the last Keystone Innovation Zones formed. People didn’t really understand there was value in the work connect.  Fast forward, now we are one of the most successful Keystone Innovation Zones in the state and I’m really excited about that.

Through its Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone (PCKIZ) program Urban Innovation21 has supported 98 high-growth companies since 2007. These companies include The Resumator, NoWait, AllPoint Systems, Bit-x-Bit, Special Pathogens laboratory, ShowClix, Ebenefits, Pikimal and dbMotion.

Thirty-two high-growth companies have started up, relocated and are growing in the Hill District/Uptown community. The neighborhood’s image has changed and a wide array of economic development projects is taking place.

I’m also excited about the fact that we’ve really brought to the U.S. “inclusive innovation.” That’s a term that‘s a philosophy that was pioneered in Europe, China and India.  It basically says that when we look at innovation policy we have to look at the policy that supports as many people as possible, and that’s a philosophy that we’ve utilized. We’re seeing the inclusion movement really catch fire throughout the country.

I’m also excited about tech companies and community-based business with internships and that we’ve been able to help folks who didn’t think they could get that job and that there wasn’t a place for them in this new economy. When those connections are made and those people are getting a job and are going to school and getting their PhD’s in engineering—those stories keep me going.

Ever feel discouraged?

There are times because you know I can be our biggest cheerleader, but I’m also the most critical of what we do. When I get too discouraged something good happens in terms of how (people) were impacted by the work. What’s cool is that Pittsburgh is doing great, and you now have a lot of people that are saying “let’s work and seriously work so that all communities are connected.”

What brought you back to Pittsburgh?

Well, It was really my wife (Gretchen Generett, from Richmond,VA who is a professor at Duquesne) who said “did you think about Pittsburgh?” when we were thinking about moving (from the Washington, D.C. area). I went back and kind of looked at it through new eyes. We just decided we wanted to raise our kids in a smaller city.

Did you have a strong mentor, someone who truly inspired you to achieve success? If so, do you think of that person when you’re working to improve underserved communities?

I’ve had a lot of mentors. It really started with my parents, my father (William Generett, who passed away in 1996) was a prominent doctor in town. My mother (Mona Generett) is really where I get my passion for working for community. She’s had many positions; the last was the vice president of community development at Dollar Bank. She is really my mentor when it comes to this work.

Have you ever failed? How did it make you stronger? 

It’s interesting I don’t look at it as failure. I look at it as learning. I have an incredible board. I have an incredible board chair (Scott Lammie of UPMC Health Plan, Inc.). He has been a mentor for me. We’ve had some successes and some things that didn’t go like I wanted them to go, but I learned from it. You learn more often from things that don’t go well.  I had a business (Comforcare Senior Services), and that business didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to turn out. I ended up selling it for a loss. The woman I sold it to was able to take it and turn it into a very successful business. Although I liked the business, I wasn’t really happy and I’m happy doing this work.

What’s the one thing you wish you could change in Pittsburgh?

That we appreciate cultural differences. We are one of the least diverse cities. There really isn’t the appreciation of cultural differences.

How do you relax?

(Laughs.) I love to read and play with my kids (William III, 13 and Gabrielle, 7). They are both very active, and I just like to get engaged with what they are doing. I like quality time with my wife and spending time with family and friends.

Best book you’ve read all year?

David and Goliath by Malcom Gladwell. I like motivational and history books.

Favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh?

The Savoy and Pho Van (in the Strip District).

 

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Written by Jennifer Baron

June is this writer’s favorite month, with its lush greens, idyllic temps and promise of summer. As we make the most of long daylight hours, welcome the summer solstice and celebrate all of the dedicated dads out there, June is also the perfect time to rediscover the city’s communal spaces, recreational amenities and cultural gems. This month’s Top 10 is all about all things outdoors(y)—with festivals aplenty—so we hope to see you out there.

1. First Niagara Presents First Fridays at the Frick: June 5, 7 p.m.

Pack a picnic, grab friends and spread a blanket on the Great Lawn at the Frick Art & Historical Center. Toss in free live music under the stars and let that magical summer feeling take hold. For urban dwellers, securing a coveted spot for the highly popular series is a cherished summertime tradition. Kicking off the 2015 season is Canadian singer-songwriter and banjo player Old Man Luedecke. Hailing from Chester, Nova Scotia the two-time Juno Award winner released his latest album, I Never Sang Before I Met You, in 2014.

Mark your calendars now for the entire season: Carpe Diem Quartet on July 3rd, singer-songwriter Eleanor Friedberger on August 7th and Opek Plays Strayhorn on on September 4th.

Suggested donation: $5 per adult. Attendees are invited to arrive early and create a gourmet picnic with selections from The Café at the Frick.

Looking for more First Fridays fun? Mt. Lebanon kicks off their free series on June 5th and Brookline‘s Bash on the Blvd. continues on June 26th.

UNE (MICRO) HISTOIRE ÉCONOMIQUE DU MONDE, DANSÉE

A (micro) history of world economics, danced.

2. A (micro) history of world economics, danced at the New Hazlett Theater, 7 p.m. 

Dance, theater and economics will converge at this one-of-a-kind Pittsburgh premiere. Working in close collaboration with 15 Pittsburghers with disabilities—along with 30 of their family members, friends and caregivers and 15 singers from the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, professional actors and an economic philosopher played by artist/activist John Malpede—world-renowned French director Pascal Rambert is creating the work as part of a residency with City of Asylum.

Conceived by Rambert at the peak of the European economic crisis, the production explores collective economic history via movement, theater and personal stories of diverse community participants—ultimately conveying how it has impacted people’s lives worldwide.

The free production coincides with the 25th anniversary celebration of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. Created for select international cities, the insightful work explores timeless questions about how economic value is created during times of great income disparity. Part of City of Asylum’s artist-in-the-community residency, the show strives to give voice to disenfranchised individuals and communities, create opportunities for civic engagement and empower the creative potential of Pittsburgh and its residents.

The event is free but an RSVP is required.

3. Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival: June 5 – 14

Where can you experience art as psychic healing and catch a free concert by L.A. songstress Jenny Lewis? Recently nominated by USA Today as one of the country’s Best Art Festivals, the 56th annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival (TRAF) fills downtown with world-class multi-disciplinary arts programming—including a signature artist market with 300+ vendors, children’s activities and plenty of festival food.

Festival-goers can experience public art as psychic healing while viewing Rudy Shepherd’s Black Rock Negative Energy Absorber, visit Michelle Illuminato’s Lost & Found Factory to watch artists recreate and return missing items to their owners and learn about Native Americans who perished between 1492 and 1600 in Fernando Orellana’s Confluence.

This year’s multiple stages feature everything from guitar god Richard Thompson and folk-rockers The Felice Brothers, to bluesy singer-songwriter Benjamin Booker and Alynda Lee Segarra’s Nola ensemble, Hurray for the Riff Raff.

 

Stroll down Liberty Ave. to see how artists activate downtown storefronts, including Community Supported Art’s Small Mall Pop-up Store and Matt Forrest’s Trophy Cam projections of the mystical Pennsylvania wilderness.

What else is new? For the first time in two decades, TRAF opened its juried visual art exhibition to artists living outside Pittsburgh, and the result is a multimedia group show featuring 41 works by 31 artists. Also new is a focus on literary arts, with programs featuring Jasiri X, Tameka Cage Conley, Dreams of Hope and others.And to mark its 50th anniversary, Pittsburgh Society of Artists will present Intr(au)spective, featuring 34 pieces juried by Freya Spira of the Met.

During TRAF’s closing weekend, don’t miss exciting B-boy style breakdance battles between the Hidden Characters and Get Down Gang.

Since this just a taste, be sure to check our events section for more details. View a complete TRAF schedule with maps and directions.

Full Bloom Dance Party_750

Courtesy of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

4. Full Bloom at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater: June 6, 7 p.m.

Your passport to a spring fling with global flair is the Full Bloom Dance Party. Featuring cuisine, sounds and activities paying tribute to the artists of the Kelly Strayhorn’s World Stage, the benefit bash showcases the artistic vision and international companies the theater has introduced to Pittsburgh audiences.

Full Bloom is also a party with a purpose: all proceeds support the theater’s programming for families and youth in East Liberty.

Dress up or dress down, but come ready to dance. Ramping up the seventh annual edition will be the event’s first on-stage dance party. Get a colorful henna tattoo and then jump on stage as DJ Pandemic spins world beats. More of a wallflower? Have your fortune told in the Moroccan lounge, create a keepsake in the interactive photo booth and bid on cool packages from local businesses during the auction. In between grooves, savor refreshing Rock Bottom brews in the Bavarian Beer Garden and enjoy treats from Greek Gourmet, East End Food Co-op, Everyday’s a Sundae and Livermore.

Purchase tickets.

5. PRIDE Week: June 5 -14

Pride Week festivities across the state will be celebrated fresh on the heels of the one-year anniversary of marriage equality in Pennsylvania. From large festivals to after-hours clubs, here are just a few of the many Pride Week highlights:

June 5 & 6: Cafe Con Leche presents Orgullo! Pittsburgh Latin@ LGBTQ Pride at Bricolage Production Company. Pittsburgh’s first Latin Pride celebration will feature film screenings, workshops, music, food, community resources and more. Don’t miss the Pittsburgh premiere of the storytelling project and documentary The Gran Varones and a presentation by keynote speaker Bamby Salcedo.

June 12: Pgh Bro Club presents Ready. Set. Riot! at Cruze Bar. Celebrating the riotous, punk beginnings of contemporary queer culture, Sharon Needles’ Black Rainbow bash boasts “deranged performances by a coterie of marvelous and bizarre guests,” notably the not-to-miss winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 4. Open to ages 21 & up. 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. $12 advance ($15 at the door).

DJ Minx

June 12 – 14: Honchothon’s Pittsburgh Pride Weekend. Looking for more ways to spice up your Pride with an underground vibe? Honcho’s edgy three-day fest includes a men-only party at Club Pittsburgh and Hot Mass, a headlining event featuring Detroit’s DJ Minx and Chicago’s Steve Mizek at Hot Mass, the return of the Sunday boat cruise with disco DJs, and a Sunday night movie and pizza party at Spirit.

June 13 & 14: Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh presents Pittsburgh Pride in the Street, March for Equality and PrideFest. Commemorating the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City and reflecting the theme of “All You Need is Love,” Pride in the Street features Grammy-nominated songwriter and rapper Iggy Azalea on June 13th, and the March for Equality and PrideFest on June 14th. Free and family-friendly, the daylong PrideFest features 150-plus street performers, dance companies, drag queens and kings, musicians, food purveyors, and games and attractions.

The Delta Foundation’s choice to book Iggy Azalea has sparked controversy locally, leading to the creation of a Facebook page with 850-plus supporters who are criticizing and protesting the decision. Many in the LGBTQ community believe that prior statements made by the rapper are racist and homophobic. Learn more about these protest activities here and on the Garden of Peace Project Facebook page.

Mark your calendars now for Pittsburgh Black Pride taking place July 20 – 31.

Awards by Sandy Kaminski_750

CREATE awards by Sandy Kaminski.

6. CREATE 2015: Pittsburgh’s Art + Technology Festival: June 10 – 12, Wyndham Grand Hotel

We should dub June the Cultural District month, given the array of festivals, farmers markets and concerts taking place throughout the arts hub over the next 30 days. A first-of-its-kind art and tech mashup to add to your list is the much-buzzed-about CREATE 2015: Pittsburgh’s Art + Technology Festival, which boasts more than 50 events, workshops, exhibits, talks and interactive sessions.

Miki Agrawal_750

Miki Agrawal

Teaming up with the Three Rivers Arts Festival, CREATE will showcase regional innovation and connect Pittsburgh with global creative leaders. For the first time this year, national heavy-hitters will showcase their innovative products such as AT&T’s Virtual Reality Goggles and Hewlett-Packard’s Sprout, the world’s first immersive computer.

Featured presenters from Silicon Valley and beyond include Denise Jacob of Creativity Revolution, and Miki Agrawal, author of Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After.

Representing Pittsburgh will be top creatives from local art, tech and community scenes. Festival-goers can experience a 22-foot immersive dome created by artist Ian Brill, attend Heather Knight’s robot comedy, take a maker workshop led by TechShop, watch game jams and much more.

View a full CREATE Festival schedule.

Courtesy of the Mattress Factory.

7. Mattress Factory Urban Garden Party, June 19, 7 p.m.

One year they built a half-pipe in the middle of the dance floor. Another year it was models who performed in a tub of milk. What’s in store for this year’s Urban Garden Party?

On one of the longest nights of the year, the anything-goes benefit bash salutes the 13th letter of the alphabet. Read: calling all magicians, mermaids and martians to the MF for music and mayhem. Dubbed M is for Mattress Factory, the shindig boasts a Michael Jackson tribute, magic shows by Baffling Bob, a Selfie Studios photo booth and performances by Meeting of Important People, Machete Kisumontao, DJs Orquidea and Mad Maxx and Tierra Darshell’s Divas of Drag.

Walking into the room-sized art installations at the Mattress Factory is akin to stepping into other realms, and the same can be said for its signature fundraiser—a place for where you and 1,400 other art lovers will commune for a night of stimulating arts entertainment and fare from a staggering lineup of 40-plus food vendors.

If you’re still standing on Sunday, June 21st, head back to the MF for the Community Garden Party, a free family-friendly celebration featuring hands-on activities and performances.

Purchase tickets.

Somi

Somi

8. Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival: June 19 – 21, Cultural District

Aaron-Abernathy_750x375-750x375

Aaron Abernathy & Nat Turner Band.

Come late June, jazz sounds from around world will be heard throughout the streets, clubs and cafes of the Cultural District. From Afro-Caribbean rhythms and soaring vocals, to soul, funk and symphonic sounds—the 5th annual JazzLive Festival will showcase the breadth, depth and diversity of the genre.

While JazzLive is a major festival—some 15,000 fans attended last year—it still manages to retain a laid-back, intimate vibe. Presenting established and emerging acts in a variety of settings, this year’s festival focuses on artists with both international reputations and musical origins.

Ginger-Baker_750x375-750x375

Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion.

Featured performers include Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion, Average White Band, Christian McBride Trio, Bebel Gilberto, Somi, Etienne Charles Calypso Review, Camila Meza, Sammy Figueroa’s Latin Jazz Explosion, Joey DeFrancesco, Aaron Abernathy & the Nat Turner Band, Craig Handy & Second Line Smith and more. Also not to miss is Song for My Father Reimagined featuring acclaimed drummer Roger Humphries and trumpeter Sean Jones interpreting the music of legendary jazz pianist and composer Horace Silver.

The free Jazz Crawl boasts 150 musicians, late-night club performances and spontaneous jam sessions. Festival-goers can also shop at the Showcase Noir African American Designer Market, pop-up Trust Vinyl record store and outdoor Night Market.

View a complete JazzLive schedule.

Make Music Pittsburgh_750

Courtesy of Make Music Pittsburgh.

9. Make Music Pittsburgh: June 21, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

In 1971 Cat Stevens sang jubilantly, “if you want to sing out, sing out,” which became the beloved theme song for Hal Ashby’s cult film Harold and Maude. The catchy tune could serve as the perfect call to action for a new initiative debuting in Pittsburgh on June 21st. Launching its first annual event throughout the city, Make Music Pittsburgh will showcase homegrown musical talents while inspiring one and all to play, sing and create together.

From hip hop in Lawrenceville and gospel in Highland Park, to bluegrass in Squirrel Hill and jazz in the Hill District—or kids playing the harmonica in Bloomfield—Make Music will create a live soundtracks for the Burgh’s sidewalks, parks and alleys. Organizer Jasmine Kurjakovic says that the day will also include performances by The Steel City Ukuleles, a mass harmonica ensemble, a documentary film project, collaborations with local music and neighborhood groups and more.

How does it work? Anyone can participate by either playing music outside, providing an outdoor space, volunteering or simply walking around and listening to concerts. Performers of all ages, levels and styles of music are welcome. Musicians can sign up to play and businesses and homes can sign up to host musicians outside of their locations. All the festival organizers ask is that the music is kept outdoors so everyone can enjoy it for free.

First held in France in 1982, Make Music will occur in some 750 cities around the globe on June 21, 2015. Ready to pick up a guitar or clarinet or host musicians? Sign up today and learn more here.

the lone bellow

The Lone Bellow

10. WYEP Summer Music Festival: June 27, 3 – 11 p.m.

Just 28 more days. Can we agree that summer is all about music under the stars? Good, then grab a blanket and your entire crew and head to Schenley Plaza for WYEP’s 18th annual Summer Music Festival.

MartinSexton

Martin Sexton

Headlining this year’s free festival is American singer-songwriter and producer Martin Sexton. Winner of the 1994 National Academy of Songwriters’ Artist of the Year Award, Sexton has toured with Art Garfunkel, Jackson Browne and John Hiatt. His latest album, Mixtape of the Open Road, was released in 2015. Acclaimed for his wide vocal range and improvisational techniques, Sexton’s expressive music blends elements of soul, gospel, country, rock, blues and R&B.

Schenley Plaza

Courtesy of WYEP.

Also featured will be The Lone Bellow, an Americana trio featuring guitars, mandolin and vocals, and Nashville indie-rock band Kopecky. Underscoring WYEP’s commitment to pairing local and emerging talent with internationally known artists, the festival will also feature a set by Pittsburgh-based pop band Brightside.

Kicking off the festival at 3 p.m. will be local teen bands from WYEP’s Reimagination CD project. Families can also pop into the plaza tent to participate in hands-on children’s activities. Music starts at 6 p.m.

Because all good lists must come to an end, we give you our 6 very honorable mentions for June:

RAW Pittsburgh presents Splendor at Mr. Smalls: June 4
City Theatre Company’s Momentum 15 Festival: June 5 & 6
Open House events at The Clemente Museum: June 12 & 13
Vincent, A Special CMOA Theatrical Presentation at Carnegie Lecture Hall: June 13 & 14
Awesome Pittsburgh Foundation‘s “Awesome in Braddock” event at The Brew Gentlemen: June 15
London/Pittsburgh: Mark Neville at Silver Eye Center for Photography: June 26

Looking for music?

Check out our Sound Picks: 10 can’t-miss Pittsburgh concerts in June feature.

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Written by  Lauri Grotstein

At last year’s OpenStreetsPGH, Mike Carroll started his day with a Tai chi class, a different way of moving for him. Carroll, one of the event co-chairs, was one of 4,000 people downtown on bikes, roller blades, boards and on foot for the free event where a half-mile of Sixth Street was closed to cars.

“It was a snapshot to introduce the concept of OpenStreets to Pittsburgh,” he says. “This year, it’s really about connecting neighborhoods.”

When OpenStreetsPGH returns on May 31, for the first of three events, it will stretch a total of 3.5 miles, from Market Square up Penn Avenue through the Strip District and ending at Allegheny Cemetery in Lawrenceville.

“We want to create a safe atmosphere for people to explore from neighborhood to neighborhood,” says Carroll, the event manager at BikePGH, the nonprofit that is spearheading the OpenStreets effort. “Families can bike the seven-mile round trip in about an hour. We are bringing the scale of the city down to people size.”

Three program hubs at Market Square, Bar Marco and Leslie Park in Lawrenceville will feature Tai chi, yoga, martial arts lion dancing and Zumba. Kids can play with giant Jenga sets, hula hoops, or do art projects. And there will be a rock climbing wall and juggling lessons.

Part of the big picture is to reimagine city spaces and how we use them.

“We tend to think of roads as a place to move our car from point A to Point B—or from parking lot to parking lot,” says Carroll, “but they can be used as a space for people to be active and healthy and check things out.”

“Our streets are public spaces and one of the most valuable assets in our communities,” says Scott Bricker, executive director of BikePGH. “OpenStreetsPGH is an opportunity for people to experience their streets in a new way.”

Like live music and dance lessons. Last year, Open Streeters could catch a swing or salsa class. One of Carroll’s highlights was dancing with his wife.

“The dancing brings that energy and community element we want at OpenStreets,” says Carroll. “We want people to come down—and when they leave, have a big smile on their faces.”

OpenStreets, which is now in more than 100 cities, is part of the global Ciclovia movement. Ciclovia—which means cycleway in Spanish—has its roots in Bogota, Colombia where they close the streets every Sunday for seven hours.

In Pittsburgh, plans are to close the streets the last Sunday of May, June and July from 8 a.m. until noon. There will be 12 intersections where traffic can cross.

Bonnie Pfister

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Watch videos, explore the history, and learn more at Athena-Pittsburgh.com

It’s that time again — time to recognize the extraordinary women in the Pittsburgh region who go above and beyond in their work and mentorship of other women. Nominations are accepted through June 30 for the 2015 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards.

ATHENA Young Professional Recipients Christy Uffelman and Amelia Papapetropoulos -- and newborn Penelope -- at the April 7 launch panel.
ATHENA Young Professional Recipients Christy Uffelman and Amelia Papapetropoulos — and newborn Penelope — at the May 7 launch panel.

Taking its name from the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom, the traditional ATHENA Award recognizes a woman who demonstrates excellence in her profession, contributes to her community and helps other women to succeed. Last year’s recipient was UPMC Health Plan President and CEO Diane Holder. Amelia Papapetropoulos, founder of Young Women in Energy and a catering business that serves workers at remote shale rig locations, received the ATHENA Young Professional Award, geared toward emerging leaders age 35 or younger.

Wondering how to craft a nomination? Check out this tip sheet put together by Pittsburgh Magazine Publisher Betsy Benson.

There are hundreds of ATHENA International-affiliated events presented around the world each year, but Pittsburgh’s gathering is one of the largest. More than 900 women and men are expected to attend this year’s luncheon on Friday, Oct. 9 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. Tickets go fast: buy early here.

Go to Athena-Pittsburgh.com learn more about the ATHENA Awards program, watch the speeches of past winners and submit nominations by 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 30. (Nominations will only be accepted online.)

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development — of which ImaginePittsburgh.com is an initiative — organizes the annual ATHENA awards ceremony. The Conference and its affiliates – the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh – work with public and private sector partners to stimulate economic growth and enhance the quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Conference is a private sector leadership organization with more than 300 Regional Investors, employers who provide the time, talent and resources to advance this agenda.

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Find a job, advance your career in the Pittsburgh region at ImaginePittsburgh.com.