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The Sprout Fund calls on Pittsburgh to create art in support of immigrants & refugees

Press Release

The Sprout Fund seeks submissions of artwork that communicates a sense of belonging for immigrants and refugees in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County.

PITTSBURGH, PA, April 6, 2017: The Sprout Fund, in partnership with the Office of Mayor William Peduto and thirteen community partners, invites residents of all ages in Allegheny County to submit original works of art that express the concept of “belonging.” Through a public voting period and art jurying process, one winning design will be reproduced as posters and yard signs to be distributed free of charge throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The creator of the winning design will receive an honorarium of $3,000.

“Pittsburgh is a place where we all belong,” said Cathy Lewis Long, Executive Director of The Sprout Fund. “This city owes its resilient spirit and creative energy to the people and communities who have come here seeking opportunity and who call this place home. At this critical time in our nation’s history, when many immigrants and refugees don’t feel welcome in this country, this project is a collective expression that we all belong.”

Fifteen additional submitted designs will be included on a “collection of community voices” poster that will also be available for free to the public. The artists of these designs will each receive an honorarium of $100. Printed reproductions of the selected designs will be available starting June 21 at the World Refugee Day Celebration in Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh and at distribution points at locations to be announced.

The call for artists and additional information are available at belonging.art. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, May 4 at 7:00 PM. All persons living in Allegheny County are eligible to participate. While the highest artistic merit is desired—professionals, amateurs, and youth are encouraged to apply, regardless of experience.

Representatives from The Sprout Fund will introduce the project and be available to answer questions during a Muslim Ally Training event tonight from 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM at the Frick Fine Arts Building, 650 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

“Belonging” brings together several local organizations who value inclusivity and diversity, are committed to unity, and support Pittsburgh’s immigrant and refugee communities. These partner organizations will help promote the project to their constituencies and act as distribution hubs for yard signs and posters once they are printed. Additionally, some groups will host free community art and cultural events across the Pittsburgh metropolitan area in support of the project.

Community partners for this program include: 1Hood Media, AIU Latino Family Center, Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh, Casa San Jose, Change Agency, City of Asylum, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, Hello Neighbor, Northern Area Multi-Service Center Refugee Resettlement, Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, South Hills Interfaith Movement, United Somali Bantu, Welcoming Pittsburgh, and World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

Building upon the concept and successes of The Sprout Fund’s 100 Days of US initiative, this public art project will empower artists and residents to advance their vision of a community that is one of the most welcoming and culturally vibrant cities in America.

“Pittsburgh is, has been, and always will be a welcoming city and a diverse city. It’s in our nature. We are a tough city, a blue-collar city, and a city with a big heart. We will continue to show everyone the respect and compassion they deserve – regardless of who they are, where they’re from, who they love or how they found their way to our beloved city,” said City of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto in a statement in January.

Support for Belonging is provided in part by The Sprout Fund, The Heinz Endowments, Opportunity Fund, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. Individuals can also pledge support for Belonging and for local organizations working to support immigrants and refugees through a crowdfunding campaign at crowdrise.com/belonging.

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About The Sprout Fund

The Sprout Fund is Pittsburgh’s leading agency supporting innovative ideas, catalyzing community change, and making the region a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Sprout has worked with regional and national philanthropic partners to build strong networks and make hundreds of community-decided investments in early-stage projects, organizations, innovators, and activities. Learn more at sproutfund.org.

About The Heinz Endowments

The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping our region prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to the work of the Heinz Endowments is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls southwestern Pennsylvania home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive. Learn more at heinz.org.