Essential Pittsburgh
2:19 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Breaking Down Global and Local Barriers Through City of Asylum

The colorful buildings of the City of Asylum on the North Side, a sanctuary for writers in exile.
Credit Joseph A / Flickr

City of Asylum Pittsburgh was launched in 2004 and has since been a hub of activity on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

Created as a sanctuary for writers in exile, City of Asylum is expanding into a vehicle for community development on the city’s North Side.

Henry Reese, founder of City of Asylum, says the organization's role in the community is constantly evolving.

“City of Asylum began with a really simple mission, we were going to provide sanctuary to writers in exile under threat of persecution…and as the writer settled into our community and began to become involved in the community, and engage and visa versa, the community began to know the writer. The mission evolved somewhat organically over a period of years into a wide variety of activities. And now we are very deeply committed to the idea of bridging people in the community to one another and transforming the community through the arts.”