Welcoming Pittsburgh

Office of Public Art

Four resident artists will pair with local organizations that work with immigrant populations to create public art installations. 

It’s part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” initiative, which supports programs where artists engage with the community. The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Office of Public Art received a $200,000 grant from the NEA for the resident artists program.

Welcoming Pittsburgh and the Department of City Planning will help place the artists with the host organizations.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Investing in foreign-born residents is not only good for the Pittsburgh-region's diversity, but also for its economy.

A report by the Partnership for a New American Economy found that foreign-born southwestern Pennsylvania residents contributed $217 million dollars in state and local taxes in 2014 and $6.8 billion to the county’s gross domestic product.

pittsburghpa.gov

For the next month, the city of Pittsburgh will highlight a different resident each day in an effort to show off the region’s diversity.

“We’re very much lacking in that area,” said Betty Cruz, the city's deputy chief of special initiatives. “But there are people from diverse backgrounds here and they need to be welcomed and they need to have their story told.”

The Office of Public Art

The Office of Public Art is aiming to make Pittsburgh more welcoming to newcomers in immigrant neighborhoods with public art installations. 

The Peduto Administration, OPA and the Department of Public Planning are teaming up to seek grant money from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for public art projects that will improve the quality of life in immigrant communities.

Flickr user camera_obscura [busy]

Following in the footsteps of New Haven, Conn., San Francisco, and New York City, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration is floating a proposal to issue municipal identification cards to city residents.

La Roche College

  City officials unveiled a new cultural exhibit in the main lobby of the City-County Building as part of its ongoing Welcoming Pittsburgh immigration initiative.

On display through July 24, "Shared Border, Shared Dreams" features panels with information about the history of immigration in Pittsburgh, the modern reform movement and the history of the Mexican American border.

Market Square Welcomes World Refugee Day

Jun 19, 2015

Pittsburgh marks World Refugee Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in Market Square with musical performances, food and services for local refugees.

Agencies resettle about 500 refugees every year in the Pittsburgh area, an upward trend from 10 years ago. Most hail from Bhutan, Burma, Somalia and Iraq.

The city has become a hub for secondary migration for refugees initially placed in other areas who move to the Steel City for family, vibrant ethnic communities or employment opportunities. About a thousand secondary migrants have moved here every year since 2011.

Erika Beras

Following a naturalization ceremony in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers on Monday morning, Mayor Bill Peduto and his staff introduced Welcoming Pittsburgh, an initiative to make life easier for the city’s immigrants.

“This is not only a question of doing what is right," he said. "It's also a critical part of the growth of a new Pittsburgh, the next economy and a part of seeing the full potential of every neighborhood to see revitalization.”

Jason Pratt / flickr

Despite the urban unrest that has garnered national headlines in recent weeks; many people are still choosing to live in cities as opposed to suburbs. What factors need to be in place for residents to co-exist, and even thrive, in a “happy city?” We’ll pose that question to Urban Experimentalist Charles Montgomery author of the book Happy City. Also taking part in the conversation is Pittsburgh Design Center CEO Chris Koch to fill us in on what can be done to make Pittsburgh a happier city.

Montgomery touches on the key factors in achieving a "happy city":

"The most important ingredient for human happiness is social connectedness, positive experiences with family and friends, and high levels of social trust. The happy city is most of all a social city." -Charles Montgomery

Also in the program, Pittsburgh and Citiparks present their new Spark! film series to engage Pittsburgh's cultural diversity. WESA Celebrates the history of Kennywood, and Rebecca Harris has the business of accommodations.