And as these folks are blackmailing* me...
PITTSBURGH, April 12, 2009 – The Sprout Fund proudly announces the release of Making the Connections, a new book documenting civic innovation across all of Southwestern Pennsylvania.We here at the Angry Drunk Bureaucrat heartily endorse this product and/or service, and I only hope that next time they'll accept my project** (George Washington Pooped Here: a multimedia, full sensory examination of Pittsburgh Regional Outhouses, Privies, and other Toilets), which has the full backing of both the Pittsburgh History Museum and ALCOSAN.
This regional anthology tells compelling stories about civic leaders and citizen volunteers who constructed public art icons, cut environmental pathways, recorded regional lore, and heightened social responsibility in 2008.
Authored by Pittsburgh writer Justin Hopper and featuring vivid imagery from several local photographers, Making the Connections narrates the people, projects, and process of Community Connections over 10 chapters and 177 pages. The book was designed by the award-winning Pittsburgh-based firm Landesberg Design.
≡ At the special introductory price of $20.00, The Sprout Fund is now accepting orders for the book online at www.sproutfund.org and via telephone 412.325.0646
≡ A five-minute video trailer featuring photos and brief stories from the book has been published online at this site
≡ Beginning Monday, April 13, 2009, Sprout will podcast interviews with project managers and release text and audio excerpts from the book each day on www.sproutfund.org, concluding with a conversation with the author, Justin Hopper, on Thursday, April 16, 2009
≡ A book release party for participants and supporters will be held on Friday, April 17, 2009 from 4:00-7:00pm at the Shadow Lounge, 5972 Baum Boulevard, in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh
Making the Connections captures the stories behind the creative and diverse projects Community Connections catalyzed. Through Community Connections, an initiative led by The Sprout Fund over the last 30 months, 275 citizens from across the region participated in a decision making process that vetted more than 500 proposals to determine which best fit their community’s goals in celebrating Pittsburgh’s 250th anniversary. $1 million was distributed to 100 projects in all 14 counties of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Throughout 2008, hundreds of local leaders helped launch new initiatives that reached thousands of participants.
This diverse array of efforts ranged from lasting successes such as the Trail Town Public Art Project—which established a series of new iconic public artworks along the Great Allegheny Passage biking trail—to creative community projects such as Fisherman’s Tale, an effort to reconnect homebound African-American senior men with the abundant outdoors amenities surrounding Pittsburgh.
“Community Connections took a new approach to seeding regional change. We placed the decision making power in the hands of the communities being served and, by providing resources and assistance, enabled project managers to realize their aspirations,” says The Sprout Fund’s Executive Director Cathy Lewis Long. “Beyond the successes each project achieved, their captivating tales and vibrant portraits will be a lasting testament to the ingenuity and determination of this region’s people at this important moment in our history.”
*"Blackmail" is such a strong word, though... threatening to steal my 5 cats and convert them into public art is much more accurate.
** Not to be confused with another project I'm secretly working on which involves floating magnetic support structures -- it'll be the future of art, people!