Garden to Garden Artway

City of Asylum Pittsburgh

Funding Received: 2013
Pittsburgh, PA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 6, 2013


THE Artway is about creating spaces and opportunities for diverse neighbors to gather and where literature and art challenge and inspire us all to re-imagine and make a better home together. We are up and running with programming, even as we forge new creative partnerships and launch new ways for community to engage and re-engage on the Artway.

Our most recent Artway event, on June 20 brought together an audience of 350 with four great poets from Cave Canem Poets, an organization that supports the growth and development of African-American poets. Our audience was comprised substantially of people from the heterogeneous community in which we are situated, but still drew new and first-timers from further afield. The final event in a week of workshops, the Cave Canem Poets Reading gave questions of place and race both texture and depth through the perspectives of the four notable and accomplished readers – Chris Abani, Toi Derricotte, Cornelius Eady, and Harryette Mullen.

We are hard at work with the Greater Pittsburgh Art Council’s Office of Public Art to shape and define the calls for new works that will commence the next phases of our Artway activity. We expect to create two distinct pathways to participation that will allow us to maximize the involvement of local community organizations, writers, and artists in the installations and events that happen along the Artway. Look for an announcement next month.

Recent Wins

The Allegheny County Economic Development, Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund recently granted $250,000 to City of Asylum/Pittsburgh. The grant, which is the maximum awarded by CITF, was made for machinery and equipment for Alphabet City, City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s new literary center, which is the southern anchor of the Artway. It is our first grant of funds from the CITF, and can be used both for major mechanical systems such as HVAC, as well as for IT and broadcast systems. This is an exciting prospect for us: It creates jobs and allows our programs to be made available to a wide audience, and that puts our neighborhood on the map in a special way. This was reported both in the Northside Chronicle and in the Pittsburgh Business Times


Over time, we have created a rhythm of activity for our neighborhood through events large and small that have set the stage for increased investment in place. The Artway will allow us to increase both the numbers and the pace of events, adding to the lively energy as well as the levels of investment from within and without.