The Pittsburgh Creative Corps (Corps) is an initiative established by the Office for Public Art and Riverlife. Originally created in response to the city’s inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Corps was designed to respond to urgent and timely needs, and to rapidly commission artists and creative workers to develop projects to address those needs.
Pittsburgh Creative Corps
The Pittsburgh Creative Corps is a partnership program between the Office for Public Art and Riverlife, in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.
Impact of the Corps
Since its launch in 2020, the Corps has hired artists and creative workers to fabricate and install public art, as well as create civic engagement programs throughout Downtown and other river-adjacent spaces. The initiative was designed to addresses public health and community development, and engage the creative practices of artists. Its goals are to bolster economic recovery, strengthen our communities’ resilience, and rebuild the city’s relationship to its public and civic spaces.
In the past year the area that the Corps serves has expanded significantly, touching neighborhoods of Pittsburgh beyond the original riverfront footprint. Growing regional awareness of the program and the launch of the Pittsburgh Creative Corps Artist Directory have increased interest from other entities seeking to hire artists for public realm projects. In addition to projects directly funded by the program, Corps artists have recently been engaged for further commissions in and around Pittsburgh, including:
- Strawberry Way Street Mural (2 artists commissioned to work with students from the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School)
- Market Square Banners (1 artist commissioned)
- Fern Hollow Bridge Artist Workshop (9 artists hired to participate in the workshop)
- Fern Hollow Bridge Artist Opportunities (2 artists commissioned)
- Pittsburgh CLO Academy (4 artists were paid for proposals; 1 artist commissioned)
- Lawrenceville United/AARP public art project (1 artist commissioned)
- Mellon Park Master Plan (4 artists hired to participate in a workshop)
More projects with members of the Creative Corps are in development, and we look forward to making the Creative Corps part of the ongoing infrastructure that supports artists to work in the public realm.
Join the Corps
The Pittsburgh Creative Corps welcomes applications from artists of all disciplines throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania to join the pre-qualified roster of artists to work in the public realm. Applications and nominations to the Corps are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed twice per year.
For questions and inquiries about the Pittsburgh Creative Corps, please contact Derek Reese, Program Manager of Artist Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for the Corps
Funding for the Pittsburgh Creative Corps is provided by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, Riverlife, Office for Public Art, and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.
Projects and Activities
Top to bottom, left to right:
(1) Writer Sherrie Flick leads a Walk and Write tour in Hazelwood, photo by Heather Mull; (2) Together Again, Matthew Carroll, photographed with Max Gonzales and Fran Ledonio Flaherty, photo by OPA; (3) Alecia Dawn of YOGAMOTIF leads a yoga class at the Allegheny Overlook Pop-up Park, photo by Heather Mull; (4) collage of various Pittsburgh Creative Corps artists, photo by OPA; (5) Literally So Hot, Rosabel Rosalind, photo by Heather Mull; (6) Pathway to Joy, Janel Young, photo by Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; (7) Rumbón de la Calle, Madame Dolores, photo by Heather Mull.