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Pittsburgh to Celebrate Sustainability with Re:NEW Festival

This fall, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership will join forces with local organizations for the first Re:NEW Festival, celebrating the city’s ability to reclaim, redefine and reinvent.

As a city once known for its steel business and the associated damage to the environment, Pittsburgh now is committed to sustainability, urbanism, and green building techniques — such as those used in the Alcoa Corporate Center (above). This commitment has inspired the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and other local organizations to collaborate on the city’s first Re:NEW Festival.

From Sept. 9 to Oct. 9, PDP will hold its first Re:NEW Festival Downtown, celebrating creative reuse, transformation and sustainability in the city.

Along with local organizations that include the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, Sustainable Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Resources Council, the PDP will feature a variety of programs throughout the month. These programs include art, music, performances, workshops, films, expos, talks, tours and markets.

In the PPG Wintergarden, the festival also will include the North American premiere of Drap-Art, the international festival of recycled art held annually in Barcelona.

There are opportunities for local organizations and artists to participate in the festival for juried exhibitions, artist project proposals and organization or artist program proposals. Go here for more information. 


#BetaBurgh: Grant Recipients Announced

Also from the PDP, four inaugural recipients of BetaBurgh grants have been announced. BetaBurgh invests in innovative ideas from local startup, entrepreneur, nonprofit and small businesses. The program is designed to create opportunities to test and launch products and services within the Downtown marketplace. 

Applicants for the BetaBurgh grants were asked to activate a Downtown space or implement a new physical infrastructure. After considering more than 35 proposals, four projects were chosen:

Project 1: The Aquaponics Project
This project will install a 20-foot shipping container that will house a sustainable aquaponics ecosystem. Produce and fish produced through this system will be available for purchase. 

Project 2: Digital Dream Labs
This project will create a life-size replica of their original hand-held children’s game, Puzzlets, which will help them test new market data. The project will also allow children and adults to play in Downtown during their lunch hour or at major city events.

Project 3: Fine Art Miracles
This project, partnered with the Collaborative Experiential Electronic Musical Instruments (CEEMI), will use a hardware device that converts any Wi-Fi-compatible device into a musical instrument. The project will include “CEEMI for Lunch: A Musical Luncheon,” creating a symphony of strangers Downtown.

Project 4: LA Kids
This project aims to provide experiential education in renewable energy, sustainability, and art. A solar-powered art installation will be built from reusable materials that provides the public with free charging for mobile devices.

BetaBurgh receives financial support from the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Technical assistance is provided by Innovation Works, AlphaLab and AlphaLab Gear, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Thrill Mill.


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