Pittsburgh's Creative Class Gets Kickstarted

Innovative locals have turned to Kickstarter.com for help raising funds for new ventures.

How do emerging artists and activists raise money for their dream projects without maxing out a credit card? With Kickstarter, a brilliant, new online solution for funding creative work. By visiting kickstarter.com, donors worldwide can click to contribute to the projects they select. When the target amount is raised by its deadline, Kickstarter subtracts a small fee and sends a check to the project creator. Social networking scores again.

Here are four early adopters who are Kickstarting in the ’Burgh:

Industrial Heritage from the Air

How do you photograph huge, old industrial sites at low altitude and high resolution?

Photographer Ben Peoples has repeatedly turned to Kickstarter to help create aerial images of Pittsburgh’s past. The theatrical-design consultant first tried using Kite Aerial Photography, which uses a kite to carry a camera aloft. Due to unstable wind conditions, Peoples began experimenting with small, unmanned airborne vehicles that could carry a camera. He settled on a remote-controlled aircraft—the same kind flown by hobbyists.

Peoples, a 31-year-old Carnegie Mellon University alumnus, tests the device around the Schenley Oval. But he’s particularly interested in sites like Carrie Furnace, the Schenley Distillery near Connellsville and Brunot Island.

“I’m fascinated to see if the old race track—or the other industrial developments on the property—have left any marks,” Peoples says. “You certainly can’t see any on the Google Earth views, so I’m wondering what I’ll get at a lower altitude.”

He’ll exhibit the results in local galleries and online via Creative Commons.

Joy Ike

Pittsburgh’s soulful indie songwriter-soloist turned to Kickstarter in 2010 while producing her second CD, Rumors. Favorable reviews spurred her inclusion in Lilith Fair and an EP release, Time, available online this year. She aimed to raise half of the production costs for Rumors (some $3,500) through Kickstarter; she raised $4,700 by promoting regular videos and samples of new songs.

“People trusted that I’d use the money well,” says the 27-year-old artist. “Most were followers on Facebook or [subscribed to] my e-newsletter.”

The top incentive of Ike’s campaign for pledging $500 or more: She’d write a song expressly for one generous donor. The end result was “Time,” the title track of Ike’s EP, which was played at Bob and Jackie Tordella’s wedding.

joyike.com

’Burgh Bees

“It’s the ‘biggest buzz in the ’Burgh,’ we like to say,” laughs Steve Repasky. With 22 hives located on a former abandoned lot near the East Busway, ’Burgh Bees established the nation’s first community apiary, training volunteer beekeepers to care for their colonies and harvest honey.

Repasky, the apiary’s director, says the group’s Kickstarter campaign raised more than $3,500 last year—enough for the group to install fencing, signs and hives on the lot. The group, which has a waitlist of prospective beekeepers, will open a second apiary in Brookline this summer.

burghbees.com

Pittsburgh Women Turn to SWAN

Support Women Artists Now Day, an international celebration, hit Pittsburgh in 2009 when actress Tressa Glover invited female artists to participate in the annual event. During its first two years, the event attracted dozens of artists in fields ranging from design to music. But Glover, who joined local theater company No Name Players in 2004 as managing director, knew that SWAN Day couldn’t take off without a larger stage.

“Kickstarter helped us raise $1,000 to rent the New Hazlett Theater,” she explains. Inspired by a video compilation in which local women talked about their dreams and aspirations, more than 50 artists—including a fire dancer—created works for the two-day event held this past March, and SWAN Day’s audience doubled from 2010.


Burgh Bees photo by tinepgh on Flickr. Joke Ike photo by Katelyn Petraitis.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

Love it or hate it, winter is upon us. Because some of us may think there's a lot not to like, we bring you 50+ things to eat, drink and do –– and some helpful tips –– that'll keep the blues at bay.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine presents the honorees from its inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards. Meet our judges' choices and learn what makes them remarkable in their field.
Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

A regal ruggedness characterizes the season's menswear looks.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Welcome New Year With New Things At Pittsburgh's First Night

Welcome New Year With New Things At Pittsburgh's First Night

The annual New Year’s Eve event features food, fireworks, music and more.
Antonio Brown Makes Catch on the Field but Loses the Pizza

Antonio Brown Makes Catch on the Field but Loses the Pizza

The Steelers wide receiver stars in a new commercial where he first loses out to a Patriots' cornerback, but gets his revenge when it counts the most.
Never Wait in a Long Line For a Drink in a Crowded Bar Again

Never Wait in a Long Line For a Drink in a Crowded Bar Again

A new app developed in Pittsburgh, is designed to get more customers served more quickly when the bartender is swamped.
Sweet Surprise: Kelly Frey Awarded for ‘Sharing Her Heart‘

Sweet Surprise: Kelly Frey Awarded for ‘Sharing Her Heart‘

The mother of a child with special needs, Frey tirelessly shares what she has learned with other families in similar situations.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

Love it or hate it, winter is upon us. Because some of us may think there's a lot not to like, we bring you 50+ things to eat, drink and do –– and some helpful tips –– that'll keep the blues at bay.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine presents the honorees from its inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards. Meet our judges' choices and learn what makes them remarkable in their field.
Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

A regal ruggedness characterizes the season's menswear looks.
Restaurant Review: B52 in Lawrenceville is a Levantine Lifter

Restaurant Review: B52 in Lawrenceville is a Levantine Lifter

Omar Abuhejleh taps deep into his roots at his vegan cafe that's focused on Levantine cuisine.
Why You Can't Beat The Weather in Pittsburgh in The Winter

Why You Can't Beat The Weather in Pittsburgh in The Winter

I’ve traveled a lot of miles, and I still stare in bewilderment at people who tell me they’ve moved to a place because “You can’t beat the weather.”
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Welcome New Year With New Things At Pittsburgh's First Night

Welcome New Year With New Things At Pittsburgh's First Night

The annual New Year’s Eve event features food, fireworks, music and more.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Miracle on Liberty Pops Up in Pittsburgh

Miracle on Liberty Pops Up in Pittsburgh

The holiday themed cocktail bar is one of around 20 international Miracle popups.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best of the Burgh: Pumpkin Patches in the Pittsburgh Area

Best of the Burgh: Pumpkin Patches in the Pittsburgh Area

We’ve compiled the best pumpkin patches for fall family fun.

Comments


Why Wait For Summer? Head to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

Why Wait For Summer? Head to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

The park's winter celebration is great for families and a fine choice for anyone who loves Christmas (and/or funnel cake).

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pittsburgh The Heart of the NFL? Yinz Got that Right

Pittsburgh The Heart of the NFL? Yinz Got that Right

At the NFL Scouting Combine, at the NFL Draft and wherever NFL games are played, there’s often something of a Western Pennsylvania reunion taking place.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Locket Full of Joy

Locket Full of Joy

The handcrafted piece opens to hidden treasures.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

PM film critic Sean Collier picks ten forthcoming flicks likely to rake in nominations for the 89th Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Real-Pittsburgh Weddings: It was Not Love at First Sight

Real-Pittsburgh Weddings: It was Not Love at First Sight

These romances were years in the making.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Seasonal Shopping: CMOA Store Holiday House, J.Crew Mercantile Opens Doors

Seasonal Shopping: CMOA Store Holiday House, J.Crew Mercantile Opens Doors

The Carnegie Museum of Art is full of Christmas cheer — and great deals. Plus, get the scoop on The Block Northway’s latest retail offering.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuba and Euphonium Players Invited to Join in Christmas Concert

Tuba and Euphonium Players Invited to Join in Christmas Concert

Waynesburg University will present a TUBACHRISTMAS concert on Dec. 9.

Comments