Nina Barbuto  [28]

Assemble

Nina Barbuto [28] Assemble

Filmmaker, architect, artist, teacher — Nina Barbuto’s been called a renaissance woman, partly because of her creative solutions to tough economic times. She returned to Pittsburgh in 2010 with a master’s degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. “That was a bad time to start an architecture career,” she says. But she’s been busy ever since. Barbuto co-created I Made It, a pop-up marketplace for independent artists to sell their work directly to the community. “I Made It is different from Etsy,” she says, “because artists have the chance to present their faces and stories right to the public.” She created Assemble, a stimulating nonprofit community space in Garfield where kids learn about art and technology working together. Barbuto brings in guest artists, scientists and others, and they interact with neighborhood kids through workshops and activities. This hands-on approach fulfills her mantra: “Learning through making.” Barbuto even teaches art at the Carnegie Museum of Art and is a program manager for Carnegie Science Center’s Girls, Math & Science Partnership. The women engineers of tomorrow “need mentors and role models,” she says. In her, they’ll find an inspiring one.

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