Women & Business July 2018: Leigh Solomon Pugliano

Leigh Solomon Pugliano is Director of Opportunity at New Sun Rising and Founder & Director of Barrels to Beethoven.

Leigh Solomon Pugliano 
Director of Opportunity, New Sun Rising 
Founder & Director, Barrels to Beethoven  

When Leigh Solomon Pugliano advises other women to start a business or do work that means something to them, she offers that advice from experience.

​Pugliano is the Founder and Director of Barrels to Beethoven, a business she started with her husband, David. Born in Georgetown, Guyana, Pugliano grew up in Pittsburgh and is also a musician, educator and the daughter of a steelpan maker.

A steelpan is an Afro-Caribbean musical instrument, and Barrels to Beethoven is dedicated to its preservation and innovation as well as educating others about the art form. Barrels to Beethoven has programs for students in schools, after school and during the summer, and also offers a Let’s Play Pan 21+ series for adults.

“I started Barrels to Beethoven to teach our community accurate historical context, steelpan playing technique and to pass on the building and tuning process,” she says. “Our goal is to provide a unique and interactive option for arts education, primarily for youth, while developing a new generation of steelpan players, makers, teachers and tuners.”

Pugliano describes herself as a hard worker who is dedicated to youth, community, the arts and entrepreneurship. As the Director of Opportunity at New Sun Rising, she helps to build vibrant communities through culture, sustainability and opportunity.

“All of the work I do is based around providing support and opportunities necessary for others, especially those who are underserved, to succeed,” she says.
Since joining New Sun Rising in March, Pugliano developed and launched the GROW Residency, a six-month program that provides ongoing, long-term support to growth-stage businesses, nonprofit projects and community/collaborative initiatives that are selected for the program.

“You should truly love your work and be proud of the impact that you make,” she says.

Pugliano is the mother of three daughters, Sofia, Stella and Cecelia, and was named to The New Pittsburgh Courier’s Fab 40 2016 Class and Jekko’s 18 Pittsburgh Personalities You Should Know. 

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Categories: Women & Business