Name: Alyssa Cypher
Area: 6th Ward
How long have you lived in Lawrenceville? Since May 2012 (7 years)
Why did you move to/ stay in Lawrenceville? Art All Night 2010 introduced me to Lawrenceville, then I moved here for the wide variety of walkable green spaces, restaurants, community events, and art.
Current Employer/ Job Title: Executive Director of Inside Our Minds
Please list Community Service, Non-Profit, or Board Experience: I founded Inside Our Minds in 2016 and currently serve as Executive Director, managing all day-to-day business operations, community organizing, programming, and fundraising. Before this position, I have worked at a variety of mental health and globally-minded nonprofits over the past seven years, including interning at the Global Switchboard in Lower Lawrenceville. I serve on the board for the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery and the Steering Committee for the Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium.
What makes Lawrenceville unique? Why? I have always been drawn to the eclectic nature of Lawrenceville – the variety of restaurants, bars, and community events I can enjoy, all within walking distance of my house. I love supporting local business owners in the community (constant visits to Arsenal Cider and Tram’s Kitchen brought me to Lower Lawrenceville before I bought my house).
What is was one thing you would like to work on within the neighborhood? Why? I would like to explore more ways to engage with the community in Lawrenceville, especially individuals and families from marginalized communities. As a multiply neurodivergent, disabled, Queer person, I see so many opportunities to educate people about my communities and foster more connections among Lawrenceville United and people from underrepresented populations.
What LU program or project most interests you? Why? I live near Arsenal Park, so I love visiting the Lawrenceville Farmers Market every summer. It’s grate to see the market coordinate with Bloomfield Market this year to bring fresh, locally-sourced food to the area on both Tuesdays and Saturdays. Arsenal Park in general is such a lovely community green space, and I would live to contribute to community programming and positive development of the area.(Also it has one of the few wheelchair accessible swings in Pittsburgh!) I’m also excited to learn more about youth programming and the PEP Rally Project since through my work, I often engage with youth around mental health, storytelling, and self-expression through the arts.
What is one fun fact that others might be surprised to know about you? I have trekked to Everest Base Camp (18,000 ft) and I drove cross-country with my dog on Route 66.