Meetings Notes from 10th Ward Block Watch: Society for Contemporary Craft 12.11.18

Conversation with Society for Contemporary Craft


  • 2021 is the 50th Was started in Verona. Contemporary Craft has been the Strip District Produce Terminal for 32 years. Is free of charge. Art is central in people’s lives. Accessibility is important.Strong educational programs.
  • Core values: art to build community, critical support for Artists providing opportunities, filling gaps in public education, sharing cross cultural perspectives , social Justice (e.g. displacement, food justice)
  • Facilities: With redevelopment of produce terminal, future is uncertain. Looking at spaces in Upper Lawrenceville.
  • Exhibition: Craft Media: clay, glass, metal, wood, found materials. Museum-school partnership with 6-8th graders alongside curriculum. Have done projects like stitching pillows with Women’s Shelter to address feelings about displacement.
  • Studio program: 3 major studios: wood and ceramic, fiber-mixed media, and metals. 100 programs a year, scholarships are available, offer a broad price range to be accessible. $35 is the lowest for entry level classes. Invite school groups to tour exhibition and do a hands on activity. Drop in station: open and free, family oriented, accessible and high quality.
  • 8 visiting artists through airBnb, sometimes have done summer artist residency. Traveling shows, e.g. around social justice. Received Award of Distinction from American Craft Council, a national organization that gives award every 2 years. We are first org. to receive it in Pittsburgh, so it’s a big deal.
  • Events are generally at night. Workshops on weekends get around 20-30 people, events like artist talks, fundraisers. Saturdays we get about 200-400 people visiting our Strip District location over the course of a day.
  • Potential interest in pop-up locations for the end of 2019. Would need 3,500 SF for exhibition space in late April-August, 1-2,000 SF studio space, 1,500 SF of retail store.
  • 12 current full-time employees.
  • Drawn to Lawrenceville because of stronger residential presence, schools, afterschool programs, etc.






Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meeting


Beginning in 2019, in lieu of the monthly “block watch” meetings in each section of Lawrenceville, LU and Pittsburgh Police Zone 2 are teaming up to offer quarterly public safety meetings for all of Lawrenceville to cover larger issues affecting the entire community.

Agenda will include:

*A review of crime trends in Lawrenceville for 2018 with Commander Zett of Zone 2 Police

*Update on public safety cameras from City of Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Hissrich.

*Meet with residential and commercial security companies to get more information on security systems and private cameras for your home/business.

Light refreshments provided.

Free childcare available with RSVP. Questions/RSVP to LU: 412-802-7220 or

Recap from Housing For All: Inclusionary Zoning as a Tool to Preserve Affordability

The second of three “Housing For All” community meetings was held on Wednesday, October 17th at 6 p.m. at Goodwill of Southwestern PA’s Workforce Development Center. The meeting focused on Inclusionary Zoning as a tool to preserve affordability. Please see below for materials and notes from the meeting:

  • Presentation from Lawrenceville United & Lawrenceville Corporation
  • Video introducing Inclusionary Housing
  • Presentation from Department of City Planning
  • Meeting notes from Q&A + break-out groups
  • Follow up questions that were submitted are currently being answered and will be posted here when complete.

The third community meeting, Housing For All: Community Feedback and Call to Action, will take place on Monday, November 5th from 6-8 p.m. at Goodwill’s Workforce Development Center (118 52nd Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201). The building is fully accessible. Dinner provided. Childcare available by advance request to LU at 412-802-7220.

For a recap of the first meeting held on 9/28/2018, Housing For All: The State of Housing & Displacement in Lawrenceville, please click here.

Recap from Housing for All: The State of Housing in Lawrenceville

Many thanks to the Office of Councilwoman Deb Gross, Lawrenceville Corporation and the Department of City Planning for partnering on this effort.  The hosting partners provided updates on the state of housing in Lawrenceville, displacement, and what’s being done about it. Thank you to all of the attendees who shared their stories and experiences.

Be sure to check out Lawrenceville United’s Presentation here: The State of Housing in Lawrenceville

We also have the notes that reflect the stories and experiences shared by the session attendees: Housing for All Group Notes

The next event in the Housing for All series happens on October 17, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at Goodwill’s Workforce Development Center at 118 52nd Street – Inclusionary Zoning: a tool to preserve affordability  

Materials from 9th Ward Block Watch on 8/21/2018

In case you missed the 9th Ward Block Watch on 8/21/2018, here are the materials that were shared:

Join us on 9/18/2018 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Lyceum for the next 9th Ward Block Watch.

Final Report from Just Collaboration on Diversity & Inclusion Work

In the first half of 2018, Lawrenceville United contracted with Just Collaboration to work with our organization on goals related to our Diversity & Inclusion and Equity organizational values. As part of this process, Just Collaboration offered multiple trainings to the staff and Board of Lawrenceville United, and also did an external survey of Lawrenceville residents to understand how welcoming and inclusive the neighborhood is. Thank you to all who participated in this survey.

As the last part of her work with Lawrenceville United, Mary C. Parker of Just Collaboration presented a final report on the results of the contract and the survey to Lawrenceville United members at the Spring 2018 membership meeting. To view this report, please click HERE.

Interested in being part of LU’s ongoing efforts around diversity, inclusion, and equity? Join our Committee or give us feedback by emailing or calling us at 412-802-7220.

LU Spring Membership Meeting with Mayor William Peduto

Join Lawrenceville United for our Spring Membership Meeting on Tuesday, June 5th at the Goodwill Workforce Development Center, 6:00 p.m. Program includes a presentation and Q&A with special guest Mayor William Peduto, a report on LU’s diversity and inclusion survey, and presentations by candidates for the LU Board of Directors. Ballots may be cast at the meeting.

Please RSVP to or 412-802-7220 if you plan on attending. You can submit your questions for Mayor Peduto to

This event is open to all Lawrenceville United members. If you’re not already a member, you can sign up or renew your membership at the meeting – it’s just $5 for a year and $35 for a lifetime. You can also become a member online or contact 412-802-7220.

Ballots are released for our 2018 Board Election

Ballots for the election of members to the Lawrenceville United Board of Directors are now live. You may submit your ballot electronically at the link below, print out the ballot and mail it to us, or pick up a paper ballot at our office at 118 52nd Street, Suite 2026. You can read bios for our Board candidates below.

□    Kathryn Arbogast □    Anthony Cosnotti □    Nathaniel Ferrer*
□    Nancy Gippert* □    Rebecca Himberger □    Nancy Leff
□    Loretta Millender* □    Gary Philip Nelson □    Jesse Perkins*
□    Cory Ricci* □    Jeanne Scardamalia □    Emily Schmidlapp

Current Board members up for re-election appear in bold with an asterisk.

Please contact with any questions.

Electronic Ballot Form

Print Ballot Below


I, _________________________________, being a member in good standing of Lawrenceville United, hereby vote for the following named persons to serve as Directors for a two year period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019.  I am signaling my election by checking up to 9 of the following candidates in each Ward.


□    Kathryn Arbogast □    Anthony Cosnotti □    Nathaniel Ferrer*
□    Nancy Gippert* □    Rebecca Himberger □    Nancy Leff
□    Loretta Millender* □    Gary Philip Nelson □    Jesse Perkins*
□    Cory Ricci* □    Jeanne Scardamalia □    Emily Schmidlapp

Signature: ____________________________________                    Date: ______________

Current Board members up for re-election appear in bold with an asterisk.
If more than 9 candidates are checked, no votes will not be counted.