Collaborating Partners

Some of the city’s most talented teaching artists and ecologists provide unique experiences for youth and families at Art in the Garden. We are a community that embraces our intersectionality, welcomes the whole of each person, and values our interconnection. Teaching artists and ecologists empower youth and build confidence, giving youth opportunities to experience themselves as agents of positive change. Art in the Garden supports each youth’s ability to thrive and live their fullest expressions of themselves. 

Lost Culture is a Pittsburgh-based all styles dance crew. Lost Culture’s wish is to bring back not only the Lost Culture of dance but also the lost culture in the community.

Sankofa Village for the Arts led Shabaka Perkins and Toddja Thornhill, teaches youth West African drumming and dance using sound and movement as tools for building self-esteem, self-discipline, self-determination, and self-sufficiency.teaches youth West African drumming and dance using sound and movement as tools for building self-esteem, self-discipline, self-determination, and self-sufficiency. Sankofa is a non-profit organization founded in 2011. Founder Shabaka Perkins and artistic director Toddja Thornhill teach youth West African drumming and dancing for exposure to Africa. Sankofa is located at 201 North Braddock Avenue and always has open doors!

The Mural Art Project, led by Max “Gems” Gonzalez and Shane Pilster, teaches graffiti and mural arts skills while building community and empowering youth to challenge barriers and give voice to their dreams. Youth have opportunities to create lasting murals that foster love and solidarity and justice.

The Clay Project led by Sandra Moore and Shawn Terrell, provides the tools and materials for youth to make a series of clay artifacts. Youth learn about a variety of surface treatments such as burnishing, stamps, texture and glaze and the low fire technique, Horsehair Raku. As youth discuss what their clay piece needs to survive the firing, which they do in a kiln built on site, they also have the opportunity to discuss resilience and what they each need in order to thrive in the face of challenges. Building on sequential firings, youth learn to create more durable and better-constructed pieces.  

Echoes of the Four Directions are Earl Dingus, Aniyunwiyatsalagi (Cherokee) a traditional and contemporary silversmith and flutist; and Lenora “Lee” Dingus Haudenosaunee (Seneca), a traditional and contemporary bead and quill artist. Programs feature survival skills and knowledge and Haudenosaunee (Seneca) storytelling and dancin  

The Storymobile from Reading is FUNdamental Pittsburgh brings stories, activities, books, and literary resources to Art in the Garden. Each time The Storymobile visits, youth are given a book to expand their home libraries.

SOAR Coaching Academy, led by Anita Russell, gives youth opportunities to explore their true strength and to dream big.

TOPittsburgh, led by Michelle King and Liz Foster-Shaner, provides interactive theatre and drama workshops each week using exercises and games from Theatre of the Oppressed. In Theatre of the Oppressed, developed in the 1970’s by Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal, participants analyze systems of oppression, share stories of oppression from their own lives, and rehearse strategies to overcome these systems and make positive change in the world. Boal’s approach is across the globe in a variety of fields and contexts, including: politics, therapy, conflict resolution, and education.

Pittsburgh Forest Garden, led by Sten Carlson, is a response to the rapid pace of global climate change and growing anxiety among youth about its effects on their future. Its purpose is to create a network of food forest school gardens to serve as outdoor classrooms where youth engage in the regenerative practices needed to help mitigate, adapt to, and, ultimately, reverse climate change. Youth learn about and contribute to the emerging field of carbon farming, improve ecosystem health, increase food security, beautify their community, and produce high yields from edible and medicinal plants.

Earthen Vessels provides free breakfast and lunch.