Day 1: Neighborhood Block Party2018-08-21T03:59:47+00:00

Neighborhood Block party

Saturday, August 18, 2018



OASIS Creative Space

OASIS Creative Space mission is to cultivate a platform for new and up-in-coming artists to promote sales of their art in cool places, while helping people think about art in different ways (socially, politically and culturally). Recognizing that Pittsburgh holds a wealth of diversity, pride and cultural knowledge, the vision is to be a mobile gathering place for Pittsburgh art and culture locally and nationally. We work with local artists, community members and organizations to strengthen and enhance livability through community arts exhibitions and events.  Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) 2017 BETAburgh winners.

Facebook  /oasiscreativespace412
Instagram @oasiscreativespace

Hometown Hollywood Celebrity Movie Showing

Did you know that the director, Antoine Fuqua, of the movies “Training Day” and “The Equalizer” lived in Homewood on Bennett Street?   You will have the opportunity to see his work.

Past, Present & Future Homewood & Live Painting

A mobile art gallery tribute to Homewood and it’s community historian, John Brewer.   Live canvas painting will be done by Airborne Sun, DS Kinsel and Jerome Link.

Airborne Sun (Darnell Chambers)

Darnell “Dali Bugati” Chambers is a traditional artist and web designer from Akron, Ohio, whose work has been sold in a number of different cities. It wasn’t until a Media Arts & Animation course at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2009 that Darnell decided to collaborate with his partner Donald Prophete and form what is now called Don&Dali. Don&Dali is an independent art duo that exposes young aspiring professionals to the latest in contemporary and urban art. The two plan to build institutions where they can thoroughly teach the youth the skills they will need to reprocess their talents and funds back into their own community. Darnell is currently attending school at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for Web Design and Interactive Media. Darnell has a variety of talents ranging from photography, graphic and web design, to visual art. Since his high school years, Darnell have always had a strong drive to improve and positively influence the life of the urban city youth. Growing up in a lower class neighborhood, and seeing first hand, the effects of growing up in the inner city, Darnell always wanted to put more emphasis on the enrichment of young people. Being an artist, Darnell has learned to use his strong organizational skills, educational background, and team-building abilities to his advantage. Alongside his partner Donald, Darnell has found ways to artistically help the community.

DS Kinsel

Pittsburgh-based visual artist and cultural practitioner D.S. Kinsel is co-founder of BOOM Concepts, a creative hub located in the Penn Avenue Arts Corridor. Home to the collaborative practice/cultural think tank, Magic Organs Studio, which Kinsel founded with Pittsburgh artist Julie Mallis, BOOM also serves as a salon space and a creative incubator for minorities and marginalized voices.

Jerome Link

Jerome Link is an emerging visual artist a Boston, Massachusetts native. From an early childhood he would draw some of his favorite cartoon character, which heavily influence his development. During his progression he begin drawing self-portraits by the age of 13 and paintings in his later teens. In 2006, Jerome enrolled in The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he received his degree of Associates Web Interactive Media and Graphic design. After graduating in 2010, he began using his ability as a freelance graphic design artist to further his career. While undergoing many engagements he wanted to take a more desirable approach as an artist. Gradually he aspired to pursue his primary devotion producing paintings, mixed media & drawings. Jerome’s work uses art as a platform to encourage communities of the African Diaspora to examine the significance of culture, history, self-identity and its relevance to present day/time.

Draw GiGi

The Artist G (GiGi).  Creating images of life in space, I have been a drafter and designer some 35 years, working within the graphic arts, packaging and advertising workforce categories. Believing that development in art requires destruction of boundaries and standards, as we go into the future, I am dedicated to protect and preserve the core knowledge and understanding of art itself. To build not only on the accomplishments, but also against all odds, in the 21st century I build on the future of art to develop its true temperament within the electronic medium; inspired by technology itself and the use of electronics from which my imagination can become a concrete form.   Chair of Harambee Ujima Black Arts & Cultural Association.   

Facebook  /draw.gigi

Music + Performances

Homewood community and culture are brought together with family, music, dance, storytelling and fun, centered around a DJ battle between two women, DJ Gissy and DJ Ladi Bugg.  Performances by Jacque Mae, LoRen, and others.

Balafon West African Dance Ensemble

Balafon West African Dance Ensemble is proud to call Pittsburgh home. Artistic Director, Kadiatou Conte-Forte, of Guinea, West Africa has shared her culture through the music and dances of her homeland. It is our hope to continue to inspire children and their families to explore culture as a way to connect to those around us. Balafon offers classes for children and adults, a junior performing company, Balafon Youth Ensemble and a professional performing company available for lectures, workshops and performances. The mission of Balafon West African Dance Ensemble, Inc. is to provide an insightful, woman-centered perspective on West African tradition and culture as a source of healing and balance by providing quality education and entertainment to audiences of all nationalities and walks of life.

Twitter @balafon_dance
Facebook /balafondance

LoRen (Loren Briggs)

Influenced by a wide range of vocalists from soul artists including Lauryn Hill and Sam Cooke, and compared to the sweet country singing of Taylor Swift, LoRen has a sound that is unlike any other. LoRen has been writing her own music since the age of 8 and has become one of the most highly sought after artists across the northeast for her raspy European vocals and Urban country style. She can play the Guitar and is trained in both classical Italian and Broadway music. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, LoRen has participated and won numerous talent shows, and has performed in front of thousands.

Instagram @love_loren

Tambou Cimarron (Anthony Mitchell) Drums of Freedom

PROJECT: Tambou Cimarron is an experimental arts collective hosted by Master Artist and Musician Anthony B Mitchell Jr. He will share his work and research with the community of Pittsburgh in a variety of ways, from interactive presentations and master workshops to theatrical performances showcasing Afro – Latin folkloric music and dance.

Anthony Jr has been performing West African and Afro-Latin music since the age of five. He has formally studied conga , shekee and other African and Afro Latin percussive ensemble instruments. This project is supported by the Pittsburgh Foundation and Heinz Endowments Advancing Black Arts Grant.

Facebook /drumsoffreedom

Dance Africa Pittsburgh

Dance Africa: Pittsburgh, Connecting the World Through Dance is a weekend of festivities arranged with community greetings and conversations, film screenings, and performances. Featuring both youth and adult performances, the LAP wishes to reflect the beauty of community art through song, dance, drumming, visual art, and spoken word, all with the intention of sharing gifts with the world.

Facebook /DanceAfrica-Pittsburgh

Royce Band

Royce is a local Pittsburgh band known for their eclectic sound high energy performance. Band Members: James Royce: Lead Vocal and Guitar, Lady J: Vocal, Kat: Guitar, Dan “Diesel”: Bass, Terry Levels: Drums

Facebook /RoyceBandpgh
Instagram @royceband

Rae Taylor

Rae Taylor is an author, storyteller, poet, and much more. She considers herself to be an observant reader and a forever student, especially when it comes to literary arts. Rae has been presenting poetry sporadically throughout the years at various poetry shows, which brought the courage to begin sharing more of her work. In May 2018 Rae Taylor was a storyteller in the 1st annual production of “Brown Mama Monologues”. She has published her first book “My Poetry is Private” which is a poetry book with a twist.  Also, “My 21-page elevator pitch” coming September 1, 2018. Rae enjoys the opportunity to reflect on experiences good or bad, by formulating stories that she and others can interpret into aha moments, or relatable stories that provide a journey of peace.

Facebook /PSLoveRae, /RaeTaylorMythoughts
Instagram @mypoetryisprivate

DJ Gissy

Instagram @DJGissy39

DJ Ladi Bugg

Nasir Butler

Nasir is a Pittsburgh native, born and raised in Homewood.  He attended Helen Faison Elementary; Pittsburgh Minadeo, where he participated in his first talent show, singing Bruno Mars “Grenade”; and Pittsburgh CAPA for middle and high school, where he sparked his love for musical theater. He started singing with the Afro American Music Institute, at the age of nine years old.  As the years went by, his voice went from sounding like Michael Jackson, to a sound that has so much depth and power, reminiscent of Paul Robeson.  His natural God given talents have been a joy to hear over the years whether he was singing with AAMI Boys Choir (9 yrs), Mendelssohn/Bach Choir (2 yrs), African-American Heritage Parade (3yrs), Harambee Black Arts Festival (4 yrs), or on his own. Nasir played the part of the infamous Jean Valjean in Les Miserablés; his performance in the Pittsburgh CAPA high school musical really showcased his voice when he sang “Bring Him Home.”  This performance won him the 2018 Gene Kelly’s Best Actor Award and sent him to New York City, for the Jimmy Awards, to compete on Broadway.

Nasir has a great sense of his family, community, service, and he knows what needs to be done to complete the task at hand.  His life experiences have shaped him into a well-rounded young man. People use the term “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child”, this has never been truer than in the case of Nasir Butler.  From pre-school to present, he has had the support of his family, the school system and his community behind him.  Nasir is looking forward to continuing his love for the arts at Oberlin College in the fall. 

Brandon Johnson

Brandon Johnson has been entertaining crowds with his brand of stand-up comedy for 5 years.  For some time before that he was affectionately known as “Pittsburgh’s #1 Superfan” amongst other stand-up comedians for seemingly always being at there open mics and shows. Known for his distinct laughter in the crowd and informed opinion amongst the comedians, he engendered lasting friendships amongst the other comedians. In 2013 he went from fan to performer doing his 1st stand up set at the Beerhive in Pittsburgh. In that time since he’s hosted for Steve Byrne (“Sullivan and Sons”, TBS, Netflix, Showtime) at the Pittsburgh Improv. He’s performed multiple times in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. He’s also performed at Broadway Comedy Club (NY), New York Comedy Club, Greenwich Village & Grisly Pear Comedy Clubs (NY), The Stress Factory (NJ), Green Frog Inn (WV), and other places around Pittsburgh. He’s performed at benefits for community centers, brain aneurysm research, and animal conservancy. He’s entertained multi ethnic rooms with his unique observations on sports, pop culture, race, single life, and workplace customs. From 10 to 90 and all ages in between he’s entertained both intimate crowds and those of over 200 customer sellout comedy clubs. Mostly clean and irreverent, he’s a comedian on the rise and looking to leave all future crowds better than they were before the show.

Facebook  /BrandonJohnson
Instagram  Bajohnson7

Jacquea Mae

Who Is Jacquea Mae? She is an amazing singer, actress & creative artist that has graced the mic at several open mics, theatrical productions and has featured as an artist at many venues, festivals, open mics & more, throughout the city of Pittsburgh & beyond. Ms. Mae continues to rave reviews for her powerful, soulful & from the gut performances. Jacquea has also starred as Alberta ‘Pearl’ Johnson with actress Julie Beroes in Black Pearl Sings, under the direction of New Horizons Theater in 2013 & once again, as Bessie Smith in Queens Of The Blues last year. In 2016 Jacquea Mae released her first EP, ‘The Makings Of Me’. Jacquea continues teaching young artists with 1Hood Media, & asserting her creativity with a voice and spirit that soars!

Instagram @fearlessmae1023

DJ Brickz

N$4D (Never $ettle for Defeat) -Grind Mode Worldwide Artist, Brickz Baebee is a Multi-Talented Individual Reppin’ The Eastside of Pittsburgh. His love for music and entertainment allows him to be a creative musician and businessman. Brickz is a man of many trades but he is mostly known as a DJ traveling the East Coast Spinning records at various venues and events. Brickz also has a promising career as a Music Artist. Brickz has a new EP “July 5th” that was released on his 27th Birthday, July 5, 2018. He is currently managed by Grindmode Worldwide. You can catch DJ Brickz spinning live on Grindmode Worldwide Radio Every Tuesday & Thursday 4pm -6pm.

Facebook /CEOdjbrickz
Instagram @djbrickz_aye

Children’s Activities

At NEXTneighborhood: Homewood, kids will get to design back-to-school arts & crafts, eat popcorn, collect a balloon, get their faces painted, and engage in storytelling.

Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse 

Arts & Crafts

Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse is a non-profit that inspires creativity, conservation, and community engagement through reuse. We operate a non-traditional art supply shop located at the intersection of Wilkinsburg, Homewood, and Point Breeze, where people can donate used art and craft supplies, as well as shop for these unique items all in the same location. We also facilitate hands-on creative programming that educates the public about the benefits of reuse for the environment, community, and self. We see reuse as a vehicle for boosting self-confidence, learning new skills, and creating opportunity for all.

Twitter @creative_reuse
Facebook /creativereusepittsburgh
Instagram @creative_reuse

Balloons by Alexis Childress

Food + Drink

ATU Food Truck

ATU food truck offers healthy food choices without sacrificing taste.

Twitter @AthleticTraumaU
Instagram @Steel_atu


The Bowl of Life

Icy Cone Food Cart

Libation Tastin’ Hour

From 4pm-6pm
Adults only – 21+ years old

Your taste buds will be delighted as you sample local brews, wines, spirits and sangrias while listening to the mix of DJ Brickz.

TLC Libations

TLC Libations provides premium beverages made with Tender, Love & Care to any event, venue or home.

Facebook /TLCLibations
Instagram @tlclibations


E&N Michelle Hair & Body Butters

Ericka Moore

My name is Ericka Moore, I am a U.S Navy Veteran with a Master’s in Business Administration and a specialization in Project Management. I started E&N Michelle Hair & Body Butters in 2016 because, I believe in living a healthy and natural lifestyle. Our skin is our body’s largest and fastest growing organ. It’s our body first line of defense and like every part of our bodies, skin responds to care and attention. What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it. E&N Michelle has a wide selection of natural and organic body & hair care products. E&N Michelle is always working hard to ensure it carries the purest products available.

Facebook /HairandBodyButters
Instagram @enmichelle1216

Naptural Beauty Supply

Naptural Beauty Supply, LLC. is a locally owned business that was created for two reasons, confidence and convenience! Founder and CEO, LaShesia Holliday, made the decision many years ago, that she was no longer going to chemically process her hair! As she learned new ways to wear her hair “naturally”, she encountered many individuals, some of who were her friends and family, that did not agree with her transition. They would openly voice their negative opinions and comments. Of those, the one comment that stuck out the most was, “Being Natural just isn’t for me.” How can it be possible that the hair that grows naturally from your head, not be for you?! She then realized that there was a lack of confidence when it came to natural hair! Sharing the knowledge she learned was so fulfilling, but the confidence people gained with being themselves was the true reward! Now, during her transition, she also realized that natural hair required a lot of trial and error when it came to what products were best for her hair. She found herself traveling to multiple stores just to get the products that worked for her…such an inconvenience! From these experiences, grew the ideas to establish a beauty supply boutique where natural beauty from all angles are embraced. At Naptural Beauty Supply, LLC. we provide beauty supply with naturals in mind.

Facebook /NapturalBeautySupply
Instagram @napturalbeautysupply

Paparazzi Accessories

Quinerly Financial Group

Quinerly Financial Group is a client focused financial group with headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company specializes in building the financial structure for small businesses, non-profits and individuals. The Quinerly Financial Group is dedicated to being a collaborative resource for clients. We are efficient for small business because we do not use a “cookie-cutter template” or “bundle services”. We cater to the clients’ needs because we know that every small business or individual operates differently.


Professional Barber Group

Since 2001 Three Generations Barbershop has been serving the East End community with our professional, yet family friendly environment.

The owners of Three Generations are expanding to provide aspiring barbers the chance to acquire the training hours required to take the Pennsylvania Barber licensing exam, through the Professional Barber Institute. We are looking for dedicated individuals who want a career in the barber industry. For more information, please call us at (412) 723-2253 or use our online contact form to set up your tour.



Operation Better Block



The mission of Operation Better Block, Inc. is to strategize, organize and mobilize, block by block, to benefit the Homewood Community. We do this by:

  • Providing technical and community development assistance to Block Associations engaged in self-help projects and self-sufficiency initiatives;
  • Fostering youth development through self-awareness, career exploration programs and community volunteer opportunities;
  • Participating in housing development efforts to construct new housing units;
  • Encouraging and supporting public and private investments to stimulate economic development in the community;
  • Building cooperative partnerships with others to promote community sustainability.


Homewood is a livable, desirable community and recognized as such.

As we look beyond 2012. The vision of Operation Better Block is to have made a significant contribution to the revitalization of Homewood Brushton as one of the City’s premier residential neighborhoods. In cooperation with other partners in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, we envision the reality of Homewood Brushton as a stable, economically viable, safe, and attractive neighborhood with a diverse population that is reasonably self-sufficient in its capacity to meet the challenges that it will continue to face. Together with our external partners we will:

  • Encourage more economic investment in the community by promoting Homewood as a dynamic neighborhood.
  • Stimulate and promote self-sufficiency through developing indigenous leaders and providing a resource clearinghouse.
  • Develop strong youth leaders who will participate in the creation of policy in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Twitter @OBBlock
Facebook /Operation-Better-Block-Inc

Community College of Allegheny, Homewood Brushton Center 

In 1967, CCAC started a GED program in Pittsburgh’s Homewood Brushton community. The program was soon expanded to include an Adult Basic Education Center offering college credit.

By 1981, the rapid growth and popularity of the programs demanded construction of the Homewood-Brushton Center, a two story, 32,000 square foot facility housing classrooms, a Learning Resource Center, a reading lab, two fully equipped computer labs, 2 e-learning rooms and one presentation room (high technology rooms) a science resource room and a state of the art science lab for anatomy and physiology, chemistry and microbiology courses.

The HBC is located in the heart of Homewood and is convenient to bus routes and the Martin Luther King East Busway. The site offers

  • Tutoring
  • Academic advising
  • Placement testing
  • Registration
  • Financial Aid assistance
  • Student services

Community Education CCAC is proud of its relationships with Community agencies, particularly the YMCA where we offer HPE, Health and Physical Education classes.

Twitter @CCAC
Facebook /

Homewood Concerned Citizens Council 

The formation of the citizens council commenced as a response to resident and community concerns in the involvement and participation of Community Awareness, Public Safety and Community & Economic Development in the City of Pittsburgh Homewood Community.

Our Vision:  To assist in the long-term stabilization and development of the Homewood community by coordinating and mobilizing business development, and housing for all through economic empowerment.

HCCC partners with various organizations to increase community and economic development by improving social conditions in the Homewood neighborhood.

Board of Directors:

Rev. William J. Fuller, Sr.
Lorna Doswell-Gaines
Mignon Threatt
Pamela Spearman
Karen Gilliam
Denise Smith- Russell
Erika Vasser-Pipkin
Donna Henderson
Ruth Howard
Kirk Webster
Sheila Eason

Facebook /Homewood-Concerned-Citizens-Council

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- Homewood Branch


Originally established in 1910, this historic Library underwent an award-winning renovation to revitalize its space in 2005. Today, this three-story neighborhood location is completely restored to its original grandeur and offers a fully-equipped 300-person auditorium.

Twitter @carnegielibrary
Facebook /CarnegieLibraryOfPittsburgh
Instagram @carnegielibrary

Community Engagement Center Homewood Advisory Board (University of Pittsburgh) 

Pitt Neighborhood Commitments build stronger communities and a stronger University based on long-term partnerships. When we combine the community’s agenda and wisdom with the University’s assets and resources, we can make a difference. In partnership with local communities, the University is making a minimum 15-year commitment of investment, infrastructure, programming, and dedicated staff in neighborhoods such as Homewood and the Hill District.

By building deep partnerships in these neighborhoods, the University can realize powerful mutual benefits: providing students and faculty with high-quality opportunities to learn and research while increasing community residents’ access to Pitt’s assets and resources. Commitments are shaped and guided by Neighborhood Advisory Councils representing local residents, leaders, and business owners and an Internal Advisory Council of University faculty and staff.

Commitments are led by open and inclusive networks of community leaders, residents, and University faculty and students. Supported by neighborhood-based Pitt staff, these Community Collaborators share a commitment to the neighborhood and take action together to put that commitment into practice. 

Community Engagement Centers (CECs) provide a home for the commitment and create a front door to Pitt in the neighborhood where community members can find assets and resources they can use to shape their future and the future of their neighborhood. CECs are vibrant, welcoming spaces that provide access to Pitt services and resources for community residents, and facilitate collaboration between Pitt and community partners. The first Community Engagement Center will open its doors in Homewood in fall 2018.

A program of the Senior Vice Chancellor’s Office, housed in Community and Government Relations, led by Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement Lina Dostilio, EdD.

Twitter @Pittcec
Facebook /PittCEC

The Harambee Black Arts Festival



The Harambee Black Arts Festival is a major community sponsored art and cultural event that takes place annually in Homewood. The festival kicks off yearly with a parade and hosts a variety of food and retail vendors, live music and dance performances, nonprofit organization information tables, the Children’s Village, and a mobile art gallery. In 1967, the Homewood organization Together Inc. hosted the first Harambee Black Arts Festival and ignited a Black Arts Movement in Pittsburgh. While a cultural legacy was built, a platform for Black artists to market their work and spur economic and social development also formed. What began in 1967 as a street performance has grown into an iconic event that promotes African American talent and celebrates community togetherness. The festival is the first of its kind to be held in Pittsburgh and was once the third largest Black Arts Festival in the nation. The Harambee Black Arts Festival celebrates 50 years in 2017.

Twitter @harambeeujima
Facebook /HarambeeUjimaPGH
Instagram @harambeeujima

Homewood Community Development Collaborative 

Many of Homewood’s stakeholders have come together to bring change to Homewood. These leaders have created the Homewood Community Development Collaborative, which is an historic development. The Collaborative is a group of community-based organizations that have been operating in Homewood for years. These organizations have each been working independently toward addressing specific community problems. The purpose of the Collaborative is to allow these organizations to remain independent, but working together to facilitate a unified, comprehensive development process that addresses holistically the needs of the community.

The Collaborative’s mission is to achieve outcomes that enhance the life experiences of all residents, by the organizations achieving outcomes that exceed the capacity of individual organizations.

Twitter @HomewoodCommun1
Facebook /HomewoodCollaborative

Home Buyer Workshop

Urban Redevelopment Authority 

Working to Improve Neighborhoods & Lives

The URA is involved in hundreds of projects throughout the City of Pittsburgh. Our projects are diverse and have all been completed with input from community development organizations throughout the city. Through URA loans, strategic partnerships and other economic development initiatives, the URA is committed to supporting the next generation of creators, thinkers, innovators and inventors that are transforming our community.

Twitter @urapgh
Instagram @urapgh