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We need to understand where we've been in order to understand where we are and to chart a path forward. I think there's a hunger on the part of younger LGBTQ folks to understand our stories, and those stories don't get told unless we tell them. I also think that communicating our experiences, transforming them into art, is a form of celebration. It can be a source of joy, and pride, even when those experiences themselves are dark or painful.
For this challenge, the Pitt C4C team created a clay Peregrine falcon figurine that soars above the structure and clay figurines of Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd and Chancellor Patrick Gallagher welcoming all to the gingerbread Cathedral of Learning. Inside, there are printed photos of the Nationality Rooms and, outside, a replica fountain at the base of the structure.
“I think it’s a great way for filmmakers, especially at our experience level, to make something quick and creative to share with a larger community,” Asciutto said. “It’s a great outlet for that.”
The Center for Creativity’s One Minute Film Festival is back for a second year, adding a scary premise — “Bite-Sized Horror.”
“Play is an essential, and often overlooked or undervalued, component of creativity,” said Erik Schuckers, the Center for Creativity’s manager of communications and programming. “Our partners have really embraced this idea, and planned spaces that are fun, interactive, and community-oriented.”
When is a parking space not a parking space? On Friday, Sept. 17, when it becomes a park(ing) space: a temporary creative intervention in the urban landscape.
The result is a powerful collection of works, reproduced on tall screens placed along the walkway between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel on the University of Pittsburgh campus. The exhibition launches Black Lives in Focus, a larger, university-wide initiative.
“It’s really important that [the art show] is public,” said Jasmine Green, a selection committee member and contributing artist. “There is the feeling of not shying away from talking about Black people, that we all deserve to feel safe, that we deserve to look forward to a future where things are better.”
The exhibition is a part of the Black Lives in Focus initiative, which aims to celebrate and showcase Black lives, voices and experiences in an engaging and direct way.
"I want us as Black folk to see this, and, I think, be proud of where we’re at,” Walker said. “And I would love for someone who identifies as Black, to walk through the exhibit, to look at the websites, and have pride of who they are, have pride of what they’re looking at.”
"Kids at the event, sponsored by Pitt’s Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research, got to simulate herd immunity on a checkerboard, cut out virus snowflakes and even build their own model coronavirus."
On June 28, the anniversary of the first day of the Stonewall Uprising, the Center for Creativity will hold a 7:30 p.m. virtual community open mic where “In Our Own Write” students will share their work, and community members of all ages will have the chance to listen and share their own poetry and short prose.
That’s another purpose of “PITTch”: to, as Kurlander put it, “make it so young people like Jordan and Aditi who do such great work here don’t have to leave for Los Angeles” to succeed in the entertainment industry.
Do members of the Pitt community have a 60-second spiel? The Center for Creativity thinks many do and asked them to film their stories on procrastination, the mysteries of late-night snacking, the joy of poetry, or to anything else that conveyed a message, showed the meaning in a moment, or would compel an audience in only 60 seconds.
"No matter how dark and depressing things might feel for a moment that we can still find things that make life worth living for or make life meaningful," Green said.
“Jasmine Green proves how important it is for Black women to have the agency of our experiences through arts. Everything about her, from the creator to the creation, stands tall on her integrity as an artivist.”
Kurlander said he hopes that young people realize they can use their creativity as scientists. He said the next generation is going to be living in a world of infection and disease and they are going to be the ones at the microscopes.
Another way to get people to trust science is videos like this one, Mr. Duprex said. It gives the vaccine creation a human element and allows viewers to get a glimpse of the process.
The half-hour movie takes viewers inside the lab of Paul Duprex, director of Pitt’s Center for Vaccine Research, where he and his team are engaged in a global collaboration on vaccine research.
“LGBTQ+ seniors have specific needs, because we’re not a population that is seen in the same way that other populations are seen,” Arriola-Headley said. “A workshop like this is a wonderful opportunity, because many people don’t recognize that we still have voices and things to say.”
In Our Own Write will be facilitated by Erik Schuckers, manager of communications and programming at the center, and is sponsored through a grant from Pitt’s Year of Engagement. Its focus is on people with little or no writing experience; the only requirements for participants are access to a computer and the desire to explore creative writing.
While the first season featured stand-alone interviews and the second followed a continuous narrative, season three will be an educational collaboration with the University Library System. The season will highlight stories about printmaking, manuscripts, the letterpress and more through the Text and conText Lab located in Hillman Library.
Believing that everyone has a story to tell and knowing that most people now have filmmaking tools in their pockets, the Center for Creativity created the One Minute Film Festival to give a platform for visual storytelling to anyone with an idea and a smart phone or digital camera.
It’s not just artists and writers who can experience creative blocks — these frustrations can happen on the job or when trying to finish schoolwork. Two assistants from the Center for Creativity, Mike Campbell and Jasmine Green, presented a new Faculty & Staff Development Program workshop on Dec. 2 to offer hints and exercises for getting past these exasperating instances.
Processing ... is a podcast produced by the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Creativity and hosted by the center’s manager of operations, Shannon Fink. It questions, explodes, subverts and, in some cases, confirms what listeners think they know about creativity.
The second season of the Center for Creativity podcast “Processing …” talks to five members of the community about how they are dealing with 2020’s social and political upheavals brought on by the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. The opening episode asks, “What does it mean to make creative work when it feels like the world is on fire?”
This spring, the CEC launched STEAM studio spaces in close partnership with Remake Learning, the Hill Community Development Corp (CDC), Partner4Work and Pitt’s Center for Creativity. The year-long planning process also resulted in nine STEAM Studio seed grants, each awarding up to $5,000 to fund collaborative teams of community organizations and Pitt faculty and staff.
There are great stories across the Pitt and Pittsburgh community. But what does it take for them to be realized onscreen? How does a magazine article become a major motion picture? If you have a compelling story, how can you start to develop it into a screenplay or documentary?
The University’s Center for Creativity has partnered with the Random Note Project for Random PAWSitivity, a year-long collaborative project to connect people through simple notes in ways that are meaningful and inspirational.
3 things I learned from teaching students about horror pioneer George Romero’s movies during these scary times
C4C: The Pittsburgh Lens founding producer Carl Kurlander reflects on George Romero's social and filmmaking legacy.
"McDonald said she hopes the art exhibit acts as a platform for artists to share their emotions and connect with the audience — especially those who have had difficult experiences with their own mental health."
The OMFF is open to all forms of expression through moving imagery, including narrative shorts, documentaries, experimental and music videos, and others.
"With the One Minute Film Festival, we’re trying to show that we all have stories to tell and this visual vocabulary that we can use to express ourselves," Brown said.
NAMI created a virtual art exhibit, titled "Putting Mind Into Matter: An Art Exhibit on Mental Health and Creativity," in conjunction with the Center for Creativity and the studio arts department. Students and faculty were asked to submit artwork expressing their mental health journey.
"Things right now might not necessarily be the best depending on everyone’s situation," Green said. "But I think right now it’s really important to embrace joy in any way that we can."
Open to all Pitt students, faculty, and staff, across all campuses, the festival is intended to allow Pitt creators to make and share visual stories with the only restriction being that they are 60 seconds or less.
Winners of the Art of Diversity Showcase and Competition were announced July 29 during the “Turn the World Inside Out: Art as Activism” discussion during the 2020 Diversity Forum.
“Being at home, you start to feel like you have a lot of things going on inside of you and feel like you have no way to get them out,” Kirkwood said. “But this is one way to get those feelings out and exercise some creativity, regardless of whatever level you come in at.”
The Center for Creativity is continuing its work to keep the Pitt community engaged and creative this summer, through C4C: The Screen Share.
Kit Ayars, a co-chair of the Year of Creativity’s steering committee, said one of the goals of the Year was to demonstrate that creativity did not just belong to more traditional liberal arts parts of campus. “Creativity is not just something that belongs to fine arts departments, for instance, but it’s something that’s at the core of the University’s mission in things like the sciences.”
When most people think of informative art about the Coronavirus pandemic, they might think of funny comics seen on Twitter or of how many times they have to sing “Happy Birthday” to practice best hand-washing techniques. Pitt’s Center for Creativity organized the Creative Innovations to COVID-19 contest to change that.
Creative pedagogy is an approach on shaping classes by having learners become creators in their disciplines. Instructors can build students’ knowledge through creative activities. Faculty must consider teaching their topics in new ways, in using a variety of tools and collaborating with diverse people to further expand students’ aesthetics appreciation and enhance their thinking skills.
“It is the nature of what it means to be human,” reflected Laskas. “We make, we create — that is what humanity is certainly about."
“That's the spirit of the Year of Creativity: celebrating and getting to know our campus community as a powerhouse of creativity,” said Laskas, who reported a few sneak peeks at what some departments are planning: “Enough to get us excited about all the surprises that await!”
Mike Campbell, a workshop assistant with the center, led the first information session on April 18. There, he encouraged attendees from various Pitt departments to come up with some creative, innovative ways to use these parking spaces. “The event is an opportunity to have people think about how important public spaces are and how parks improve our communities,” Campbell said.
“I’ve never spent a day creating and then felt really bad about having spent the day that way,” Kirkwood said. “And now, I get to do it for a job, so it’s awesome.”
“The Center has provided the space, both physically and socially, to connect with new people and new ideas. At the Center, I had the chance to come up with Dream Courses that combined Health Sciences, Engineering, the Humanities…the Center helped both the free flow of ideas and the potential for planning and implementation. Having a chance to meet in the Center is great because the environment alone can inspire such great discussion.” Ravi Patel, PharmD, School of Pharmacy
“When I came to college, in my mind I told myself I would have to stop making art,” Mahmood said. “But I honestly find that when you take a little bit of time out every week or every day [to make art], suddenly everything else falls into place, too.”
The emphasis is on making things - using sculpting clay, 3d pens, paint, fabric, and much more - to encourage innovation, creative problem-solving, and thinking outside the box. It's a place where engineering majors can work on poetry beside literature students designing an app.