Where Vision Becomes Reality, 11.9.11

Yesterday was a very special day at Union Project. Union Project was not just full, but overflowing.

Two years of hard work restructuring our agency, re-focusing our structure, our staff, our board, our approach to programming, re-imagining our founders’ vision (created in 2001) to be a space that brings diverse people together in community.  The seeds that so many board members, staff, tenants, volunteers, artists, and people of faith have planted for so many years sprouted from the earth yesterday, filling our building (and grounds) with life, with excitement, with community!

It started early with the polls opening in Union Project’s beautiful community restored great hall to welcome community members to partake in this country’s oldest democratic process. Many were surprised to find the building smelling of cinnamon rolls as Olafemi Mandley prepared breakfast in the café. Cafe Ola Appetite at Union Project is now open, which also means our front door is open once again after a two-year hiatus.

By 8AM, the Atrium was buzzing with the Girls Coalition of SWPA (UP’s newest tenant)  hosting their meet and greet and committee meeting – A diverse group or agencies from all around Pittsburgh (and beyond) networking to promote and improve programming for girls in Western PA.

The excitement carried through the morning as UP tenants (Open Door Church, Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Experience (PULSE), Jackson Clarke Partners, Naomi Greenberg, and others arrived to serve various populations from our community from Union Project offices.

In the afternoon Union Project’s Ceramic Cooperative members made their way to our studio to shape beautiful works of art and a group of people met at UP to rehearse for their underground Avant-garde runway show, all decked out and dressed to impress in clothing by love, lucha and Primitive Citizen Runway Fashion.

Evening brought more voters stopping to vote after work. Steel City Hoop Union (UP’s Hula Hoop Collective) took over the side yard for some twilight hooping. And by nightfall, local residents attended the monthly Zone 5 public safety meeting that takes place in our Atrium.

In a single day, all of UP’s spaces were active welcoming hundreds of community members of different ages, races, and backgrounds to come together to network, practice their craft, vote, eat and have fun!

Two years ago we envisioned a day like this and slowly but surely it happened. Now as we update our strategic plan, we look ahead and imagine this kind of activity happening here 300 days a year. It all starts with a vision. We invite you to help us imagine our future. And then to help us make it a reality!

-Jeffrey Dorsey
Union Project
Executive Director

Please share your vision for Union Project's next 10 years in the community. Join Us for SpeakUP: our Town-Hall style meeting, being held Saturday, November 19th. RSVP to Kelly@UnionProject.org.



this warms my heart and brings me joy! Thanks for all of your hard work persevering to bring the vision to fruition and strengthen it for longevity. best wishes for continued success! Jess King

cheers to all!

I just wanted to say: yeah! Just a few hours a day in the shared space hardly makes me a part of this beautiful friendly creature called the Union Project, but it sure is great. Anyone who needs a space away from home to do office or related projects: I'd highly recommend!

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