Community Programs



Nisha Blackwell | Junyetta Seale | Mario Josie | Juan Fernandez | Jamiliha Lahijudean


5 new projects will activate the Kelly Strayhorn Theater & Alloy Studios space with new and innovative ideas!

Kelly Strayhorn Theater (KST) is proud to announce the first group of participants for the FUTUREMAKERS Labs Incubator program.

The following artists will work within FUTUREMAKERS Labs to innovate, test, and scale projects that will launch during KST’s fall season:

Nisha Blackwell // designer // Knotzland
Junyetta Seale // costumer // The Golden Pillow Project
Mario Josie // videographer // Mario Ashkar Film
Jamiliha Lahijudean // henna artist // Moor HNA
Juan Fernandez // illustrator // Pittsburgh Comics Salon

FUTUREMAKERS Labs is a 10-week creative incubator that provides artists with peer-to-peer learning, lectures from field experts, and open studio access. All participating artists receive a stipend and production and technical support from KST’s team. The program will conclude with the launch of new products, projects, or services that engage the neighborhood and build community.

KST received over 50 applications from the region’s brightest artists, makers, and event producers. Applicants pitched potential projects to engage the audience at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and the Alloy Studios. FUTUREMAKERS Labs will highlight the selected creative entrepreneurs’ unique local products and services to this diverse, built-in audience, all while offering them a unique opportunity to develop ideas from their portfolio along the way.

FUTUREMAKERS Labs is a space for curators, event producers, and non-traditional practitioners to flourish. The program provides participants with action steps to advance their artistic practice, alongside a strengthened relationship with a small network of peer artists. Artists will also have the opportunity to connect with community stakeholders and local creative entrepreneurs through the Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s network. This exposure will build an increased understanding of the intersection between commerce, community, and creative practice.

This diversity and intermingling of skill, thought, and identity amongst creative entrepreneurs is key to the success of any thriving city. Ultimately, FUTUREMAKERS Labs artists will create impactful solutions that synthesize both the community and commercial interests that shape urban centers.

This project is made possible with the support of The Opportunity Fund.




Made possible in part with generous support from The Opportunity Fund.