A catalyst for creative research and conversation
A community-building project and celebration
A collaborative initiative of Kelly-Strayhorn Theater
and Carnegie Museum of Art

A congress!

Kelly Strayhorn Theater and Carnegie Museum of Art are pleased to announce KEYWORD: INTERNATIONAL AWARDEES. Twenty micro-grants to the arts community to creatively research the many meanings of “international” for Pittsburgh.

KEYWORD: INTERNATIONAL is a collaborative initiative to creatively define Pittsburgh as an international city at this moment in time. The initiative launched in January 2018 with a community forum, introducing the vision for the program and its interrelated activities: research, a public symposium, and a publication. Pittsburgh’s arts activators—organizations large and small, curators and programmers—were encouraged to submit to an open call for research proposals.

Twenty $1,500 micro-grants have been awarded to support creative research that explores the meaning of “international” in terms of audience and mission, vision or aspiration.

Over 50 applicants submitted proposals from over 20 zip codes and neighborhoods across Pittsburgh. A review panel including community members Yona Harvey (poet/professor, University of Pittsburgh), Jake Goodman (Executive Director, The Opportunity Fund), and Justin Strong (General Manager, Spirit) considered as key criteria the imaginative potential of the research to connect with ideas, communities, and urgent conversations.

KEYWORD: INTERNATIONAL awardees will present their findings at a lively public forum and celebration on October 20, 2018. In culmination, a commissioned text based on the research findings will be published in the 2018 Carnegie International catalogue. One of the most historic exhibitions of contemporary art in the world, the Carnegie International has been taking place at Carnegie Museum of Art since 1896, making a unique catalyst for KEYWORD: INTERNATIONAL.

KEYWORD MAP by Miller Gallery: The goal for this map is to bring greater visibility to the independent arts activators who contribute to shaping the character of Pittsburgh’s arts community, but are less visible than the larger institutions. All Keyword International awardees and applicants were invited to be on the guide map. This is not a comprehensive guide, but the open process for selecting the participants allowed this one facet of Pittsburgh’s arts ecology to map itself. 

  • Bunker Projects / Fred Blauth
  • FashionAFRICANA / Demeatria Boccella
  • FlowerHouse / Naomi Chambers
  • #BTS: Mapping Female & Non-binary Networks in AV Culture / Lauren Goshinski
  • Braddock Community Oven / Shauna Kearns
  • Office of Public Art / Rachel Klipa
  • Casey Droege Cultural Productions /Johanna Lasner and Casey Droege
  • #notwhite collective 
  • The Black Unicorn Library and Archive Project / Bekezela Mguni
  • Working-Class Media Project / Benjamin Ogrodnik
  • Silver Eye Center for Photography / David Oresick
  • Spaces Corners / Ed Panar
  • Intersection*ology / Kendra Ross with Lori Hepner
  • Artist Residency at Pittsburgh International Airport / Blaine Siegel
  • Fairy Fantastic! / Suzie Silver and Hilary Harp
  • Braddock Carnegie Library + Transformazium / Ruthie Stringer
  • General Sisters / Ginger Brooks Takahashi
  • The Black Draft / Dawn Weleski and Justin Strong
  • Afronaut(a) / Alisha Wormsley

Bunker Projects is a non-profit artist residency and experimental gallery that serves as a platform for emerging artists to develop their practice and create new works for exhibition. By providing an immersive live/work space alongside intimate cultural programming, Bunker Projects fosters a spirit of innovative support and connects artists with Pittsburgh’s active and growing arts community. Fred Blauth is the Director of Marketing and Events for the organization.

FashionAFRICANA is a global event series created by Demeatria Boccella that celebrates the African Diaspora through Design, Beauty & Art. Collaborating with fashion designers and artists from around the world, FA has created and presented new work in costume design, photography, sculpture and performance.

FlowerHouse is a community art studio founded and directed by Naomi Chambers with Darnell Chambers that seeks to give people space and resources to create, exhibit, and make a living by creating and being around other creators. FlowerHouse seeks to engage Pittsburgh’s black communities, providing them with a life changing art diet that nourishes them on their path to healing and vitality.

Lauren Goshinski is a creative director who works at the intersection of music, performance, and the moving image. For the past 10 years, she has curated and produced audio-visual festivals and event series, tour visuals, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, conference symposia, and new work commissions that showcase emerging and critical voices and technologies.  She is the co-founder of Pittsburgh’s VIA Festival and girlFx collective, DJ, and fellow at Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.

Braddock Community Oven is a permanent, shared resource for residents of 15104. It’s fired monthly for Community Pizza Nights and Oven Firing Workshops and used by the Braddock Youth Project. Its 2015 construction was fueled by local support, apprentices at The Trade Institute of Pittsburgh and community oven facilitator Shauna Kearns. The mission of the BCO is to provide a space for residents of 15104 to gather, make food, and connect with neighbors.

The Office of Public Art (OPA) expands the range of possibilities for artists to engage communities through technical assistance, educational programs, commissions, and residencies in the public realm. OPA’s work explores and pushes what the possibilities of public art can be, and how it can facilitate meaningful change to improve communities and public spaces in the Pittsburgh region. OPA’s audience includes artists, community members, and private citizens throughout the region who seek to be part of civic dialogue and shape the places in which they live. Rachel Klipa leads this work as the Manager of Community Engagement.

Casey Droege Cultural Productions is an artist-run/woman-owned business dedicated to building the Pittsburgh arts community by offering accessible, quality art experiences that connect the local and the global, encourage the growth of a local arts economy, and build a diverse arts audience. Led by Casey Droege, Executive Director and Johanna Lasner, Assistant Director, CDCP supports creatives and businesses through exhibitions, public programming, and consulting services.

The #notwhite collective together with founder Christiane Leach aims to create dialogue around issues related to gender, identity, inclusion, migration, and social justice. Through a series of cultural events they are building an inclusive, safe path for community conversations and story sharing which provides a solid foundation for healing and further understanding.

The Black Unicorn Library and Archive Project founded by Bekezela Mguni is a Black feminist library & archive; a cultural intervention; and a collection reflecting the rich literary legacy of Black women, queer and trans people across the Diaspora. Using a Black queer feminist approach, Black Unicorn explores libraries as sites of possibility, the relationship(s) between literacy and liberation and brings a unique experience and lens to material collection, information sharing and community building.

The Working-Class Media Project is a peripatetic microcinema series created by Benjamin Ogrodnik that exhibits short films and videos about global deindustrialization. Free screenings take place in nontraditional venues in the Mon Valley and the audience consists of working people from Western Pennsylvania. As a mobile cinema, the project seeks to provide socially relevant and historically rich moving-images to those who may have difficulty accessing vital cultural resources because of where they live. The purpose is to combine site-specific exhibitions and thoughtful curation to stimulate new dialogue around international art, access and industrial heritage.

Silver Eye Center for Photography is a non-profit art gallery focused on contemporary photography by emerging and mid-career artists under Executive Director, David Oresick with Communications Coordinator Kate Kelly. Silver Eye’s mission is to promote the power of contemporary photography and visual storytelling to inform, engage, and inspire diverse audiences and communities. Central to their mission is the creation of innovative exhibitions and programs that bring forward issues, ideas, and perspectives relevant to our times.

Spaces Corners is an artist-run studio and project space dedicated to contemporary photography and books. Led by Ed Panar and Melissa Cantanese, Spaces Corners serves as an experimental platform to educate and engage the public on important currents in contemporary photography through a carefully curated bookshop, exhibitions, workshops and publications. Their dedicated audience includes artists, educators, writers, curators, historians, designers, collectors and others curious about experiencing photography in book form.

Intersection*ology, a creation of Lori Hepner and Kendra Ross, is a performance art project which promotes an intersectional vision of embodied empowerment for women and femmes in technologically mediated spaces through the use of light, sound, movement, and audience interactivity. The project is interested in forging alliances and sharing power with underrepresented creatives within and beyond our communities, through community artmaking workshops where new scenes are co-created and inserted into subsequent Intersection*ology performances.

Blaine Siegel is a multi-disciplinary sculptor with a social engagement practice.  He earned a BFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University and an MFA in Sculpture from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has exhibited work throughout the United States and in Arles, France.  Blaine is the studio co-director for Radiant Hall Susquehanna. His recent endeavors include set design for choreographer Maree Ramalia’s ‘The Ubiquitous Mass of Us’, teaching high school students at The University School, and his ongoing residency as the Artist in Residence at the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Fairy Fantastic! is a fairy and folk tale video series for gender nonconforming children, queer families, and their allies. Since 2014, creators Suzie Silver and Hilary Harp have been researching examples of queer videos based on folk and fairy tales and queer and anti-bullying videos for youth. They have developed two screenings: “Out in the Woods: Queer Fairytales” and “Over the Rainbow: Queer and Experimental Shorts for Kids of All Ages” including 26 international films, which will premiere at Pittsburgh Filmmakers in May 2018.

Transformazium, a collaborative practice of Ruthie Stringer with colleagues, has been working with patrons of the Braddock Library since 2013 to incorporate collections of books and artwork that build upon existing discourses in their neighborhood and extend towards other individuals and communities as the collections circulate within the Allegheny County Library system. While knowledge production is most often recognized within an academic setting, these collections reflect knowledge generated in our working-class community by individuals whose experiences and research are vital in the dismantlement of systemic oppressions and barriers to knowing ourselves and each other.

General Sisters is the process of a general store located in North Braddock created by Ginger Brooks Takahashi with collaborators. Stocked with affordable food and ingredients, General Sisters makes eating, sharing and gathering available to neighbors within walking distance. General Sisters turns routine transactions into possibilities for exchange that recognize the environmental and economic realities of its clients. General Sisters feeds the community literally and figuratively by confronting the racial, environmental and economic injustices evident in our food system and working actively to change them.

The Black Draft, a collaboration of Dawn Weleski and Justin Strong, is a live mock-sporting draft during which ten Black former Pittsburghers are drafted to return to Pittsburgh. Utilizing the dramaturgy of a sports draft, The Black Draft will invite the region’s public to nominate Black former Pittsburghers who have left Pittsburgh to return to, contribute to, and be supported by Pittsburgh’s progress. The annual event and accompanying website will feature short documentaries of each draftee’s life and presentations of contract offers to the draftees that will entice them home in front of a live audience that will include industry leaders and administrators.

Afronaut(a) is a film and performance series created by Alisha Wormsley with a mission to deepen the connections to film throughout the arts community of Pittsburgh. The series aims to broaden the scope of films seen and made in communities including filmmakers, the African American community, students in Homewood and CMU, the local and global art community, afro-futurists, the queer community and neighborhoods of the East End of Pittsburgh.


KEYWORD: INTERNATIONAL is a Pittsburgh survey initiated by Kelly Strayhorn Theater and Carnegie Museum of Art.

KEYWORDINTERNATIONAL is generously supported by The Benter Foundation and The Fine