While the Christmas Market in Market Square packs up on Dec. 23, there’s still plenty going on Downtown before the big Dec. 31 First Night Party. Check out displays at Oxford Center, the tree at the City-County Building, U.S. Steel Plaza’s bigger-than-life nativity scene, the Spirit of Giving Display of Santas from around the world and more. Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership has more details.

And given the balmy weather, why not get around via the nifty bike share program HealthyRidePgh.com. It only costs a few bucks, and bike stations are all over the city.

*   *   *

Looking for a job? Pittsburgh’s got ‘em — more than 20,000 open positions across the 10-county region. Check out our powerful job search aggregator at ImaginePittsburgh.com.

Find a job, advance your career, build a life you’ll love: ImaginePittsburgh.com.

 

little nav imageAre you new to Pittsburgh? Are you new to the United States? Are you looking for ways to succeed in the region as an immigrant or refugee? Are you trying to understand the new system and lifestyle? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider attending the free, first-ever Navigating Pittsburgh Summit on from 9 a.m .to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8 at the Heinz History Center in the Strip District.

Those who have recently moved to the area, especially refugees and immigrants from medium to low-income, are invited to register and attend this event in order to acclimate themselves to their new home. In order to accommodate the language needs of refugees and immigrants, workshops will be interpreted into Nepali, Portuguese, and Spanish. Attendees are asked to pre-register on the Navigating Pittsburgh website. Transportation shuttles will be available from several neighborhoods. Free refreshments and child care will also be offered.

The day-long event will feature workshops on several topics focused on five main pillars: civic knowledge, education, financial capability, health and wellness, and community engagement. Local professionals from both the public and private sectors will present on the areas of their expertise and answer questions. Attendees will also be able to speak directly to representatives from several local resources, such as the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Consumer Health Coalition and agencies participating in the Immigrant Service and Connections (ISAC) program. “This event was created with the needs of immigrants and newcomers in mind. It also demonstrates the commitment of organizations and affinity groups in the region, to welcome immigrants and help them succeed,” said Jesabel Rivera-Guerra, chair of Navigating Pittsburgh.

After identifying the need for newcomers across the board, a collaborative, centralized event for new arrivals to the area to connect to a wide array of needs was born. Navigating Pittsburgh was created by board members of Casa San Jose, a social service agency that works with Latino immigrants. “Navigating Pittsburgh is a concrete expression of welcoming those who are new to our region and providing them with tools to promote their integration and self-sufficiency,” said Sister Janice Vanderneck, executive director of Casa San José. Donations will benefit the work of Casa San Jose.

This event at the Heinz History Center will be a unique opportunity to discover Pittsburgh while you connect with key people that will help you transform from a newcomer to a successful contributor to the community, and to achieve your goals – whatever they may be. Learn more at NavigatingPgh.com.

Thanks to our valued sponsors and collaborators, including: 

Vibrant Pittsburgh / Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh / Casa San José / Latin American Cultural Union / 

Highmark BCBS / Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project / PPG Paints

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Powered by NEXTpittsburgh / Written by Jill Greenwood

On Sept.  17, 2004, Jim Riley and his employees watched helplessly from the roof of his All Pro Painting business on West Main Street as Hurricane Ivan pounded the community of Carnegie and the rising waters of the Chartiers Creek swamped his business. Dozens of stores and homes and even the fire department were severely flooded. The damage was swift and devastating and some businesses never recovered.

Riley, now 56, was rescued along with his employees that day and he rebuilt his company in the years that followed. By 2012 not only had other businesses ruined by Ivan been revamped and reopened, but many new ones cropped up. The turnaround was so impressive that Riley decided to invest again in the future of Carnegie, and he and his wife bought the longstanding Paddy’s Pour House and remodeled and launched it as Riley’s Pour House.

Then they sold their house in Mt. Lebanon and moved in above the pub.

“On one hand you think that it shouldn’t have taken so long for all of these empty storefronts to become thriving businesses again, but it took time,” Riley says. “Now, so much is happening in Carnegie. We’re excited to see what is coming next.”

Ten years after the flood left many in the town of nearly 8,000 looking for opportunities elsewhere, Carnegie is seeing a revitalization in the form of much-needed commerce and foot traffic. The charming and walkable Main St. is lined with a variety of independent businesses, from antique stores to the new Apis Mead & Winery, offering six varieties of the honey-based wine and One Thirty One East, a world fusion restaurant.  In the heart of the borough is the historic and beautiful Carnegie Library, lovingly restored years ago. The 1.6 square mile neighborhood has what you would call good bones.

Hans Gruener at Off the Wall Theater. Photo by Rob Larson.
Hans Gruenert at Off the Wall Theater. Photo by Rob Larson.

“Carnegie is now a destination. It’s no longer a dead end,” says Hans Gruenert, who renovated a building with his wife, Virginia Wall, and launched Off The Wall Performing Arts Center in Carnegie two years ago. “The community has taken so many strides forward and we now have a huge variety of restaurants from high-end Italian to Japanese and Indian. There is nothing but good things in the future for Carnegie.”

Gruenert originally owned a theater in the city of Washington 30 miles to the south, but started looking for a new location in 2012.

“When we saw that community was not taking strides forward, we started looking around and we loved what we were seeing in Carnegie,” Gruenert says.

Apparently it was a good decision. The theater, which offers cabaret, modern dance, theater performances and special events including comedy acts, is booked solid until June 2015, he adds.

“When I talk to our audience members who come here for a performance and aren’t familiar with Carnegie, they all say they are shocked to see how progressive it has become. When you come here, you don’t deal with tunnel traffic, there is free parking after 6 p.m. and we have so many great places to visit. It’s an attractive option for dinner and a show, not a dying mill town.”

Destination restaurants such as Papa J’s, a stylish and popular mainstay which was forced to renovate after the flood, came back better than ever. And new businesses came in, such as a much needed coffee shop.

Ashley Comer and her husband, Greg Romeo, already owned a pharmacy in Carnegie when the Shadyside couple decided to renovate the former town Post Office on Main Street and open the Carnegie Coffee Company in June 2013.

The Comers at their Carnegie Coffee Company. Photo by Rob Larson.
Ashley Comer and Greg Romeo at their Carnegie Coffee Company. Photo by Rob Lars

Hurricane Ivan destroyed the only other pharmacy in Carnegie, Comer says, and Romeo’s business grew exponentially. When the couple decided to renovate the former Post Office, they opted to locate both their businesses there. The historic and now charming building features a mezzanine level and the original windows and antique mailboxes.

In just over a year, the coffee house has expanded its offerings to include breakfast sandwiches and lunch items and the parents of three are eager to see their business continue to grow.

They juggle the businesses with raising three children, ages 3 to 14, and Comer says most weeks they spend more time in Carnegie than Shadyside.

“There was a void in Carnegie for a coffee shop and we were so excited to be the ones to fill it. This keeps us busy but it’s a labor of love,” Comer says. “We are really getting to know the people of Carnegie. Being a part of this community is so special.”

When Jeff Krakoff decided to relaunch his public relations and marketing/communications firm, he looked at several locations before settling on Carnegie, located 5 miles from downtown Pittsburgh and less than 20 minutes from the airport.

“I was looking for a central business district with good accessibility to Downtown, the airport and clients,” Krakoff says of establishing Krakoff Communications on Carnegie’s Main Street. “What I love most is the strong business community here. We have monthly meetings and lots of interaction. The area is really booming—in the 10 months I’ve been here, we’ve added new restaurants, shops and even a wine company. It’s a safe, attractive community that’s conveniently located and fun to be part of.”

Main Street, Carnegie. Photo by Rob Larson
Main Street, Carnegie. Photo by Rob Larson

After purchasing the former Paddy’s Pour House in late 2011, Jim Riley and his wife spent months cleaning, painting and remodeling the building that had been a drinking establishment of some sort since 1936. In 1979, a man named Dennis Murphy purchased it and turned it into an Irish pub, which it remained for the next three decades.

Riley revamped the menu with fresh offerings from local vendors, brought in live music during the lunch hour and evenings and turned a back wall of the pub into a “Legacy Wall,” featuring the names of the previous owners of the building and the dates they owned it.

“I made myself a deal that I would do this for 10 more years, and I would give it hell,” Riley says. “And then I’m going to get out and enjoy retirement. Carnegie only has good things going for it, and it will be interesting to see where it is a decade from now.”

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Looking for a job? ImaginePittsburgh.com‘s got ‘em — more than 20,000 open positions on our powerful, 10-county job search aggregator, updated nightly.

Find a job, advance your career, build a life you’ll love: ImaginePittsburgh.com.

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Written by Brian Conway

Luna. Photo by Stefano Giovannini.Luna. Photo by Stefano Giovannini.

Southern rap and Southern rock. Northwest grunge, and a boatload of local bands. Don’t forget some Layer Cake for dessert.

Lee Bains III and Glory Fires. Photo by Wes Frazer.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires

Thursday, October 1. 10 p.m.

Smiling Moose – 1306 East Carson Street

$10

Sometimes, you just wanna rock. Forget the synths, kick out the jams, and start melting faces. Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires give listeners that unmistakable southern rock sound blended with a snarling punk ferocity. The band are touring in support of Dereconstructed, their second album and first on the Sub Pop label. Rounding out the bill are Nashville’s Pujol and Jay Wiley, frontman for Pittsburgh’s The Hawkeyes.

Layer Cake. Poster by Joe Mruk.

Layer Cake. Poster by Joe Mruk.

Layer Cake – Music & Art Festival

Saturday, October 3. 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.

James Street Gastropub – 422 Foreland St.

$15 adv./ $20 d.o.s.

Always wanted to get into the local music scene, but weren’t sure where to start? Check out dozens of local musicians spread out over three stages at the inaugural Layer Cake. Presented by local promoter Ziggy Sawdust, the lineup boasts over 35 bands, a dozen live painters and a comedian hosting each of the three stages. Check out the glorious Joe Mruk poster for the full lineup. Go for even an hour and you’re guaranteed to find something you like.

MC Lyte. Photo courtesy the artist.

MC Lyte. Photo courtesy the artist.

MC Lyte – VIA Main Event

Saturday, October 3. 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Spirit Lounge – 242 51st St.

$30

Legendary Brooklyn rapper MC Lyte headlines VIA 2015’s main event. Not only was Lyte was the first female rapper to release a full-length album, with 1988’s Lyte as a Rock, she was also first female solo rapper ever nominated for a Grammy. She’ll be performing as a legacy artist at VIA, with visuals provided by Mexico City’s Alfredo Salazar-Caro. Lyte just recently released her first album in 12 years, Legend. The album was available for one day only, on Record Store Day 2015, and only on vinyl. But you’re in luck: the only other place to score a copy is at one of her shows.

3 Hour Tour. Poster by Aaron Shafer.

3 Hour Tour. Poster by Aaron Shafer.

3 Hour Tour

Sunday, October 4. 1:30 p.m.

Gateway Clipper – 350 W Station Square Dr.

$22

A typical one-hour riverboat sightseeing tour of Pittsburgh runs $20. Plunk down an extra Jefferson and spend three hours on the Gateway Clipper’s “Princess” riverboat partying with some of Pittsburgh’s finer musical acts at the third annual 3 Hour Tour. Performing will be local indie rockers Wreck Loose, The Commonheart, Round Black Ghosts and Paul Luc. And if we’ve learned anything from T-Pain, it’s that everything is better on a boat:

 

 

 

Strange Wilds

Tuesday, October 13. 8 p.m.

Spirit Lounge – 242 51st St.

$8 adv./ $10 d.o.s.

Olympia is 60 miles southwest of Seattle, birthplace of Riot Grrl, and the final resting place of Kurt Cobain, whose ashes were scattered in a creek there in 1994. (It was where Cobain “had found his true artistic muse,” or so says Charles Cross.) That’s where this band is from. Strange Wilds is a noisy, raucous, sneering punk rock trio who will spit you up and chew you out   that would put them right at home with rest of the late ’80s – early ’90s Seattle grunge scene. They signed to Sub Pop on the strength of just one EP:

 

 

Luna

Wednesday, October 14. 8 p.m.

The Andy Warhol Museum – 117 Sandusky St.

Sold Out

Is it too early to call Luna the official house band of the Andy Warhol Museum? Dean Wareham & co. played a free show in the museum’s parking lot back in 2000, as part of a street bazaar celebrating the cultural underground’s influence on Warhol. Years later, the museum commissioned Dean & Britta to compose songs for a series Andy’s screen tests, which premiered at the Byham in 2008 as 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests. The pair returned last year to perform in front of three more Warhol screen tests as part of Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films. There’s a distinct Velvet Underground vibe that runs through Luna’s music, which makes the Warhol partnership that much more fitting. They return to the Warhol next month as part of their nationwide reunion tour.

Zombies-OO-tour-image

The Zombies

Wednesday, October 14. 8 p.m.

Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead – 510 East 10th Ave, Munhall

$40+

Not only are The Zombies performing their era-defining album “Odessey and Oracle” in its entirety, the British psych-pop legends are also touring in support of a new album, Still Got That Hunger, which comes out in early October. For what it’s worth, Rolling Stone hyped the new album in a recent piece on The Zombies, but remember that this is coming from the same magazine that named U2’s Songs of Innocence “album of the year” last year. With a pair of founding members still onboard, keyboardist Rod Argent and singer Colin Blunstone, the new tunes can’t be that bad. If nothing else, they’ll put timeless tracks like “Time of the Season” and “She’s Not There” in proper perspective.

Kylesa. Photo courtesy the band.

Kylesa. Photo courtesy the band.

Kylesa

Saturday, October 17. 8 p.m.

Altar Bar – 1620 Penn Ave.

$16

Kylesa bubbled out of the same cauldron of stoner psych and sludge metal as fellow Savannahians Baroness and Black Tusk. The band is touring in support of Exhausting Fire, their seventh and newest LP, which will be released on October 2nd. The new singles released so far find the trio as heavy as ever. Guitarists Phillip Cope and Laura Pleasants continue to trade off on vocals, lending even more variety to the band’s already diverse sonic palette.

 

 

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life Performance Tour

Monday, October 19. 8:00 p.m.

Consol Energy Center – 1001 Fifth Ave.

$50+

Stevie Wonder has had an incredible life so far. Number One hit at age 13. Academy Award Winner. More Grammys than any solo artist.  UN Messenger of Peace. Motown legend. He even led the campaign to honor Dr. Martin Luther King with a national holiday.  Take the money you were going to spend to see The Who at Consol and re-invest it into seeing an American legend. Stevie will be performing his Songs in the Key of Life album in its entirety, as well as other hits from his expansive back catalog.

Big K.R.I.T.

Thursday, October 29. 8 p.m.

Mr. Smalls – 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale

$18

Most probably heard Big KRIT for the first time on “Glass House,” a track tucked at the end of Wiz Khalifa’s hyper-popular Kush and OJ mixtape. That was in 2010, a year before the Mississippi MC appeared on the cover of XXL‘s Freshman issue, alongside the like Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, Yelawolf and Meek Mill. Big KRIT is still as vital as any of those rappers. Currently signed to Def Jam, KRIT’s latest album, Cadillactica, was seen as one of the best hip-hop albums of 2014. And while KRIT is not officially working on a new album, he did just release a new track, “86,” just last month:

 

 

DEEP CUTS:

Bully. Photo by Emma Swann.

Bully. Photo by Emma Swann.

  • Grungy Nashville rockers Bully play Brillobox with Heat October 3, and were just featured on an episode of Sound Opinions.
  • Local singer-songwriter Brooke Annibale celebrates her new album, The Simple Fear, with a full band album release show at the Pittsburgh Winery October 3.
  • 70s NY punk rocker Sonny Vincent performs at Get Hip Records Headquarters October 3. 
  • Also on October 3, famed jazz outfit The Yellowjackets visit Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild.
  • Electronic artist Michal Menert performs songs from his Space Jazz album at Club Cafe October 4.
  • Indie rock veterans Built to Spill visit Mr. Smalls October 4 in support of their new album, Untethered Moon.
  • Steve Hackman is back for more FUSE@PSO, this time mashing up Beethoven + Coldplay October 6.
  • Nevada Color headline a quartet of local rock bands at Cattivo October 9, including Emerson JayThe Nox Boys and William Forrest.
  • Portland post-metal band Red Fang perform at Altar Bar October 9.
  • The Van Allen Belt play a free show October 11 at Spirit, w/ The Lopez and Mrs. Paintbrush.
  • LA rapper Hopsin — AKA the guy with the white contact lenses — is at Altar Bar October 12.
  • Guitar virtuoso Mark Knopfler performs at Heinz Hall October 13.
  • Buzz-heavy Toronto electro-pop band Grounders visit Spirit October 16.
  • Local indie pop bands Donora and Wreck Loose welcome Chicago’s AyOH to Brillobox October 16.
  • Electronic artist Emancipator brings the full ensemble for a performance at the Rex Theater October 20.
  • And finally, the rock-steady, inimitable Ringo Starr brings his All-Starr Band (including Todd Rundgren) to Heinz Hall October 27.

 

NEXTpittsburgh

We’re fortunate in Pittsburgh to experience the beauty of all four seasons and October exemplifies the best of autumn. The leaves twirl from the trees, pumpkins are ready to be carved and we can finally enjoy the Halloween candy that has teased us from store shelves since August. This month in our guide to the Top Family Adventures in October, you’ll find superheroes, garden trains, wooden ships, science fun, fall festivities and more. Here’s hoping your Halloween tricks don’t outnumber your treats. Happy fall!

Photo courtesy The Columbus Foundation.

Learn from the past through living history events

In the late 15th century, Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with hopes of discovering new lands. While opinions differ about his historical legacy, no one can deny that the opportunity to see replica ships of the Niña and the Pinta is an opportunity not to be missed. From October 1st – October 12th, the Columbus Foundation offers Pittsburghers the chance to step onboard these “floating museums” and learn about the type of ship (called a caravel) Columbus used to log thousands of miles in search of lands new to him.

The Niña vessel on display is generally considered to be the most historically accurate Columbus replica ship ever built. Families can purchase tickets at the dock at Station Square for a self-guided tour of both ships. Highlights include seeing firsthand the design and materials used to craft the ship, educational exhibits about the building of the ship, how it was navigated and the history of the time period when it sailed. For more information about the replica ships, click here.

If your family loves living history events, check out Fort Ligonier Days on October 9th – 11th. This festival commemorates the Battle of Fort Ligonier (fought in 1758), an important engagement during the French and Indian War.

Photo courtesy Feld Entertainment.

See your favorite superheroes at Marvel Universe LIVE! 

Who are your children’s favorite superheroes? Chances are very good that at least a few of them will be featured in Marvel Universe LIVE! at Consol Energy Center from October 8th – 11th. With over 25 Marvel characters represented, including Spider Man, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man and Black Widow, this live show sets up a classic “good vs evil” theme as heroes battle villains for the powerful Cosmic Cube.

Throughout the show, families can watch the Marvel characters perform all kinds of action-packed aerial stunts, motorcycle stunts and martial arts. A car chase will have kids on the edge of their seats while special effects and pyrotechnics keep the show’s intensity high.

Make the event extra fun for kids—let them wear the costumes of their favorite characters. Find ticket information and showtimes here.

Photo courtesy Maker Faire Pittsburgh.

Photo courtesy Maker Faire Pittsburgh.

Get inspired to create at Maker Faire Pittsburgh

Join crafters, scientists, garage tinkerers, tech enthusiasts and like-minded DIYers at the Maker Faire Pittsburgh on October 10th and 11th. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome at this family-friendly event highlighting invention, resourcefulness and creativity.

Get ready to learn and be inspired by over 50 tech exhibits, ranging from 3-D printing to robotics, and more than 20 arts and crafts demonstrations including everything from glassmaking to Japanese painting. In between presentations and workshops, there will be time to enjoy a robotic petting zoo, live performances, a bite to eat from the food trucks and a stroll through 30+ vendors selling their creations. Proof that the planners thought of everything? There’s even a designated Quiet Space where Faire-goers can take a break from the sensory-rich activities. Wow!

For more info. about this amazing community event, check out our article about how the Pittsburgh Maker Faire promises to be a game changer.

 

Photo courtesy Phipps Conservatory.

Interact with the Garden Railroad at Phipps Conservatory 

All aboard! The Garden Railroad at Phipps Conservatory is back this year with a whimsical theme that children are going to love. Opening on October 17th in conjunction with the Fall Flower Show, the Garden Railroad will take guests on an imaginative journey through scenes from classic tales such as Little Red Riding HoodJack and the Beanstalk and The Little Engine That Could.

Thanks to interactive features engineered by staff members, visitors can make the railroad display come alive. For example, kids can push a button and make a crocodile follow Captain Hook’s ship around Neverland Island. Green thumbs will appreciate that all the plants and flowers surrounding the railroad are grown specifically to match the size of the trains and other features.

While the Fall Flower Show will have a limited run through Sunday, November 8th, the Garden Railroad will be on display through February 28th. For hours and admission prices, click here.

Photo courtesy Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Trick-or-treat among the animal exhibits at ZooBoo 

Looking for an alternative to neighborhood trick-or-treating? Just want to get more wear out of the Halloween costumes? Head to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium for its annual ZooBoo weekend events on October 17th and 18th and October 24th and 25th.

Trick-or-treating stations will be set up throughout the zoo for candy giveaway and Halloween-themed games. The animals will join in the fun, too, with pumpkin treats and decorations. The Monster Mash area will have crafts, games, music and dancing.

ZooBoo will feature two family-friendly haunted houses, one run by Gymkhana and the other by zoo volunteers. No worries about little ones getting frightened-these spaces are all about fun. Kids are encouraged to wear a Halloween costume. There will be a parade and costume contest. Please bring your own trick-or-treat bags.

Can’t get enough of celebrating Halloween with animals? Check out the National Aviary’s Owl-o-ween events during October. Don’t forget to wear your costumes and take fun Halloween photos with different birds. Trick-or-Tweet!

Photo courtesy of Venture Outdoors.

Celebrate the season with fall festivities and Halloween activites 

Venture Outdoors is all about getting outside and being active. This fall, Venture Outdoors offers several activities perfect for families who want to combine the beauty of the season with some good exercise. On October 18th, kids can take a discovery walk in North Park and then decorate a pumpkin while munching on yummy snacks. For families who like a little bit of spookiness (but still family-friendly), try the Ghost Stories and Campfire Hike in Moon Park on October 24th. Roasted marshmallows included! Finally, have your younger kids wear their costumes for the Tyke Hikes Halloween Party in Schenley Park on October 31st. Trick-or-treating and crafts will take place after the hike.

Photo courtesy John Altdorfer for Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

If you’re looking for a free fall activity with all the bells and whistles, head to South Parkfor Allegheny County’s Hay Day Celebrationon October 17th. Just like last month’s event at Hartwood Acres, this celebration will include pony rides, bounce houses, crafts, a trackless train, petting zoo, hay rides and more. Food trucks will offer lunch options for purchase. Hay Day is an affordable way for the whole family to welcome the fall season.

For a Halloween event that fits the whole family, try the 7th Annual Halloween Mayhem at Kelly Strayhorn Theater on October 24th. This spooky day of activities includes dance and music performances by local youth groups, a costume parade, puppets, refreshments, photo booth, face painting and activity stations run by community organizations.

Lastly, find even more ways to enjoy the fall season in Kidsburgh’s 10 family-friendly farm adventures in Pittsburgh this fallarticle.

Experience a family-friendly live theater show or symphony performance 

Fiddlesticks

Photo courtesy Wade Massie.

October marks the opening of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s 2015/2016 season of the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series. Showcasing imagination, creativity and fun, this family-friendly series features six shows with run times around one hour, making them ideal for introducing young children to theater. Specifically staged for children, the shows often include simple set designs, interactive elements and catchy songs.

This season opens on October 18th with the show, Alexander, Who’s Not Not Not Not Not Not Going to Moveabout a boy who doesn’t want to move when his dad gets a new job in another city. The season schedule includes more shows from popular books, including Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to SchoolBig Bad Wolf and the classic Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny.

In addition to being affordably priced, these shows travel to multiple locations around the city making it super convenient to attend and usually free to park. Click here for more info about locations, ticket prices and show descriptions.

If you’d like to introduce your children to the symphony, check out the opening show of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Fiddlesticks Family Concert Series presented by Macy’s on October 24th. These three Saturday morning concerts last about 45 minutes and are perfect for children ages 3 to 8. Themes for the shows this season include Sing!Dance! and Play!.

 

Photo courtesy Carnegie Science Center.

Have fun learning about chemistry at Carnegie Science Center’s ChemFest

Imagine a cauldron of spooky liquid being stirred by a witch. Could she be a chemist? Sure, but chemistry is not limited to crazy mixtures in laboratory beakers and cauldrons. Find out how chemistry helps us learn about the world at the Carnegie Science Center’s ChemFest, a celebration of National Chemistry Week in partnership with the American Chemical Society.

Free with admission, the Science Center will offer dozens of hands-on demonstrations and exhibits. Professionals from local companies and representatives from area colleges will lead the activities making this a great opportunity for kids to meet people in the field and ask questions. The whole family can learn about the chemistry of fireworks, food, rainbows, natural dyes and more. Plus, your young scientists can experiment with fluorescence, phosphorescence and chemiluminescence. Science rocks!

For a Halloween-themed science activity, try the Creepy Crawly event that’s part of the Super Science Series at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Free with admission, the event on October 24th and 25th will include investigating creepy creatures in the museum, trick-or-treating around the dinosaurs and hearing spooky tales from around the world.

See you back here in November for more family adventures in Pittsburgh!

Looking for adult events? Check out our 11 Pittsburgh events not to miss in October feature.

Looking for live music? Don’t miss our Sound Picks: 10 can’t-miss Pittsburgh concerts in October feature.

Tara Sherry-Torres

The Pittsburgh Latino community has many amazing people working across a variety of sectors, from nonprofit to corporate, from artists to students. We are a community that is rich in talent and dedication to making this city the most livable for all who call it home.  

Cafe Con Leche honor these individuals with the FUERZA Award on Aug. 15 at The Hardware Store (a co-working space) in the Pittsburgh “Hilltop” community of Allentown, just above the South Side Slopes.

FUERZA! was the first-ever fundraising event of  Café Con Leche, which  connects the Pittsburgh Latino community, promotes Latino culture in Pittsburgh and create a space for dialogue and creative problem solving. All proceeds from the event’s ticket sales will directly benefit the organization’s operating expenses, and help sustain its free programming throughout the year

Fuerza Award Recipients 

See photos of the recipients and nominees (including ImaginePittsburgh.com Neighbors Jesabel Rivera and Cindy Fernandez) at CafeConLechePgh.com/fuerza/

KEYLA CRISTINA NOGUEIRA COOK
Hometown: Juquitiba, São Paulo – Brasil. Brasileira. Owner and Operator at Feijoada To Go. Creator of Projeto Madre Latina (A photo project that celebrates motherhood through Latina mothers in Pittsburgh). Administrative Coordination at Carnegie Mellon University.

Keyla has been living in the Pittsburgh area for the last 3 years. Always involved with Latino community either by serving as volunteer at COESA (Brazilian Association) or sharing a little bit of Brazil through food by cooking Brazilian food for private parties and/or Latin@ events such as Cafe con Leche. Keyla’s last project, Projeto Madre Latina ( A photo project that celebrates motherhood through Latina mothers in Pittsburgh) came to life with the help of the Brazilian photographer Lila Rodrigues.

Favorite place: West End Overlook

What are your hopes for the Latino community in Pittsubrgh?  I hope the Latino community in Pittsburgh can feel welcome and find valuable resources to live here. Find ways to preseve their heritage and consequently pass it along to future generations. I hope in the future Pittsburgh can be more diverse and good for all Latinos, by providing various types of support for latinos of all ages through culture, health and education and much more.

“Latinos independently of nationality should work together to strength our ties and keep building a strong Latino community!”

GISELLE FERNANDES
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro – RJ, Brazil. Nationality: Brazilian. Profession: Psychologist at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. COESA’s Executive Director and Trilingual Program Director.

Giselle was born in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2004, she immigrated to the USA. Giselle has a degree in Psychology from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ (1999) and she is a specialist in Mental Health (2001) through School of Public Health of Foundation and Institute Oswaldo Cruz in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Giselle is a licensed Psychology teacher graduated in UFRJ (2002). She has worked as school psychologist, psychiatric counselor, school-based therapist and clinical psychologist since 2000. Giselle has a master in Social Work from University of Pittsburgh and she is a licensed clinical social worker in Pennsylvania, USA. She is currently a field advisor for master students of School of Social Work of University of Pittsburgh in combination of holding a position of school-based therapist and program coordinator for WPIC of UPMC. Giselle served as teacher assistant for the Portuguese Department of University of Pittsburgh in the past. She also is an ex-student of the Doctoral Program of Applied Developmental Psychology of School of Psychology of Education at University of Pittsburgh. Giselle has articles published about Street Children as well as disparities related to ethnicity and mental health diagnosis on incarcerated youth. Giselle is a published poet. She published her first poetry book named “Saudade” in 2010, Editora Senac-RJ, Brazil. Giselle is a co-founder and current executive director of COESA – Cultural Organization for Educational and Social Actions; a non-profit organization in the state of Pennsylvania since 2012. Giselle is a competent and passionate community leader who has been contributing for the development of educational, health and social projects in Pittsburgh, Pain the USA as well as in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She recently pledged with COESA to promote Welcoming Pittsburgh Program and she is the creator of the Trilingual Program in Pittsburgh supported by the city of Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto.

Where is you favorite place in Pittsburgh? Schenley Park

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community? To become visible, united and well supported.

Is there anything else you would like to share? I love poetry.

CINDY FERNANDEZ-NIXON
Currently lives in Ross Township but grew up in NJ. Dominican. Engineer / Actress / TV & Radio personality. Ansaldo STS / La Rumba Productions ( Self Employed). Board member for Women & Girls Foundation. Also for Manchester Academy Charter School. Associate board member for Sarah Heinz House.

Engineer by training. Entertainer by passion. I believe we can do whatever we set our minds to as long as we adapt without losing what makes us who we are. Moving to Pittsburgh was a challenge as I felt I was leaving behind a huge part of me. However when I realized that not only can I bring my culture here but also get to share it with others, helped me help others feel welcome and make Pittsburgh their home.

Where is you favorite place in Pittsburgh? Mount Washington’s view.

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community? To continue to grow, diversify and enrich the current culture in Pittsburgh.

JOSE MIGUEL JUAREZ
Hometown: Paterson, NJ. Nationality: Guatemalan American. Medical Student and Paramedic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Jose Miguel Juarez completed his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. He is very passionate about living, learning, and working among underserved and vulnerable populations. In Houston, TX, Mr. Juarez served in a low-income Latino community as a middle school teacher for Teach For America. In Florida, he worked in a medically underserved community as a coordinator of medical services for Crescent Community Free Clinic. Today, he volunteers as a paramedic for Operation Safety Net, providing medical services to the homeless of our Latino community. He is also a coordinator and medical translator for SALUD Clinic, a free clinic committed to helping all uninsured and indigent Latinos in Pittsburgh. Mr. Juarez is determined to help reduce health disparities in our community. As a doctor, he will continue volunteering and advocating for all Latinos who do not have access to health care.

Where is your favorite place in Pittsburgh? As a resident of Oakland, Pittsburgh, my favorite place to go for a delicious lunch is the taco stand outside of Las Palmas on Atwood Street.

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community? My greatest hope is for every Latino individual and family to have access to all resources in our community necessary to ensure a good quality of life. My personal goal is to become an effective advocate of the movement to ensure that health care reaches every Latino in our community, especially the underserved.

Mr. Juarez is a 2015 recipient of the American Medical Association Minority Scholars Award. The AMA Minority Scholars program not only encourages diversity in medicine and alleviates debt, but also rewards commitment to the elimination of health care disparities, outstanding academic achievements, leadership activities, and community involvement.

PAULINA JARAMILLO
Hometown: Medellin, Colombia. Nationality(s): Colombia, United States. Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University.

Originally from Medellin-Colombia, I am now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. I first came to the U.S. in 1998 to a language school at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. While there, my family moved to Miami, so instead of going back to Colombia, I went to Miami where I studied Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University. After graduation, I moved to Pittsburgh to pursue an MS at Carnegie Mellon University. That was in 2003 and 12 years later, I am still in Pittsburgh and at CMU. As an Assistant Professor at CMU I am involved in multi-disciplinary research projects to better understand the social, economic, and environmental implications of policy-driven change in the operation of the energy system. More recently, I have also started working on issues related to energy and environmental sustainability in developing countries, including Colombia and Brazil.

Where is you favorite place in Pittsburgh? I really like the Carnegie Mellon Campus. Obviously, I spend a lot of time there. I think it is a beautiful campus and I love walking around it in the spring and summer when it is sunny. I also really like the Blue Slide Playground, where my kids spend a lot of time.

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community? When I first moved to Pittsburgh from Miami, I thought I would not have a chance to speak much Spanish, but I quickly found out I was mistaken. After 12 years here, I continue to be impressed by how vibrant the Latino community is in Pittsburgh. I hope this continues. I see that Latinos in the area are very involved in civil society and I would like to see Latinos become more involved in local government. Since I work at a university, I hope we can continue to attract talented students from Latin America. I hope we can establish connections with universities in Latin America so that their students can come spend time here in Pittsburgh and our students can go there. I think this kind of education exchanges would be valuable for Pittsburgh as well as for the countries in Latin America.

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino population? The one other thing I hope for the Pittsburgh Latino community is that as the restaurant scene in Pittsburgh continues to grow, we can see more Latin American restaurants. As in most U.S. cities, Pittsburgh has some really good Mexican restaurants and there are also some good Peruvian eateries. It would be great to also have, for example, Colombian, Cuban, Nicaraguan, and Argentinian food.

CAROLINA LOYOLA-GARCIA
Hometown Santiago, Chile. Nationalities USA and Chile. Media Artist, Filmmaker, and Performer. Robert Morris University; Associate Professor of Media Arts.

Carolina Loyola-Garcia is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and performer. She works primarily in media arts, including single-channel video art, video installations, video design for theater, digital printmaking, documentary, and as a performer has worked in theater and dance. She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and is Associate Professor of Media Arts at Robert Morris University.

Through her work she has explored topics related to social justice, the dislocated identity that results from colonialism and migration, and questionings around issues related to aspects of human existence such as relationships, the transient nature of the postmodern experience, memory, and the tense interaction between economy and the environment.

She has been on stage with Quantum Theatre on the productions of The Red Shoes, Ainadamar, Maria de Buenos Aires, and Mnemonic; and is the founder of the Pittsburgh-based flamenco ensemble Alba Flamenca.

A Few Favorite places in Pittsburgh: There are several places I love in Pittsburgh, including Biddles Escape to meet up with friends or hide and get work done; Highland Park, where I go for runs when the weather is nice; the shops on Bryant Street; and the Gallery Crawl event four times a year. I have been enjoying the variety of the restaurants that have been opening in Pittsburgh in the past ten years, always something new and exciting to try.

Hope for the Latino Community in Pittsburgh: As the Latino community continues to grow its presence in Pittsburgh, I hope that more organizations will recognize all that we can contribute to the cultural diversity of the region and will grow their support of activities and events around Latino and Hispanic heritage and interests.

MÓNICA MÉNDEZ
Hometown: Alajuela, Costa Rica. Nationalities: Costa Rica, United States.  Executive Director, Dress for Success Pittsburgh.

Mónica Méndez, PhD, began her tenure as the Executive Director of Dress for Success Pittsburgh after her move from Orlando, Florida, where she was the Executive Director of the House of Mentoring and Empowerment (HOME), a human trafficking organization for youth and young adults. Dr. Méndez has served as a gender-consultant to corporations, non-profits, and government organizations. She has published and presented her work in both national and international forums and in front of a wide variety of audiences. Recently, Dr. Méndez was named a Forté Fellow, which is a prestigious and competitive fellowship awarded to business women with diverse backgrounds who are in business school and who exhibit exemplary leadership and demonstrate a commitment to advancing women in business. She was also named an Echoing Green Global Fellowship Semifinalist for her work with HOME and for showing that she understands the needs of her community and strives to provide the possible solutions for the challenges it faces. Her work, passion and understanding of the issues affecting women and their families was also recognized in 2011 when Gloria Steinem presented her with a medal on behalf of the Veteran Feminists of America (VFA) honoring feminists in Florida who made extraordinary contributions to the empowerment of women. Her goal is to make Pittsburgh a stronger, healthier community by promoting the financial and social empowerment that women need in order to break the cycle of poverty. She is the wife of her wonderful husband and enjoys spending her “free time” with him and her dogs.

Where is you favorite place in Pittsburgh? Mt. Washington

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community? We come together as one voice for the well-being our communities and future generations.

GIANNA PANIAGUA
Hometown: Miami and New York City. Nationality: Cuban American and Puerto Rican. Papercutting Sculptor, Self Employed.

Originally from a blend of New York and Miami, Gianna Paniagua is a papercutting sculptor based in Pittsburgh who creates work about her experiences living with a heart transplant. Her upbringing was rich in culture, coming from Cuban and Puerto Rican families, and her mother made an extra effort by teaching her spanish as a first language. Living with a transplant, her reactions and emotions towards certain situations found a way into her artwork. Now, Gianna creates largescale installations that spark a discussion concerning the fragility of the human body and promotes the success of organ transplantation. She has exhibited in Wood St Galleries, 707 Gallery, the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and at the Scope Art Fair: New York. Recently she received the grand prize for the Emerging Young Artist Program at the Kennedy Center who honored artists with disabilities. She continues to spread her story through her work, and future plans include a residency at the De Young Museum in San Francisco and an installation for admitted children in New York Presbyterian Babies Hospital.

Favorite place in Pittsburgh: Children’s and Rivers Casino. You can thank my dad for this. I am still followed by the transplant team at Children’s Hospital, and go there for small procedures each year. My dad and I started a tradition that after each procedure, we would celebrate by going to the all you can eat buffet at River’s Casino. Anyone who knows me knows that I base all my social activities around food, and this place gives me an unlimited supply. My mom, dad, and I all go to the casino after a long day at the hospital and then play a few slots.

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino Community? My hope is that it grows and introduces to Pittsburgh to the numerous amazing cultures and vibrancy that exist under the umbrella term of “Latino.” I moved here 10 years ago, and I was the only one in my high school who came from a Latino background. Coming from cites like New York and Miami, that was extremely disorienting for me. Now, thanks to all that the city has to offer, we are seeing more Latinos coming to Pittsburgh. We all come from two backgrounds that we have to blend, and now it’s time to introduce Pittsburgh to that blend.

MARISOL WANDIGA VALENTIN
Hometown: Ross Township. Nationalities: Kenyan, Puerto Rican. Humanitarian Aid Program Officer, Global Links

Marisol Wandiga Valentin is the Program Officer for the Caribbean Region for Global Links, a medical relief and development organization dedicated to supporting health improvement initiatives in resource-poor communities and promoting environmental stewardship in the US healthcare system. In addition to her role at Global Links, Marisol serves on the Boards of Directors of the Society of Contemporary Craft and North Hills Ebony Women, and sits on the Advisory Boards of the Latin American Cultural Union and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education & Community Engagement Department. Marisol is half Kenyan and half Puerto Rican. She holds a B.S. in International Business from Duquesne University and is certified as a Humanitarian Aid and Development professional by La Roche College and RedR. Marisol enjoys spending time with her best friend and husband, Oscar Valentin, and her family and friends. Her passions are predictive marketing, social justice, non-traditional career pathways, cultural exchanges and folkloric dancing.

Where is you favorite place in Pittsburgh? St. Benedict the Moor Church

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community? Latinos have added so much to Pittsburgh’s history and achievements -from names internationally recognized like Roberto Clemente and Christina Aguilera to those more locally known like Eduardo Lozano and Salome Gutierrez. In the past our contributions have been narratted as a semi-colon in Pittsburgh’s history. I believe the new Latino community is making its mark, and soon we will be a full blown exclamation mark.

“We need to [...] cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community – and this nation.” — Cesar Chavez

MARÍA EUGENIA NIEVES ESCORIAZA A.K.A GEÑA
Hometown: Quebradillas, Puerto Rico. 
Musical director of Pittsburgh band Machete Kisumontao; Educator

I have played music all my life in Puerto Rico, NYC, and now in Pittsburgh, my home for the last 11 years. I’m raising my lovely daughter in this wonderful town. I’m always happy to contribute to the arts and culture of the Latino community and the Pittsburgh community. I’m happy and proud to call Pittsburgh my home. My daughter and I have had so many beautiful adventures and experiences here. We’ve met best friends, and it’s been the perfect environment for me to attain personal achievements; grow as an artist and individual, and hit life’s major milestones.

Where is you favorite place in Pittsburgh?
My favorite place in Pittsburgh is the Strip District in the daytime with all the shops from different parts of the world. There’s so much variety and you can find pretty much anything you want there. I also love the South Side, the North Shore, Oakland… and all the bike trails. You know what?! I love all of Pittsburgh!

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino population?
I hope that businesses and institutions are proactive in their support of artists, the cultural ambassadors of the Latino community. I hope that the Latino community can unite and work together to bring more music, art, food, and all things culture to Pittsburgh.

Fuerza Award Nominees

ALICE BECKETT-RUMBERGER

Hometown: Pittsburgh, by way of Washington D.C.
Nationality(s): Ecuadorian-American
Profession: Physical Therapist
Employer: Therafusion

Alice Beckett-Rumberger is a wonderful mix of entrepreneur, mother, and wife. Alice is the Owner/Founder of TheraFusion. A direct bill Physical Therapy practice. TheraFusion is a vehicle for patient rehabilitation and healing for injuries but her focus on injury prevention is a benefit to both young athletes, weekend warrior or anyone that wants to life a healthier life. Her speaker series on “Real Food, Real Life” is especially engaging as she helps folks better understand food labels, healthy food shopping, food preparation and more. In addition to her business ventures, she is also an ardent supporter of the arts, children, those in need, and non-profits. For years, she has been actively involved with the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater, which brings high quality children’s theater to Pittsburgh. Alice has played a leadership role in fundraising for the Non-Profits she serves. Whether she is pulling off a Fashion Show for the North Allegheny School District Foundation or running a leg or a marathon for Dirty Vagabond Ministries (one of a small number of ministries to inner city youth endorsed by the Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh) she shows all the vibrancy and passion of a strong minded, action-oriented Latina! Alice has a global perspective on helping others and is an ambassador for there is No Limits Foundation. She balances these causes while being a mother of seven wonderful kids and wife to her husband David!

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community? 
My hopes for the Latino community in Pittsburgh is to keep our heritage alive and be leaders in our respective professions. Working together for cultural understanding and all the benefits that diversity brings to a community.

DIANA BELLINI
Diana Bellini is Vice President – Latin America Account Manager at BNY Mellon. She is Ecuadorian by way of Queens, New York and is passionate for the advancement of Latinos. Diana currently mentors several college girls as well as serves on the board of ALPFA in order to help expand Latino leadership. Her focus is to help female Latino entrepreneurs sustain and expand business in the Pittsburgh region. Diana also wrote a blog about her work in Pittsburgh recently, you can read what she has to say here. 

BERENISE BERMUDEZ
Berenise is a motivated, insightful and energetic emerging professional who arrived in Pittsburgh from California just one short year ago. She came to Pittsburgh to accept a fellowship with CORO, a highly competitive, national fellowship program. During that year she worked for Governor Wolfe’s transition team, started a mentoring program for young women in Westinghouse High School and did research projects for both The Neighborhood Learning Alliance and The Mentoring Partnership. Berenise has a commitment to working with community organizations breaking down barriers for youth who struggle with inequalities of race, economics and opportunity. We need to keep her as an asset to our community by recognizing the work she has done here. Part of her consideration for wanting to return to California is the lack of Latino culture in Pittsburgh. As a young, Latina, emerging professional in public service, Berenise has the opportunity to lead the way for other young people like herself to find a place and a home in Pittsburgh that values not only her work but her culture.

JOSE DIAZ
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Nationality(s): Puerto Rican
Profession: 
Program Director
Employer: 
YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community?
Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods — 90 of them, to be exact; all vibrant and all rife with distinct character. Conversely, that same distinction has, in some ways, created division. And when you belong to a group that hasn’t traditionally been a part of that social makeup, the gap feels even wider. Latinos in this city represent such a group, but that appears to be changing because the region is changing — slowly, oftentimes painfully,  but changing nonetheless. I’ve noticed an increased interconnectedness among Latinos here in recent years. It’s evident when you hear Spanish being spoken on the buses and on street corners (a rarity ten-plus years ago), Latino products being sold in grocery stores, and authentic food selections from Las Palmas to Chicken Latino popping up in areas you wouldn’t typically expect them in. We’re more visible, more recognizable. As part of that visibility, there’s a real opportunity to tell more of our stories, to embrace and celebrate our uniqueness, and showcase ”nuestra cultura” as part and parcel of the distinct character of those aforementioned 90 communities. We’re here, we’ve been here, and we’re not going anywhere. In fact, you could say we’re just getting started.

KENYA DWORKIN

Kenya works tirelessly and endlessly in keeping our culture together! Her work with Coro Latinoamericano is proof of thatt. Her work strengthens Pittsburgh through unity and diversification, keeping Latinos connected through culture and music. Kenya’s work gives us a place to call home – wherever we can sing…. we are home! Her knowledge of the different Spanish speaking countries as well as knowledge of the host community gives the Pittsburgh Latino community the ability to be inclusive.

SANDRA LOJEK
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia
Nationality(s) Colombian/USA
Profession: Civil Engineer
Employer: Williams Energy/ Colombia en Pittsburgh

Sandra is very committed and dedicated to the Latino community she gives all her time to help and do things for others under her initiative Colombia En Pittsburgh became a nonprofit and is now growing and helping many of the refugees that have come to Pittsburgh. The Latino community is growing and do are their needs with people like Sandra it’s easier for others to adjust and stay in Pittsburgh because they find the support they need to get a fresh start

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community?
I came to Pittsburgh 10 years ago and this place had very little to offer to the Spanish speaking community, I am proud to see that the community is growing and I would like to see more support for those who arrive here and break family ties, and need to start from scratch, there are many names that come to mind when it comes to help, but only a few that are really dedicated to this cause, and many more families coming that we need to integrate to the new big latino family of Pittsburgh.

JESABEL RIVERA-GUERRA
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Nationality(s): Puerto Rican
Profession: Health Strategy Consultant
Employer: Highmark Health

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community?
My hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community is for it to continue to grow and increase its visibility without losing its sense of CommUNITY. That we can continue to support each other and to collaborate, not only with those of our nationality or only those who are Latinos, but also the community at-large. I hope the community continues to grow its tolerance towards new ideas and different groups, as well as to embrace all the different cultures in the Pittsburgh community, without losing its identity; always remembering that every step we take has been supported by those who were there before us.

JANETTE SCHAFER

Hometown:  Born in Maracay Venezuela, raised in Bath MI
Nationality(s): Spanish/Venezuelan/Irish
Profession: Assistant Vice President/Business Development Officer   
Employer:  WesBanco Bank

Janette has done much advocacy work around financial literacy, poverty alleviation, and tax preparation for low to moderate income families in the Greater Pittsburgh area. She has spoken for many area groups such as Lawrenceville United, Hill District CDC, Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Presbyterian Senior Homes, Focus on Renewal and others on such subjects as budgeting, lending preparedness for small business owners, home ownership, identity theft and fraud, and rebuilding credit. This year Janette was pleased to help the United Ways’ Money In Your Pocket Coalition by preparing tax returns for low to moderate income residents in the Homewood area. Through her profession, she also takes considerable joy in working with new business owners and small businesses in helping them better understand their financial picture through relationship banking. Janette is enthusiastic about her culture and heritage. She is passionate about using her skills and expertise in banking to empower clients to have a better financial future.

What are your hopes for the Pittsburgh Latino community? 
To work more cohesively across multiple channels to network together, support and promote Latino based businesses and causes, and to celebrate Latino culture is this vibrant growing urban center.