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Pittsburgh

In 2008, MGR expanded to Pittsburgh as its first expansion city outside of Chicago.  Starting with just 20 youth participating in a pilot arts program at Pittsburgh Public School’s Philip Murray K-8, MGR now serves over 1,600 Pittsburgh youth per year.
  
MGR’s Arts in Action program continues to have a significant impact in the region.   Youth in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region continue to have an opportunity to become civically engaged through the arts both during the school day, as afterschool initiatives, and as summer programming.  Not only is this program implemented in schools and community centers, but MGR Pittsburgh has developed an Arts in Action initiative for Pittsburgh’s incarcerated youth at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center.  

MGR has partnered with Pittsburgh Public School’s Summer Dreamers Academy since its inception in 2009 by implementing not only Arts in Action but also MGR’s Active Health imitative, Positive Spin.  This initiative is now offered during the summer and as an afterschool initiative at various Pittsburgh Public Schools and in Clairton, PA.   

Most recently, MGR Pittsburgh has begun to develop and strengthen it Environmental Justice programming.  During 2013, MGR Pittsburgh explored ways to reach Environmental Justice outcomes through the Arts in Action and Active Health program areas.  This year, MGR will build on this work by developing Environmental Justice Clubs at four middle and high schools in the region.  

Regional Stats

1600
Total number of youth served in 2013
90
Percentage of youth completing Arts in Action that can articulate a plan to better their community.
5
Number of years MGR Youth Empowerment has served as a provider for the Pittsburgh Public School's Summer Dreamers Academy

What’s New

  • 7/8/2014 - MGR Summer Programs

     Check out this video created last year by our Arts in Action campers during Pittsburgh Public Schools Summer Dreamers Academy. The campers discussed why they dance and the positive emotions...

  • 7/3/2014 - Positive Spin Adds Bikes to Fleet

     The kind folks of Kindred Cycles helped Positive Spin build the newest addition of bikes to their fleet. Our younger youth will be so happy to ride these wonderful new bikes (all 25 of them are XS!)....

  • 5/12/2014 - U.S. Attorney David Hickton attends MGR Positive Spin

     U.S. Attorney David Hickton visited Clairton's premiere afterschool program, "CASTLE".  He spread encouraging words to the students and then participated in a youth bike ride to Clairton...

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Impact Story

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Clairton's CASTLE Program

Through MGR Arts in Action at Clairton Education Center's CASTLE program, students learned how the past can influence the present. After watching a clip from the Wattstax music festival in 1973, students discussed how style and music and people may look different, but community issues often remain the same. The group of young artists worked together to create their own anthems for themselves and for Clairton in the style of the famous activist melody 'I Am Somebody,' then shared them with their classmates in a Call and Response rally.
  
At the end of the day's session, a teacher's aide approached the teaching team and expressed her gratitude for the day's activity. With tears in her eyes, she said, "These are my kids and I've never seen them do anything like this before," pointing out that one of the students who read his anthem in front of the class was on her lowest reading level and never liked to read aloud before.