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block party | bridges | celebrations | community | culture | identity | image | neighborhoods | tourism
A summary of the idea, the needs it serves, and a description of a possible pilot program
With events like First Night, The Three Rivers Arts Fest, The Regatta, and Light Up Night Pittsburgh has no shortage of city-wide festivities. Capitalizing on the willingness of local residents to come out in droves for a grand celebration, Pittsburgh should hold a city-wide party designed and implemented from the grassroots to celebrate nothing less than life in this city.
This concept would facilitate the coordination and execution of a number of community ‘Block Party’ festivals throughout the city on a given day, weekend, or around a holiday. Participating communities would organize a celebration of their own unique vision for the festival in their neighborhood. A guide could be published for festival goers to navigate the various events happening simultaneously throughout the city.
Finally, a culminating event highlighting the best of the festival could be held on the signature downtown bridges spanning the Allegheny River (Roberto Clemente Bridge, Andy Warhol Bridge, and Rachel Carson Bridge).
These ideals are integral to a successful project design
Promoting Pittsburgh is a central priority. By holding a world-class festival spectacular while maintaining the grassroots community activism that makes Pittsburgh feel like home, the city can define itself as a breed apart.
Possible difficulties, pitfalls, and obstacles to consider
Concerns include cost, policy, and coordination issues. An ambitious project on the whole, it may be a reasonable alternative to start small with innovative ways to encourage and support community festivals with the intention of growing to the large scale city-wide festival described. A multi-phase approach may be best.
Learn more about the idea, from genesis to dialogue
Building Blocks: The All City Block Party came from room 520 and was championed by Ka Woods, Sam Matthews, Andrew Macurak, and April B. They thought that providing communities with the means to organize community-building festivals would take off as the communities came together to celebrate their own unique traits.
One Commenter suggested coordinating through a wiki or similar community-built web forum.
The similarly named Bridge Fest from room 526 and Bridge Festival from room 617 described the commandeering of one or more downtown Pittsburgh bridges to hold a world-class festival celebrating Pittsburgh’s uniqueness and building bridges between its communities.
Get to know these groups, organizations, projects, and authorities, their current and past activities, the possibility for consultation or partnership, and in-roads to collaboration.
These important questions are asked of each idea. Try your hand at answering them as a way to explore the idea and how to make it happen. Answers to these questions help to demonstrate the Idea's strength and potential for success.
- What level is the idea at? (Research, Planning, Fundraising, Advocacy, Deployment, other (explain))
- What is a reasonable next step/phase for the concept? How can investment move the idea forward?
- What other resources or opportunities are available or necessary to make the idea happen?
- What existing activities or organizations in Pittsburgh duplicate some or all of the program components? How can this idea compete with, complement, and/or learn from these other activities?
- Who should be included in this discussion? Does the concept call for outside consultation or assistance from other organizations?
- How should the idea be promoted?
- How should project success be measured?
- What questions should be asked of a proposal for this project?
These questions address some of the anticipated programmatic concerns that come with administering small projects. Consider them test questions for model projects-- responses should be incorporated into the project's design.
- How will communities be solicited to participate?
- How will the project assist communities in organizing festivals?
- What programmatic activities will occur at the block parties?
- What responsibility will the project have for programming events?
- How will festivities be coordinated among participating communities?
- What legal and/or safety issues need to be addressed for a successful block party?
- How will the project secure the use of a major bridge?
- What activities will occur on the bridge?
- What legal and/or safety issues need to be addressed for a successful bridge festival?