Thursday, June 18, 2009

Burgh Diaspora Tales

With my morning rant out of the way, I'm in need of some lighthearted fare. First, a story about how a Lawrenceville celebration ended up in Trenton, NJ:

Artworks Executive Director Michael Gumpert modeled Art All Night on an annual celebration held in the Pittsburgh, Pa., neighborhood of Lawrenceville. That event had a modest beginning in 1998 with 101 pieces of art and about 200 attendees. The event now draws more than 10,000 visitors and more than 1,000 artists.

Mr. Gumpert lived in Pittsburgh for 12 years, where he volunteered at Lawrenceville’s Art All Night. When the East Windsor native returned to New Jersey and joined the board of Artworks, he suggested the initial Trenton event. It was held at Artworks on Stockton Street and drew about 1,600 people, with 370 artists presenting work.

It's an interesting boomerang migration anecdote with Pittsburgh serving as the expatriate location. But I'm more intrigued with how an idea traveled a long distance in an unexpected direction. On the backs of migrants ...

A footnote in a WWVB blog post merits mention here:

Also: one of [Hunch's] key people is Pittsburgher (and Flikr co-founder) Caterina Fake. (wiki)

Hunch is a New York City business with a Pittsburgh connection. If Pittsburgh did a better job of networking its urban alumni, then Caterina Fake might serve as an ambassador for Pittsburgh in the Big Apple and pave the way for other Pittsburgh graduates looking to go global. I hypothesize that talent would move to Pittsburgh in order to gain access to this network, much like a university can leverage its alumni to attract top-notch students. It makes the Pittsburgh Promise a little sweeter, no?

1 comment:

Susan Constanse said...

Art All Night was actually modeled on an event that was held in Chicago. It was started by an individual that moved to Lawrenceville from Chicago.