Although I haven’t had much time to be making and publishing my own work, I’ve been knee deep in comics, while soaking up the summer in Pittsburgh.
Mary Hart’s Computing Workshop, located in Squirrel Hill, provides educational opportunities for students and adults on the autistic spectrum or with other differences or obstacles to success in traditional school settings. The CW offers adapted instruction across the curriculum, with particular emphasis on computing, technology, and the arts, along with social and communication skills, in a safe and supportive setting. I’ve been involved with the Computing Workshop for three years now and every summer it’s only gotten better.
Besides teaching comics, reading and programming at the Computing Workshop, I’ve been hopping across the city of Pittsburgh teaching comics workshops thanks to Paula Levin’s Literary Arts Boom program. If you don’t know anything about Paula Levin’s Literary Arts Boom [The LAB] here in Pittsburgh, I suggest you read this nice little write up by Marty Levine on Pop City Media.
The LAB offers free out-of-school programming to Pittsburgh youth, ages 6-18. Students practice and improve their inquiry and writing skills in a safe and unique space by participating in project-based workshops that incorporate art, technology, and communication. Mentorship and creativity inspire students to pursue their interests, find their voices, and tell their stories.
The LAB provides a space for collaboration, innovation and community engagement among youth, adults, and organizations focused on kids and creativity. Individuals, ranging from authors to zoologists, can share their talents, passion, and wisdom with local youth.
Paula, The LAB’s “head experimentalist” is focused building a culture of reading, writing, and creativity in Pittsburgh, giving youth the tools, support and resources necessary to bloom into critical minded and inspired thinkers.
Given the great divides that exist across the American public education system, it’s a real honor to be involved with a program as vibrant and ambitious as the LAB.
Photograph by Alessandra Hartkopf