About The Glassblock
As a city of actively creative, interconnected people, it's evident that Pittsburgh is poised for something pretty remarkable. But as new residents, new industries, and new national media attention wash over us in waves, it's critical that we have a platform to showcase the truly compelling and distinctive things happening here while simultaneously--crucially--not shying away from pointing out the work that's still left to do.
The Glassblock is the culmination of an idea that I've been developing for more than a year. Since launching my email newsletter EAT THAT, READ THIS in the summer of 2014, I've recognized that Pittsburghers are hungry to be informed, to be entertained, and to celebrate Pittsburgh in a thoughtful, context-rich, and fun way that our current media landscape doesn't provide for. So when I learned that local filmmaker, artist, and musician David Bernabo was thinking about the same issues of culture, creativity, and identity in Pittsburgh that I was, something sparked, and the plan for The Glassblock was hatched.
Pittsburgh is home to so many skilled writers, artists, musicians, scholars, engineers, makers, cooks, activists, public servants, and creatives of all sorts who are doing intriguing things. Our vision is to create a forum and a spotlight to survey this contemporary work while also exploring Pittsburgh's rich veins of history--and to have fun doing it. Undergirding a diverse collection of voices, we will be constructing a framework of our own regular features, like documentary-style video segments or handy resources, like election guides or interactive maps and data visualizations, that enhance the way Pittsburghers experience their city. The Glassblock is intended as a way to paint a larger picture of what's happening in Pittsburgh, a grab bag of scenes and experiences.
Though The Glassblock's in-house editorial team will be lean--Dave and I are it for this first phase--in order to realize our vision of a quality web magazine for Pittsburgh, it'll require some initial funding to enlist this homegrown talent. We are committed to paying The Glassblock's contributors for their work, and your donations will kick-start this new funding stream for Pittsburgh area creatives.
Thank you for reading our pitch, watching our video, and donating to help us meet our financial goal. Like the architectural element it's named for, a literal building block that can be found peeking up out of basements or filtering gauzy light into rooms and corridors all around the city, The Glassblock is a web magazine of Pittsburgh that's elemental, multifaceted, and familiar. Let's get building!
Adam Shuck, Co-Founder and Editor
I'm the creator of EAT THAT, READ THIS, the lunchtime link round-up e-newsletter about Pittsburgh that strives to inform and entertain in your inbox every weekday. ETRT's regular aggregation of Pittsburgh news, politics, culture, and miscellany has been celebrated by local media outlets as "funny in a Jon-Stewart-reads-you-the-local-news kind of way," "the most yinz-specific medley of happenings possible in a single email," and "a must-read." I grew up in a little town outside Frederick, MD, and after studying German and Linguistics at NYU, I spent a few more years in New York before moving to Pittsburgh with my partner Matt in 2010. I've been called "a news junkie's news junkie," but I'm also a junkie for maps, languages, and a good Pittsburgh salad.
Dave Bernabo, Co-Founder and Arts and Culture Editor
I am a filmmaker, musician, dancer, visual artist, and occasional healthcare consultant. As a native Pittsburgher, I am interested in documenting my city via writing and interviews, musical composition, and film (Ongoing Box followed eight local creators and Food Systems is a film series documenting local food culture). Lately, I'm focused on growing (or fabricating) a reputation for being a great cook.
You enjoy engaging with quality writing, art, music, video, and data. You have a great love for Pittsburgh and an interest in helping to shape its future through both upbeat praise and sober scrutiny. And you are the most important part of all of this--your generous support will establish the beginning foundations for The Glassblock, and without that, it would remain just an idea.
Thank you to Karen Abrams, Scott Bricker, Rachel Ann Brickner, and Lauren Goshinski for sitting down to talk with us about your lives, your perspectives on Pittsburgh, and your support for The Glassblock.
Thank you to Seth Clark for your design expertise, providing us with a winsome logo for The Glassblock.
Thank you to DJs Aaron Clark, Daniel Barrett, and Ricky Moslen; the Duncan Street Dinners crew; Daniel Agüera; the folks at Spirit; and Lesley Rains at East End Book Exchange. Thank you to writers Rachel Ann Brickner, Matthew Newton, Beth Kracklauer, and Sherrie Flick.
And thank you to our innumerable collaborators, friends, family members, and spouses for your ideas, your open ears, and your support.
Risks and challenges
If we are successful in raising the funds we need to launch The Glassblock, we have a couple immediate tasks:
First, we will announce a call for submissions, and we're looking forward to working with local writers, artists, and other creatives to publish pieces that will entertain, inform, and represent diverse experiences. For months, we've met with some of these Pittsburghers who are excited to share their projects and ideas on The Glassblock's platform, but a perpetual challenge--though, really, opportunity--will be to continue to seek out contributors to deliver quality content and conceive of new features. This is something we're excited about.
Eventually, after months of compensating contributors, we will exhaust our initial funds. To prepare for this, we will be taking on the challenge of finding ways to sustain The Glassblock from the get-go (note: not from the GetGo). We look forward to exploring advertising and sponsorships with partners who share our vision and see The Glassblock as a valuable outlet for Pittsburgh.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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