project leader
Steve R
2005 Sarah Street
(South Side Pittsburgh)
latest update rss
Save the Date, July 29th. Join us at Ruggers Pub for a chance to win BIG Prizes, and support the Community Mural Project!

the project

A wide team of community members/residents, in partnership with the South Side Community Council, are proposing:
the creation of ten public murals throughout the South Side Flats, to celebrate the vibrant history and culture of the neighborhood.

Murals will be legally created on privately owned exterior walls to visually exhibit the diverse identity of the South Side's generations past and present. Urban artists who represent the diversity and creativity that exists on the South Side and elsewhere will be commissioned to paint the walls to visually tell the South Side story.

A $10,000 commitment has already been made by the South Side Community Council !!!

The South Side Community Council plans to build from this successful endeavor an art trail to attract and welcome visitors to the many extraordinary businesses and neighborhood attractions in the South Side.

For this living history mural project, donations are being raised to fund paint, brushes, scaffolding, and artist labor.

Community events are planned for artists to hear the neighborhood's stories and ideas for translation into mural design proposals.

the steps

A community meeting will be held, with the artists in attendance, to listen to neighborhood stories to inspire the artists as they translate memories into paintings. The project team will identify and secure agreements with ten (10) property owners in strategic and highly visible areas for the wall murals to be painted. The project team will raise the necessary funds throughout the community to make this proposed project a reality. Funds raised for this project will be used exclusively to purchase painting materials and artist labor.

It is anticipated that the wall murals will be completed by Fall 2017 and an accompanying walking art tour of the South Side will be developed in various formats (map, tour guided, web based) that will tie together the new murals with existing sites to navigate visitors through the eclectic South Side.

(For a breakdown of estimated mural costs, please see the Budget tab at the top of this page.)

why we're doing it

The proposed project will unite residents and urban artists to share their vision of the past, present, and future of the South Side.

Mission Statement: Founded in 1939, the South Side Community Council gives a voice to the residents of the South Side Flats neighborhood and strengthens the community by celebrating and embracing its history and its arts and cultures. Through collaboration and community partnerships, it will address the challenges facing the South Side while improving the quality of life and economic vitality of the neighborhood.



Each mural is an estimated $5,000 total based on the following research.

We are pursuing 10 murals, for a total goal of $50,000.

If this community fundraiser closes lower than our goal, we will still move forward with the number of murals that our funding does support. We will pursue a second phase next year to continue this community art investment.

One mural at $5,000 is estimated from:

$3,000 for artist labor to design and install at $50/hour for 12 hours.
       *We are hiring quality, established artists vetted by a community review of their proposed designs to express the neighborhood's history.

$2,000 for materials including paint, brushes, materials to prepare the wall surface, scaffolding, safety harnesses, and other.

If any mural costs less than $5,000, then the remaining funds will go toward other murals that may cost more than this estimate.

SUBTOTAL = 50,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $1,500
TOTAL TO RAISE = $51,535



Save the Date, July 29th. Join us at Ruggers Pub for a chance to win BIG Prizes, and support the Community Mural Project!

Meeting this evening...Come enjoy Food, Drink, and Music while we celebrate the project and get community input!

We will celebrate the Community Mural Project at the South Side Community Council Open Meeting tonight!

Food, Music, Enjoyment. Click on flier to the left.

WHEN: June 26th @ 6:30 PM
WHERE: 2040 Wharton St. (next to old Radio Shack location)

$10,000 donation committed!

A $10,000 commitment has been made to this project from the South Side Community Council, bringing the project 20% toward its goal !!!

Thank you to the SSCC's collaboration with our team of neighors to build this project's success. 

This support from the SSCC is provided by a grant from the Heinz Endowments.  Thank you to their support for community-driven projects.

Our first mural was a gift from Hemispheric Conversations Urban Art Program

Top of Form

Artists work with Graffiti Watch to learn, display neighborhood's history

May 2, 2017 | Vol. 77 No 44

The Hemispheric Conversations Urban Art Project brought artists from Mexico and Chicago to work with local artists to paint aerosol murals on walls at Carrie Furnace on April 29. While the artists were in Pittsburgh, they offered the South Side Community Council three artists from Mexico to demonstrate their skills on one of the walls in the South Side. The artists work can be seen on Fox Way, between 20th and 21st streets.

South Side Community Council's Graffiti Watch volunteers have been meeting monthly during the warm months over the last 10 years to paint over graffiti in the Flats.

Although these efforts have helped to control the amount of graffiti in the neighborhood, Steve Root, the Graffiti Watch lead, had an interest in moving towards a more proactive approach. As a traveler in cities in the US, Europe and Canada, he became aware of each city's public art and the positive image it projected.

Over the last year, he has been in conversation with Ron Baraff of the Rivers of Steel Corporation and Shane Pilster, a local artist, along with local property owners on how to bring public art to South Side. About a month ago, his public art committee met to formalize the project.

The plan is for the identification of public space and artists who are willing to hear from the community and learn about its history so it can be incorporated in their art. In time, these efforts can be a new way to attract visitors to the South Side - to view its history through public art.

These efforts cost money and while the Public Art Committee recently began working on a fundraising plan an opportunity came about to jumpstart their efforts. The Hemispheric Conversations Urban Art Project brought artists from Mexico and Chicago to work with local artists to paint aerosol murals on walls at Carrie Furnace on April 29. They offered the community council three artists from Mexico to demonstrate their skills on one of the walls in the neighborhood.

Fortunately, Mr. Root has, over the last year, been in communication with Ally Berger Garcia of Berger Investments who owns the property that includes Popeye's and Family Dollar. They have been working together to clean up Fox Way behind the building and already agreed that their back wall would be a great site for a mural.

Over the past week, Wes, Kif and Orion, renown artists from Mexico, painted a mural containing elements of South Side's and Pittsburgh's history. More information about the public art project will be shared shortly, but those who have an interest in knowing more immediately and becoming involved can reach Mr. Root at

"This is a great example of the business community working alongside residents," said Barbara Rudiak, president of the South Side Community Council. "Berger Investments responded to the concerns from the South Side Community that the alley was unkempt with overflowing trash and litter. They met with John, the franchise owner of Popeye's and Jessie, the manager at Family Dollar who cleaned up the area and expressed their commitment to keeping the area clean."

During the mural work, Popeye's provided the artists with food and use of their facilities.



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Jim Sheridan
  • South Side Plumbing & Heating Co.
  • Joe Koscinski
  • The Capretti's
  • Paul Heil
  • Dan Gigler​
  • Rob Brandegee​
  • Alicia Kenney​
  • Anna Kijanka​
  • Suzy McKain-Fallon
  • Malinda Guerra
  • Maxine & Ray Butler
  • leslie cooley
  • Doug & Jan Ripper
  • Jody and Lynn O'Donnell
  • joseph bielecki
  • Maya, Hailey, Annie, and Eli Silk in Honor of Steve Root's Birthday
  • Gavin and Melanie
  • Virginia Phillips
  • Jane Yanosick
  • Anonymous
  • Sarah S.
  • Jimboski
  • Dan Root in Honor of Steve Root's Birthday
  • Cavalier Robert
  • Gregory & Julie Briski
  • Berger Investment Group
  • Jeff and Kitty
  • Anonymous
  • Gateway Paint
  • Dawn M.
  • Janice Savinis
  • Frank Vitale
  • Edward Wallo
  • Ed Berecky
  • Nancy & Greg Lomasney
  • Deborah Nelson
  • Barbara Rudiak
  • Ruth A. White
  • Louise Silk
  • Jon Haglund
  • Steve Root