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Brashear Partnering with Artist to Explore Food Insecurity

Through the Public Arts and Communities Program, Brashear will collaborate with a Pittsburgh artist to create public art, focused on the intersection of community health crises and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to an increased need for food services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Brashear extended its food pantry hours, its service area, and offered limited delivery services for older adults and those with disabilities. Food insecurity is one of several community health crises felt in South Pittsburgh neighborhoods prior to the pandemic, which affected a growing number of people last year, as many experienced a variety of unexpected challenges. Through the Public Arts and Communities (PAC) Program, administered by Neighborhood Allies and the Office of Public Art, and in collaboration with the Borough of Millvale, Brashear hopes to create community dialogue around food insecurity, building awareness of the issue and furthering community support.

The PAC Program supports the development of place-based strategies and temporary public artworks that respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and address its intersection with other public health issues. It is an in-depth collaboration between four artists in partnership with four local community organizations, including The Brashear Association, to engage the communities that these organizations serve. South Side and Hilltop residents will have the opportunity to participate in the art making process and help with designing the final piece.

Brashear strives to ensure that anyone facing food insecurity does not also experience added societal stigma, which can often exist around the access to food services, and this project is meant to address that stigma, as well as offer resources and support. This connects to Brashear’s vision to develop a client-focused pantry in the Hilltop, which will function like a market for residents and offer a community gathering space with scheduled events, such as cooking classes. This plan is included in the next phase of construction at the Brashear CARES Center in Knoxville over the next few years.

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