community + cultural info

Union Project Hosts Neighborhood Clean-Up Day

The Union Project is hosting a Vandalism Clean-Up Day on Saturday June
14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the former Union Baptist Church (Stanton &
Negley Avenues, Highland Park). A press-conference will be held at 1:00 on the
front lawn.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, vandals broke into the Union Project,
shattering 26 interior windows, splintering original 100-year-old
handcrafted woodwork, ripping up floorboards, and trashing furniture
and clothes donated for the community-wide Highland Park Yard Sale. There
were also some 15 attempts to set fire and five small homemade bombs meant
to spray shrapnel and flames. The Union Project is restoring the former
church as part of its mission to create community by connecting neighbors and
celebrating art and faith in common space.

The June 14 clean-up day follows a strong precedent - in less than two
years, this grass-roots project has garnered the support of 400 people
and their 6,000 hours of work removing trash from the building, planning
for the restoration, raising funds, organizing the board of directors and more.
"This project would not be possible without the participation of our
neighbors," says Executive Director Jessica King. "It takes a whole
community to pull off something this big."

Projects for the Saturday work day include cleaning up vandalism
damage, securing the doors with new and improved locks, painting and
refinishing the exterior doors, installing upgraded exterior lighting and continuing
the ongoing landscaping and beautification efforts. "Our goal for the
clean-up day is to show that an active, healthy community cannot be sabotaged by
violence and destruction," says Board Chair Brad Siemens.

In addition to the physical repairs, a Union Project Vandalism Fund has
been established for those who wish to contribute financially to project,
specifically for the costs associated with the clean-up effort. The
Board of Directors has set a goal to raise $20,000 in response to the crimes.
Organizers expect a strong community turn-out and note that food and
drink will be provided for volunteers.

To volunteer, call 412.478.3105 or email
For more information regarding the
event, call the Union Project at 412.363.4550 or email
or visit

Justin Rothshank
Associate Director
The Union Project
801 North Negley Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206
Restoring neighborhood space to connect, create, and celebrate