What is your project?
Thanks to our friends at CommonWealth Press I've been able to put together some great thank you gifts.
One of the most popular t-shirts in the shop is the "Heart of PA" t-shirt. CommonWealth Press will be printing up a special round of these shirts for our supporters - $25 supports the project and gets you a t-shirt.
The term "Pittsburgh Diaspora" describes the exodus of Pittsburghers from the city in the 1980s due to a decline in industry.
And then there are the tens of thousands who make up the "Pittsburgh diaspora," created by the exodus that drained the city of its population when steel collapsed in the 1980s and jobs were scarce. Since 1990, the city's population has dropped from nearly 380,000 to just over 311,000 in 2007.
The United States of Pittsburgh seeks to meet with the folks who call themselves Pittsburghers across the US and document their relationship to Pittsburgh.
Now, in 2013, there are people with strong ties to the steel city who just happen to live across across the country. I've been blogging about Pittsburgh for 8 years at IheartPGH.com and talking about Pittsburgh and with Pittsburghers (or anyone wearing a Steelers t-shirt) and I've learned that the ties to this city run deep.
It has been 25-30 years since this exodus from Western, PA, which is almost a generation. People have left, their kids have grown up and some now have grandkids. How does this second generation relate to the city?
In addition to understanding the relationship these ex-patriots (we really should call them ex-Pittriots) have with the city, we are building a directory of Pittsburgh places and businesses across the country.
A Pittsburgh Directory
There are plenty of lists of Steelers bars, we're going to start with the Steelers bars and build a bigger list of Pittsburgh businesses and places across the US. We want to share the stories of Pittsburgh folks - where they are today and what they are doing now (and make sure they are still Steelers fans too).
We're going to explore the idea that there is "just something about Pittsburghers" and see how that looks across the country.
Here are some of the questions this project will explore:
- What is your connection to Pittsburgh:
- Were you born in Pittsburgh?
- Did you attend school in Pittsburgh
- Why did you leave Pittsburgh?
- Would you move back to Pittsburgh?
- Do you identify as a Pittsburgher
Beyond just sharing the Pittsburgh love, The United States of Pittsburgh seeks to shine a light on the long term impacts of the decline of industry in Pittsburgh and the rust belt and how that has impacted people, families and cultural identity a generation later.
What is your perception of the future, and how does your project respond to that perception?
How will you use your time in each city to advance your project?
What is your project designed to accomplish?
My project is designed to generate awareness and information for a directory of Pittsburgh people and places across the United States. The United States of Pittsburgh project is a way to explore what the decline of industry in Pittsburgh a generation ago, means for people inside and outside of Pittsburgh now.
How do you plan to share the outcome of your project and the impact of your MTP experience with others?
- A directory that anyone can use to find a Steelers bar on Pittsburgh business anywhere in the USA. A useful tool, will be a reason to generate traffic to the project. (We're looking for suggestions for directory names.)
- IheartPGH.com is a blog about all things Pittsburgh that I've been working on since 2005.
- Presentations about the MTP in Pittsburgh (and hopefully beyond - by connecting to Pittsburgh clubs around the country. Click here to read an article about dueling Pittsburgh clubs in Florida.
- BlogLocal is a map of local blogs around the USA. Started in 2010 we have over 800 blogs on the map. I will also share information about this project on the BlogLocal Blog.