Manchester Academic Charter School Students Unveil Artwork and a Story Box Celebrating the North Side
Saturday, August 24 was a day of celebration for the Manchester Academic Charter School (MACS), PHLF, and the Saturday Light Brigade. Students unveiled North Side: The “Best Side,” a 36-foot-long mural and a “Story Box” of audio clips in their new middle school on the second floor of the former Allegheny Carnegie Library.
The Fine Foundation and the McSwigan Family Foundation Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation funded the collaborative project initiated by PHLF and completed in cooperation with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Saturday Light Brigade, Greg Pytlik (designer), and Emily Newman and Hassan Sharif (MACS art teachers).
“The goal of this project was to give MACS students a chance to show off their skills as artists, interviewers, and storytellers and to help them feel at home in their new school environment, in the presence of artwork and stories they created,” said Louise Sturgess, Executive Director of PHLF.
The mural includes details of North Side places, from MACS’ elementary school on Liverpool Street to the Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, Allegheny Commons, Mattress Factory, City of Asylum, Randyland, Children’s Museum campus, Andy Warhol Museum and Bridge, Sarah Heinz House, Heinz Lofts, and Sixteenth Street Bridge. The Story Box includes audio clips from seven community leaders, and from eleven MACS students who talk about their art project, their new school, the North Side, their career hopes, and leadership.
With the Manchester Academic Charter School on the second floor and MuseumLab on the first floor, the former Allegheny Carnegie Library is full of people, activity, and artwork once again. It’s a preservation triumph––and we commend the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and all their partners for making this historic landmark an integral part of the North Side once again. For years to come, we hope that North Side: The “Best Side” will help MACS students and teachers feel at home on Pittsburgh’s North Side, where they can discover the history, see the beauty, and learn, explore, and belong. These phrases are part of the mural.