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Category Archive: MCG Youth & Arts

  1. MBC resumes on-site operations with safety guidelines in place

    As on-site operations resume, Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) has taken significant measures to help ensure the health and safety of staff, students and visitors on our campus. The protocols and plans set forth will continue to be updated, revised or rescinded, as needed, as conditions change. Together, these measures will help protect our community from exposure to COVID–19.

    Safety Guidelines & Procedures

    We have worked diligently to develop and implement comprehensive safety guidelines and procedures for the resumption of on-site operations that align with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Education and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expectations and standards.

    Stopping the Spread of Germs

    While on MBC’s campus, all staff, students and visitors must adhere to the following:

    • CDC-approved face masks that cover the nose and mouth are mandatory and are to be worn at all times while on MBC’s campus. If a person does not have a mask, our Human Resources office will provide them with one.
    • Staff, students and visitors must employ social distancing by staying at least 6 feet (about two arms’ length) from other people as much as feasible in all areas of MBC’s campus including classrooms, hallways, restrooms and common areas.
    • Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the buildings that are a part of MBC’s campus. The stations are to be used as needed and hand-washing for at least 20 seconds is also encouraged throughout the day.

    General Operational Changes

    • MBC wants to remain welcoming to those interested in our work while ensuring the safety and security of our staff and students. We are currently conducting tours by appointment only with a limited number of visitors allowed. All visitors must adhere to our safety guidelines by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Those interested in booking tours should contact:

    Taylor Fife, Digital Marketing Specialist

    412-323-4000, ext. 195 or tfife@manchesterbidwell.org

    • Bidwell Training Center will not be conducting in-person information sessions our tours of their facilities at this time. Their informational session has moved to an online format.
    • MCG Jazz’s box office is operating remotely. They have also rescheduled spring concerts for the fall and have created an interactive, digital brochure for their new season.
    • MCG Youth & Arts will hold this year’s summer studio sessions virtually and this year’s MCG Invitational took place online. There are currently no artist exhibitions on display at our facilities.
    • The Drew Mathieson Center is offering contact-less pickup.

    Cleaning Procedures

    MBC’s programs and departments conducting in-person operations are committed to cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas frequently. Employees are also encouraged to disinfect their workspaces every day once arriving to work and before leaving.

    Protecting our Employees

    In the event of a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, administration will be informed immediately. Administration will implement a response plan which includes the following:

    • Securing and decontaminating the affected areas by:
      • Closing off areas visited by the person with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19;
      • Opening outside doors and windows and using ventilation fans to circulate air in the area;
      • Waiting at least 24 hours, or as long as practical, before cleaning and disinfecting the affected area;
      • Cleaning and disinfecting all shared areas such as offices, bathrooms, break rooms and shared electronic equipment (i.e., tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls);
    • Identifying employees who were in close contact (within about 6 feet for 10 minutes or more) with a person with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 from the period 48 hours before symptom onset to the time at which the patient isolated.
      • If any employee who was in close contact remains asymptomatic, the employees should adhere to the practices set out by the CDC in its April 8, 2020 Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practice for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19;
      • If the affected employee becomes sick during the workday, the person will be sent home immediately. Surfaces in the employee’s workspace will be cleaned and disinfected. Information on other employees who had contact with the ill employee during the time the employee had symptoms and 48 hours prior to symptoms will be compiled. Others at the workplace with close contact within 6 feet of the employee during this time are considered exposed;
      • Employees who were in close contacts of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the business premises will be promptly notified, consistent with applicable confidentiality laws.

    We are also helping our employees take care of not just their physical safety and well-being but also their mental health by providing them with resources.

    For More Information

    Manchester Bidwell Corporation cares about our community and is committed to providing the population we serve with helpful resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit our resource page containing more health and safety tips, educational programming, student and patron relations and community welfare services.

    For any additional questions or concerns about MBC’s efforts related to COVID-19, please contact us.

  2. Become a helper in a time of critical need, participate in #GiveBigPittsburgh

    Give Big Pittsburgh's COVID-19 Response

    In response to the immediate and unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, we invite you to participate in #GiveBigPittsburgh, a day of giving and unity. Starting at midnight on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, you can make a donation to Bidwell Training Center, MCG Jazz and/or MCG Youth & Arts.

    Why Should I Give?

    For more than 50 years, Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) has weathered difficult times and continued to serve people in need largely thanks to the generous support of our community. We’ve created diverse programming, empowered adults-in-transition and transformed the lives of countless urban and at-risk youth with the help of our donors.

    We ask that you join our family of donors because now more than ever we need your generosity to continue our mission of transforming lives.

    Your donation helps the laid-off single mother who needs career training to get a new job, the musician who was forced to cancel their gigs at local restaurants and the child who uses art as a way to cope with losing a loved one.

    In philanthropy, donors have an opportunity to do more than simply witness, but rather to act. Now is a great opportunity for each of us and our families to reflect on how we share, collaborate, invest and give to our neighbors.

    Become a helper. Your gift, regardless of size, will make a huge impact.

    How Do I Give?

    Starting at midnight on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, you can make a donation to Bidwell Training Center, MCG Jazz and/or MCG Youth & Arts.

    Donate to Bidwell Training Center:  http://bit.ly/givebigbtc

    Donate to MCG Jazz: http://bit.ly/givebigmcgjazz

    Donate to MCG Youth & Arts: http://bit.ly/givebigmcgyouth

    Our commitment to our mission remains as strong as ever and we are grateful for your support during this challenging time. The MBC family thanks you!

    Join the Movement on Social Media

    Follow MBC’s and its affiliates’ social media channels on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and use the hashtags, #GiveBigPittsburgh, #GivingTuesdayNow and #GiveMBC to show your support and encourage donor participation. If we see your post, we may even like or share it on our social pages!

    About Give Big Pittsburgh’s COVID-19 Response Campaign

    Rather than waiting until the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (Giving Tuesday) to launch the fourth annual Give Big Pittsburgh campaign, Pittsburgh Magazine is jumping in now with the COVID-19 Response Campaign, an effort to assist in raising critical dollars — in the safest way possible — for nonprofits in Western Pennsylvania during this time of exceptional need.

    Nationally, this initiative is inspired by Giving Tuesday and its #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity, designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.

  3. MBC COVID-19 closure update

    Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its affiliates and programs have always acted with the health and safety of our students, staff, and patrons as our primary priority, and in accordance with all government orders during this crisis. Our past anticipated re-open dates were based on the latest government orders. Based on the indefinite nature of Governor Tom Wolf’s latest order, we do not want to set an arbitrary re-open date. With the new guidance from the federal government and under the best-case scenario we are hoping to resume full operations Monday, May 4, 2020. However, this can certainly change.

    For over 50 years, Manchester Bidwell Corporation’s success has come from adapting to the needs of the community and the market, and we are currently operating under that mindset. Please stay tuned to all our affiliates’ communications as they announce new, creative ways to provide the programming the community desperately needs.

    Our foundational principles are steering us now more than ever. We must fill our new confined environments with beauty, light, and hope to shape positive behavior. We are relying on our creativity more than ever to fuel enterprise. Finally, in a time filled with despair, we must always remember people are assets not liabilities.

    We appreciate your patience and help during this time.

  4. MBC closure extended to April 6

    In accordance with Governor Tom Wolf’s order, Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its affiliates and programs will extend its closure with hopes to reopen April 6.

    We continue to ask all to please stay tuned to our websites, social media outlets, and emails as the situation with COVID-19 remains fluid.

    We sincerely thank you for your patience during this time.

  5. Manchester Bidwell Corporation Temporary Closure

    Due to an abundance of caution and in concert with new state-wide guidance around COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) and its affiliates and programs will be closed effective immediately. We will reopen March 23. Performances held at MBC will be postponed through March 31.

    While there has been no report of COVID-19 infection in Allegheny County at the moment, we are prudently going to deep clean and sanitize all common areas and offices to help slow the spread of the virus. While closed, no one is allowed in any of our facilities without the approval of MBC President & CEO Kevin Jenkins.

    During our closure, staff will still be compensated.

    For our students and patrons, you will receive specific communication from our affiliates and programs, but we want to provide you with some basic information. Bidwell Training Center students, all programs will be extended by the amount of time missed due to the closure. For MCG Youth & Arts students, our upcoming spring enrollment and trimester will be postponed, and a new date will be announced. For our MCG Jazz patrons, customers with tickets to performances in March will be contacted with information on exchanges, donations, and rescheduled dates.

    We will continue to stay in contact with appropriate officials and entities regarding any new guidance in slowing the spread of the virus. We ask that all staff, students, and stakeholders, stay tuned to our websites, social media channels, and emails for any changes to the current closure.

    We sincerely thank you for your patience, cooperation, and understanding during this time.

  6. Pa. secretary of education makes first visit to Manchester Bidwell Corporation

    In his first visit to Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC), Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera experienced first-hand how our organization combines many seemingly disparate elements – adult career training, youth arts education, jazz presentation and orchid and floral sales – into a dynamic whole with a proven record of positively changing lives.

    Rivera took a tour of MBC and met with President and CEO Kevin Jenkins and several executive directors including: Vice President of External and Government Relations for MBC Joanna Papada, Executive Director of Bidwell Training Center Dr. Kimberly Rassau, Executive Director of MCG Youth & Arts Justin Mazzei, Director of Greenhouse Operations Mark Wallace and Government Relations Consultant Mary Ann Eisenreich.

    MBC thoroughly enjoyed Rivera’s company. We are thankful of his support of our mission and educational model.

    Left to right: Government Relations Consultant Mary Ann Eisenreich, MBC President and CEO Kevin Jenkins, Vice President of External and Government Relations for MBC Joanna Papada, Executive Director of Bidwell Training Center Dr. Kimberly Rassau, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera and Executive Director of MCG Youth & Arts Justin Mazzei.

    Left to Right: Director of Greenhouse Operations Mark Wallace and Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera

     

     

  7. Join us for GiveBigPittsburgh 2019!

    It is officially the season of giving and there is no better way to end the year than by giving back to your community! Get ready to give! Starting at 12 a.m. on December 3rd, visit GiveBigPittsburgh’s website and make a donation to Bidwell Training Center, MCG Jazz and/or MCG Youth & Arts. Your donation serves as an investment in Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) and the people whose lives we transform every day. Whether its $5 or $50, no gift is too small to make a BIG impact on your community.

    Donate to Bidwell Training Center: http://bit.ly/givebigbtc

    Donate to MCG Jazz: http://bit.ly/givebigmcgjazz

    Donate to MCG Youth & Arts: http://bit.ly/givebigmcgyouth

    About GiveBigPittsburgh

    GiveBigPittsburgh raises money for local nonprofits through a single online donation platform, providing a simple way to connect donors to the charitable causes they care about most. This 24-hour online fundraising effort, hosted by Pittsburgh Magazine and local sponsors, offers nonprofits the chance to raise funds to support their critical missions. Learn more.

    Thank you from all of us here at MBC!

  8. MCG motivates for a brighter future: Derrick’s story

    Derrick Wallace, MCG Youth & Arts Graduate

    Derrick Wallace, MCG Youth & Arts Graduate

    Derrick Wallace, a Carrick High School graduate, admits he didn’t have much aspiration for his future before enrolling in Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Youth & Arts’ (MCG Youth & Arts) after-school arts programming.

    “Before the Guild, I wasn’t in the best place mentally. I had no confidence. I had no plans for my future, my self-esteem was at an all-time low, but the Guild led me in the exact direction I needed to be in.” Derrick remembers, “Being a high school senior with no plans, it’s amazing to think how far I’ve come because MCG played a big part in my life.”

    Derrick took many digital art classes during his time at MCG Youth & Arts. He recalls, “through those classes, I saw the teaching artists being open-minded and willing to help others learn. The MCG staff has become like a family to me, they are people I can look up to when I need motivation.”

    Derrick immersed himself in the variety of opportunities that MCG Youth & Arts has to offer. He signed up for the Psychology 101 course that is part of MCG Youth & Arts’ partnership program with Westminster College. The courses taught by Westminster professors, offers college credit to MCG Youth & Arts junior and senior high school students. These courses help students strengthen their preparation for their college careers. He explained that taking that class truly motivated him to stay focused.

    “We learned about the act of control and how that inevitably affects a person’s decisions,” Derrick said.
    “It taught me a lot about myself.” In addition to the psychology course, Derrick also joined staff and fellow students on the annual Yellowstone National Park trip, helped artist Kyle Holbrook paint the Pittsburgh Pirates Roberto Clemente mural in Lawrenceville, and traveled to visit Edinboro University.

    Derrick is currently a freshman studying Art Education at Edinboro University.

    When asked if attending MCG Youth & Arts gave him the confidence to pursue a college education, Derrick stated “Absolutely. MCG is the reason I even thought about pursuing my passions and seeking out my dreams. I honestly believe I’d still be at home in Pittsburgh, if Sam and Talon [MCG Youth & Arts staff] didn’t drive me up to Edinboro on the field trip. They are the reason that I’m even at college and studying Art Education right now.”

    Ultimately, Derrick hopes to find a worthwhile job in the arts, so that he can continue to grow and help others achieve their passions.

    Derrick recognizes the importance of having students participate in art programs like MCG Youth & Arts.

    “Getting involved is a way to expand your horizons, a way to put yourself out there, and meet new people,” said Derrick. “Through the Guild, they help artists widen their range of talents and improve themselves for the future.”

  9. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Youth & Arts’ new Executive Director is a familiar face

    In October, MCG Youth & Arts welcomed Justin Mazzei as the new Executive Director.
    While new to the position, Mazzei’s history with the organization started 15 years ago
    as a volunteer after graduating from Carlow University where he was studying arts education.

    “Upon graduating Carlow University, MCG Youth & Arts was at the tip top of the list of places I wanted to be a part of,” said Mazzei. “I started as a ceramic technician and in the next eleven years I grew through the organization in various roles, from teaching artist, arts integrated specialist, and studio coordinator to program director.”

    During his time here, Mazzei found magic in the building and in the students.

    “The amount of high quality opportunities we provide is astounding,” said Mazzei. “It is a place where your dreams can become realities. It is a place where you can see real tangible growth with the kids in our programs and its real.”

    Mazzei noted that the value of the program always revealed itself when he would see a student start their time in the program shy, nervous, and weary and leave the program a strong, confident, and empowered young adult with a matured sense of who they are and what their assets are.

    Between his time as program director and his new role as executive director, Mazzei stepped away from MCG Youth & Arts and worked at Andrew Street High School, a part of Propel Schools here in the region.

    Although he might have been away, his heart was still at MCG Youth & Arts. It was common to still see Mazzei at exhibit receptions and program events supporting students. He even took some of the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild story with him to the high school hoping to be the Frank Ross to a future Bill Strickland.

    “I smile thinking of it,” noted Mazzei. “I implemented even the smallest details like playing jazz music on my record player during classes and saw the wonder and excitement and frankly confusion on the kids’ faces. Needless to say everything I did to positively impact the youth in my reach was directly pulled from the story of Frank and Bill and the experiences I had at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild.”

    However, Mazzei couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to fill the executive director position at MCG Youth & Arts when it was available.

    In his new role as executive director, Mazzei wants to ensure that MCG Youth & Arts continues to provide world-class opportunities for youth in the region. One of his priorities is to collect and utilize meaningful data on new initiatives to expand the program’s family of partners, participants, and alumni.

    When asked about potential changes, Mazzei looks to the past for inspiration. “When I think of changes I think of the process of wheel throwing that inspired a young Bill Strickland,” said Mazzei. “I think of how as a potter you are transforming the clay into something with value, something with purpose, something beautiful. I envision the same process for the program. Change is constant, but making well informed and purposeful change to ensure all students have access to programming that offers them a bright and promising future is important.”

     

  10. Renowned illustrator exhibits and works with students

    Best-selling illustrator and children’s book author Carson Ellis shared her work and knowledge with MCG Youth & Arts students and her art is on display in our gallery. “Carson Ellis: Selected Works” presents a collection of original drawings, prints, and illustrations from the artist.

    The featured works—selected by Ellis—showcase the artist’s signature style through a range of traditional mediums. Concert posters, album covers, book illustrations, and process sketches are on display.

    Ellis’ work fits with MCG Youth & Arts’ 2019-20 theme “Celebrate. Collaborate.” Ellis works with her husband, The Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy, as well as with other authors and musicians. Her experience teaches students about the realities of being a professional illustrator while offering them inspiration to follow creative avenues they may already have access to.

    “I found Carson through Instagram, but also kept noticing her books in the homes of friends, even those without children,” said Cecilia Ebitz, MCG Youth & Arts Visiting Artist and Exhibitions Coordinator. “I hope that the students will see themselves as a part of a creative community at MCG and figure out what collaborations can be made here.”

    Ellis worked directly with students in the design studio as part of a threeday workshop. They went through the process of creating a picture book and talked about them as an art form and the process of storyboarding and character design.

    Aside from her work as a professional artist, Ellis is fond of giving back and sharing her knowledge.

    “I taught a 12-week drawing workshop for teen artists at the Portland Art Museum for years,” said Ellis. “These days I volunteer at a women’s prison teaching art to incarcerated moms and their kids, but I have a special place in my heart for working with teenagers because my own teen years were difficult and art was the thing that got me through them.”

    “Carson Ellis: Selected Works” is on view until Dec. 23 at the Connie Kerr Gallery at 1815 Metropolitan St. Pittsburgh, PA 15233.