It all began with Amanda our outreach coordinator for Fiberart International 2013 produced by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh. Amanda had this idea to “yarn-bomb” the Warhol Bridge and Knit the Bridge was born. As our technical adviser Norman Beck says, “this is an industrial project”; so it takes time to plan in order to ensure public safety, collect the material and supplies and consult with specialists. We are doing something that has never been done before; not only are we yarn-bombing the walkways, but we are covering the bridge tower faces with yarn!
In order to achieve this great feat we have been working closely with Allegheny County to identify what we need to do. Special Events Coordinator Darla Cravotta in the County Executive’s Office has led the way through the government maze as we identified the need to partner with an organization Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts to provide insurance, hire a rigging company, create an installation plan for both the ground level and the bridge towers and develop a volunteer training strategy…you get the idea. As we worked through the steps we determined a budget of $124,000.
This is a community-made project in order to help us mobilize the region, we applied and received start-up costs from Sprout Fund, Awesome Pittsburgh, Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, and Pennsylvania Council for the Arts. To cover installation requirements, we applied to and have been granted funding from The Pittsburgh Foundation, Colcom Foundation. We have received in-kind contributions from Reed Smith, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 5, IheartPGH, our video Indiegogo team, The Spinning Plate Gallery, individuals who have donated yarn, needles, and related supplies plus hours and hours of donated time from you our incredibly dedicated volunteers! Now we need to raise the rest through Indiegogo.
So what materials do we need? Rope, cord, construction fencing, yarn, duct tape, PVC pipe, conduit pipe, and carabiners–just for starters. Because we are closing the bridge, we need police coverage, a structural engineer, tents, water supply, and movers to deliver everything to and from the bridge.
Some wonder why do this? Can we justify the cost? Over 1500 individuals have signed up and helped to make the material that will adorn our beautiful bridge. People are connecting in new ways by meeting at knit-ins, participating in school activities, after-school programs, craft groups at senior centers, and local libraries; and are soon to meet on the bridge for installation and removal. Everyone will be able to come to the bridge to see their work, meet each other and be inspired. And the material will be recycled and reused–not just the panels but the cable ties and construction fencing. The project has already garnered national attention, which highlights our region as a great place to live, with a great art vibe that will encourage people to visit and move here. And who is making this happen? You are…we are!
Help us make history please consider a donation to our Indiegogo campaign http//igg.me/at/knitthebridge/x/27657579
Most of all thanks for helping us Knit the Andy Warhol Bridge can’t wait to meet you there!