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Recording of “Tale of Two GASPs” Now Available

GASP was honored this week to help kick off the Office of Public Art’s lineup of online programs to be held via Instagram Live throughout the summer of 2021 – each live session will air Tuesdays from 12:00 -12:30 p.m. and be saved to OPA’s IGTV for additional viewing. Called OPA Live!, the Instagram series allows artists take over the OPA Instagram account to host a live conversation with a peer from outside of Pittsburgh, will continue.

For this season the roster of hosts and guests will focus on artists and individuals who are directly addressing environmental issues. This season of OPA Live! will showcase the work of organizations that are participating in OPA’s Environment, Health and Public Art Initiative and their colleagues. The series will provide a perspective from the organization’s point of view as to how they are addressing air and water quality, and material waste. In addition to organizations, guest hosts will include long-time environmental artists from the Pittsburgh area.

Our Executive Director Rachel Filippini on June 8 hosted an event titled, “A Tale of Two GASPs” where she interviewed Michael Hansen, who serves as the executive director Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP). The Group Against Smog and Pollution in Pittsburgh and the Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP) in Birmingham, Alabama have recently teamed up to educate and engage youth in each region on air quality issues, through their Fresh Voices for Clean Air program.

The two cities, although more than 700 miles apart and in very different regions of the country, followed similar patterns of urban development, relying heavily in the past on the iron and steel industries to propel their economic growth. A century ago, Birmingham was nicknamed the “Pittsburgh of the South.”

Similarly, the cities have experienced some of the worst air quality in the nation. While there have certainly been improvements to the air in both regions, air pollution remains a significant public health concern in Pittsburgh and Birmingham. Together, the two GASPs will reflect on their work and how it is shaped by their cities’ histories.

If you missed the interview, the recording is now available. Check it out:

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