Artists Join In Building a New Kind of Community in Braddock, PA

There is a rumor going around the arts community that the Mayor of Braddock, who himself lives in a warehouse space, will give free studio workspace to professional artists to bring them to his decaying town. Braddock, Pennsylvania may be the poorest, most rundown urban area in the United States, where you can buy an empty house–and there are plenty to choose from–for less than five thousand dollars. Braddock sits on a river’s edge and is about a twenty-minute highway drive from Pittsburgh.

I sent the mayor an email just yesterday, requesting details on opportunities for artists, and will post a follow-up here when I learn more.

Some Braddock projects:

Major public art projects and a Community Center.

The historic and first Carnegie Library in Braddock has a screen print shop program and Braddock ceramic studio program with a unique water filter project.

The Unsmoke Art Space in Braddock is an exhibition space with related projects, including independent Small Press publishing venture Braddock Avenue Books.

Braddock Redux, a project  to mobilize like-minded people of all ages from both within and outside the community for the betterment of the Braddock through training opportunities, art initiatives, green initiatives, employment opportunities, the creative re-use of existing structures, and through the flexibility to respond to other opportunities that arise.

Into the Furnace a writer-in-residence program in Braddock, PA. Into the Furnace offers an adventuresome creative person, whose work and work ethic can benefit from the energy Braddock has to offer, up to 9 months of creative work time at their urban residency.

Unsmoke provides space for the local office of the Berkeley-based company Bibliopolis. Bibliopolis provides complete e-commerce website development, technical support, and hosting as well as database services for the used, out-of-print and antiquarian bookseller.

Next door to Unsmoke sits the Roadbourne custom furniture design warehouse where craftsmen and women work from reclaimed wood and other materials.

New Guild Studio in Braddock specializes in restoring and reimagining liturgical art. Check out what they do at

Braddock Farms grows organic produce on 10 acres of reclaimed urban land, supplying herbs and vegetables to regional restaurants.

Fossil Free Fuels has made and fueled biodiesel since 2005 for those who want your fuel from a deep fryer instead of deep in the Earth.