Latest Endowments News


Bridges to Opportunity

A Heinz Endowments-funded study by the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute has found that because of longstanding structural barriers, Pittsburgh has been overlooking the assets and potential of African American men in the region. “Barrier & Bridges: An Action Plan for Overcoming Obstacles and Unlocking Opportunities for African American Men” also provides recommendations to business and civic leaders for addressing these roadblocks. Read the key findings summary and the full report.


Needs Assessment: Veterans in Southwest Pennsylvania

A new assessment by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), commissioned by The Heinz Endowments, finds that immediately after leaving military service, Pittsburgh-area veterans are struggling with issues pertaining to education, access to benefits and economic security. Read the full report.

Carol R. Brown Awards

Quantum Theatre founder Karla Boos and multidisciplinary artist Brett Kashmere are this year’s Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award winners. Mr. Kashmere, a documentary filmmaker and artist was named Emerging Artist in recognition of his current achievements and potential for significant future work. Ms. Boos was recipient of the Established Artist award because of her body of impressive accomplishments, including her 25 years as Quantum’s artistic director. Each will receive a cash award of $15,000 and will be recognized during the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s annual reception and meeting 3:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the August Wilson Center.

Now in its third year, the Creative Achievement program is sponsored by The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation as part of Investing in Professional Artists initiative. The awards honor Endowments board member Carol R. Brown, who led the transformation of the city’s Cultural District as president of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust from 1986 to 2001.

Advancing black arts — and artists

The Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh program has awarded $350,000 in grants to 24 artists and arts organizations. Launched in 2010 as a partnership between The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation, the program supports artistic risk-taking, outreach programming, career opportunities for artists, and strategies to promote organizational growth. Grants were awarded in four categories: Individual Artists, Residencies, Advancing the Field and Unrestricted/Operating. The artist grant recipients were Tameka Cage Conley, Melanie Carter, Edda L. Fields-Black, Charlotte Ka, Darrell S. Kinsel, Liana Maneese, Teanna Medina, Anthony Mitchell, Jr., Tereneh Mosley, Njie, Njaimeh, Kelli Stevens Kane, Alisha Wormsley and James Ziegler. Learn more here.

Standout Designs

The Architecture Institute of America Pittsburgh chapter recently announced the winners of Design 2015, the organization’s annual contest for what's best and brightest in Pittsburgh building design. This year was a banner year for nonprofits, as top honors went to two libraries, a community center, an overhauled street design and a construction collaboration project featuring Carnegie Mellon University students, trade apprentices and construction trainees. The Heinz Endowments funded several of the winning projects, and you can find more about them in the blog post “Design for a sustainable Pittsburgh,” by Rob Stephany, the Endowments’ director of Community & Economic Development.

Railroad Hazards

The “Oil Trains 2015: Community Risks & Solutions Conference,” a one-day summit hosted and sponsored by The Heinz Endowments, will examine health and safety concerns over the major increase in oil train traffic through densely-populated communities in the Pittsburgh region. The event will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, at Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center in Oakland. It will include presentations from a range of more than 20 experts across the U.S., including local elected and government officials, civic leaders, regulators, academics and researchers, and representatives of nonprofits and interested organizations.

Oil train traffic on the nation’s rail lines surged more than eight-fold between 2011 and 2014. Safety concerns have been heightened in recent years by accidents and derailments in other parts of North America including 10 incidents where oil trains have exploded.

United Way

The United Way of Allegheny County has recognized Heinz Endowments Chairman Teresa Heinz as one of its 2015 “titans of humanity” because of her efforts to address the educational and developmental needs of children, assembling top experts to examine critical issues. Mrs. Heinz, Richard and Virginia Simmons, Ambassador Daniel and Patricia Rooney, and Henry and the late Elsie Hillman were honored for their commitment to human services during the United Way’s Toasting the Titans celebration on Oct. 8.

Investing in Professional Artist Guidelines

The Investing in Professional Artists Program is sponsored by The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation.  Read the 2016 guidelines for the program. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Applicants will be notified of results in May 2016.

p4 Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh civic and nonprofit leaders have introduced a new model for urban revitalization that builds on the insights of experts in sustainability and innovation. This special, four-part report describes how the p4 initiative — launched at an international summit co-hosted by The Heinz Endowments and the City of Pittsburgh — addresses people, planet, place and performance issues to improve redevelopment:

"Forging a Vision"
"View from the Summit"
"Nordic Connection"
"Putting p4 into Practice"

Speaker videos from the conference  are available on the p4 Pittsburgh website. You also can follow post-conference activities and discussions via #p4pgh. And although the summit is over, the work is beginning, which means you can join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Changing Sites and Scenes

"Changing Sites and Scenes,"  written by Allison Keene, tells how reviving a struggling steel town takes commitment and hard work. The story also describes the passion of Braddock's mayor and residents to transform their borough, which is attracting creative development approaches and the funding to support them.

East End Eclectic

In "East End Eclectic,"  writer Ben Wecht describes how Garfield is no longer a Pittsburgh neighborhood people drive through to get elsewhere. Thanks to new businesses and venues with artistic flare, the community is becoming a cultural and entertainment destination.

The Gap

"The Gap,"  written by Christine H. O'Toole, describes research produced by the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management that reveals how nonprofits have just as much difficulty achieving pay equity for women in their organizations as for-profit companies - maybe even more.

Play Learning

In "Play Learning,"  writer Christine H. O'Toole explains how researchers and nonprofits are helping adults, especially parents, to take play seriously and to ensure that more children are joining the fun.

Southwest PA Says No More

Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault. Across southwest Pennsylvania, community leaders and thousands of concerned citizens are coming together to take action to end violence against women. Watch this important message from Pittsburgh’s corporate and civic leaders, including Endowments' President, Grant Oliphant.

Heinz Endowments Social Media

The Heinz Endowments is now on social media! Please join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter as we talk about our programs and initiatives, philanthropy, Pittsburgh and a whole lot more. We’d love to connect with you and share ideas and inspiration!

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In 1893, Henry W. Phipps gave a generous gift to the City of Pittsburgh. He funded construction for the glass greenhouse that still stands today and houses a portion of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. More than just a facility that pro... Read More

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The Heinz Endowments

The Heinz Endowments was formed from the Howard Heinz Endowment, established in 1941, and the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, established in 1986.

Our vision is for southwestern Pennsylvania to prosper as a premier place to both live and work, as a center for learning and educational excellence, and as a home to diversity and inclusion.

Our mission is to help our region thrive as a whole community – economically, ecologically, educationally and culturally – while advancing the state of knowledge and practice in the fields in which we work. Our fields of emphasis include philanthropy in general and the disciplines represented by our five grant-making programs: Arts & Culture; Children, Youth & Families; Education; Environment; and Community & Economic Development.


Forging a Vision

Pittsburgh civic and nonprofit leaders have introduced a new model for urban revitalization that builds on the insights of experts in sustainability and innovation. "Forging a Vision," written by Jeffery Fraser with photography by Joshua Franzos, is the first story in a special, four-part report that describes how the p4 initiative - launched at an international summit co-hosted by The Heinz Endowments and the City of Pittsburgh - addresses people, planet, place and performance issues to improve redevelopment.



Blog: THE Point


Alcosan’s “maddening” decision is disruptive and expensive

By Grant Oliphant

Alcosan recently annoucned plans to deal with our region's water quality problems with miles of tunnels. Endowments President Grant Oliphant says there is a better, sustainable way and we have to fight for it.


Design for a sustainable Pittsburgh

By Rob Stephany

This year, major local architecture awards went not just to beautiful buildings, but ones with profound social and environmental missions. We talk about why this matters, and how design is now a major part of social change.


Hopes for a new school year

By Stan Thompson

As students return to Pittsburgh-area classrooms, teaching toward standardized tests has changed the educational environment from one of learning to one of schooling. Endowments' Education Program Director Stan Thompson explains.

© 2015 The Heinz Endowments