Our mission is to “grow an inclusive Community Space dedicated to creating opportunities for Wilkinsburg by supporting small business, promoting learning, contributing to neighborhood wellbeing, and cultivating regional partnerships.”
Community Forge was formed in January 2017 with the purpose of revitalizing the former Johnston Elementary School in Wilkinsburg as a community resource. Starting with a partnership between Pittsburgh Learning Commons and Xpogo, a group of 8 individuals purchased the building from the school board in July 2017, and built a vision together with Wilkinsburg residents on how to revitalize Johnston. From our outreach and community board members, we heard three main values rise to the top: 1. Johnston should continue to be a place for kids, promoting youth learning; 2. We should promote the prosperity of those in Wilkinsburg through employment opportunities and support to build sustainable businesses; and 3. We should keep Johnston Elementary accessible to all those who went to school there. Building on those points, Community Forge sought out individuals and organizations that supported those goals to make their home with us. Community Forge opened doors in January 2018 and is now home to artists, educators, and entrepreneurs looking to grow, run community events, and provide new and unique programs to the Wilkinsburg community.
Community Forge was founded by eight young adults with roots in Pittsburgh and backgrounds ranging from PhD Scientists to Educators to Extreme Sports Athletes. We have since brought community members onboard as board members, staff, and volunteers. Our organizational structure consists of our Board of Directors (4 members and our Executive Director) and five core Committees (finance, tenants, renovations, communications, and programs).