Community Forge Programs

Community Forge is home to a number of programs run by our organization as well as some of our tenants. Owned and operated by our non-profit, Locally Grown, whose mission is to "Building an equitable economy for Wilkinsburg and the Greater Pittsburgh region by creating opportunities that promote professional development, financial wellbeing, and entrepreneurial growth. We believe in participatory programming that gives voice to those we serve, breaking down silos between communities, and developing equitable pathways to economic success," we design and implement our own set of programs to achieve these aims. Please browse here, but feel free to reach out to us with any questions, by email at or use our contact form.

Bloom Program

After two years of piloting our business incubation process, Community Forge is excited to launch our first iteration of the Bloom Program. This program offers 30 small businesses with a variety of resources and supports to help them execute their growth plans over a 10 month period. This year's program will be particularly sensitive to the challenges COVID presents. Each participant will get a lead business coach that helps develop and oversee the implementation of the owner's strategic goals. Further, participants receive funds toward professional services such as accounting, legal, branding, HR, and web design. They also receive access to our internal consultant network for pro bono help in developing business strategies. Finally, there is a series of financial investment opportunities such as pitch competitions and cash awards for achieving growth plans.

If you have questions about the program, please reach out to our program manager, Herman Johnson, Applications are open until September 4!

Community Forge After-school Program

Pittsburgh Learning Commons introduced an After School Program starting Fall 2019 at Community Forge! This program aims to give youth advanced training in technology, music, art, athletics, and science with expert instructors. Youth will select specialities from 11 local organizations and individuals, many of whom are based at Community Forge. By collaborating with the skilled entrepreneurs at Community Forge, this program is a collaborative network of educators and opportunities for youth to explore their interests and career paths.

Register now by calling (412) 206-1126. You can also learn more on the Pittsburgh Learning Commons website.

Community Forge Youth Advisory Council

Youth empowerment means not only making programs for youth, but giving youth the power to take on leadership and make decisions, especially on issues pertinent to them. The Community Forge Youth Advisory Council is a team of youth who are decision-makers at Community Forge. Currently, they lead our playground development efforts, give advice on programs, and are helping develop and run youth events. We currently have 7 members: Antonie, Bryan, Charles, Chris, Josiah, Na'Caira and Zariah.

Activate the Arts - Artist Residency Program

Activate the Arts was a residency program to support artists in the development of their work and connect them to new opportunities through our space in Wilkinsburg. Resident artists gained a $500 stipend, 4 professional development workshops, free admission to all Community Forge events, discounted event space, and a hot desk space in our coworking office. This program was supported in part by New Sun Rising. The program was designed and led by Leigh Soloman Pugliano and Ariel Beach-Westmoreland.

Our first cycle had 4 artists: Ayana Sade, Dalia Shevin, Latrice Phoenix, and Nathan Byrne. We hosted a final showcase of their work on December 1st 2018.

Resident-led Programs

Looking for more activities? Check out the programs that our resident organizations on our resident page.
Some example programs and services include:

Afterschool Program

with Gwen’s Girls and Pittsburgh Learning Commons

Family Referrals

with Opening Doors

Youth dance instruction

with K-Theatre and Dance Complex

Pogo Meet-up

with Xpogo

Steelpan Band and Workshops

with Barrels to Beethoven

Socialist Organizing

with the DSA

Physical Training

with Global Human Performance

Acting Coaching

with Official Entertainment

Transportation Services

with Briggs Transportation