Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (PF/PCA) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to support artists and advance excellence in the visual arts by offering courses, equipment rental, studio space, and a robust screening and exhibitions program. Originally two separate organizations, Filmmakers (founded in 1971) and Center for the Arts (founded in 1945) merged in 2006 to form PF/PCA under one CEO and administrative team. I was hired in August of 2017 as Director of Marketing & Communications, primarily to: lead creative agency c-leveled on the website redesign effort; improve the organization's relationship and reach with the media and local art and cinema lovers; increase enrollment numbers and artist-membership; and greatly expand the already-existing style guide to establish a united look and tone for all visual promo materials. None a small task, especially given the org's recent, public financial difficulties, a vastly reduced staff, and the lack of cohesion—branding and operation-wise—between the two different wings of the organization (PF & PCA which were also housed in two different buildings).

The work I performed at PF/PCA is categorized four ways: Pittsburgh Filmmakers Cinema (you're here), PF/PCA Exhibitions, PF/PCA Education, and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Shop.

Pittsburgh's robust and passionate film community has, in many ways, centered around Pittsburgh Filmmakers since its inception in 1971. As an accredited filmmaking and photography school, and an equipment rental and printing resource for numerous amateur and professional artist members, and the founder of the Three Rivers Film Festival, and the programming entity for three of the most storied single-screen theaters in the region—The Melwood Theater, Harris Theater, and Regent Square Theater—getting the word out about all of the screenings and opportunities was of paramount importance.

During my directorship, I oversaw the marketing and communications for the Halloween-themed grand reopening of the historic Regent Square Theater; the popular "Screenies" newsletter; the Local/Global film screening and panel series; the two-part microcinema and roundtable series "Pittsburgh's Avant-Garde" featuring the work of Stan Brakhage, Roger Jacoby, Peggy Ahwesh, and Stephanie Beroes; the Pittsburgh debut of the haunting indie "My Friend Dahmer"; and the press releases and fielding of press inquiries regarding the postponed Three Rivers Film Festival and documentary "QUEST."

Regent SCARE

Regent SCARE was the 5-day roster of horror and Halloween-themed movies slated to accompany the grand reopening of the Regent Square Theater after it was closed for repairs earlier in the year. A longtime staple of the family-friendly Regent Square neighborhood in Pittsburgh, the community was ecstatic about and supportive of the single-screen theater opening it's doors once again. Marketing worked side-by-side with Exhibitions & Programming, led by Director Lauren Goshinski, to strategize the theme, promotional efforts, and materials, including a full-sized (24" x 41") movie poster for display at the theater. (I also may just be responsible for "Vampire in Brooklyn" being on the roster.)

Regent SCARE!: Marketing materials
Regent SCARE: Social Media assets

Marketing created a graphic for all five days of the Regent Scare programming that listed the movies we'd be showing that evening. These assets were used to promote on Instagram and Facebook primarily.

Opening Night

The reopening was an all-hands-on-deck achievement - a combined effort of Marketing & Communications, Exhibitions & Programming, and Education, Youth Media specifically - that included replacing equipment in the projection booth, performing a long list of aesthetic upgrades including new bathrooms, a new paint job and new facades for the ticket booth and snack counter, and refurbishing and decorating the small storefront attached to the theater that would function as a photobooth area. Lauren and I walked the Regent Square neighboorhood, introduced ourselves to business owners in the area, and dropped off posters, flyers, and handouts. We also went on a shopping extravaganza for spooky decorations and Shannon Dailey lended several of her own pieces to perfect the set.

The day of the grand reopening, we had a full house, including members of the Regent Square committee who were on hand to sign people up for PF/PCA newsletters and hand out course catalogs.

Local/Global Lens: Without Home

Local/Global Lens: Without Home was a documentary and community discussion series held at the Regent Square Theatre in November of 2017 and spearheaded by PF/PCA's Director of Exhibitions & Programming, Lauren Goshinski, in partnership with Homes for All Pittsburgh and City of Asylum. The screenings included a double feature of filmmaker Chris Ivey's groundbreaking "East of Liberty", a documentary series filmed over the course of 10 years detailing the effects of gentrification in Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood, and internationally renowned artist Ai WeiWei's "Human Flow", a visual journey chronicling a year in the life of refugees in 23 countries. Each screening was followed by panels and talks led by those most affected by local and global displacement, including residents, business owners, and refugees, as well as those working directly within organizations committed to help society emerge from the staggering effects of gentrification and the refugee crisis. The films and ensuing discussions were extremely timely, well-attended, and well-received despite (and perhaps because of) such harrowing subject matter.

East of Liberty Screening: video snippets

During the panel discussion following "East of Liberty", panelists Tresa Murphy-Green and Billie Vaughn provided powerful testimonies about the effects of racial disparity on Black women in Pittsburgh and potential ways to increase community ownership and combat gentrifying developers.

My Friend Dahmer

The promotional efforts for the much-anticipated film "My Friend Dahmer" went a bit beyond the scope of our usual marketing tactics. Specifically, we conducted a giveaway, in conjunction with distributor FilmRise, of two copies of the graphic novel that inspired the movie, which required some product photography, as well as a free ticket to attend a screening. Because "My Friend Dahmer" is based on the real-life narrative of an eventual serial killer, striking a balance between garnering excitement for the much-buzzed about movie and respecting the sobering tone of the dark subject matter was imperative.

Press releases

My role as Director of Marketing & Communications included many challenging and fluctuating duties, but in a nutshell my priority was to make sure as many people were aware and in anticipation of all Pittsburgh Filmmakers Cinema had in store. The first step in the process of devising a promotional plan for each film, film series, and special event forthcoming was to create a press release that would both inform and entice our press contacts, board members, artist members, supporters, sister organizations in non-profit and the artists, and of course, the cinephiles in the surrounding community and beyond. We employed many tactics to promote our offerings, but press coverage was paramount to an organization that had, for way too long, been without a direct point of contact working to build relationships with the media.

More Projects

Black Youth Project

UX/UI design, front end dev, and a custom Wordpress theme for an online platform that highlights the voices, experiences, and ideas of Black youth ages 18-30.

PF/PCA Exhibitions

Marketing, public relations, copywriting, social media content creation, graphic design, photography, and videography for an non-profit arts organization's exhibitions program.

Carnegie Art Associates

Marketing, PR, consulting, and art direction as an executive board member for a new membership and programming tier at Carnegie Museum of Art.

Durand Bernarr

Creative Direction, styling, photography, EP booklet design, UX/UI design, front end dev, and a custom Wordpress theme for singer/songwriter and Erykah Badu background vocalist Durand Bernarr.

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