Now planning its fourth season, the 2013 Geek Art/Green Innovator's Festival or GA/GI (pronounced Gah-gee) kicked off in the spring of 2010 as a key event of the United Nation's World Environment Day in Pittsburgh. It was organized by Christine Bethea of Passports: The Art Diversity Project, in partnership with the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative which is comprised of the Bloomfield/Garfield Corporation and Friendship Development. GA/GI was created to give artists, eco buffs and technology innovators from Allegheny County and beyond a platform to exhibit and demo while educating the general public within an urban arts venue. “Ublurred First Fridays” on Penn Avenue fit the bill. Unblurred, which began in 1998 in the Bloomfield/Garfield community, was the city of Pittsburgh’s first organized art crawl. GA/GI @ "Unblurred" enhances this burgeoning Mainstreet program by building unique collaborations between the arts and the business world. The Festival which also serves as an educational forum includes a variety of organizations, artists, corporations, inventors and designers invited to showcase "the best they have to offer" in Penn Avenue's galleries and business sites as well as vacant spaces, along the Penn Avenue Arts Corridor. This colorful event is also punctuated with music performances; displays, children's activities, and other alternative programming.
The GA/GI event broke new ground with participation from several universities including Duquesne and The University of Pittsburgh, networking and exhibiting with artists and performers from Point Park, IUP, and Edinboro.. The event's partners have included The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts/Filmmakers, Union Project, Art Energy Design, Highmark, Zip Car and Turner's Dairy, working in tandem with the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation and the Friendship Development Association's Penn Avenue Arts Initiative. Another great partner: The Pittsburgh Glass Center whose LEED certified building is one of the top such structures in the nation. In addition its neighbor, the highly visible Glass Lofts Project supported activities in its unused condo space the first two years, showcasing the acclaimed "Cooking with Science Project" hosted by Carnegie Mellon University;s Professor Das. The GA/GI event, which attracts new audiences and communities to Pittsburgh and the Penn Avenue Arts District, was the first and continues as the only event of its kind in Southwestern, Pennsylvania.
Last year GA/GI Festival was honored winning the 2012 DATA Award for Technology Events from the Pittsburgh Technology Council.
Alliances for 2013 include Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre/Dance Alloy whose April 5, multi-media performance--"Mash Up Body-- is a perfect match for GA/GI's quirky programming line-up.. KST will also, house GA/GI staff and offer the event other in-kind support.