Participant Story: Abbie Miller

Abbie_btn“PULSE is a great launching point into the rest of the city. It connects you to a work place and community who are full of inspired people, people who are looking to do exciting things and get involved with what is going on around them.”    -Abbie Miller

Abbie Miller is someone who may be considered a traveler of sorts. Originally from Wellman, IA, Abbie studied Art at Goshen College in Indiana. She also spent a semester in Peru before moving to Pittsburgh, PA to participate in the PULSE program.  Abbie is currently placed at Union Project as the Community Liaison. She is the point of contact in facilitating outreach in the community.  When she isn’t at Union Project, Abbie may be found in one of Pittsburgh’s beautiful parks, working on drawings of  houses in the East End of Pittsburgh, or spending the evening with her housemates.  Abbie has also been helping out with PULSE Unblurred (First Friday Art Gallery at the PULSE offices on Penn Ave) and most recently, the Alternative Gift Market.

What do you love about Pittsburgh?

There are so many interesting people here! Pittsburgh is a very neighborhood-oriented city, which can be puzzling to a newcomer at first, but after awhile you start to realize that it is what makes Pittsburgh unique. There is a great blend of people who have lived in Pittsburgh their entire life and know anything and everything about the city, as well as a younger generation of art-loving, socially-minded people. I’m lucky enough to live around and work with both!

What is the best part of the PULSE experience?

It’s an instant community! Not only do you have fifteen other people to hang out with, but you get to know their friends, and their friend’s friends, and co-workers, and neighbors, and new acquaintances. If you want to move to a new city but don’t know anyone, this is the way to do it. The week I started running into people I knew while I was running errands was an exciting one.

What are some hobbies that you would like to pursue or have started pursuing?

I am currently working on a series of drawings based on houses in Pittsburgh. The Euclid Avenue Project is a drawing of every house from Penn Circle up to Highland Park drawn on the back of library cataloging cards. Project PGH are drawings of different houses from various neighborhoods. They are more illustrations and cards. I love the architecture and colors you can find along the streets. It has been a great way to get to know the city.

What is something about Pittsburgh that has surprised you?

I grew up in the Midwest where you can see the sunset and sunrise on the horizon. And while you can’t see that here, I’m not as claustrophobic in the city as I thought I would be. Highland Park is a short walk away and Frick Park is beautiful in the fall. There are lots of places to go when you don’t want to feel like you’re in the city anymore.

How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?

My first week here someone told me that Pittsburgh is an “inspired city” in that if you want to do something you can find people who are already doing it. And if it’s not already happening, there are enough resources for you to start making it happen.  I think it has made me realize that I can make things happen and be excited about what I’m doing, whether that is work, free time, or hobbies.

Story by Anna Wildermuth (Pawsey) – PULSE Alumnus ’10-11, ’11-12

Read more stories about the Participant experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.

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