“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know individual neighborhoods [in Pittsburgh] and seeing the individual organizations that serve them.” -Grace Wong
Grace Wong, a native of New York, New York, completed her undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University with majors in Fine Art, Global Systems and Management, and Human Computer Interaction. During her time in school, she was involved with Big Straw Magazine, where she was the Publicity and Events Director. Grace also was a Cultural Events Lead for the Taiwanese Students Association, Public Relations and Marketing Lead for Alpha Chi Omega, and a Communications and Outreach Research Assistant for the Machine Learning and Health Department. Additionally, she was a Creative and Strategy Intern for J. Walter Thompson and an Independent Photojournalist for USA. She has served as a volunteer for ArtsConnection, the NY Common Pantry, and UBELONG. In her free time, Grace enjoys traveling, attending concerts, and watching documentaries. She is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Alex Bice: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?
Grace Wong: Living with people who also are in the nonprofit sector! It’s nice to have a community of young leaders also invested in the city.
Alex: Tell me something you are learning about yourself through PULSE.
Grace: Every day is both a challenge and a positive learning experience.
Alex: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?
Grace: Halfway into my partnership, I’ve come to realize how important the Cultural Trust really is for Pittsburgh. No other local organization provides free entry to multiple galleries, free and low-cost entrance to festivals, and a nearly daily lineup of arts and cultural events. So being able to contribute to the fruition of many of these events and then seeing the joy on people’s faces is what I enjoy the most. It makes the day-to-day grind feel worth it. It’s also a sweet perk to get free show tickets and meet some of the performers and artists up close.
Alex: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?
Grace: Getting out of the college bubble. I think since I’m working in the non-profit sector, it’s nice to get a more diverse understanding of the different qualities of living that exist in Pittsburgh.
Alex: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.
Grace: It sounds really hectic, but I’m always multitasking about 5-6 things per day. No day is the same either, but I enjoy the variety. Some cool things I’ve done include: interviewing the featured artists at Wood Street Galleries, writing a blog post about the 25th Anniversary of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, doing an Instagram story takeover at the Gallery Crawl, and building the website for the Pittsburgh Humanities festival. Some other tasks I do include: heading to lots of meetings, adding more content to our Instagram (follow us @culturaltrust) and building Facebook event pages for our seemingly never-ending line of shows.
Alex: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?
Grace: I’m rather familiar with the city since I’ve been in Pittsburgh for over 4 years but I think there’s always more to learn and explore. Since Pittsburgh has so many different neighborhoods, each with its unique history and quirks, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know individual neighborhoods [in Pittsburgh] and seeing the individual organizations that serve them. The unique identity of each Pittsburgh neighborhood is what has and continues to fascinate me as I continue to explore the city in 2019.
Alex: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?
Grace: Each neighborhood has its own special “thing” and Bloomfield’s First Friday’s is my favorite. Artists, residents, neighbors, and spectators come together to celebrate the arts with pop-up exhibitions every month.
Alex: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?
Grace: We don’t have a family favorite because my housemates all come from diverse backgrounds. One day it could be Italian food, another day it could be Caribbean food. That’s what makes our family meal time unique – we all learn from our different cultures.
Story by PULSE Fellow Alex Bice.
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