Center for Creativity: The Workshop
photo of a beatboxer in silhouette

Beatbox 101

Monday, Oct. 21  |  7-8:30 p.m.

Facilitated by Pitches & Tones

Who needs instruments? Learn how to make music with the best instrument you've already got: your body!

Vocal percussion pops up in the musical histories of cultures from Scotland to China to India and in various African traditions, as well as jazz (scat singing) and, of course, hip hop, where beatbox became a critical part of 1980s music.

Members of Pitches & Tones work with you on the basic sounds and rhythms of beatboxing, including snare, bass drum, and hi hat. Enjoy a short performance by the group, with plenty of time to socialize over free food and drink.

Register for Beatbox 101 »

photo of a blackout poem made from an article

Bound & UnBound: Little Black(out) Book

Thursday, Oct. 24  |  6-8 p.m.

Have you seen blackout poetry on Instagram or Tumblr? Learn how to create your own, and turn it into a mini-book to keep or share!

The first part of this workshop focuses on writing blackout text, and the second on inventive ways to present it as a physical text.

No experience necessary: amateurs and beginners welcome!

Register for Bound & UnBound: Little Black(out) Book

photo of mixed media cards

Mixed Media (Card) Making

Friday, Oct. 25  |  3-4:30 p.m.

Do you love to experiment with mixed media? Need a personalized gift for a friend or family member? Create mini custom designs with paper, beads, fabric, and more and showcase them on notecards. No need for previous artistic experience: just bring your creative ideas and learn to make something truly unique!

Register for Mixed Media (Card) Making

photo of typewriter

Sunday Stanza: Picture to Page

Sunday, Oct. 27  |  4-6 p.m.

Ekphrastic writing is work inspired or stimulated by a work of art. Photographs, because of their senses of immediacy and intimacy, can be especially useful paths to poetry. We'll use fine art photos and candid snapshots to generate writing. Our emphasis is on exploration and discovery: no previous writing experience needed!

Register for Picture to Page

photo of arm knitting

Arm Knitting with Pitt Knits

Wednesday, Oct. 30  |  3-5 p.m.

Facilitated by Pitt Knits

Knitting without needles? Yes! Arm-knitting is a super-sized version of needle knitting: bigger, chunkier, and super easy to learn.

Drop in anytime between 3-5 p.m. and let Pitt Knits show you the technique. You'll be knitting your own scarf to keep away the autumn chill in no time.

No previous knitting experience needed, and all materials are provided. Please RSVP so that we can have enough materials on hand!

RSVP for Pitt Knits' Arm Knitting Session

painting of two heads

Six Word Stories

Monday, Nov. 4 - Thursday, Nov. 14

Stories connect us. They enable us to build bridges to understanding and cultivate empathy. When we share parts of ourselves—when we risk and extend our boundaries to let others in—it’s both a gift and an invitation.

We invite you to join the Open Door Project and the University Library System for Six Word Stories—a two-part interactive experience that will prompt you to consider the concept of identity, starting with your own.

Read more on Six Word Stories

photo of student reading at open mic night

Open Mic Night @ Nordy's Place

Wednesday, Nov. 6  |  8:30-10 p.m.

We provide a stage, a mic, and a supportive environment, whether you're an experienced performer or a first-timer.

You provide your own unique creative voice.

Even if you don't want to get up on stage, come down, enjoy some free snacks, and be a part of the best open mic audience in Pittsburgh.

Important Info

  • Sign-up starts at 8:30 p.m.
  • Performance slots are 6-8 minutes each. 
  • Every kind of performance is welcome: poetry or prose, music (original or covers), dance, comedy, storytelling, magic…. If you can do it in public, you can sign up for a slot!
  • Musical performers, please bring your own instruments.

University of Pittsburgh students, faculty, and staff are all welcome as performers and/or audience members.

Bring your talent. Bring a friend. Bring it on!

RSVP here or just come to Nordy's on Nov. 6

photo of bright colorful game creation

Games4SocialImpact Game Jam

Friday, Nov. 8 - Sunday, Nov. 10

Have you ever thought about designing a game? Even if the answer is "no," check out this website. You can build something that has positive social impact, enjoy free food, meet other creative people, and maybe even win a prize!

You do not need to be a programmer to participate: artists, storytellers, sociologists, psychologists, historians, political scientists, and pretty much anyone who likes games are all welcome! (So are programmers.)

You can design any style of game, including card, tabletop, live role playing (LARP), alternate reality (ARG), mobile, desktop, AR, VR, XR, and any other acronym that tickles your fancy.

Get details on the Games4SocialImpact game jam

photo of doodles and handmade wooden pins

Doodle, Design, Pen, & Pins

Thursday, Nov. 7  |  3-4:30 p.m.

Learn some basic drawing techniques and tools and get an introduction to our new GlowForge laser cutter and engraver. Design a doodle you enjoy, and turn into a magnet or a wearable pin! No previous art experience required.

Register for Doodle, Design, Pen, & Pins

photo of game pieces and cards on a Scrabble board

Sunday Stanza: Nonsense!

Sunday, Nov. 10  |  4-6 p.m.

Nonsense verse in English has a long history, stretching back to Anglo Saxon riddles, folk poetry, and nursery rhymes, but it's often considered a lesser genre because its primary audience is children. In this workshop, we'll have fun writing nonsense of all kinds, and explore the associated "highbrow" nonsense of Dada and Martian poetry. 

Register for Sunday Stanza: Nonsense!

photos of letterpress and sewing fabric

NEW! Weekend Shareshops and Demo Days

Did you know that The Workshop is open on weekends? Come join us in October for special demo days, and check out what we're up to.

Our new Saturday Shareshop features makers working on projects they’re interested in, and invites you to ask questions about their creative processes, the hows and whys of making, and more! This month's focus is on cosplay and costume construction.

Sundays are Letterpress Demo Days. Letterpress was the main form of printing text for 500 years, starting from its invention in the 15th century, and The Workshop has acquired two vintage tabletop presses. Our staff will be working on small projects, and you're welcome to observe, ask questions, and maybe even try your hand at part of the process.

These weekend programs are not guided workshops that takes you from beginning to end on a single project. Instead, they offer opportunities to see and explore different creative forms and elements of the creative process with Workshop makers.

Check out details on our weekend programs!

Creativity Around Campus

artwork of flesh-eating zombie

Living with the Dead: A Party Celebrating the George A. Romero Archival Collection

Wednesday, Oct. 23  |  7-10 p.m.

This evening celebration at Hillman Library is packed with entertainment and fun for all, including

  • Romero & zombie-themed trivia & activities, and face makeup courtesy of ScareHouse
  • Staged readings of scenes from Romero scripts
  • Presentation of 1st Annual George A. Romero Foundation Pioneer Award to William "Chilly Billy" Cardille
She Creates logo in pink

She Creates

Thursday, Oct. 24  |  5:30 p.m.

She Creates discusses the challenges around women as tech leaders and as founders in startups such as the gender investment gap and the lack of women in founder-roles. Learn and get inspired by these ambitious female founders and learn why you should be a part of the revolution!

graphic of witch riding broom across moon

Pitches & Tones Presents: Potions & Bones 2019

Friday, Oct. 25  |  8-10:30 p.m.

It's time for Pitches & Tones' 9th Annual Halloween Benefit Concert! Come see seven of Pitt's a cappella groups in Bellefield Hall at Potions & Bones for a night filled with tricks, treats, and music!

photo of handbells and sheet music

Halloween Handbells

Saturday, Oct. 26  |  7-9 p.m. 

Join the University of Pittsburgh Handbell Ensemble in Room 548 of the William Pitt Union for their very first Halloween-themed Handbell Concert!

photo of Dr. Jonas Salk

Pitt+Me Day: A SALK-a-bration of Research!

Monday, Oct. 28  |  10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Celebrate creativity in scientific research on the birthday of Dr. Jonas Salk, a University of Pittsburgh researcher who led the team that developed the first polio vaccine in the 1950s.

poster image of bird flying against colorful sky

49th Annual Jazz Seminar

Oct. 28 - Nov. 2

International jazz greats will convene at the University of Pittsburgh for the 49th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert, the first organized by new Jazz Studies Program Director Nicole Mitchell.

“I’m excited for the seminar and concert to offer Pittsburgh audiences a historical meeting of top-flight musicians that represent diverse expressions of creativity,” said Mitchell, the award-winning flutist, composer and educator who joined Pitt this year.

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Center for Creativity: The Workshop

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