Hey everyone. I hope you are doing well. I am trying to enjoy the summer the best I can by avoiding groups of people. I have been doing a lot of reading these past few weeks, which has been nice. I also spoke with Tereneh last week, a previous guest on the show, who is thinking of starting her own podcast with a few friends which I am looking forward to listening to. Shoutout to Tereneh! Check out my chat with Tereneh on Episode 8, which seemed so long ago.
Speaking of long ago, I have been thinking a lot about my own process in getting my episodes out since the beginning. When I started recording 2 years ago, I was in Pittsburgh for the summer and about to leave for Germany. I decided to record as much as I could before my flight to Berlin, giving me time to see what my habits were in the process of interviewing others and finding my own voice in the process. I figured if I could get around 26 interviews, I would have a year of material for a bi-weekly podcast. I ended up with 28 episodes and released my first episode on September of 2018. Of course, this meant I had a huge backlog of material that was not always current which I slowly worked through, with some episodes continually getting pushed back as I proceeded interviewing new people while in Europe. Since my classes have ended for the summer, I had the time to go deeper into my archives and listen to older interviews, one of which I am releasing this week.
So for today, I am interviewing Celeste C. Smith, a co-founder and current board member of 1Hood, a collective of artists and activists who utilize art as a means of raising awareness around issues affecting oppressed people in the region and around the world. Celeste is also the current Program Officer for Arts and Culture at The Pittsburgh Foundation, a position she just started when I interviewed her. Celeste is a graduate of Chatham University and has served on the Transformative Arts Process Advisory Board at The Heinz Endowments, the Pittsburgh Symphony Community Advisory Council and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Equity in Arts Funding Research Committee. I visited Celeste at her office in Downtown Pittsburgh, which is located in a literal glass castle designed by Philip Johnson, who is most famous for his Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. Celeste and I chatted about her many projects at the intersection of art and activism, self-care, building support for the youth, and knowing your self-worth. I regret it has taken this long, but after listening through, I felt Celeste’s words still resonate strongly, if not more, today. I will have another older episode next time as well. Thank you Celeste for your patience. I hope everyone enjoys this.