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Feb. 27: Carnegie Mellon School of Art Uses Waffle Shop To Launch Reality Talk Show

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Eric Sloss                           
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ecs@andrew.cmu.edu

Carnegie Mellon School of Art Uses
Waffle Shop To Launch Reality Talk Show

Waffle ShopPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's School of Art will re-launch a social and experimental art project that combines business, reality TV and waffles this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27-28. The project, titled "Waffle Shop: A Reality Talk Show," takes place in an actual shop serving waffles, where 11 Carnegie Mellon students use the space for a talk show as a way to document the local community. Located at 145 S. Highland Avenue in East Liberty, the waffle shop is open from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
      
The shop serves as a late-night hangout, but also offers customers the chance to be a guest on the nightly talk show filmed on a custom-built set in the back of the waffle shop. Anyone can be on the show and the topics are limitless.  
      
The project originated from an undergraduate art course called the Storefront Project. Each year, the class rents a storefront property and designs art projects relevant to the area.
    
Jon Rubin, assistant professor in the School of Art, teaches the course. "We start from scratch and research the neighborhood, the history of the storefront, the types of people who walk by and live in the community," Rubin said. "Then we develop ideas for what the storefront will be during that semester or year. We thought the Waffle Shop Talk Show was a perfect way to engage and interact with the East Liberty and Pittsburgh community."
      
Students have interviewed a mix of patrons eager to participate in the talk show. The taped segments air on a TV screen in the shop window 24-hours a day. Rubin says he hopes the series also will air on the local public access television station. For more information, and to view early episodes, visit www.waffleshop.org.

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