Carnegie Mellon University

Students from Arts Greenhouse recording music

October 24, 2019

Arts Greenhouse Program Re-Launches at Pittsburgh Schiller Middle School

By Angela Januzzi

Angela Januzzi

After a year-long hiatus Arts Greenhouse has relaunched. The program held its first day of classes on October 8 at Pittsburgh Schiller, a STEAM 6-8 magnet school on the Northside.

The program started in the Center for Arts and Society and was the brainchild of Professors Judith Schachter and Riccardo Schultz. For fifteen years Arts Greenhouse offered music educational programming and creative writing workshops on CMU’s campus. After a year-long redesign of the program by current director and associate professor of English Richard Purcell and program coordinator Shun-Sho Carmack, Arts Greenhouse is now an in-school residency creative learning program that holds regularly scheduled classes at Schiller Academy.

“When I was asked to direct Arts Greenhouse, it was incredibly important for me to continue the legacy of arts education and creative learning set by Judith and Riccardo,” said Purcell. “To me, that legacy is about giving students in the city access to the incredible resources our university has. The only significant difference in programming now is that we have created strategic partnerships with Schiller, PPS and other organizations in the city to bring these resources directly to the students.” 

Instruction is divided into two semesters. In the fall, Schiller students will focus on writing original poems to be included in a student-edited and produced poetry anthology. The head instructor for the fall creative writing session is Julie Albright, CMU English Department alumna and owner of The Writing Studio. In Spring 2020, Pittsburgh-based hip-hop artist Shad Ali will teach students how to write and produce their own music. The curriculum in both semesters focuses on collaborative writing, self-reflection and critique.

“While the creative works are tangible results of student involvement, our teachers and our curriculum are more focused on providing opportunities for students to hone creative thinking skills and a growth mindset,” said Carmack. “The goal is to encourage students to develop strong processes for creatively thinking and relating to the local and global community.”

More updates on Arts Greenhouse’s partnership with Schiller can be found here on the CMU English homepage.


For more information on this program, please contact Shun-Sho Carmack:
Above photo: Students featured here are from earlier Arts Greenhouse semesters' work, and not necessarily affiliated with Pittsburgh Schiller.