Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis Expands Role as Director of Community, Arts and Culture for the Lower Hill Redevelopment
The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) is pleased to announce the promotion of Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis to a new, full time position of Director of Community, Arts and Culture for its Pittsburgh office.
Kimberly C. Elis, Ph.D. is a Scholar of American and Africana Studies, an Artist, Activist and Entrepreneur, as well as a playwright, world traveler and international thought leader on culture, gender and social technology. She served on a Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership Committee to install a North Star Constellation at the center of Market Square and unveiled it with Mayor Ravenstahl and other stakeholders. And working with the Heinz History Center and Sam Black, Dr. Ellis served on a Committee to create and edit the historic landmark for playwright, August Wilson, which is permanently placed in front of the August Wilson House.
"I have been working in the community for a long time, in many different areas, but always to help inform, empower and inspire. I am honored to take on this new position of Director of Community, Arts and Culture, with the Buccini/Pollin Group because it reflects my values and allows me to honor my community, empower artists, entrepreneurs, and workers, and to spark economic vitality throughout the Upper, Middle and Lower Hill, and the city of Pittsburgh. I have always been someone who thinks outside of the box and about big ideas, so this is a good fit."
This is a newly created position that leverages her previous role as Lower Hill Historian and Cultural Legacy Consultant into a permanent role focused on engaging the community and empowering Hill residents, homeowners, artists and entrepreneurs, especially as BPG moves into the next phase of the Lower Hill development made possible by the advancing FNB Financial Center project.
A longtime resident of the historic Hill District, Dr. Ellis is the founder of the Historic Hill Institute, co-created the “Build the Hill” Community Conference and remains a consultant on the history of the neighborhood and its historic preservation. She served as a fellow for the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and is responsible for launching the campaign to make living in “the Historic Hill District” popular. Today, residents say it without thinking twice about this purposeful awareness campaign.
Dr. Ellis worked to secure the first Community Benefits Agreement in the State of Pennsylvania, co-created the Greater Hill District Masterplan and contributed to its historic preservation plans. She later worked with CH Planning to finalize urban planning for the historic Hill District. Dr. Ellis is a professional tour guide that gives tours of the historic Hill District and Pittsburgh and was featured in the New York Times for her work on the Underground Railroad in Pittsburgh. Most recently, Dr. Ellis served as the Historian and Artist on the I-579 CAP Park, where she created the History walls, a fictional character named, “Keisha” and wrote her storyline and dialogue. Keisha is at least one of the culturally-responsive elements that will be utilized in the Lower Hill Urban Open Space.
In June 2017, Dr. Ellis was the Keynote Speaker for the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation Symposium, which had its focus on Arts Activism, and in July 2017, she served as a member of the Tulsa delegation for the Initiatives of Change, "Just Governance for Human Security" Conference in Caux, Switzerland. At that conference, Dr. Ellis also earned a "Human Security X" certificate under the purview of the United Nations' "Initiatives of Change" program.
Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis will appear as a lead historian and storyteller in the “Terror in Tulsa” documentary, which will debut on The History Channel on May 31, 2021. She continues to educate the public about the worst and still unresolved case of domestic terrorism in United State’s History.
Dr. Ellis is also a freelance journalist, playwright, screenwriter and previously served as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University, teaching their inaugural course on “August Wilson Dramas” for their Literary Culture program. She teaches online for the general public. She can be found at DrKimberlyEllis.com.
Penguins And BPG Announce Opening of Lower Hill First Source Employment Opportunity Center in the Historic Hill House
The Pittsburgh Penguins and development partner The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) are pleased to announce the opening of a Lower Hill First Source Employment Opportunity Center in the heart of Hill District, blocks away from the 28-acre Lower Hill redevelopment. The mission of the First Source Center is to provide a central location for residents to obtain better access to job opportunities, career training, and pathways to construction, professional and service-related employment in connection with the Lower Hill redevelopment, as well as more broadly with other employers across the City and region.
The First Source Center will be located on the first floor of the historic Hill House, located at 1835 Centre Avenue, in space leased from E Properties and Development, the owner and manager of the property. The build-out construction for the space is being completed by Massaro in a partnership with TD Construction, a Hill District-based minority contracting firm owned by Derrick Tillman and Darnell Dinkins.
Delivering upon the commitment by the development team under the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan (CCIP) relating to the Lower Hill redevelopment, the grand opening for the First Source Center is planned for mid-May.
The Penguins and BPG recruited a group of founding partners to launch and operate the First Source Center, including PJ Dick, Massaro, and Mascaro construction companies, Partner4 Work, PA CareerLink, the Builders Guild of Western PA, and the A. Phillip Randolph Institute.
Programming at the First Source Center will assist residents seeking job opportunities, career training, career exploration, resume building and other workforce development services. Job readiness support including transportation assistance, record expungement, pardon assistance, and referrals to social and pro bono legal services will also be available at the First Source Center.
“We are excited to help bring job opportunities to residents in the heart of the Hill District,” said Dorin Dickerson, Director of Development with the Pittsburgh Penguins and formerly with Mascaro construction. “The opening of the First Source Center is timed with our advancement of redevelopment on the Lower Hill, which will bring thousands of construction jobs and thousands more permanent jobs to the city and the Hill District community,” said Dickerson.
The Penguins and BPG are coordinating a comprehensive outreach effort to fully inform residents from the Hill District and across the city and region of all employment opportunities on the Lower Hill redevelopment.