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On March 4, The Sanctuary Project presented The Fifth Art and Talent Show for Peace at the Homewood Library Auditorium. The participants were youth from Homewood and Wilkinsburg. The Art and Talent Show for Peace is dedicated to the families and neighbors impacted by the March 9, 2016, tragic shooting in Wilkinsburg; is in memory of all who have died from gun violence on our streets; and pays tribute to all those who are working for peace in our churches, congregations, schools businesses, social service agencies, police, borough and families.

Reverend Eric McIntosh, pastor of St. James Episcopal Church of Penn Hills, served as the master of ceremonies for the two-part talent show while Andre Scott, pastoral assistant at Mulberry Community Church, served as talent coach and Frank Tillman III ,of Christian Church of Wilkinsburg, served as the art coach. After each youth performed or displayed their art, they were given helpful critique by the coaches. Each participant was a winner and received certificates thanking them for their talent.


Each year, the organization presents a teacher’s award, this year’s winner was Ann Douglas of Pittsburgh Urban Christian School. The church award was presented to Covenant Church of Pittsburgh and St. Marks AME. This award is given to the church that brings the most participants to the talent show. This year it was a tie. Each talent entry had to be centered on “peace.” When one youth was asked to explain what peace meant to him, he said, “Peace is walking down the street without fear of having your shoes stolen.”

The mission of the Wilkinsburg Sanctuary Project is to create dynamic, life changing opportunities for teenage youth of Wilkinsburg, and to eliminate youth and young adult violence as well as to create a positive perception of Wilkinsburg as a vibrant, dynamic and safe community to live, work and worship.


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