George Gist was a phenomenal muralist, portraitist, and musician who served the Hill District and the Black Arts Community as a whole, with his creative and talented works for over 40 years. In addition to his mural work, George Gist is well known for his series of charcoal sketches, based on photographs taken by famous Hill District Photographer, Teenie Harris. The scale of his impact led to February 19th being proclaimed as George Gist Day, for his "inspiration to the community through his art and activism." We will celebrate and honor the legacy of the late, great George Gist, who recently transitioned into becoming one of our ancestors, by restoring the murals he created on the historic New Granada.

Please see the flyer and link below for additional details and to apply!

A Collaboration Between the Hill CDC and #ARTSINHD

Nafasi on Centre is a community development initiative utilizing art as the vehicle and is a partnership between the Hill CDC and #ArtsinHD, an action planning group, and a subcommittee of the Hill District Consensus Group. More specifically, Nafasi, which means "space" and "opportunity" in Swahili, is the first substantial project to emerge from the Hill District Arts Plan and is a cultural strategy to meet the 5 goals of the Greater Hill District's Master Plan, which aims to: (1) Build Upon the African American Cultural Legacy, (2) Family Friendly Housing Development Without Displacement, (3) Economic Empowerment & Community Development, (4) Make the Hill a Green and Well-Designed Community, and (5) Mobility, Transportation, and Parking.

Nafasi on Centre will consist of artist work-space in the basement, a cafe/gallery on the first floor, and four 1-bedroom apartments and two micro lofts, spread across the second and third floors.
The residency and space at Nafasi on Centre will be programmed and overseen by the Hill CDC, in partnership with #ArtsinHD.


Artist Residency Application NOW OPEN!!

The Nafasi Artist Residency Program Application is officially open. Please follow the link below to complete the application in full, as well as review the Resident Policies, which is linked below. If you did not have an opportunity to join us for the Infomation Session on August 19th, 2020 you will find a copy of the presentation link below. Feel free to direct any questions or comments via email to Jordan Smith, Programs and Policy Coordinator at jsmith [at] (subject: Nafasi%20Artist%20Residency) .

Nafasi Artist Residency Application Deadline is NOW Friday, September 25th, 2020! To accommodate requests in light of ever-changing daily challenges as we navigate COVID-19, the deadline to submit a completed application for the Nafasi Artist Residency Program has been extended until the final Friday of this month.


  • Interviews will take place the week of September 28, 2020
  • Notification of Selections will be made by October 9th, 2020
  • Move-in starting after October 12th, 2020

Click the button below to complete the application!

Apply Now Nafasi Artist Residency Application

Nafasi Artist Resident Policies

PowerPoint from Nafasi on Centre Program and Application Information Session Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

Nafasi Program General Description

The Nafasi residency is a 2-year program, designed to help six (6) artists transition into a sustainable artistic or creative practice, by supporting them with mentorship, studio practice, business development and management, and, of course, community engagement throughout the length of the residency.

Nafasi's mission is to support Black arts and culture by creating the space and opportunities for Hill District artists and creatives to learn and flourish in an affordable environment. This program focuses on inspiring participants to embrace new challenges in understanding and presenting their work while connecting to a quickly evolving and supportive community. Artists will have opportunities to generate revenue as we exhibit some of their work or showcase their talent through events held in the Nafasi Gallery, which is located on the first floor of Nafasi On Centre.

Additionally, each artist will attend professional development sessions to introduce the necessary skills to make a successful transition. These workshops will include: partnering with guest speakers and industry leaders who will give best practices on essential entrepreneurship skills for artists including, Branding & Marketing, Business Finances and Sales, Online and Social Media Visibility, Grant writing, Public Art Projects, and More!


Nafasi is targeted towards Hill District artists. Hill District artists are defined as those who live in the Hill District, have lived or worked in the Hill District, or have very strong ties to the Hill District. We are hopeful to fill the residency based on our initial intention. If we do not have enough artists to fill our requirements, then we will open the residency to the broader community. Applicants must be based within the Pittsburgh region. Applicants should be able to make a 2-year commitment to the program.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of individuals from #ArtsInHD and the Hill CDC. Areas that will be considered include: quality of work, the potential impact of the program on their studio practice and artistic career, and demonstrated interest and experience in collaborating with other artists and community, specifically as it relates to the goals of the Greater Hill District Master Plan.


Please fill out the application by clicking the button below:

Nafasi on Centre Artist Residency Application


We are looking for operators for the Carousel Cafe on the first floor of Nafasi! Fill out an interest form by clicking on the button below.

Nafasi on Centre Cafe Operator Interest Form


Send any questions to Jordan Smith, Programs and Policy Coordinator at 412-765-1820 or jsmith [at]

This program is brought to you in partnership with the Heinz Endowments and #ArtsInHD, a committee of the Hill District Consensus Group!