The Corner is a renovated, multi-use building at the corner of Robinson and Terrace Streets in West Oakland. Its primary mission is to serve the needs and interests of its immediate neighbors in West Oakland and the Oak Hill community. As such, it is located in a prime spot, nestled between those neighborhoods and just blocks away from the Petersen Events Center of the University of Pittsburgh. The space was originally conceived as a community outreach project owned and operated by Friendship Community Church, whose main building is just on the opposite street corner. The vision for the project, “to be a comfortable, welcoming space where neighbors and families experience God’s love by engaging with one another, connecting to resources that address their needs, and participating in community-driven activities” has for the most part been realized, and continues to progress. Although “faith-inspired,” the staff at The Corner take a holistic approach to programming. The primary meeting space is a large, open room that can be set up with chairs and tables in almost any configuration, making it quite versatile. Maximum capacity is approximately 100 persons. The Corner’s events calendar is filled with a diversity of events, from a weekly Zumba class to jazz performances to neighborhood meetings to film screenings.
In programming the facility, The Corner staff tends to give priority to music and poetry events, visual art programs for kids, public forums on social justice issues, and classes that provide resources to its immediate neighbors. However, any Pittsburgh resident, especially artist and musician, is encouraged to apply to rent the space for his or her own activities. There is outdated, but mostly adequate, audio and visual equipment that can be reserved for use, or renters can bring in their own equipment. While not a kitchen, there is a small sink and prep area to help with serving food. The serving of alcohol is prohibited.
Next door to this open meeting/performance space is The Corner Café, offering a respectable menu of fair-trade coffee and tea beverages and locally sourced baked goods. It is a comfy, cozy space with couches, small tables, wide-screen TV, and even an acoustic piano for the occasional scheduled or impromptu performance. This too can be reserved for meetings and private parties.
Upstairs to these two spaces are apartments that await renovation, but may eventually be used as subsidized housing for artists, community development-minded interns, and/or visiting missionaries.
Multiple events and artists.