Mattress Factory invites teens to learn music, art, activism, and more during free summer workshop series | Arts + Entertainment | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Mattress Factory invites teens to learn music, art, activism, and more during free summer workshop series

click to enlarge Mattress Factory’s Teen Summer Workshops - PHOTO: COURTESY OF MATTRESS FACTORY
Photo: Courtesy of Mattress Factory
Mattress Factory’s Teen Summer Workshops
Teens can get restless in the summer, especially when many ended up staying at home anyway during this past school year because of the pandemic. There are only so many video games you can play, shows you can stream, and TikTok videos you can consume before boredom sets in. This is where Mattress Factory’s free Teen Summer Workshops come in, offering young minds eclectic outlets to learn new skills and flex their creative muscles.

Beginning Tue., July 20, the North Side museum will present six one-day workshops for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The workshops are taught by chosen artists representing a wide range of interests, from music and botanical drawing to the culinary arts.

Mattress Factory teen program coordinator Mattie Cannon says the museum’s “guiding mantra” in choosing the workshops was “Diversity (in creative practice), Diversity (in backgrounds), and Diversity (in how people can engage, i.e. in-person or virtual).”


“We posted an open call for submissions to artists that were excited to share aspects of their practice with teens through the Mattress Factory,” says Cannon.

Among the choices is Build your own Cigar Box Guitar, a chance to make your own instrument with Erie-based musician Mathew Borczon, and illustration with Monica Quinn, a multimedia artist who specializes in floral murals. Teens can also explore cooking with Simon Chough, chef and founder of the Garfield restaurant Soju, and learn how to combine making and social justice during Activism and Tie Dye.

Also available is a lesson on how to throw a porch concert, and a sound art and podcast workshop with Zoe Scruggs and Lou Tandon, current artists-in-residence at Bunker Projects.

Cannon says that the program will also feature two summer fellows, Chloe Miller and Sophia Katres, who graduated from Mattress Factory’s school-year teen program, The Teen Art Cooperative, in 2020.


“They have returned to work with the museum to help us put on a great summer workshop series,” says Cannon, adding that the fellows were involved in the selection process.

The Mattress Factory Teen Summer Workshops run from July 20 through Aug. 21. Each workshop is limited to 15 participants. Register for free at mattress.org/programs/teen-summer-workshop-series

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