People of the Year | Pittsburgh’s People of the Year | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

People of the Year

Pittsburghers who made a difference in 2021

click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: LUCY CHEN
CP Illustration: Lucy Chen
This year was supposed to be easier than last. Vaccines arrived, COVID cases were supposed to slow down, businesses were supposed to all open back up. And, in some ways, things have been better than in 2020. (At least we’re not all trapped at home 24/7, right?) But, as we prepare to enter year three of the pandemic, there are so many of us still struggling, and it’s become even more important that we learn to celebrate every little win.

Pittsburgh City Paper is honored to present this year’s People of the Year winners, all of whom we believe have given our city those necessary joys throughout 2021.

Last year at this time, we highlighted a group who came together to distribute free protective masks for their community. This year, we’re celebrating an individual who is out on the streets every day helping to vaccinate the city’s homeless population. And while last year’s Black Lives Matter rallies were at the forefront of numerous winners’ causes last year, we have chosen an activist this year who helped to initiate conversations on race and further bring awareness to the Asian-American & Pacific Islander community.


On the following pages, you’ll meet these winners and more. And soon, Ed Gainey, our 2020 choice for People of the Year for politics, will be named Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor. We can’t wait to see what this year’s winners will bring in 2022.
— The editorial staff of Pittsburgh City Paper,
this year’s People of the Year selection committee
Lisa Cunningham, Ryan Deto, Amanda Waltz, Dani Janae,
Jared Wickerham, Lucy Chen, and Darya Kharabi
People of the Year: Visual Arts
People of the Year: Labor
People of the Year: Theater
People of the Year: Health
People of the Year: Music
People of the Year: Politics
People of the Year: Business
People of the Year: Literature
People of the Year: Food and Drink
People of the Year: Activism

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