'Yarn bombing' project for Pittsburgh bridge needs last-minute funds

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In the final weeks before "Knit the Bridge" attempts to cover the entire Andy Warhol Bridge in yarn, organizers are scrambling to raise money to cover some unexpected costs, including an additional $7,500 for police surveillance.

The team hoped to raise $124,000 for the project that will cover the bridge from Aug. 10 through Sept. 7 in what is expected to be the world's largest yarn bombing exhibit. However, only $76,000 has been raised, said Amanda Gross, a fabric artist from East Liberty who started the project.

Although much of remaining $48,000 has already been contributed through in-kind donations, organizers were not aware that police security during the installation and removal of the panels would cost $7,500 until last week, said Jenny Pabrum, a Knit the Bridge worker from Wilkins.

Allegheny County Council approved the project June 18, but the city is requiring police security.

Most of the yarn for the panels, the 19,000 cable ties for installation and the rent for the gallery space used to assemble the materials, for example, were in-kind donations to Knit the Bridge. But the team still lacks money for other services, which also will cover laundering of the panels and producing a documentary of the project, said Laura Tabakman of O'Hara, treasurer of the project.

Money to provide water for volunteers and to rent portable toilets during the set-up and removal of panels is also needed, said Ms. Gross.

The group is hoping for additional contributions that will help push funding above $76,000 coming through an Indiegogo campaign, an online push that had raised approximately $15,000 for the project by Wednesday afternoon. The campaign closes very early on Friday morning, although donations will continue to be accepted, Ms. Gross said.

Although the budget is tight, Ms. Tabakman said that what has been collected so far is enough to have the basic project completed.

"We have enough to make the project happen," she vowed.

So far, 600 panels of yarn have been completed by members of the community -- enough to cover the sides of the bridge, Ms. Gross said. Volunteers are creating additional panels as backups and are still working to construct a railing cover and the blankets that will hang from the bridge's towers.

"It's very much on schedule," Ms. Pabrum said. "It's going to be right up to the last minute but still on schedule."

Donations can be made at Knit the Bridge's website, www.knitthebridge.com, through email to knitthebridge@gmail.com or by calling Ms. Pabrum at 412-609-5853.

neigh_city - lifestyle

Monica Disare: mdisare@post-gazette.com.


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