Back to All Events

Play for Change

  • Carnegie Museum of Art 4400 Forbes Ave Pittsburgh, PA, 15213 United States of America (map)

Play means more than toys and games! It is a connector—play can shape the way children, adults, and communities interact with one another and think about their days, how they use their community space, and most importantly how to solve problems. For children, play is how they learn. For communities, it can be the key to building engagement and ownership in our shared public spaces or to addressing some of our most critical challenges.


In partnership with Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes, join us on Tuesday, October 30, at the Carnegie Museum of Art in the Oakland community of Pittsburgh, in a day-long event to think critically about play. We will have keynote speakers, lightning talks, hands-on activities and action plan time.

We will convene 25 teams of 5-7 individuals from neighborhoods, boroughs, and cities from across southwest Pennsylvania and West Virginia to:

  1. Explore WHAT is play, and WHY play?

  2. Understand the play continuum and the role of “playful learning,” such as the Six C’s (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, culture/community, creativity, and connectivity) and their importance in positioning our children for the future.

  3. Consider a “play community.” Why they are important? And, how to define a vision, mission, purpose, and goals in the creation of your own playful community. We’ll talk about lessons learned from the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and the Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes.

  4. Learn more about transforming public spaces into community play and playful learning spaces such as hands on installations of playful learning modules.

  5. Develop action plans for infusing play in your community. What challenges at the school, neighborhood or city-level do you think ‘play’ may help address in your own community? How do we design communities with intention to address these challenges? We’ll talk about the Hazelwood Play Trail case study.

All while considering issues of equity, transportation, safety, play across the ages, community input and more.

How to Register as a Team

Register your team now! Each team may have 5-7 members. All team members should be from a particular neighborhood or region and members should represent different organizations or skill sets. People to consider for inclusion in your team could be: an early childhood educator, a local municipality representative, perhaps a parent, an artist, a librarian, a school administrator, etc. Team registrations will be given priority over individual registrations. In addition, we will provide a team stipend of $250 to help cover travel costs. Please note that there is a limit to teams based within Allegheny County to help balance team participation from the wider 10-county region and northern West Virginia. Registration is limited to the first 25 teams. When registering as a team, please send an email to Yu-Ling Cheng at Yu-Ling will provide your team with a specific “access code” so you can register as a team.

How to Register as an Individual

If you would like to be a part of this UnConference but don’t have a team, please register as an individual. Registration preference will be given to team registrations first but if space and demand allows, we will create a team of individual registrations. Please note that individual registrations will not receive a travel stipend. Click here to register as an individual. If you have questions, please email Yu-Ling at for more information.


Please contact event planner Yu-Ling Cheng at

Thank You To Our Sponsors and Partners

Thank you to our: partner Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes, co-hosts Carnegie Museum of Art and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, series sponsor PNC Grow Up Great and sponsors The Grable Foundation and The Benedum Foundation.

Earlier Event: October 28
Play in the Park Pop-up (rescheduled!)
Later Event: November 28
United Way's Hoodies for the Holidays