Hearts on Fire is a nonprofit art and music program empowering youth of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities from marginalized communities of Pittsburgh. All program offerings are derived from a faith-based theme supporting wholeness and healing and consist of on-site and outreach workshops, Afterschool programs, community events, and summer camps in the areas of mixed media, painting, drawing, collage, drumming, voice and songwriting. Professional teaching artists, art and music facilitators, aides and volunteers all serve as part of the Hearts on Fire team. Through our programs, students find inspiration, hope and love through creative expression and life-giving fundamentals.
CARLA BIANCO BECKER – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR / MUSIC FACILITATOR
Carla Bianco Becker has a deep passion for working with youth in the arts. She was the Director of Outreach at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center for 14 years where she originated the program creating arts offering for thousands of students of all ages in all areas of the arts across the state of Pennsylvania. She provided enrichments programs for Lincoln Park and PA Cyber students but also for at-risk youth in places like Mars Home for Youth and the Bradley Center. It was then that her passion for helping youth in need began to grow stronger. As an instructor, Carla has taught classes, private lessons and master workshops in voice and musical theater to all ages and levels. She currently teaches private voice at Point Park University’s COPA program and owns and teaches private voice lessons with the Carla Bianco Voice Studio. An artist herself, Carla is an ASCAP-award winning songwriter who is most known for writing a #1 Billboard song and for starring on Broadway as Maureen in Rent. She has had numerous recording and composing deals and has appeared on West Coast, Broadway and off- Broadway stages, all of which has won her chart placements, recognitions and awards. She donates to many children’s charities and continues her recording work on her own record label distributed by Sony Orchard. Carla is passionate about her faith as well as helping others delivering the strong message of love through Hearts on Fire.
JILL BUDA – ARTS FACILITATOR
Marie Mejia, is an Artist Educator, aiming to connect with others through expression. A recent Carlow University graduate with a degree in Studio Art, Mejia utilizes her mastery of photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture to merge her skill set. The results produce a range of multimedia work from photography-based collage and painting to the transition of 2D street art into sculptural items. Marie has worked as an Afterschool Artist with Propel School, coordinating and implementing a variety of art projects for students K-3. She is also bi-lingual in Spanish and has worked with the Latino Community Center creating art workshops for the Beechwood Elementary School After School program, students K-5. Mejia aims to utilize her knowledge of different mediums and interpersonal skills to create a nurturing environment conducive to active communication and expression for elementary-age students. Her work can be found at mariemejia.com.
ABBY TROCCHIO- GRAPHIC DESIGN/ARTS FACILITATOR/VOLUNTEER
Abby is a graphic designer, with a desire to use her love for art to bless others. She is currently working at PPG Industries, as a graphic designer. Abby was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA, and Graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree from California University of PA. From an early age she’s had a passion for art and design. Growing up she enjoyed painting and sketching, and then in high-school, discovered her love for digital art and design. She has volunteered as a graphic designer for her local church for about 5+ years. In addition, for the past 2 years, she has volunteered her time to teach art and photography at her churches summer camp. Abby is also a proud aunt and loves spending her free-time spoiling her 7 nephews.
In addition to President, Carla Bianco Becker, additional Board members include:
DANA HARVEY BINGHAM-SECRETARY
Teaching has been Dana’s life purpose for nearly three decades now and nothing has brought her more joy than making a positive impact on the students she is lucky enough to teach/direct. She is skilled in university-level, high school, middle school and elementary level teaching/directing/advising experience garnered through public, private, charter, cyber and freelance teaching positions in Drama/theatre, English, Communications, Public Speaking, and Speech/Debate, among others. Dana is a dynamic, dedicated, well-rounded educator, who is intelligent, proactive, collaborative, compassionate, and versatile. She always looks to improve her instruction through regular professional development and consistent collaboration with her colleagues and administrators. She has been involved with theater since she was in elementary school so teaching theater and related courses is a passion as well as a profession. Hearts on Fire is thrilled to have Dana and her priceless years of experience in education on our Board of Directors.
For the last decade, Michelle has served as the Accounting and Payroll Manager for the Felician Sisters, a religious non-profit organization headquartered in Beaver County, PA. Through her work over the years, Michelle finds a tremendous amount of gratification to be a lay partner in ministry to the Felician Sisters whose mission is to support and serve others both domestically and internationally. Michelle is a graduate of Robert Morris University and resides in Chippewa Twp with her husband and two children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and travelling. Hearts on Fire is grateful to have Michelle’s expertise in accounting and bookkeeping as Treasurer of our Board of Directors.
The Hearts on Fire Afterschool program offers support to families and students in multiple areas such as providing adult supervision, help with homework and engaging them in a fun, self-esteem building arts activity based on a positive theme like love, giving or compassion. Programs are offered off-site at partnering schools or on-site at Hearts on Fire. Through our Afterschool program, students acquire an overall healthy sense of well-being with an increased ability to succeed in life socially, emotionally, mentally and academically.
Hearts on Fire is a proud partner and approved Out-of-School Time provider with the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Hearts on Fire offers on-site and outreach workshops at public, private, charter schools, churches, universities and community centers. We strive to create custom-created program offerings that meet the needs of the community.
We offer summer camps in art and music on-site and with partnering organizations looking to enhance their summer programming with fun arts offerings and activities that support overall well-being for youth.
In addition to our regular arts programming, Hearts on Fire hosts special events including festivals, music concerts, family activities and community days. Community events may consist of inspirational music concerts, student performances, art gallery showings, art activities for families to enjoy together, luncheons, art contests, games and more. Hearts on Fire partners with artists and organizations supporting the same mission of bringing positive arts enrichment to marginalized communities.
Hearts on Fire
2350 Noblestown Road, Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
If interested in a Hearts on Fire program or you are interested in partnering with Hearts on Fire, please email us at [email protected]