ABOUT THE IF CENTER
Named “Best Place to See Something Unusual”
by the Pittsburgh City Paper in 2011!
The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination is an arts and green energy community center with a mission to enrich and diversify the local community by building positive experiences in a multicultural, progressive setting. We use art, including the work of Irma Freeman, to nurture the imagination. By instilling confidence through creativity and a knowledge of sustainable living, we strive to make the world a better place.
The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination (IFCI) represents the vision of Irma Freeman. Irma Freeman was a prolific and inspiring visionary artist who lived most of her life in poverty yet filled her world with fantastical colorful imagery, leaving a legacy of hundreds of paintings. Since its inception the IFCI has been a noted contributor to the educational and cultural network of Pittsburgh, including hosting dozens of unique events and exhibitions, as well as collaborating with schools and other organizations, locally and nationally. Our audience and patrons are a vast assortment of ages, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. In the past six years the IFCI has spearheaded an abundance of diverse educational projects, based on several related goals, such as integrating do-it-yourself technology, arts and academic educational programing, STEAM,* and sustainable development. As our building bears the name of Irma Freeman, so do we seek to procure her visionary outlook. Working with the community, our patrons, and parents, we continue to inspire artists and children toward self-discovery, putting the tools they need into their hands, endowing the power of confidence, imagination, and the freedom to succeed through the arts.
*Full STEAM Ahead! is our newly researched approach to implementing arts and academic education. STEAM is a critical and cutting edge curriculum that integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math!
We are located at 5006 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224.
The Irma Freeman Center regularly collaborates with other organizations on various projects. Visit our Collaborators page to see some of the great organizations we’ve collaborated. Within the past few years, we have collaborated with the likes of such organizations as Assemble, Artist Image Resource, Community Capoeira Angola of Pittsburgh, Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, La Escuelita Arcoiris, New Academy Press, Ola’s Herb Shop, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh FIlmmakers, and STEMisphere of the Carnegie Science Center. Find out more about our Classes, First Fridays and Summer Camps! Email: jackball at irmafreeman.org
–Sarah Ulrich, Summer Camps, August 2012
“This camp stretched my daughter’s skills and ever so gently pushed her out of her comfort zone. Thanks!”
–Francine, Summer Camps, 2016
“I appreciate the friendly staff, fun activities, and convenient pick-up and drop-off times. The children really enjoyed themselves and made some new friends, as well as reconnecting with old. We look forward to the Dance, Acro, and Art classes the most. Irma Freeman IS a Center for Imagination!”
–Hunter L. Howell II, Summer Camps, 2016
“It was really fun and I learned stuff that I’ve never done before – like, EVER!”
–Uriah Reid, Summer Camps, August 2014
“It can be very difficult to find activities that are creatively stimulating and physically active. This organization provided a good balance.”
–Robert Adams, Summer Camps, 2014
“There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy,” and I love the way the Irma Freeman Center has helped Dominique express herself in a more loving and positive manner through arts and dance. I do not have the words to express my gratitude and appreciation I have for everyone that has brought this wonderful center to our neighborhood. Thank you all so very much!”
–Dhana Jetter, Summer Camps, 2016
“It was really nice that you treated my kids like artists trying to learn rather than kids doing crafts”
–Daniel Szecret, Summer Camps, August 2012
“My son was so excited to come to camp all week. The teacher did a wonderful job including all the kids’ ideas and personalities. The activities were age appropriate, fun, and they really stimulated his creativity!”
–Sara Russell, Summer Camp, June 2013
“Fascinating! Way to remind us of the past and bring into view the results of actions we take almost unconsciously!”
–Rachel, on the IF Center Exhibition Antiquated, Future or Imaginary Technologies II
“From the very start, the Irma Freeman Center for the Imagination at 5006 Penn Ave. was stopping traffic… it was the drop-dead mirror, colored, cut-bottle, and tile front design that caught everyone’s eye. This isn’t by accident. Ali and Boye want their showplace to draw people from the outside to the inside.”
—The Bulletin, “Behind the Dazzling Facade”
“Learned tonight that we need to get some solar panels to play with. Sheila Ali’s Green Kids Power Camp was awesome. Tonight Winston is sleeping with a house he made from a cardboard box which is lit up by a light with a sensor. In the morning, the light will turn off and a silver star will start spinning when the sun hits the solar panel. That’s cool.”
–Christina Springer, August 2011
“This is the best place on Penn Ave! Every Unblurred this is my must-stop because it’s always the best! Thanks – Grazie”