Last Fall, the Experienced Dreamers contest invited people from across the country to
take a fresh look at Pittsburgh as a place to live, work, run a business, raise a family and
realize their dreams. It asked people 45 and over to think about what they'd like to do
in the next chapter of their lives and to share their dreams – all for a chance at winning
$100,000 to relocate and pursue those dreams in Pittsburgh.
Between October and
December, thousands of people from across the country and around the world visited the
contest website, where they learned about all the reasons Pittsburgh is the most livable
city in America. People from 29 different states decided Pittsburgh is a place they'd love
to be and submitted essays outlining the dreams they'd like to pursue here. And today,
after a rigorous evaluation process identified the top five entries, you get to cast your vote to help decide which Experienced Dreamer will win the $100,000 prize.
Read about the finalists (presented in alphabetical order) and the dreams they want to
pursue in Pittsburgh below, and then – at the bottom of this page – cast your vote by
11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, April 15, to help choose the winner.
Kimberly Camp – Kennewick, Washington
Kimberly wants to capture stories of the diverse people who emigrated from Europe and
migrated from the south, while pairing these stories with those of the immigrants who
came to Pittsburgh for jobs in the steel mills and a chance for a better life. She wants to
show Pittsburgh the connections to its rich past and the excitement of storytelling. On
a personal level, Kimberly hopes this dream will help her find grounding in light of a
recent loss and also to celebrate her ties to previous generations of Pittsburgh family.
Read about Kimberly Camp's dream in her own words here.
Tess Lojacono – East Aurora, New York
Tess is the owner of "Fine Arts Miracles," a self-started business that primarily teaches fine art to the elderly in assisted living and nursing homes. Her dream is to expand
the business, establish a headquarters in a more thriving economy, train and employ staff
as teachers, formalize all the classes they've designed, and create a training package that
can be utilized by Activity departments at similar facilities all over the country. Read
about Tess Lojacono's dream in her own words here. Read about Tess Lojacono's dream in her own words here.
Robert Manning – Bluffton, South Carolina
Robert is a filmmaker who wants to share Pittsburgh stories by creating a media and film
company to produce short-form cinematic films that promote the area and the people who
live and work here. The films would bring into focus the positives of the Pittsburgh area
in a variety of ways, from helping to promote and market individual small businesses to
raising awareness about a civic or community concern. Part of the dream would include
the opportunity for young filmmakers to understand the art and craft of filmmaking
through hands-on learning. Read about Robert Manning's dream in his own words here. Read about Robert Manning's dream in his own words here.
Jeffrey Metzler – Martinsburg, Pennsylvania
Jeffrey is an artist whose dream is to focus exclusively on developing and producing Pop art-style serigraphs. He plans to offer art instruction and printmaking in the studio to art students and the public and would like the studio to also serve as a gallery and workspace. His idea is that a fully equipped print studio will also be a great resource and assistance to other artists as he offers mentorship and internship opportunities for students. Jeffrey would like to help make others' dreams come true as well, with plans to donate a portion of his profits to Pittsburgh charities through a charitable trust. Read about Jeffrey Metzler's dream in his own words here.
Sharon Houk Tellez – Bradley, Illinois
Sharon would like to create a club in Pittsburgh devoted to the profoundly curious,
providing both the camaraderie and the solitude necessary for life-long learning and
creative endeavors. ClubEmeritus members will be encouraged to form groups to pursue
a topic together and provide free mentoring to local students. Sharon also would use part
of the prize money to secure an advanced degree in Adult and Continuing Education –
focusing on how happiness affects learning.
Read about Sharon Houk Tellez's dream in her own words here.