Bill Strickland was an aimless kid growing up in a rough neighborhood in Pittsburgh when he met a public school art teacher who transformed his life by opening his eyes to the world of art, and education. Determined to follow in his mentor's footsteps, Strickland set out to give disadvantaged children and adults what Ross gave him: respect, purpose, trust, and the confidence to pursue their dreams. Strickland built Manchester Bidwell over the ashes of several abandoned warehouses that were almost burned to the ground in the racial riots of the late 1960s. Today, it stands a 162,000 square foot center with art galleries, a music hall, a 40,000 square foot greenhouse, and an operating budget of $10-$12 million dollars a year. Made up of The Manchester Craftman's Guild, which provides after-school and summer programs in ceramics, photography, drawing, and painting to 3,200 middle and high school kids a year, and the Bidwell Training Center, which trains 500 adults annually in fields such as culinary arts and horticultural technology, and places 90% of its graduates in full time positions, Manchester Bidwell has helped thousands of disadvantaged children and adults overcome their circumstances in ways they never thought possible. Download and start listening now!