The beauty of Pittsburgh lies in the city’s ability to reinvent itself. Over the last century, the city has taken advantage of opportunities to change. The third renaissance took place in the art community and was envisioned by H.J. Heinz II, a founder of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The vision included “the arts serving as a catalyst for economic, commercial and residential development of Downtown Pittsburgh, while enriching the quality of life for residents and visitors alike (About the Trust, 2012.)” The artistic community of Pittsburgh has grown tremendously over the 25 years thanks to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s mission is “the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the cultural district (About the Trust, 2012.)” It is well established and its reach throughout the city sets the Trust as a model for urban redevelopment. Management of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is under the direction of a Board of Directors which consists of five officers and 49 additional members. Separate and smaller boards and committees are required to oversee each of the large events held by the Trust. The smaller boards in charge of each event ensure the communities needs and requests are satisfied as well as ensuring that the event is successful. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a large organization with the leadership that allows the Pittsburgh artistic community presence to remain a vital part of the city. Its largest presence is within the Cultural District but it also supports programs throughout the rest of the city. The Cultural Trust’s massive operations and development in Pittsburgh are supported by not only its citizens, but also many foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
With these investments the Trust has restored historic theatres, including The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, Byham Theater, and Theater Square Cabaret. Other major projects included the construction of the new Agnes R. Katz Plaza and the Allegheny Riverfront Park, as well as the introduction of the Wood Street Galleries, SPACE, and 707-709 Penn Galleries. The Trust also established performance venues, commissioned public art projects, developed urban parks, and established annual community events. These venues are used for the festivals, children’s theatre, dance councils and the over 1,500 events the Cultural Trust holds each year.
By creating annual events at the August Wilson house, the house could become a central part of the festival scene in Pittsburgh. Events could include weekly or monthly plays, local musician’s performances, as well as, community art and craft shows. The house could also become a place for family gatherings by hosting a Friday Family Fun night. The event could include music, food and fun activities for families to do together, such as crafts, games or a movie.
In addition to the organized events, the Trust utilizes their space by offering venues for rent. Uses for the spaces include professional concerts or shows, corporate events or meetings, galas or fundraisers, music release parties. The Trust also provides an outlet for the citizens of Pittsburgh with camps, workshops and early development programs. These programs offer an artistic outlet for students, educators and the community.
The August Wilson house could utilize gallery space in the house that local artists or college students could rent to display their art. The rentable wall space could be shared by multiple artists or the entire gallery could be rented to showcase an artist’s collection. In addition to planned events and showings, the gallery could be open during other events held at the house for visitors to view or purchase the artwork. Also, the available conference room in the August Wilson house could be rented for gatherings and meetings.
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. 2012. “About the trust.” Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Retrieved March
2, 2001 (http://www.trustarts.org/about)