The Arts in Pittsburgh: A Review

Let's suppose that I wanted to assemble a comprehensve post on the arts "scene" in Pittsburgh, featuring links to and very brief descriptions of the leading arts organizations and related infrastructural resources in the region, including arts initiatives, policy proposals, funding sources, and service providers. Let's suppose that I didn't want to highlight the work of individual artists, but I want to be inclusive as to the arts represented: music, visual arts (film and video, photography, painting, sculpture), craft, dance, literature, conceptual art, fine art, popular art, public art. And things that I'm missing, but that you won't.

But I don't have the time or personal knowledge to build out this post on my own. I need to crowdsource it. Are you willing to help?

I might start off with an obvious traditional source such as the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, then add a link to somethign newer, such as the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Courtesy of BrianTH in the comments to the Hipster post, there is the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative.

I would include the Warhol Museum (in fact, all of the Carnegie Museums), the Mattress Factory, and the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild. The Pittsburgh Filmmakers. The Society for Contemporary Craft. Just to help kick things off with some of the better known groups.

Some enterprising soul might point me to a rendering of the locations of these different institutions, coded by type of art(s) represented by each institution, against a map of the region. A really enterprising soul might generate a map like that, if it doesn't exist.

If this works, I may repeat the process for other communities in Pittsburgh.

Let's do it. Please add suggestions in the comments.


13 Responses to "The Arts in Pittsburgh: A Review"

illyrias said... 3/02/2010 11:48 AM

Not sure where these theaters fall. I think most of these theaters are outside the scope of the "Cultural District".

microscopic opera - just saw a poster for them today in the Strip.

attack theater - great dance group that performs in the Penn Ave district

bricolage downtown - really great innovative small-budget theater

quantum theater - known for putting on productions in swimming pools and former car dealerships

city theater in the south side - well-known local theater

A lot of these groups use "Brown Paper Tickets"

Also, my best resource for finding out what cool art things are going down in Pittsburgh? Walking through the strip district and looking at the posters plastered in the shop windows.

Adam said... 3/02/2010 12:07 PM

Perhaps start here:

Anonymous said... 3/02/2010 1:09 PM

Groups that fund some of the big arts groups in Pgh:


BNY Mellon


Heinz Endowments -
Chosky Foundation - ?
Richard King Mellon Foundation -
Shubert Foundation -
Grable Foundation -

sheila said... 3/02/2010 1:22 PM

sounds like a good project for the Masters of Arts Management (MAM) students at Heinz College!

BrianTH said... 3/02/2010 9:30 PM

Since we are being inclusive, I might suggest the 16:62 Design Zone:

tantalus said... 3/03/2010 11:19 AM

Here's a link to an almost complete list of local galleries, museums, and other art outlets:

It's maintained by photographer Rick Byerly who also blogs about the local arts scene at The Pittsburgh Art Blog:

John Morris said... 3/03/2010 1:44 PM

Yes, I think Rick has the most up to date and comprehensive list at least for the visual arts.

My link list is pretty good, but is not up to date and leaves out lots of non visual arts stuff.

Also, I think in general all the lists suffer from the balkanised nature of the scene. The African American community is very much it's own world with a lot of exciting but very, very obscure things going on that almost nobody, including me knows about.

Also, the colleges are of course their own worlds with lots of people focused on connections outside rather than within the city. Huge divides also exist between the for profit and non profit worlds. Ironically, in Pittsburgh, the non profits are far more connected and powerful.

My hope is that we could actually have a scheme in which assets are dynamically mapped out.

As you can see from my list, there's a lot of overlap between the arts and technology community.

Anonymous said... 3/10/2010 12:24 AM

Anonymous at 3/02/2010 1:09 PM left off PNC as a major contributor to the Pittsburgh arts scene.

Christopher said... 3/13/2010 7:08 AM

Stopping to think about it, there is so much art in Pittsburgh it doesn't mean much to me to speak of an "art scene." Sort of like speaking of Pittsburgh's "Christian scene" or "Gay Scene." Not exactly the same, but yet.

So much art in Pittsburgh, I've begun to see the good, the bad, and the ugly of it. Some pathetic musicians are praised to the sky, some great men of letters are thought of as creeps. Art to me is all about having a strong mind and being eager to impress and share what that mind is doing with other people ... so I suppose all the better the more institutions and the more people that support good artwork.

Rick Byerly said... 5/03/2010 8:43 PM

thanks for the mention on and the pittsburgh art blog!

rick byerly

Rick Byerly said... 5/03/2010 8:51 PM

and the map is a great idea- just need someone with the time and knowledge- my efforts are more dinosaur like as far as the tech aspects- just a basic html but it's kept updated with visual art venues on the website and current art events on the blog. the blog's link sections has a lot of good external links as well.

Christopher said... 5/07/2010 12:31 PM

That's great, my suggestion for improvement is to name individual artists

Rick Byerly said... 5/07/2010 3:43 PM

the pgh artist registry is a great resource for that currently- i've rec'd some opportunities as a result of being listed on there. my pgh art blog also lists "select" visual artists (biased and not meant to compete w/ the pgh artist registry)

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