2010 Pittsblog Predictions Revisited: Part 2

Another update to the crystal ball predictions that I made about a year ago. From this point forward, things get cloudier.  Here is Part 2.

2. Arts: 2010 will be a breakout year for Pittsburgh’s emerging “young creatives,” especially the visual artists and musicians who have been quietly taking over the North Side and some northeastern neighborhoods for much of the last decade. Look for at least one Pittsburgh-based performer to take the national stage. The arts communities in Lawrenceville, Garfield, and the North Side will overtake the institutions of the Cultural District as the faces of Pittsburgh’s arts culture.
I have to break this paragraph down into some subsidiary parts in order to get something approximating an accounting.

First:  Was 2010 a breakout year for the "young creatives" of Pittsburgh?  It's a little difficult for me to get a handle on this, because I am hardly a "young creative" myself, don't travel in those circles, and can't expect to find much information about those worlds (plural) by reading the Post-Gazette.  Some of a sense comes through the blogosphere, but even then the Web yields only clues and traces, not the heart of the thing.

Still, what little I did pick up suggests that I was reading the tea leaves correctly.  This part of Pittsburgh exudes a palpable energy these days.  I'll give myself half a point on this.

Second:  Did at least one Pittsburgh-based performer take the national stage?  Yes!  Wiz Khalifa had a top 40 hit -- though it's hard to say that "top 40" means as much as it did back when Casey Kasem was sort of hip, or at least well known.  Full marks here.

Third:  Did the arts communities in Lawrenceville, Garfield, and the North Side overtake the institutions of the Cultural District as the faces of Pittsburgh’s arts culture?  Hard to say here; I'll claim half a point.  The bad news/good news is that this all depends on who the relevant audience is, and the relevant audience isn't neatly segregated into "those who hang in Garfield" and "those who hang at the Public."  And the arts scene isn't limited to those areas at all.  The Warhol and the Mattress Factory, for example, continue to knock them dead on the North Side, but there is always some fabulous stuff happening Downtown, too.  The arts scene in Bloomfield, Garfield, East Liberty, and Lawrenceville is booming.  The bottom line may be that Pittsburgh's arts scene no longer has a single public face, and that's great for everyone in Pittsburgh -- with the possible exception of the expanding community of artists who are competing for support.

Overall, I'll claim two marks out of a possible three in this category.  Quite a recovery after yesterday's disaster.

Tomorrow:  Business.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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