The Pittsburgh Foundation

Pittsburgh Foundation fund energizes August Wilson Center programming 

$300,000 in grants will provide exhibitions, performances and a music camp

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 25, 2017 – For the second consecutive year, The Pittsburgh Foundation will award grants to nonprofit projects from a special fund created to foster artistic development and achievement at the August Wilson Center.

Six independent projects, ranging from dance inspired by the lives of jazz greats to an exhibition of a preeminent collection of African American art to a music summer camp focused on hip-hop, will receive a total of $300,000 in grants from the Center’s Programming Fund. The grants support the Center’s mission to “preserve, present, interpret, celebrate and shape the art, culture, and history of African Americans, utilizing the rich history, legacy, and culture of African Americans from western Pennsylvania as a foundation.”

The grants range from $15,000 to $100,000 to support a wide variety of programming initiatives at the Center. Applications were reviewed and selection recommendations made to Foundation program staff by a peer panel comprised of national experts from a variety of artistic disciplines. Grants may support performances/events, exhibitions, educational programs, symposia or other offerings that take place once or regularly over a period of time.

“The programming selected by our national panel reflects diversity of artistic discipline and interpretation, indicating how makers of art within the African and African American tradition continue to thrive in our community,” said Jeanne Pearlman, senior vice president of Program and Policy at the Foundation. “We are so proud to have the opportunity to facilitate the presentation of this outstanding work at the Center.”

Grantees for this year are:

•   Guardians of Sound ($40,000) Guardians of Sound will launch an annual Hip Hop Orchestra Summer Music Camp to provide a six-day music learning, creating and performing for primarily African American youth with ongoing music instruction provided by community partners. 
•   PearlArts Studios ($50,000) Inspired by the music and times of legendary Jazz vocalist Abbey Lincoln and her partner, Jazz percussionist Max Roach, STAYCEE PEARL Dance Project will create a body of work presented in an evening of immersive and engaging performance.                       
•   Arts Pulse ($40,000) The INSTILL & INSPIRE: The John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art exhibition will tentatively take place at the Center from April 1, through June 30.                    
•   VIA ($95,000) Presented during the Three Rivers Arts Festival, the AWC Lab is a series of public events and workshops driven by visiting artist collectives Iyapo Repository (New York City), Complex Movements (Detroit), and local partners working at the intersection of digital media, performance, social justice and Afro-futurist research. The Lab will also host TRAF After Dark music showcases.
•   Artists Image Resource ($25,000) Artists Image Resource resident artist project and exhibition with Paradise Gray. 
•   Hill Dance Academy Theatre ($50,000) The Theatre will organize the second phase of a partnership with Howard University, April 21-23 at the Center.            


About the August Wilson Center

Opened to the public in 2009, the state-of-the-art performing and visual arts facility in downtown Pittsburgh supports an impressive array of programming. The 65,000 square foot LEED-certified building houses a 486-seat auditorium, several exhibition galleries, technology-enhanced classrooms and a community meeting space. Now under a management agreement with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the facility is supported by an experienced staff and is available as a community venue for all types of programming.

About The Pittsburgh Foundation

Established in 1945, The Pittsburgh Foundation is one of the nation’s oldest community foundations and is the 13th largest of more than 750 community foundations across the United States. As a community foundation, its resources comprise endowment funds established by individuals, businesses and organizations with a passion for charitable giving and a deep commitment to the Pittsburgh community. The Foundation currently has more than 2,000 individual donor funds and, together with its supporting organizations, assets of more than $1.14 billion. Grantmaking benefits a broad spectrum of community life within Pittsburgh and beyond.