Pittsburgh has leveraged the power of the arts to stage one of the country’s most successful urban transformations.
During the G-20 Pittsburgh Summit, the international focus will be on the David L. Lawrence Convention Center located in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, which is a project of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. This vibrant district sets the perfect stage for the international summit on economic recovery as a unique international model of urban revitalization through the arts and a paradigm for successful public-private partnerships. Once a blighted “adults-only” neighborhood known for sex shops, prostitutes and XXX-movie theaters, the Cultural District today attracts over 2,000,000 visitors annually generating an estimated economic impact of $303 million.
Pittsburgh’s third renaissance can be traced to H.J. “Jack” Heinz II, a founder of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Mr. Heinz envisioned a colossal transformation that would turn a city once called “hell with its lid off” into a thriving hub of world-class art and entertainment, buzzing with 24/7 activity. His vision was two-pronged: the arts could serve as a catalyst for economic, commercial and residential development of Downtown Pittsburgh, while enriching the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
When other U.S. cities abandoned their respective downtowns for strip malls and big-box stores, Pittsburgh’s Cultural District preserved its historical significance by leveraging the power of the arts to create an authentic destination that draws over two million visitors, arts lovers, students, residents and employers to over 1,500 events each year.
The District includes Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Symphony and August Wilson Center for African American Culture, among hundreds of other arts groups and artists. The Cultural District is also home to the city’s High School for Creative and Performing Arts.
Unlike other cities that house cultural activity within a single performing arts center, Pittsburgh’s Cultural District comprises 14 blocks that were holistically developed with the creation of multiple theaters, art galleries, public art projects, urban parks and riverfront recreation spaces. For a list of the grand theaters of the Cultural District, art galleries, iconic public art projects and parks, visit TrustArts.org