About The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity.

Using the arts as an economic catalyst, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

Over a period of 25 years, the Trust has restored historic theaters, constructed new performance venues, commissioned public art projects and developed unique urban parks and riverfront recreation spaces. As one of the largest Downtown Pittsburgh property owners, the Trust manages one million square feet of property, including:

  • Theater Square, designed by architect Michael Graves, encompassing a parking garage, Cultural District box office, Carolyn M. Byham WQED fm89.3 studio, the restaurant CafĂ© Zao, the Backstage Bar
  • The 250-seat Theater Square Cabaret
  • The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts (2890 seats)
  • Byham Theater (century-old vaudeville house with 1300 seats)
  • O’Reilly Theater (650-seat venue designed by Michael Graves)
  • Harris Theater (a foreign and contemporary film house)
  • Agnes R. Katz Plaza, designed by Daniel Urban Kiley, featuring delightful “eyeball benches” and fountain by sculptor Louise Bourgeois
  • Allegheny Riverfront Park, a collaboration of artist Ann Hamilton and landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh
  • Wood Street Galleries
  • SPACE, an art gallery located in a former adult bookstore
  • 707-709 Penn Galleries
  • Arts Education Center
  • 937 Liberty Avenue

The Trust encourages and presents diverse performing and visual arts programs. Its main programming divisions include: