Robin Elrod, Director of PR and Communications, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
firstname.lastname@example.org | 724-766-0564
Media contacts for Cultural District organizations listed with boilerplate information
Pittsburgh Cultural District Arts Organizations Announce
Vaccination and Mask Requirement for Indoor Performances
After months of preparation and planning for the return to in-person arts events, Pittsburgh’s Cultural District organizations outline layers of defense against COVID-19 and the safety practices for guests, staff, volunteers, and artists—the latest of which is a vaccination and mask requirement
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust in coordination with Pittsburgh Cultural District arts organizations announced today that guests attending indoor performances at Arcade Comedy Theater, August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Benedum Center, Byham Theater, Greer Cabaret Theater, Harris Theater, Heinz Hall, Liberty Magic, O’Reilly Theater, and 937 Liberty will be required to provide proof of vaccination.
Masks will also be required inside venues should levels of community COVID-19 transmission in Allegheny County reach ‘substantial’ or ‘high’ as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (status available at: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view). Some events are subject to exception from this rule and will require audience members to remain masked regardless of community spread. These shows will be noted as such at all points of ticket purchase, alerting buyers of the mask mandate. Ticket buyers will also be contacted by guest services to confirm attendance requirements prior to the event. Real-time vaccination and masking requirements, and any updates, will continue to be available on each organization’s website (listed in boilerplate information).
The vaccine and masking policies begin with the return of indoor performances on September 17, 2021 and are currently set to run at least through November 30, 2021. Health and safety policies will continue to be regularly evaluated and adjusted based on community health data, and public health and government guidance.
Guests will be required to be fully vaccinated with the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and must show proof of vaccination at their time of entry into the theater with their valid ticket and driver’s license or government issued identification. “Fully vaccinated” means that on the date of the performance, a guest has received their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least 14 days prior.
All individuals entering a Cultural District venue must be vaccinated with exceptions for children under the age of 12 and people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. Guests who fall into one of these exception categories must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 24 hours of the performance start time. COVID-19 tests must be administered by an official testing center. Self-administered tests will not be accepted.
The leaders of each Cultural District organization, Abby Fudor of Arcade Comedy Theater, Janis Burley Wilson of the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Jeffrey Carpenter of Bricolage, Harris Ferris of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Mark Fleisher of the Pittsburgh CLO, Kevin McMahon of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Colleen Doyno of Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Mark Southers of Pittsburgh Playwrights, Christopher Hahn of Pittsburgh Opera, Marya Sea Kaminski and Lou Castelli of the Pittsburgh Public Theater, and Melia Tourangeau of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, came together in this decision. As each organization continues to invest in and preserve Pittsburgh’s Cultural District throughout the pandemic, each one has prioritized the health and safety of everyone who visits. Given the recent rise in cases and the severity of the Delta variant, the Cultural District’s leaders came to the difficult decision that the safest way to return to gathering for superior experiences in the arts is by requiring guests to be fully vaccinated and mask up when necessary.
Scott Shiller, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Vice President of Artistic Planning and the head of the Roadmap to Reopening committee, says, “Amid rising COVID-19 cases and the increasing threat of the Delta variant, we are implementing this layer of defense to provide the highest level of public safety for audiences, staff, volunteers, and artists. We feel that this measure, hopefully a temporary one, will allow arts venues to open and remain open while individuals take the best precautions for their own health and safety. We all need to work together to successfully combat this virus and end the pandemic. I know our Pittsburgh community is up for the challenge.”
In addition to mandatory vaccinations and mask-wearing inside their venues, Cultural District organizations have each implemented a number of ‘layers of defense’ against COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. These include HVAC upgrades to enhance air filtration and quality, the installation of touchless fixtures in all venues, enhanced cleaning processes and procedures across all venues, and staff COVID Compliance Officer training. The use of EVOLV security screening will also be implemented to help expedite the entry process and limit physical contact.
“The goal of numerous layers of defense is to provide as much protection for our stakeholders as possible,” says Mr. Shiller. “While no single layer is strong enough on its own, together these will all contribute positively to the health and safety of our guests in the Cultural District. Requiring vaccinations is the most recent addition to our arsenal against COVID-19, and we hope that our guests will be comforted by it.”
All staff, volunteers, and artists in Cultural District venues are required to be fully vaccinated and to wear masks when they are not performing. Regular testing will also be utilized to ensure that those backstage remain healthy.
The Cultural District is proud to work in solidarity with the following area performing arts organizations who are also implementing similar attendance policies regarding proof of vaccine: Attack Theatre, City of Asylum, City Theatre, Off The Wall Productions/Carnegie Stage, MCG Jazz, Quantum Theatre, and Pittsburgh Playhouse at Point Park University. More information available on their individual websites.
Cultural District officials will continue to follow the guidance of health and safety officials and will reevaluate these policies as needed in coming months. Individual organizations and events may have additional protocols. Guests are encouraged to visit the website of the producing or presenting organization prior to attending for the most current protocols.
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ABOUT ARCADE COMEDY THEATER
Arcade Comedy Theater is a 501(c)3 non-profit theater organization located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District that produces, presents, and educates in the art of comedy. The Arcade was founded in 2013 as the city’s first non-profit theater exclusively dedicated to comedy, with a mission to strengthen and enrich the community through laughter for all. In 2017, the theater successfully expanded from a small storefront to a custom and accessible three-story, two-theater facility in order to serve more artists and audiences with new programming and class opportunities.
Arcade Comedy Theater Media Contact: Abby Fudor, email@example.com
ABOUT AUGUST WILSON AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER
The August Wilson African American Cultural Center is a non-profit cultural organization located in Pittsburgh’s cultural district that generates artistic, educational, and community initiatives that advance the legacy of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson. One of the largest cultural centers in the country focused exclusively on the African American experience and the celebration of Black culture and the African diaspora, the non-profit organization welcomes more than 119,000 visitors locally and nationally. Through year-round programming across multiple genres, such as the annual Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, Black Bottom Film Festival, AWCommunity Days, TRUTHSayers speaker series, and rotating art exhibits in its galleries, the Center provides a platform for established and emerging artists of color whose work reflects the universal issues of identity that Wilson tackled, and which still resonate today.
August Wilson African American Cultural Center Media Contact: Cydney Nunn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bricolage Production Company was founded in 2001 with the goal to expand the boundaries of theater by creating transformative experiences that include the audience as a central partner. Bricolage strives to continuously bring new theater experiences to the Pittsburgh cultural scene.
Bricolage Media Contact: Jeffrey Carpenter, email@example.com
ABOUT PITTSBURGH BALLET THEATRE
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has been Pittsburgh’s premier professional ballet company since 1969. Today, PBT is a nationally recognized ballet company of 30 professional dancers, a training institution for over 1,200 students of all ages, and an incubator for education and accessibility programs in classrooms, libraries, and community centers throughout the region. The company performs a wide-ranging repertoire of classical ballets, contemporary masterworks and new commissions in more than 50 performances annually at home and on tour.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Media Contact: Denise Mosley, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT PITTSBURGH CLO
Pittsburgh CLO has been a driving force behind the preservation, creation, and promotion of live musical theater since 1946. As one of the largest regional musical theater organizations in the country, it is fortunate for the yearly support of nearly 200,000 audience members. In addition to producing fresh new productions of Broadway classics, the not-for-profit’s mission is to develop new works and showcase emerging talent and has been credited with launching the careers of numerous artists such as Billy Porter, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Rob Marshall, Kathleen Marshall, Rob Ashford, Bernadette Peters and Shirley Jones. The organization’s dedication to musical theater extends beyond its six-show Summer Season at the Benedum Center to year-round programming at the 250-seat Cabaret Theater, which saw the world premieres of Up and Away and Game On in 2018 and The Double-Threat Trio in 2019. Its extensive education efforts include the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater; a university internship program; New Horizons, and in-school programs Gallery of Heroes and Creative Vision. Other ongoing initiatives include the Construction Center for the Arts, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater and SPARK, a festival for new small-cast musicals launched in 2018. The organization also founded the National High School Musical Theatre Awards/ Jimmy Awards®. To further its mission to grow the art form, Pittsburgh CLO has been involved with 29 Broadway shows (32 Tony Awards®), and in 2014 produced the world premiere of An American in Paris in Paris, then on Broadway, where it won 4 Tony Awards®, and in London, Tokyo, Pittsburgh and throughout the U.S. and Europe. Pittsburgh CLO is the subject of a film starring Jeff Goldblum titled "Pittsburgh."
Pittsburgh CLO Media Contact: Sidney Franczak, email@example.com
ABOUT 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.
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Media Contact: Robin Elrod, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT PITTSBURGH MUSICAL THEATER
Pittsburgh Musical Theater (PMT) is a non-profit arts education organization committed to youth development. We cultivate a diverse creative community and future leaders with transferable life skills through a uniquely designed convergence of training, mentorships, and professional performances. PMT was founded in 1990 and produces 11, full scale professional and young artist productions each year, in the Cultural District’s Byham Theater and the Off-Broadway style Gargaro Theater in the West End. In addition, PMT Conservatory is the arts education entity of the company that offers classes year-round for young artists ages 4-18.
Pittsburgh Musical Theater Media Contact: Lindsay Kalbfleisch, email@example.com
ABOUT PITTSBURGH PLAYWRIGHTS
Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company is committed to developing and showcasing the works of local playwrights; from accomplished masters like August Wilson and George S. Kaufman to promising new talents. We seek to nurture a racially and culturally diverse community of playwrights, directors, actors and technical specialists to hone their craft and to network creative opportunities.
Pittsburgh Playwrights Media Contact, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT PITTSBURGH OPERA
Pittsburgh Opera celebrates its 83rd season in 2021-22. Established by five intrepid women in 1939, Pittsburgh Opera is viewed as one of the most vibrant opera organizations in the U.S., with a rich artistic tradition, outstanding educational programs, an acclaimed artist training program, and a progressive outlook toward the future. Its green initiative culminated in LEED® Silver certification for its Strip District headquarters, and its capacity as a true community partner has increased significantly under General Director Christopher Hahn’s leadership.
Pittsburgh Opera Media Contact: Christian Cox, email@example.com
ABOUT PITTSBURGH PUBLIC THEATER
Pittsburgh Public Theater is dedicated to serving as a true public theater to the Pittsburgh region, producing more than 120 performances each season and welcoming more than 70,000 guests through the O’Reilly Theater’s doors every year. The theater is renowned for its exceptional mix of programming, featuring international classics, fresh new works, and favorite musicals. Its commitment to education and engagement initiatives is a hallmark, and includes the signature Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest and innovative community partnerships. The organization, under the leadership of Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski and Managing Director Lou Castelli, begins its 47th season in 2021 with an all-new production of Rob Zellers & Gene Collier’s The Chief in October.
Pittsburgh Public Theater Media Contact: Aja Jones, ajones@PPT.org
ABOUT PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Now in its 125th season, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is credited with a rich history of engaging the world’s finest conductors and musicians and demonstrates a genuine commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Known for its artistic excellence for more than a century, the Pittsburgh Symphony has been led by its worldwide acclaimed Music Director Manfred Honeck since 2008. The two-time 2018 GRAMMY® Award-winning orchestra has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and as early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony has been broadcast on the radio. Lauded as the Pittsburgh region’s international cultural ambassador, the orchestra began regular touring in 1896 has embarked on scores of domestic and international tours. In 2019, Music Director Manfred Honeck led the orchestra on an extensive tour of Europe, the 25th in orchestra history. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra promotes curiosity, skill-building, and knowledge about music through learning programs that address the needs and interests of Pre-K-12 learners, and its community engagement programs that leverage the power of live music to support the goals and priorities of neighbors across the region. In the 2021-2022 season, the Pittsburgh Symphony will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Heinz Hall as the home of the orchestra.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Media Contact: Julie Goetz, firstname.lastname@example.org