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Arts, Sports & Culture

"Listen To Your Audience" Jayne Adair Knows What Pittsburgh Likes To Read

Heather McClain

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures brings some of the world’s leading authors and speakers to Pittsburgh.

For the last 7 years, Executive Director Jayne Adair has grown the organization’s audience to be one of the largest attended literary series in the country.

Adair plans to retire later this year, so we wanted to speak with her about the experience of working with Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, the upcoming season of speakers, and what it takes to bring those big names to town.

One of the major challenges that Adair has had to work with is the increase in fees for authors.

“When Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures began in 1991, writers really didn’t ask for fees. They were happy with book sales. But in the 23 years that this non-profit has existed fees have gone up a lot, and with the major writers they’re quite high. So what I try to do is to work with publishers and try to find name writers when they are on book tours...when a writer is on tour book sales are at the top of their agenda and because we have 15 hundred to 18 hundred readers at the Carnegie Music Hall, we sell a lot of books.”