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25-Week Music Series, New Artists Spaces & Installations Planned For Downtown

Sarah Kovash
90.5 WESA
Umbrellas hang above a walkway in Gateway Center, downtown, as part of an art installation at the Three Rivers Art Festival on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

A summer music series, public art and spaces for local makers are all on the docket for Pittsburgh this year, according to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

The PDP says it expanded its arts programming in 2017, which included 300 days of Downtown programming, increased social media outreach and the launch of new events including Halloween's Fright Up Night. 

"We heard [from the community] that placemaking initiatives, public art and pedestrian enhancements make downtown a true destination," The PDP's Jeremy Waldrup said. "In 2018, we have several projects that further this work."

This will include three large-scale public art projects.

One, to be located in Market Square, will include a model of a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, called Amsterdam Island. According to Waldrup, the island is the closest landmass to the complete opposite side of the world as Pittsburgh.

A Garrison Place project will consist of a light installation, creating the illusion of the alley as an underwater walking experience, envisioning "an imaginary underwater future world of big data," according to the PDP.

Strawberry Way will see another mural instillation, this time done by local artist Julie Mallis.

The PDP will also be collaborating with music station WYEP on a 25-week Saturday concert series, which will start May 12 with a performance by country singer Raelyn Nelson.

Two locations for local craftspeople to work and sell their goods will open this year as well, including one on the corner of Market Street and Liberty Avenue.

"Our plan for this building is to purchase and renovate the property to become a curated showroom and maker space," Waldrup said. 

Another location at Smithfield Street in Mellon Square is also being explored for immediate opportunities.

WYEP and WESA are both a part of the Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation.