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August Wilson Center Must Find Deep-Pocket Donors


The plight of the August Wilson Center has been a source of constant stories in the local media.

Despite liquidation, debt and other fiscal battles many are working hard to save the center.

City Paper reporter Rebecca Nuttall has followed efforts and provides an update on the latest news regarding the August Wilson Center.

The building, which took $42 million to open in 2009, had more construction costs than were originally estimated and put the center in debt before it had even opened. Nuttall says a lot of the people she talks to seem to have great ideas about how to save the center, but the financial backing may not be available. 

She says the August Wilson Center’s funding is very different from the other arts organizations in Pittsburgh.

“I’ve been told many of these cultural institutions have the backing of private donors who are intimately involved and give a lot of money. But they didn’t really have those private donors coming forward to provide the funding for the center...the African American wealth in Pittsburgh-- as much as there are a lot of individuals that have wealth--in comparison to other areas, it just isn’t there.”

Lead organizer Paradise Gray urges concerned community members to attend this weekend’s town hall meeting to save the August Wilson Center. The gathering will take place at 11 A.M. Saturday morning at the downtown branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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