Arts Funding

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

One of the area’s largest and most stable sources of funding for libraries, parks and arts groups is cutting about $20 million in grants this year due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Theater

Normally this time of year, the New Hazlett Theater would be buzzing with activity, and theater, dance or music nearly every night of the week – and even during the day.

KEITH SRAKOCIC / AP

The furnaces at Pittsburgh Glass Center have gone cold. It’s a small but poignant metaphor for an arts scene in almost complete shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Big increases in attendance and full-time jobs marked the past five years on Pittsburgh’s arts scene. But the arts community needs to become more equitable and inclusive.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

For its newest grant program, one of the region’s biggest arts-and-culture funders had allocated $2.5 million. But after winnowing the original pool of 44 applicants to 12, the Allegheny Regional Asset District’s board (RAD) decided it liked them all, and simply added enough money to give each group what it asked for.

The result will be new and highly visible art in town, from public art in the parks to a stage play built from stories drawn from the community.

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

Disparities persist in the number of arts grants, total amounts of funds and average amount of grant dollars received by organizations of color, compared to white, non-Hispanic groups.