Pittsburgh Art and Architecture Tour campaign to promote art, architecture spots

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If you love modern and contemporary art and architecture, Western Pennsylvania may just be the place for you.

So argues the joint marketing campaign of four modern and contemporary institutions, The Andy Warhol Museum, the Mattress Factory, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob.

The campaign, called the Pittsburgh Art and Architecture Tour, was made possible with a grant from The Benter Foundation, which supports local initiatives including, but not limited to, those in the arts.

The project is aimed at attracting residents of cities such as Cleveland, Washington, New York or Toronto, who are close enough to come in for a weekend trip. Together, the museums have put together various do-it-yourself itineraries, including bus, car and plane options, for a two-day trip, highlighting the proximity of each of these institutions to the rest.

In part, the online initiative is building on Pittsburgh's current momentum: Cultural tourism appears to be on the rise.

"This may be due to the fact that Pittsburgh is enjoying a moment of being considered a hip destination," said Patrick Moore, the deputy director at The Warhol, in an email. "But it is also reflective of the unique offerings we have. At The Warhol, for example, the majority of our visitors are already from out of town. But we think cultural tourism can be even stronger when people realize that these organizations are in proximity to one another."

On its website, www.pghtrip.org, the campaign also lists nearby restaurants, hotel options, and other activities, like Ohiopyle State Park. Many of these are simply staff favorites.

Along with the website, the campaign has been using #pghtrip on Twitter.

What began as a collaboration between The Warhol and Fallingwater grew to include all four institutions. This decision was based in part on location: the Mattress Factory and The Warhol are both on Pittsburgh's North Side, and Kentuck Knob is only a few miles from Fallingwater in Fayette County.

But mainly, the collaboration is about including and promoting institutions that were specific to Pittsburgh and couldn't be found anywhere else.

As Bill Benter, president of the Benter Foundation, said in a statement: "The region has these cultural jewels. ... This kind of collaboration brings new synergies and breaks some new ground in cultural tourism. It's worth trying ... and growing as we learn more about attracting cultural visitors here over time."

For more information, visit: www.pghtrip.org. Or follow the individual institutions on Twitter: @thewarholmuseum, @WPAFallingwater, @MattressFactory and @KentuckKnob1.

artarchitecture

Maggie Neil: mneil@post-gazette.com.


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