Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts has a new leader, Germaine Williams, who should be able to hit the ground running when he begins the job Jan. 23. Although the group has been through a turbulent period, it rebounded nicely during the past year. Mr. Williams is well positioned to help it achieve more progress.
Through its various roles — such as operating film and arts schools, co-sponsoring the Three Rivers Film Festival and screening films at three venues — Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts occupies an important niche in the city’s arts community. Especially important is its work to nurture and showcase local talent.
A year ago, the organization was foundering. Executive director Charlie Humphrey, who over decades guided its expansion and growth in quality, resigned. Financial difficulties led to the furlough of nearly a third of the staff and he received a no-confidence vote from remaining workers. Brought in as interim director was Pete Mendes, who worked with the board of directors to stabilize finances. Now, Mr. Mendes is passing the baton to Mr. Williams, currently senior program officer for arts and education at the Pittsburgh Foundation.
High on Mr. Williams’ agenda should be trying to raise the $600,000 needed to leverage a $400,000 state grant and undertake a sorely needed overhaul of Regent Square Theater, one of the organization’s venues. With the financial picture improving and Mr. Williams in the director’s chair, the organization can embark on its next act. The show must go on.