30 Years: Already impressive list of cultural centers gets more robust

Part of the 30 Years, 30 Changes series on the Pittsburgh region

Pittsburgh's cultural scene has burgeoned dramatically since 1983, with museums, theaters, galleries and other assets that are truly remarkable for a city of Pittsburgh's size. Here's a partial list.

How Pittsburgh became cool

• The Andy Warhol Museum and the Heinz History Center debuted in the 1990s. Clayton, the Frick mansion in Point Breeze, opened to the public, and the Fort Pitt Museum in Point State Park underwent extensive renovation. Families enjoy the Children's Museum, founded in 1983 and now completely transformed, and the Carnegie Science Center, opened in 1991. Three landmark destinations improved exponentially after being privatized in the 1990s: The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Phipps Conservatory and the National Aviary.

• Carnegie Museum completed a $35 million makeover of its dinosaur exhibit in 2007. Carnegie Library opened new and renovated branches across the city, and in 2011, voters approved a save-the-library tax worth up to $3 million a year.

• Live theater took off with Umoja African Arts Company, Quantum Theatre, Bricolage, Attack Theatre, Pittsburgh New Works Festival and the new South Side headquarters of City Theatre, among others. A newly independent Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre emerged, as did the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty, the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Downtown.

PG graphic: Assets of Pittsburgh's top 10 charitable donors, 1983 and 2013
(Click image for larger version)

• Outdoor performances flourish with cinema in the city parks and live performances at Hartwood Acres, Mellon Park and the Frick Art and Historical Center. A number of popular multiday events offer first-rate musical acts, including the Pittsburgh Irish Festival, founded in 1991, and the Blues Festival, which started in 1994.


First Published October 19, 2013 8:00 PM


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