Creativity

Nighttime image of a group of people interacting with the “Congregation” public art project in Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh. This work was created by KMA and presented by Market Square Public Art. Congregation, 2014, by KMA presented by Market Square Public Art. Photo courtesy of the Office of Public Art
At a Glance

  • Creative Citizens
  • Creative Organizations and Artists
  • Creative Places

Overview

The Endowments’ Creativity strategic funding area builds on the legacy of its former Arts and Culture program department, the foundation’s oldest grants program which began with targeted investments in major cultural institutions and facilities and in Pittsburgh’s Downtown Cultural District.

The importance of creativity across the full spectrum of the Endowments’ work serves as a key connector between the three strategic funding areas and the increasingly important role of creative forces and voices in all aspects of the region’s vibrancy and well-being.

Creativity makes vital contributions to the Endowments’ Just Pittsburgh core principle through its focus on the importance of culture, free expression, and identity in building a healthy and equitable community. Creativity also establishes a defined and visible cluster of activities across all strategic funding areas, underscoring its critical value to the Endowments’ grantmaking portfolio.

The Endowments' vision of a creative Pittsburgh is a place where creative organizations and individuals thrive, are recognized, and contribute to the quality of life. It is a place where citizens of all ages, races, ethnicities and identities have opportunities to actively participate in a creative life; where communities and neighborhoods are distinctive, beautiful and desirable locations to live and visit; and where creativity is recognized as an important characteristic of the region and contributes to its economic well-being.

Goals & Strategies
Goal 1. Creative Citizens

Create an environment where Pittsburgh residents, especially children and youth, have access to a creative life.

Strategies:

  • Create and take advantage of opportunities to partner with our Learning and Sustainability colleagues in ways that make arts, culture and creativity central to Endowment goals in those areas.
  • Prioritize the creation and success of out-of-school-time work in African American and distressed neighborhoods.
  • Build the field of out-of-school-time arts providers through the Transformative Arts grants program.

Endowments' point of contact: Janet Sarbaugh, Vice President, Creativity

Goal 2. Creative Organizations and Artists

Ensure that Pittsburgh has a thriving ecology of cultural organizations, artists and creative professionals who make creativity their life’s work.

Strategies:

  • Provide general operating support by invitation to maintain the health of cultural organizations.
  • Reward and value creative workers through grant and recognition programs, such as Investing in Professional Artists.
  • Create networks of artists, arts organizations and creative professionals to build a greater creativity pipeline in the region.
  • Address equity by prioritizing support to African American cultural organizations and artists through the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh program.
  • Continue to target smaller arts organizations and artist collectives through the Small Arts Initiative.

Endowments' point of contact: Janet Sarbaugh, Vice President, Creativity

Goal 3. Creative Places

Advance design excellence, public art and sustainability to ensure that Pittsburgh’s many neighborhoods and public spaces are beautiful and reflect the culture of residents.

Strategies:

  • Coordinate with the Sustainability area to ensure that high-quality design/public art standards exist and are applied in community and major development projects.
  • Encourage development projects that lead with design excellence, public art and sustainability at the front end.
  • Create training programs for artists and design professionals to prepare them for key roles in civic development.
  • Encourage public sector agencies and neighborhood NGOs to use artists and design professionals to help communities vision and plan.
  • Coordinate with Community & Economic Development to bring creative spaces and enterprises to neighborhoods.
  • Include cultural indicators as part of standards of holistic community health.
  • Make culture an integral part of neighborhood development. Promote the concept of “cultural kitchens,” the idea that each neighborhood and its residents have unique cultural assets that should be identified and valued.

Endowments' point of contact: Janet Sarbaugh, Vice President, Creativity

Highlighted Grantee
Highlighted Grantee "A Gathering of Sons" features music by Dwayne Fulton and a libretto by Tameka Cage Conley, and was directed by Mark Clayton Southers.
Pittsburgh Festival Opera

Pittsburgh Festival Opera will present a special pre-network television screening of the filmed version of the acclaimed opera "A Gathering of Sons" 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, at the Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium at The Kaufmann Center. The opera journeys through the lives of a young black man, a white police officer, parents of a newborn child and a collection of spirits who watch over the world. Watch for the WQED-TV airing on Friday, July 1, at 8 p.m. 

Register for tickets to this free event

Our grants tell the story of what we care about - people and the places where they live.

View All Grants Awarded

Voices of Penn Plaza

A respectfully cultivated trust has allowed writer Jason Vrabel to provide a platform to those who are often unheard, to tell stories of the humans behind the statistics in the changes facing some of the city’s oldest, most historic neighborhoods. Mr. Vrabel shares how he embedded with the last handful of residents of East Liberty’s Penn Plaza apartment complex after they had been given 90-day notices of eviction in the lead-up to their building’s demolition, and why giving agency to their voices is critical to our city’s identity and future.  Read about their experiences – with images by photographer Maranie Rae Staab – in this grantee profile. (Image courtesy of Maranie Rae Staab/Maranie Rae Photography)

Greater Pittsburgh Small Arts Pilot Capitalization Program

Does true artistic freedom blossom best within a strict and carefully considered framework? This concept is behind the Greater Pittsburgh Small Arts Pilot Capitalization Program, a three-year project that supports organizations in achieving financial stability and resiliency for the sake of their artistic vitality. Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, The Benter Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, Henry L. Hillman Foundation and The Pittsburgh Foundation are among foundations that have committed a total $2.1 million toward the program and its five participating regional arts and cultural organizations. The arts groups selected for the innovative program are Attack Theatre, Bricolage Production Company, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Glass Center and Touchstone Center for Crafts. Learn more about the selected programs.

Program Staff
Janet L. Sarbaugh
Janet L. Sarbaugh Vice President, Creativity
Mac  Howison
Mac Howison Program Officer, Creative Learning
Shaunda  McDill
Shaunda McDill Program Officer, Arts & Culture
Cindi A.  Stueber
Cindi A. Stueber Program Assistant, Creativity

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'Memoirs Of An Artivist' Explores Art, Life And Activism
GPAC study examines equity in arts funding in Pittsburgh
Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council calls for more equity in arts funding
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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra vows to raise $75 million in next 5 years

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