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Tony Award-winning artistic director Oskar Eustis to speak at Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards

For Immediate Release
Scott Roller, The Heinz Endowments, 412-338-2619
Kitty Julian, The Pittsburgh Foundation, 412-394-2643


Pittsburgh, Dec. 5, 2018 —  Continuing the tradition of elevating artists in Pittsburgh through the Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards, legendary artistic director and producer Oskar Eustis will engage in a moderated discussion about the role and responsibility of artists in society. The conversation will be moderated by The Heinz Endowments President Grant Oliphant and will include questions from the audience. Eustis’ talk is part of the awards ceremony recognizing the works and achievements of one established artist and one emerging artist. The event takes place Monday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. at the City Theatre on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a free reception that is open to the public. Seating is limited and registration is required at 

In his 2018 TED Talk, Eustis spoke of the responsibility of artists to society, and said that the job of artists is “…to try to hold up a vision to America that shows not only who all of us are individually, but that welds us back into the commonality that we need to be, the sense of unity, the sense of whole, the sense of who we are as a country.” 
About Oskar Eustis: Eustis has served as the artistic director of The Public Theater in New York City since 2005. In the last three years, he has produced two Tony Award-winning Best Musicals, “Fun Home” and “Hamilton,” as well as two plays, “Hamilton” and “Sweat,” that were each awarded the Pulitzer Prize, back-to-back, for drama. Two of these works are being presented in Pittsburgh. “Sweat” is at the Pittsburgh Public Theater through Dec. 9, and “Hamilton” opens at the Benedum Center on Jan. 1. “Fun Home” was at Heinz Hall in April 2017. In his TED Talk, Eustis shared that “the truth can only emerge in the conflict of different points of view, it is not the possession of any one person… and if you believe in democracy, you have to believe that.” 

About the Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards. The awards recognize the works and achievements of one established artist and one emerging artist and come with a $15,000 grant for each, thanks to a shared commitment to the arts by The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments. The 2018 established artist honoree is set designer Tony Ferrieri, whose career spans 40 years and 550 theatrical productions. This year’s emerging artist honoree is interdisciplinary artist Alisha B. Wormsley, whose work, including the “There Are Black People In The Future” billboard project, is inspired by the collective memory of African American culture.

The program was conceived in 1991 as the Creative Achievement Awards by Carol R. Brown, who was president of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust from 1986 to 2001. Brown oversaw the transformation of a 14-square-block area of downtown Pittsburgh from a red-light district to a nationally recognized model for arts-based community redevelopment. The awards went on hiatus from 2002 to 2011. In 2012, as part of their Investing in Professional Artists: The Pittsburgh Region Artists Program, which supports working artists and their creative processes from concept to completion, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments resurrected the awards and renamed them the Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards. The program is one of very few in the region that provide direct philanthropic support to individuals. 

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