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.
Cultivate an equitable creative arts and cultural learning network; improve access to transformative learning experiences for young people; and support meaningful professional opportunities for teaching artists in Pittsburgh's out-of-school-time (OST) ecosystem.
The primary focus for the Creative Learning goal area is the Creative Learning initiative.
- Support provider organizations that work directly with young people.
- Support intermediary organizations that improve conditions for providers, teaching artists, and young people.
- Support teaching artist field-building and professional development.
- Support young artists.
- Center equity in terms of race, resources and reach.
Endowments' point of contact: Mac Howison, Program Officer for Creative Learning
Ensure that Pittsburgh has a thriving ecology of cultural organizations, artists and creative professionals who make creativity their life’s work.
- 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
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.
- 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
Pittsburgh-based artist Alisha Wormsley featured on artnet
Pittsburgh-based artist Alisha Wormsley leveraged the success of her “There Are Black People in the Future” project to secure funding for Sibyl’s Shrine, a local residency for Black mothers. Read the recent artnet post, “Flush With New Success, Black Art Stars Are Reinvesting Their Windfalls in the Next Generation in Ways That Could Permanently Reshape the Art World.”
Arts Equity Reimagined Fund
The COVID-19 Arts Working Group - a collaboration of 15 foundations and a private donor in the Pittsburgh metro area - has created the Arts / Equity / Reimagined Fund in response to the unprecedented impacts of the pandemic on the region’s arts and cultural sector. The fund aims to foster collective action and identify creative solutions to operating challenges, and in recognition of long-standing disparities in funding, it will prioritize small to medium-sized arts organizations and those that serve or are led by historically marginalized communities in urban or rural southwestern Pennsylvania.
The Heinz Endowments is pleased to participate as a co-organizer of the Arts I Equity I Reimagined Fund and by contributing funds to this joint grantmaking initiative.
Additional information about the Arts I Equity I Reimagined Fund, including open-to-all information sessions, eligibility requirements, deadlines, FAQs, the application process and guiding principles can be found at www.artsreimagined.org or by calling 412-219-6584.
Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards
The Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards program has been co-sponsored by The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation since 2012, centered on a shared commitment to the arts, and a deep appreciation for the contribution of Carol R. Brown to the vitality of the region’s cultural community.
The program’s namesake served as president of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust from 1986 to 2001, during which Ms. 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 honor both her achievements and heartfelt commitment to the arts in the Pittsburgh region.
The program is one of very few in the region that provides direct philanthropic support to individual artists, and fosters their creative processes from concept to completion. The awards program recognizes one established artist and one emerging artist. Each award comes with a $15,000 prize.
The most recent Carol R. Brown Awards were held in December 2019, and honored two literary artists: Cameron Barnett (emerging artist) and Adriana Ramirez (established artist).
Emerging Artist Cameron Barnett
Established Artist Adriana Ramirez
Read the press release, including a list of all previous awardees.
Videos by Joshual Franzos / Treehouse Media
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