In response to the dramatic shifts in the arts sector instigated by COVID-19, a collaboration of 17 foundations and an anonymous donor in the Pittsburgh metro area came together to ask a question:

What if arts organizations worked collectively to build a more equitable, sustainable ecosystem?

Since Fall 2020, the Arts Equity Reimagined Collective Action Fund has invested $2,090,865 to support 23 collaborations between 97 arts organizations. Read on to get a sense how the arts sector in Southwestern PA responded to this question, and how they are working together to make lasting change.

AER logo and diptych designs below courtesy of Jason McKoy, McKoy Creative. You can also visit the AER website for deeper information on the program’s origins, guiding principles, and capacity building component led by PACE.

To reimagine the past and present history of the arts and its administrative sector, #notwhite collective will hold an in-Dialogue Series to engage with and present the wealth of experiences, strategies, and tactics used by BIPOC, AALANA, indigenous and immigrant artists and administrators navigating a predominantly white arts sector.

Follow #notwhite collective on Facebook and instagram (at)notwhitecollective, and visit their website for program updates:

Supporting a diverse network of artists, The Genesis Collective exists to create a thriving and supportive arts ecosystem in Beaver County. By connecting regional artists to resources and to one another, they are helping communities navigate the impacts of Covid-19 by entrenching art in community development. 

Follow The Genesis Collective on Facebook and Instagram @gcollectiveart, on Twitter @gcollectiveart1, or visit their website for updates:

To make Pittsburgh’s small visual arts organizations more equitable, the Small Pittsburgh Arts Coalition for Equity (SPACE) will create a leadership development program focused on backing marginalized people who historically have not been welcomed into the sector. Called the SPACE Fellowship, it will provide mentorship, network building, and leadership training to support people who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and others who have been marginalized by the field. 

SPACE is a mixture of nonprofits, collectives, and for-profit visual arts organizations throughout Pittsburgh that includes: Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, BOOM Concepts, Brew House Association, Bunker Projects, Casey Droege Cultural Productions, Nafasi on Centre, Silver Eye Center for Photography, and Women of Visions. Follow them on social media for updates.

To cement a thriving Black arts community in the Hill District now and into the future, Hill Dance Academy Theatre is developing a Black-led and owned cultural arts facility that will provide Space and Place for Black dance, Africana visual creative arts, and the art of photography and media production. 

Follow Hill Dance Academy Theatre on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (at)5678hdat for updates.