The 55th annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival kicks off in Pittsburgh the first weekend in June. This year’s event will feature the signature Artist Market, live musical performances, and numerous art installations and performances throughout the cultural district. Festival organizers said this event, along with next week’s International Children’s Festival, the Jazz Live International Festival, and New Year’s First Night are huge economic drivers in the region.
“Together, these four festivals of the Cultural Trust generate more than $165 million in economic impact and bring more than a half-million people into our downtown,” said Cultural Trust President and CEO Kevin McMahon.
This year, the festival will include performances by Jeff Tweedy, Amos Lee, Lucinda Williams, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and many others. In the realm of performing arts, there are several Pittsburgh premiers. These include a new outdoor work by Squonk Opera called “Pneumatica;” Bricolage’s OJO, an immersive theater experience; and Complaints n’at Choir, Pittsburgh’s inaugural complaint choir. The overall theme of this year’s arts festival is aesthetic creativity and environmental sustainability.
“It’s not easy being green,” said Veronica Corpuz, director of festival management with the Cultural Trust, “we hope that through our reduce, reuse and recycle program that the nearly half a million visitors and festival goers will learn the importance of reducing waste, sorting, composting, recycling and helping to eliminate waste that ends up in our landfills.”
The festival and all performances are free to the public during the ten-day event. The Three Rivers Arts Festival and other events were lauded as components that have helped the Pittsburgh region grow and thrive.
“We have more people working in this region today than at any point in this region’s history, we’re getting younger – the City of Pittsburgh – the median age is actually younger than the national median age, so you look at all this and all the excitement – a big part of the success of this region has been that we’ve not only included the arts, but we make it a big part of what’s helped this region grow,” said Morgan O’Brien, president and CEO of Peoples Natural Gas, which supports the Artist Market.
The festival starts Friday June 6 and runs through Sunday June 15. A full schedule of events can be found online.