August Wilson Center

Arts & Culture
10:52 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Foundations Offer To 'Save August Wilson Center'

The debt-ridden August Wilson Center might have a buyer.

A group of local foundations, including the Pittsburgh Foundation, submitted a bid last week to acquire the downtown Pittsburgh African American cultural center which is delinquent on its $7 million mortgage.

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Government & Politics
12:29 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

County Councilman Asks For $15 Million For August Wilson Center

Allegheny County Councilman Bill Robinson (D-Hill District) is asking for $10 million to $15 million in capital funds from the city and county to bail out the financially strapped August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

About $7 million would be used to pay off the center’s unpaid bills, including its mortgage, and keep the facility, which is facing liquidation. The legislation was introduced in County Council by Robinson who did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

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Arts & Culture
7:29 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Fate of August Wilson Center An Open Question

In 2009, a gleaming performing arts space opened to great fanfare in downtown Pittsburgh.

Named after renowned playwright and native son August Wilson, it was meant to be a hub for African-American theater, art and education.

Today, the August Wilson Center is for sale, unable to pay its bills. But many wonder why it was allowed to get to this point.

August Wilson grew up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in the 1940s and '50s. He met Sala Udin in parochial school.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:01 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

August Wilson Center Must Find Deep-Pocket Donors

Credit AWC / Facebook

The plight of the August Wilson Center has been a source of constant stories in the local media.

Despite liquidation, debt and other fiscal battles many are working hard to save the center.

City Paper reporter Rebecca Nuttall has followed  efforts and provides an update on the latest news regarding the August Wilson Center.

The building, which took $42 million to open in 2009, had more construction costs than were originally estimated and put the center in debt before it had even opened. Nuttall says a lot of the people she talks to seem to have great ideas about how to save the center, but the financial backing may not be available. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:58 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

An Uncertain Future for the August Wilson Center

The August Wilson Center is in financial trouble as the organization faces a threat of foreclosure.
Credit AWC / Facebook

When it comes to the August Wilson Center's current financial situation, cost and constructions fees caused “substantial debt” from the beginning, says Mark Clayton Southers, a playwright and former producer at the center.

Charlie Humphrey, CEO and Executive Director of Pittsburgh Filmmakers, says a problem the August Wilson Center faces now is that “nobody wants to fund debt” people want “to fund programs.”

Southers agrees that it's hard to fund a sinking ship and adds that some creative solutions are needed to gather enough funds to clear $7 million in debt.

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Arts & Culture
12:42 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

August Wilson Center Plots New Plan for Sustainable Future

The Interim President and CEO of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture Oliver Byrd said in an interview on Wednesday that his organization is getting itself on the track to financial stability.

On Tuesday, Byrd sent a three-page letter to supporters of the center and to the media, outlining what he sees as the issues the organization has faced and the path they will take moving forward.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:30 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Versailles '73 Documentary An American Fashion Revolution in France

40 years ago, the Palace of Versailles in France, hosted a fashion event that made the world take notice of American fashion design.
Credit Mkonikkara / Wikipedia

In 1973, five American fashion designers and five French designers came together for a Paris runway fundraiser. That fundraiser turned into a competition, and an industry changing event in fashion history. The documentary film, Versailles '73 looks at how that Paris show brought African Americans to the forefront of fashion.  Filmmaker Debra Riley Draper comes to the August Wilson Center this weekend for a screening of the award-winning documentary.

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