$500,000 to assist arts center development at former industrial property

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 2 – A project to develop a community arts center will receive state support, state Rep. Sara Innamorato, D-Lawrenceville, announced today.

The project in Upper Lawrence was approved for a $500,000 state funding grant through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

“Social and cultural institutions across America are feeling the squeeze of increased cost of real estate, while public funding for accessible arts and cultural has been slashed,” Innamorato said. “This public investment through RACP for a permanent home in a former industrial site for Contemporary Craft is a counterforce to the displacement that gentrification has had on our region’s residents, community-oriented institutions, and service providers.

“The buildout of this accessible, inclusive, and always free community arts center aligns with the visions residents of Upper Lawrenceville, myself included, have for the future of their neighborhood as a creative, authentic and affordable place to call home. “

The grant awarded this week will assist Contemporary Craft with the purchase and renovation of a former industrial property for use as a community arts center. Renovations will include an exhibition gallery, a flexible studio space for educational classes and lectures, a retail store to support the arts center, as well as public spaces for visitors. A Grand Opening of the new facility is planned for April 2020. 

“This award is a wonderful vote of confidence from State Representative Sara Innamorato, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and other elected officials reflecting their belief in the importance of this project and its value for the region,” said Janet McCall, executive director of Contemporary. “The $500,000 moves us significantly forward on achieving our $5.5 million campaign goal. We look forward to welcoming the community into our new art facility next April."

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity.