PITT ARTS’ 10th Anniversary Sees Big Rise in Participation

Issue Date: 
April 27, 2008

The number of participants in the PITT ARTS program rose 14 percent this year from a year earlier.

PITT ARTS director Annabelle Clippinger said the program—which just concluded its 10th anniversary—introduced 32,545 Pitt students, faculty, and staff to one or more cultural events, from September through March.

More than 15,500 students took advantage of PITT ARTS’ Free Museum Visits Program. And a new milestone was reached—10,000 tickets sold from the PITT ARTS office this year—in the Cheap Seats Program, which offers Pitt faculty, staff, and students discounted tickets to the symphony, ballet, theater, and other performances.

Clippinger attributed the overall increase to students’ interest in the Chihuly at Phipps: Gardens and Glass exhibition at Phipps Conservatory, and to the increased number of participants in the Cheap Seats Program.

She also cited the five programs that PITT ARTS planned and implemented around the Bodies exhibition, including two at the Carnegie Science Center, and one each at the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. In addition, Clippinger said, “the six independent films that we added to our lineup this year made our 10th anniversary very special indeed. Our dedication to diversifying PITT ARTS offerings is ongoing and reaching new heights.”

PITT ARTS remains committed to exposing students to a variety of talent. This year’s performances included poet Terrance Hayes, the dance group Urban Bushwomen, the band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Ballet Folklorico. There were 116 on- and off-campus performances, with more than one-third of them multicultural offerings.

Some of these were through PITT ARTS’ Free Arts Encounter program, which provides an expanded experience at a symphony, opera, ballet, theater, concert, art gallery, or film event. Students receive free transportation, event tickets, attendance at a catered reception, and an educational component that could include e-mailed essays, discussions with artists, or hands-on workshops. Students also participated in Artful Wednesdays in the lower level of the William Pitt Union to hear a poet or a musician and enjoy a free lunch.

PITT ARTS, founded in 1997, is funded through various grants and support from the Office of the Provost.