Pittsburgh Emerging Arts Leaders Network

Connecting emerging arts managers with skill-building and leadership development resources.

GPAC Annual Meeting Takeaways

This morning I had the pleasure of sitting in the theatre of the August Wilson Center with almost 400 of my fellow arts leaders from the Pittsburgh community at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s annual meeting. The energy in the room was palpable (likely from the gigantic pastries they were serving us for breakfast and the large vats of coffee they had available. Trust me–not complaining, but just a simple observation. I digress…), and from the updates from GPAC staff and board members to the down-to-earth, quite funny keynote from Americans for the Arts CEO Robert L. Lynch, the meeting left me feeling motivated and rejuvenated to continue doing what I’m doing. That’s always a good thing 🙂 Kudos to GPAC for putting together a great meeting of the minds!

The meeting contained many salient takeaways for me.

  • Coming out of a recession (or still in one, depending upon your viewpoint), GPAC has managed to increase their artist opportunity maximum grant awards from $1500 to $2500. How cool is that??? Of course, they couldn’t do it without the pretty amazing foundation community we have in Pittsburgh. Doubly cool!
  • We need to be loud and we need to be proud of what we do as artists for the communities we live in. We have economic impact. We have social impact. We have emotional impact. We have political impact (thanks for sharing your enthusiasm, Senator Costa!). We have personal impact. And we have larger community impact. Let’s celebrate this–and be loud when we do it! Thanks for the reminder, Bob. This especially was the kind of  positive statement that I needed to hear.
  • Pittsburgh’s got it going on. 7 different arts-related national conventions coming to town this year. Our Cultural District serving as a national model for urban revitalization and renewal. The support of local foundations and corporations is immense (see bullet #1). And of course–we have the art! All kinds, all sizes, everywhere–in our theatres, in our galleries, in our streets, and in our homes. This is not something that everyone is so fortunate to have in their communities. We have art!

And there’s sooo many more points from the meeting I could talk about, but I want to hear from you. What were your favorite points or takeaways from today’s GPAC annual meeting??

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