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Civic Impact

Creating art and creating jobs: ArtDimensions celebrates first anniversary in Pittsburgh

As ArtDimensions Pittsburgh marks its first birthday, this fledgling nonprofit has an awful lot to celebrate. Organizer Daniel Friedson tells us that in just twelve months ArtD has brought 1,420 new consumers to the East End, supported or created 20 jobs for Pittsburgh artists, reclaimed a highly visible building on one of the busiest intersections in the East End (the former PNC Bank at 6000 Penn Ave.) and has tapped new markets in other cities for Pittsburgh art.

Friedson, an attorney and assistant professor of law at Pitt, has spent much of the past year devoting time and energy to developing ArtD, which was spun off from ArtDimensions-St. Louis. The organization has moved from its original spot in East Liberty and is now headquartered in Lawrenceville. Plans for the coming year include a focus on publicizing local artists' shows at various Lawrenceville galleries and performance spaces.

ArtD will continue offering guidance to local artists on legal and financial issues, and there are plans for eventually creating a law firm that will work specifically with artists. Although more building reclamation projects may also be on the horizon, "we're really an artists' group," Friedson says.

ArtD's overall goal is to help support Pittsburgh's local arts community, especially the approximately 400 artists living in Pittsburgh's East End.

The organization's revamped website is soon to be launched (stay tuned -- you'll find it here). And on Feb. 27, ArtD will celebrate its first birthday with a fundraising gala and auction at the Renaissance Hotel downtown. The choice of the Renaissance is strategic: The hotel approached ArtD about displaying the works of Pittsburgh's artist in their lobby, and Friedson saw an important opportunity to "cross pollinate" between downtown and the East End.

If out-of-towners and Pittsburghers who are drawn to the Cultural District can see, and perhaps buy, the work of local artists at the Renaissance, Friedson says, "we're hoping they'll get a taste, and we can get the people that traditionally come to the Cultural District and connect them to Penn Avenue arts corridor."

Writer: Melissa Rayworth
Source: Daniel Friedson
Image courtesy of ArtDimensions Pittsburgh

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