A Letter to Pittsburgh Regarding the 2020 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival
May 21, 2020
The Festival is virtual. The art is real. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced programming details for this year's event. Read the the full release for more details.
May 8, 2020
When we announced that the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival wouldn't be held in-person this year (find that letter further down on this page), we were already thinking about all of the individuals who would be impacted. We remembered our Festival vision. We wondered how it might steer us toward some meaningful, alternative presentation of this year’s Festival. We’ll be announcing more details in late May, but invite you right now to mark these ten days of free art and music on your calendar, June 5-14, while we let you in on some of our plans!
Among the many individuals this Festival impacts each year, we thought of 350+ artists, from Pittsburgh and around the country (and beyond), who’d already been accepted into this year's Artist Market by a jury panel. We thought of the musicians, dancers, and literary artists who wouldn't be gracing our outdoor stages in Point State Park and Gateway Center. We thought of the exceptional, regional, multidisciplinary artists already accepted into this year's Juried Visual Art Exhibition themed Transverse. We thought of the public art projects we’d been hoping could deliver a wow factor for our community. We thought of all of you; after all, the arts can lead the way in difficult times and they have improved quality of life in our region for a very long time. We thought of hundreds of crew members, concessionaires, and touring personnel and jobs just not being there. We thought of local restaurants, bars, and hotels that are affected by the pandemic and by the absence of this physical Festival. We thought of our gracious sponsors and funders whose own orders of business are affected during this time, too.
So, what’s the plan? We will do our best, with limited resources but an abundance of determination, to present an alternative version of as many of these familiar Festival components as possible. Our Festival grounds will be online – TrustArts.org/TRAF – and that’s where you can explore all that is on offer for ten fleeting days, June 5-14. The Artist Market and most performances and exhibitions will remain on the website for the Festival’s duration so that you can explore them at your own pace. Some special events will only occur in real-time, so you’ll have to join us “live” to experience them. Many events will allow you to sit back and observe. Others will engage you directly, with opportunities to make art yourselves and to interact with artists.
Although the physical Festival that so many of us have come to cherish each summer will be absent this June in our city’s public gathering spaces, we promise to do everything we can to deliver a worthwhile experience for as many in our communities as possible. We will shine a light on the artists and we will encourage everyone able to support them to do so. We will strive to deliver performing and visual arts experiences that you can appreciate wherever and however you are during this time. We will celebrate what the arts mean to Pittsburgh and to our world.
Thank you for joining us for a celebration of ten days of free art and music, June 5-14, 2020 at our new Festival grounds: TrustArts.org/TRAF. This is one Festival we will never forget.
The staff of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival
April 14, 2020
I hope this letter finds you well.
Over the last month, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it across every sector. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has been forced to cancel or postpone more than 100 arts experiences, educational opportunities, and events in an effort to keep our guests, staff, volunteers, and artists healthy. It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge that the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is not immune to the challenges of gathering during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Festival, originally scheduled for June 5-14, 2020 throughout Point State Park, Gateway Center, and the Cultural District, will not take place physically this year.
Every performance cancellation, gallery closure, educational workshop delay, and arts event missed has come as a heartbreaking blow to the Trust and our community here in Pittsburgh, and foregoing this year’s traditional presentation of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is no exception. For 60 years, our multidisciplinary Festival has presented an array of music, dance, theater, literary arts, public art, gallery exhibitions, and more, completely free of charge and open to the public, as well as an Artist Market which provides a platform and exposure for more than 300 artists. As much as we want to gather 500,000 people to celebrate art in all its forms this June, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has made this physically impossible as we continue to prioritize safety of our city and our people.
I’d like to take this moment to remind you, as we’ve been saying around the Cultural Trust, this is just intermission. We are working diligently to not only bring you good news about what is to come this fall, but also building ways to stay virtually connected when we cannot gather physically. While nothing can ever replace the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, I am particularly excited to share how we plan to bring favorite pieces of the Festival experience to life online. Please continue to check back here and connect with the Cultural Trust on social media in coming weeks when we will begin to announce these exciting opportunities.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust extends its profound thanks to its Title Sponsor Dollar Bank and Supporting Sponsor Giant Eagle for their stalwart and generous support in the face of unprecedented circumstances. And to our many other generous and enthusiastic contributors, we look forward to providing you with many amazing opportunities as we move to a digital space in 2020 and plan for our on-site return in 2021.
I hope that you continue to stay safe and healthy, Pittsburgh. At this very moment, our team is curating an online experience in lieu of this year’s in-person Festival, ensuring that we can gather virtually to share art - because art matters, and that’s really the heart of our iconic, one-of-a-kind Festival. We wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Director of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust