"All anyone really wanted was a little outdoor art show near Carnegie Institute, some paintings, perhaps, scattered along the mall among the trees outside Carnegie Library. Adolph Schmidt – the Festival’s first chairman – persuaded the “founders” to take the show downtown, and the Three Rivers Arts Festival was born…
People who were not gallery or theater-goers had their first glimpse of live actors and dancers, saw photographers stretch the dimensions of light and color, moved among pieces of sculpture, and watched artists turn chunks of clay, glass, wood and metal into bits of beauty."
- from the 1979 Three Rivers Arts Festival program
Three Rivers Arts Festival quickly grew from the “little outdoor art show” to what is today the region’s largest multidisciplinary showcase of visual art and performing arts—the nation's premier free festival. Despite a rapid growth, the Festival’s mission to connect the community to arts and culture has remained consistent throughout the event’s 60-year history.
Take a look back through the years at this special exhibition and discover the great artists and moments that built the Festival's reputation through the last six decades.