First, it was the best revenue year ever in the District's 14 year history. As a result, the Board of Directors, provided a record-level of grants - $83.4 million - to sustain and enhance our regional assets.
Second, 2008 was a banner year for many of the regional assets in terms of new attendance and programming records. The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh set a new record for annual admissions at its four museums. The Mattress Factory created new installations by a record 53 artists. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh set a mark for record participation in its summer reading programing, demonstrationg the region's love of literature and the desire to connect. And new babies - a tiger cub, two elephants and six beavers - arrived at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, which had the highest attendance in a single month in Zoo history last August.
While 2008 closed foretelling challenging times ahead, the regional assets remain an important element of the quality of life in our region. The people who live and visit our country, through their support, are helping to secure our assets' place in our future.