Pittsburgh, PA (September 26, 2019). The Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD)’s Board of Directors voted to amend its 2019 budget to accommodate 12 RADical ImPAct grantees and proposed its preliminary 2020 budget at the September 26th in Downtown Pittsburgh.
The RADical ImPAct Grant program was launched in celebration of RAD’s 25th anniversary with the intention of funding bold, forward-looking, creative projects that will have radical impact on the region as RAD looks to its next 25 years. The RAD board allocated $2.5 million in its 2019 budget for this program and received 44 proposals with requests totaling nearly $17 million. The board, with input from RAD’s citizen advisory board, narrowed the proposals down to 12 semi-finalists, each of whom presented their proposed projects at a public hearing on September 5th.
Board member Hilda Pang Fu, speaking on behalf of the board’s ImPAct Committee (Jackie Dixon, Dusty Elias Kirk, and Fu) said: “Given that sales tax revenue has been consistently strong and higher than projected, and that every one of these projects so creatively aligns with our goals for the RADical ImPAct Grants, the ImPAct Committee enthusiastically recommends to the board that the current 2019 RADical ImPAct Grant budget be amended by an additional $990,489 taken from the grant stabilization reserve fund to approve each of the requests as presented.” The board unanimously voted to do so.
The 12 projects that will receive RADical ImPAct Grants are:
Art in the Parks: Re-imagining Public Art – a collaborative project between Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh to bring art to public parks, for a requested total of $1.5 million.
August Wilson: The Writer’s Landscape – a free, interactive exhibition at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center celebrating the life and work of August Wilson as part of a large-scale celebration leading up to what would have been the late playwright’s 75th birthday in April 2020 for a requested total of $300,000.
RAD Pass – a project submitted by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for a requested total of $91,514 that would allow library cardholders to get discounted tickets to participating cultural organizations using a new online software platform.
All Pittsburghers are Poets – a local competition for Pittsburgh poets of all ages and abilities, culminating in the naming of a Pittsburgh poet laureate by City of Asylum for a requested total of $80,000.
Building Bridges: A Community-Centered New Work of Immigrant Stories – a world premiere play commissioned and developed by City Theatre Company and its local partners All-for-All, Global Minds Initiative, and Literacy Pittsburgh to bring immigrant and refugee stories to the stage for a requested total of $225, 000.
RADical Adventurers – a project by Father Ryan Arts Center that will include a RAD-themed time capsule with youth-written experiences of impact from various RAD assets for a requested total of $25,000.
Connecting the North Side: The Corridor – a way-finding project connecting five North Side RAD assets (Mattress Factory – the project’s lead, The Warhol Museum, Children’s Museum, City of Asylum, and National Aviary) in partnership with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy by way of mapping, collaborative marketing, and joint programming for a requested total of $120,000.
Singing is RAD! – a project spearheaded by the Mendelssohn Choir which will bring together thousands of Pittsburgh singers and dozens of partners to raise their voices together at the 2021 Three Rivers Arts Festival for a requested total of $177,975.
Artwalk on the Allegheny River – a collaboration between the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Riverlife to bring works of art to two miles of trails, industrial infrastructure, and access points from Point State Park through the Downtown Cultural District, and up to the Strip District for a requested total of $330,000.
Curtain Call: Public Art Project – a project by landscape architect Walter Hood that would feature Hill District residents in a community public art project near PPG Paints Arena, submitted by the Sports & Exhibition Authority for a requested total of $500,000.
RADcast – a podcast series proposed by SLB Radio in which teen reporters produce episodes featuring each RAD asset for a requested total of $62,000.
Mobile Studio: Clay For All – a mobile ceramics studio that would take pottery-making to Allegheny County residents who otherwise would not have access to it, proposed by Union Project for a requested total of $79,000.
RAD Board Chair Dan Griffin said, “We were so impressed with the presentations of all 12 semi-finalists, it was impossible to eliminate any of them. The strong tax revenues from this year and our healthy reserve fund allowed the board to confidently say yes to each of these creative projects. We look forward to seeing their impact on our region as they come to fruition.”
The Board’s Allocations Committee submitted for consideration a 2020 budget of $109.4 million, which includes recommendations for operating and capital grants to 106 organizations, three of which would be new RAD assets – Belle Voci, Daisy Wilson Artist Community (August Wilson House), and Guardians of Sound. The full preliminary budget can be accessed by clicking here. After a public comment period and public hearing on October 24th, the Board will reconvene on November 21st to vote on the final 2020 budget.
For 25 years, the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) has invested in Allegheny County's quality of life through financial support of public libraries, parks and trails, major regional facilities, arts and cultural organizations, sports and civic facilities, public transit, and local municipal services. Since 1995 and through 2019, the 1% sales and use tax paid by residents of and visitors to Allegheny County is expected to result in a nearly $4 billion investment in the region. RAD works here!