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Photos courtesy of City Theatre Company (top L), The Frick Pittsburgh (top R), Pittsburgh Glass Center (bottom)

August 22, 2019

RAD Officially Kicks Off 25th Anniversary Celebration with RADical Days and More!

News Releases

Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD)
Celebrates 25 Years of Community Investment,
Announces RADical Days: September 19 – October 13, 2019 

 

Pittsburgh, PA (August 19, 2019). The Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) – a special purpose area-wide unit of local government that was authorized by Act 77 of the Pennsylvania Legislature – celebrates 25 years of support and investment in the region’s most vital institutions and organizations, and officially announces the dates for RADical Days, its annual celebration and “thank you” to the taxpayers with free admission, performances, and activities for all ages: September 19 – October 13, 2019.

 

The additional one percent sales and use tax in Allegheny County (known as the RAD tax) was first collected in 1994 for the purposes of addressing tax relief, providing funds for local municipal expenses, and stabilizing funding for important regional institutions. In the 25 years since, that penny on the dollar has generated nearly $4 billion, which has been directly invested into libraries, parks, regional facilities, arts and cultural organizations, sports and  civic facilities, public transit, and all local municipalities.[1]  

 

“For 25 years, RAD has been about working cooperatively and collaboratively to use tax dollars strategically in our region to support impactful institutions and organizations which lend themselves to the great quality of life we have here,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Our libraries, parks, cultural and arts organizations are better for the investments that we have seen by the RAD board. I look forward to seeing the impact they will have in the coming 25 years.”

 

RAD Executive Director Rich Hudic said: “The RAD board and staff take seriously our stewardship of these public funds and are proud of what has been made possible throughout Allegheny County because of taxpayer investment. Our world-class library systems, regional parks, and cultural and recreational offerings are driving forces behind Pittsburgh’s rising creative class, and major factors in our vibrant economy and overall quality of life.”

 

RAD began as a solution to alleviate some of the City of Pittsburgh’s financial burdens while preserving the region’s most valued assets – including the Pittsburgh Zoo, National Aviary, and Phipps Conservatory – and has since grown and developed into one of the region’s largest funding streams, with a 2019 allocation budget of $108 million.

 

While similar tax revenue designations exist across the country in places such as Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis, St. Paul, Salt Lake City, and Tacoma, the size, scope, longevity, and impact of RAD is unparalleled.

 

"The residents of Pittsburgh inherited priceless treasures from the generations who came before us, from libraries to parks to arts and culture. RAD is what enables us to pass these treasures down, and make them even better, for those who come after us," Mayor William Peduto said.

 

Libraries and parks, which are free and open to the public, are RAD’s two largest funding categories and combined, comprise 62 percent of RAD’s allocation budget. In its 25-year history, RAD has invested nearly $623 million in libraries and $582 million in parks and trails[2].

 

RAD currently funds 104 organizations, many of whom count RAD among their largest and most impactful funders. RAD funding is primarily unrestricted operational support, which can be difficult to come by and yet is essential to a nonprofit’s success. In addition to operating support, RAD awards grants for capital improvements, connectivity, and accessibility. 

 

“The National Aviary is so grateful to the Regional Asset District for their steadfast support,” said Cheryl Tracy, the Aviary’s Executive Director. “The magnitude of that support—over $28 million since we became a contractual asset in 1995—funds not only our critical needs, but enables us to grow in the service of our mission. Funding from RAD has helped the National Aviary position itself as a leader in conservation, education, and research to save species and protect habitats.  We owe much of our growth to RAD and the strong working relationship we’ve built over the years.”

 

This year, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, RAD will offer RADical ImPAct Grants for bold, forward-looking projects that demonstrate the creative ability of RAD assets to inspire the region for the next 25 years. RADical ImPAct Grant recipients will be announced September 26.  

 

Each year as a “thank you” to the taxpayers, RAD presents RADical Days, a celebration of free admission, events, performances, and activities for all ages at various regional assets. This annual event has become a staple for locals and visitors alike as they get the chance to experience some of the region’s best known and most acclaimed destinations for free. This year, to kick off RAD’s celebration of 25 years, RADical Days spans 25 days – September 19 through October 13, 2019 – and includes over 70 free events. The full schedule and details can be found online at radworkshere.org/radicaldays or by clicking here.

 

As an ongoing celebration of RAD’s 25th anniversary, throughout 2019/2020, RAD assets will be offering special RAD25 deals. Offers include 25% off tickets and admission, special giveaways, and more. RAD will be announcing these offers throughout the year on its website and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @radworkshere). Current participating assets include August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Arcade Comedy Theater, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, City of Asylum, City Theatre Company, National Aviary, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Savoyards, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Prime Stage, River City Brass, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Sweetwater Center for the Arts, The Frick Pittsburgh, Tuesday Musical Club, WQED, and Youth Chamber Connection. Find RAD25 details here.

 

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ABOUT RAD:

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 all local municipalities. 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! Visit radworkshere.org for more information.

 

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[1] 50% of the funding is distributed to regional assets by the entity known as RAD, 25% of the funding is provided by the state treasury directly to Allegheny County government, and the remaining 25% is provided by the state treasury directly to 127 municipalities throughout the county for general use purposes such as public safety, operations, and maintenance.

[2] Per the legislation, RAD funding is designated for parks no less than 200 acres, and thus is allocated to Allegheny County’s nine regional parks; five regional parks in the City of Pittsburgh – Emerald View, Frick, Highland, Riverview, and Schenley; Renziehausen Park in the City of McKeesport; and Boyce Mayview Park in the Township of Upper St. Clair.