Pittsburgh Center for the Arts was founded in 1945 by a group of artists in an entrepreneurial partnership with civic leaders. The opening of the Center was intrinsically linked to the city’s first Renaissance and marked the coming of age of the artistic heart of industrial Pittsburgh. Originally named as the Arts and Crafts Center of Pittsburgh, the Center was organized to take possession of the mansion of industrialist Charles D. Marshall “to provide a public place where the people of Pittsburgh could enjoy participating in the arts.” The Marshall home, erected in 1911 in the East End of Pittsburgh, was donated to the City and leased to the Center for $1 per year. In 1946, the size of the Center’s facilities doubled when the next-door mansion of another Pittsburgh industrialist, A.M. Scaife, was also donated to the City and leased to the Center for the same $1.
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and its sister organization, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, are committed to the artist and the advancement of artistic excellence in visual arts – specifically film, digital video, photography, media, and fine and creative arts and crafts; the provision of equipment and facilities for artists; the conduct of instructional programs; and the stimulation of public understanding and awareness through exhibitions, demonstrations, and sales.