Arts and Culture

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Deemed one of the countries hippest destinations by top travel guides, Pittsburgh is known for its immense community of arts and culture. Long considered the cultural center of Pittsburgh, Oakland is home to a variety of galleries, museums and theaters all within an easy walk from great shops and restaurants.

Oakland’s oldest art pieces are housed in the collections at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Sharing a historically striking building with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, in which thousands of historical and cultural relics can be found, these museums were the first museums built by the steel tycoon and native Pittsburgher, Andrew Carnegie.

A true Mecca for artistic talent, the Regina Miller Gallery and the Frick Fine Arts’ University Art Gallery feature new talent emerging from the prestigious art and architecture programs of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to inside the galleries, a vast amount of public art is spread throughout the neighborhood of Oakland. In the heart of the business district you will still find remnants of, a unique community art project called the Doors of Oakland celebrates art on the commercial doorways of various prominent businesses located along Forbes and Fifth Avenues, Atwood and McKee streets. Stroll through the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University campuses and you will find everything from sculpture to land art.

If you are looking for an evening of gripping drama in Oakland, The Carnegie Music Hall, Pint Park University’s Pittsburgh
Playhouse
, and the Stephen Foster Memorial offer a variety of theater performances throughout the year. While visiting the Stephen Foster Memorial, a must-see is the one-of-a-kind Center for American Music museum, housing the world’s largest musical collection of the Pittsburgh native.

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Oakland is rich many architectural styles. From the grand classical architecture styles lining Fifth Avenue to the Brutalist and Early-Modern styles throughout Pitt’s campus, Oakland shares a beautiful and different architectural history. Breaking from the neo-classical tradition, the Cathedral of Learning, the world’s 2nd tallest tower of classrooms, brings back the beauty of Gothic architecture. Inside of the Cathedral of Learning of the interior architecture is a destination of its own. As well as the dozens of unique multi-cultural classroom designs known as the Nationality Rooms. Located on the same grounds is the beautiful Heinz Chapel, a perfect blend of the spiritual and aesthetic. In juxtaposition to Pitt’s campus, CMU’s campus, designed by architect Henry Hornbostel, celebrates the timeliness of the Beaux Arts style.

Pittsburgh Filmmakers is one of the largest and oldest independent media arts centers in the county. Founded in 1971 to provide media-making tools to artists, Pittsburgh Filmmakers serves everyone from emerging artists to established artists to fellow non-profit organizations and students. Their Three Rivers Film Festival is the region’s largest annual film event. Pittsburgh Filmmakers (est. 1971) is a nonprofit corporation designed to encourage the creation and understanding of media for noncommercial artistic and literary purposes. To this end, Filmmakers offers a curriculum of courses in film, video and photography to university and independent students in the Pittsburgh region. Filmmakers also exhibits the work of prominent photographers and filmmakers in its galleries, Melwood Screening Room, Regent Square Theater and Harris Theater.