University of Pittsburgh
October 3, 2004

PITT ARTS New A3P Project Links Undergraduate Students to Black Theatre, Dance, and Music


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—From Kuntu Repertory Theatre's production of Jelly's Last Jam to legendary trumpeter Clark Terry, the University of Pittsburgh's PITT ARTS organization is exploring opportunities to connect Pitt undergraduate students to the African American art experience. A new initiative called The African American Arts Project—or A3P—hopes to teach students the value of artistic expression, particularly that of the African American community.

Financed with a two-year $85,000 grant from The Heinz Endowments, A3P is sponsoring free excursions both on and off campus for undergraduate Pitt students this academic term to Kuntu Repertory Theatre, the Urban Space Gallery, Capoiera dance performances, concerts, and much more. The students are provided with free transportation to the event, a meal before or afterwards, as well as private Q & A sessions with artists and performers. This grant also has been used to fund research on assessing and meeting the artistic needs of university students.

To provide these cultural opportunities, A3P is collaborating with community arts organizations, including Bridgespotters, Nego Gato, Pitt's Black Action Society, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and Manchester Craftsman's Guild. A3P also is working to build student involvement for such mainstream art events as the symphony and opera.

PITT ARTS has been connecting Pitt students to the cultural life of Pittsburgh since it was founded in 1997. It sponsors 120 free student outings each year, engaging approximately 30,000 students.

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make Southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center of learning and educational excellence, and a home to diversity and inclusion. One of the largest and most innovative independent philanthropic foundations in the country, the Endowments awarded more than $54 million in grants in 2003.

For more information on A3P or PITT ARTS, call 412-624-7832.