Andy Warhol Museum plans $60 million expansion on North Side

The Andy Warhol Museum and its supporters have apparently concluded that the museum named after the visionary Pittsburgh artist has outgrown its space.

On Friday, Warhol announced that the museum will begin work on a $60 million expansion that includes six blocks in its North Side neighborhood.

With an eye toward the future, with an emphasis on diversity and the goal of expanding audiences, the project will be called the “Popular District” and will combine public art displays, digital media production and live music.

The announcement was made Friday morning in the Warhol Museum’s auditorium, which was packed with media, politicians and invited guests.

Warhol has always been a popular Pittsburgh attraction and a destination for out-of-towners. But like many museums, the challenges posed by the pandemic have forced some introspection, and the urge to reinvent at least to some extent.

Steven Knapp, president and CEO of the Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh, Warhol’s parent company, said: “The Endemic District will demonstrate that museums can and must be part of their communities by serving as centers of innovation and catalysts for economic development. role in it.”

2 phases of 10 years

The two-phase project will be launched over 10 years.

It includes creating a custom-designed workforce development program involving different groups of young people (14-25+). Participants will be exposed to new educational programs teaching them to produce social media content for museums and external clients.

The first phase includes plans to secure $30 million to $40 million in funding and develop new educational programs outside the museum. On Friday, visitors were taken to the seventh floor of a building on Isabella Street that will house a 9,400-square-foot digital media creation lab and classrooms. As part of the plan, public art installations are being added.

The second phase will include additional funding as part of a capital campaign for four Carnegie museums in Pittsburgh, including Warhol. It will also feature a live performance venue.

Warhol said its goals include providing creative talent with $1 million in annual income, creating at least 25 annual full-time and part-time jobs, and working with the majority of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and Colored)/LGBTQ+/immigrant) workforce .

Mellon, lead supporter of the Hillman Foundation

The Richard King Mellon Foundation is the main funder of The Pop District. It has committed $15 million over the next 3.5 years. The Henry L. Hillman Foundation will provide $10 million over four years. Meanwhile, Warhol said discussions are underway with other potential funders.

“The economic impact of the region will include more than $100 million in annual economic activity and 50,000 to 70,000 new North Shore visitors each year,” a statement from the museum said.

“Warhol knew that art could change lives, and art could change cities,” said David Roger, president of the Hillman Family Foundation. “With the arrival of the popular district, this change is creating a six-block cultural destination on the North Shore by bringing arts programming and workforce training beyond the walls of the museum.”

Expansion is also seen as a way for Warhol to maintain long-term sustainability.

“This will really expand the cultural district,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “A lot of people will cross these bridges back and forth (to and from the city centre) knowing that we have good cultural facilities on both sides.”

Paul Guggenheimer is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or by email at [email protected].

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