Ten Days of Free Music + Art
The Three Rivers Arts Festival is the region's largest multidisciplinary showcase of visual art and performing arts. Founded in 1960 by the Women's Committee of the Carnegie Museum of Art, it has presented more than 10,000 visual and performing artists and entertained millions of residents and visitors. Such notable and memorable stage performances have included Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Phillip Glass, Steven Reich, Smokey Robinson as well as literary legends Allen Ginsberg and Spalding Gray. Contemporary dance artists Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane, Lar Lubovitch, Pucci Sport and many others have performed, and within recent past, concerts have featured Norah Jones, The Avett Brothers, Wilco, Sonic Youth, The Wailers and the Black Keys.
Among the long list of visual artists who have graced the Festival galleries and public exhibition spaces, noted visionaries have included Otto Piene, Louise Nevelson, Keith Haring, and Nam June Paik. Today the cultural legacy of the visual arts program of the Festival can be seen throughout the city with permanent, commissioned: Clement Meadmore's “Up and Away”; Kenneth Snelson's “Forest Devil”; and “Pittsburgh” by John Henry located in Frank Curto Park alongside Bigelow Boulevard.
In 2009, Three Rivers Arts Festival faced a new turning point in its history as a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, further advancing the shared mission of each organization to foster economic development through the arts and to enhance the quality of life in the region. Looking to the future of the festival, Mary Thomas of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “The Cultural Trust's task is to remain true to traditional audiences while attracting new visitors with experiences that will wow both. It looks like they're well-suited to the task.”