Diaz (top left), Freeland (top right), Obuzor (bottom left) and Hatcher (bottom right)
A new arts advocacy program is popping up in Pittsburgh. Members of three local arts organizations and Carnegie Mellon University have united to create Pittsburgh Arts Administrators of Color. The goal of PAAC is to “unify and connect arts administrators of color in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.” The group has gathered around a common goal to bring more knowledge and opportunity to arts administrators of color here in the city. Membership to PAAC is free and people can join by visiting their website at pghaac.com
PAAC’s founders are:
• Rebekah Diaz, Pittsburgh Opera’s Manager of Community Engagement and IDEA Initiatives
• Monteze Freeland, an Associate Producer at City Theatre
• Natalie Hatcher, an Outreach Program Manager at Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science Pathways
• Joanna Obuzor, an Operations Manager for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
“The impetus to create this group came as a way to connect with other BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) arts administrative and creatives here in Pittsburgh," said Diaz in a press release about the announcement. "There may not be many of us within each organization, but when we come together, we are a stronger representation of BIPOC arts leaders in our community.”
PAAC promises to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth, as well as serve as a platform for networking and fellowship. In late April, PAAC began having monthly happy hours initially conducted over Zoom. As the state opens up more and residents become vaccinated, PAAC plans to transition to in-person events. The group promises the events will not only be fun social activities, but also a chance for participants to find mentors.
““Mentoring is crucial because it fosters connections with others in the industry as both parties build lifelong pathways; sustainable pipelines in Pittsburgh’s artistic community,” said Obuzor.
Interested parties who sign up for PAAC will receive access to a membership directory and be able to list their own businesses on the site. To further the program's mission, PAAC also promises a job listings portal for those on the job hunt.
The next monthly meeting is scheduled for Thu., May 27. Details can be found online at pghaac.com