Arts & Culture #All412gether Week continues through May 17 and, according to a press release, recognizes the “vibrant arts and culture community and their commitment” to the region's “civic life, health and well-being by working together to innovate and provide creative engagement and educational resources for our community, at home.” The week comes after the late-April launch of #All412gether, a public service announcement created through a partnership with Comcast, Leadership Pittsburgh, and the local start-up incubator, AlphaLab Gear.
According to a YouTube video by Our Region's Business Online Extra, the hashtag was inspired by a dog – more specifically, a dog owned by Ilana Diamond, managing director of AlphaLab Gear.
“She was walking the dog, her dog, and I was just taking a walk,” says Aradhna Oliphant, president and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh. “And we bumped into each other.”
She goes to say that, that night, she tweeted about a social distancing celebration happening on a block in New York City. “And [Ilana Diamond] responded to my tweet saying, 'Hey, shouldn't we do something like that in our neighborhood?' We hadn't known right up until then that we lived in the same neighborhood. And I said, 'Yeah, why not the county?'”
The movement grew from there, urging people to stay connected and encouraging collaboration between the private and public sectors. Part of this included Comcast giving free internet service to low-income members in its Internet Essentials program through June 30.
The proclamation by Fitzgerald focuses the campaign on the region's arts and cultural scene and its efforts to help people stay connected while being physically apart.
“Many in our region have really embraced that idea, as have the more than 550 arts and culture organizations that call Allegheny County home,” says Fitzgerald in a press release. “In this trying time where arts and culture are even more important, these organizations and artists have found new and creative ways to continue providing programming. Their work has underscored the idea of #All412gether and we celebrate their efforts today and throughout this week.”
The proclamation highlights, among other things, the quick response of arts organizations, including museums, theaters, and others, to provide enriching, entertaining digital activities for free or at a low cost. Big annual events that have had to cancel or postpone, including Art All Night and the EQT Children's Theater Festival, are still trying to reach the public and support artists by going online.
The proclamation stresses the massive economic impact of arts and culture and its status as the fifth-largest employment sector in the region, as well as its importance as “part of our identity locally.” It then encourages residents to “continue to support these organizations and artists, and their efforts, during this pandemic.”
Read the full proclamation below:
WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has disrupted life in our community in unprecedented ways, challenging all of us to find new ways to connect; for weeks, we have stayed apart so that we can be together again, and while we’re making progress, we also recognize that it may be a long time before we’re back to “normal,” and
WHEREAS, there have been many groups and organizations impacted by the state’s stay-at-home orders and which will need to continue to find unique ways of reaching our residents – Allegheny County’s more than 550 arts and culture organizations are one of them; they represent a very strong economic force for the region, with admission revenue of more than $150 million, these organizations are the fifth largest employment sector in our community, employing more than 15,000 people; and
WHEREAS, arts and culture provide opportunity for learning, entertainment, leisure, personal growth and more – it’s part of our identity locally and is just one reason that so many people visit Allegheny County; interest and attendance at arts and culture attractions continues to grow, drawing nearly 7 million visitors a year with leisure travel accounting for an estimated $5.2B in economic impact to Pittsburgh and Allegheny County each year; and
WHEREAS, the patrons of arts and culture are eager to see in-person performances again; they are a vital part of our region’s vitality, health and future and this diverse group of arts and culture organizations and artists enrich our lives with music, dance, visual art, museum exhibitions, and other cultural and educational activities; and
WHEREAS, we are extremely fortunate to have such a vibrant arts and culture community call Allegheny County home and commend all those in that community for its unwavering commitment to our region’s civic life, health and well-being during this crisis by working together to innovate and provide creative engagement and educational resources for our community, at home; they have embraced the idea of #All412gether, recognizing that the work that we are doing now, allows all of us to come together sooner – and that it is by working together that we all get through this challenging time.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, by virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby proclaim May 11-17, 2020 as “Arts & Culture #All412gether Week” in Allegheny County and encourage our residents to continue to support these organizations and artists, and their efforts, during this pandemic.