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Downtown to Add Art Installations, Music Nights and More

"Yinz Going Dahntahn?" Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership strives to transform the area into a more engaging and vibrant neighborhood.

photo by john altdorfer


Pittsburghers’ unique way of pronouncing downtown as “dahntahn” just adds to the area’s charm, something the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership wants to improve.

At the nonprofit organization’s annual meeting on Wednesday, PDP released its 2017 report, which offered findings to the following questions: Is Downtown Pittsburgh welcoming? Is it engaging? Is it growing? PDP hosted focus groups, surveys and conversations with business owners, residents and civic leaders to develop initiatives to address these issues. Officials also said they’re committed to ensuring that Downtown remains a ‘“clean, safe, engaging and vibrantly programed neighborhood” that continues to grow and develop.

At the forefront of this year’s plan is using community spaces in ways that serve a variety of people as well as inspiring creativity and collaboration. In April, the Market Square Public Art program will return with an installation by Ball-Nogues Studios, “Amsterdam Island Antipode.” It turns out, if you dug through the center of the Earth from Market Square, you wouldn’t end up in China; you’d end up in New Amsterdam, an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Ball-Nogues’ installation will be a to-scale model of the island. The alleyway segment of Garrison Place between Exchange Way and Liberty Avenue will be turned into an imaginary, underwater, future world using elements from Andrea Polli’s “Energy Flow,” the light installation currently adorning the Rachel Carson Bridge.

Strawberry Way will also get a new mural by local artist Julie Mallis.

The PDP is also building on the success of the Saturday Night Market from 2017. The organization will turn the market into a 25-week, free, live music series to create a regular destination and platform for local musicians.

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