For over 50 years now, early summer in Pittsburgh has been marked by the Three Rivers Arts Festival—a series of free live music events that pay tribute to the state’s musical traditions. This year, the event is sponsored by the Dollar Bank and will be held from June 3 to 12 at the Point State Park, located in downtown Pittsburgh.
The 2011 event will have the most “eclectic and dynamic” selection to date, according to Pittsburgh Cultural Trust president J. Kevin McMahon. So far only the headline artists who will be playing on the Dollar Bank Main Stage have been announced, but Mr. McMahon says there will be more exciting announcements in the next few weeks.
Dollar Bank, which operates throughout northeast Ohio and southwest Pennsylvania, is a longtime supporter of cultural events in Pittsburgh. The bank’s president and CEO, Robert P. Oeler, said the festival is a hallmark event in the city and part of its summer tradition.
The Three Rivers Arts Festival was founded by the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Women’s Committee in 1960, and has since presented more than 10,000 artists, musicians, and performers. In 2010, its 50th anniversary, it became officially part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Now in its 52nd year, the festival draws thousands of visitors every year, particularly to Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. The Dollar Bank Stage has hosted the event for the last several years. Part of the Dollar Bank’s vision, according to Mr. Oeler, is to keep top-quality arts and culture affordable in the area.
Other sponsors include Giant Eagle, Duquesne Light, Port Authority, and World Environment Day. There are also individual and corporate donors, including the Colcom Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, the Grable Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Besides music, the festival also puts dance and visual arts on center stage. There is also an Artists Market, a perennial favorite featuring some 300 artists selling prints and original handmade art. Thousands of artists apply to display their art every year at what Sunshine Artist magazine named one of the top 50 art events in the country.
As per the tradition, all the performances at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival are open to the public. All the concerts kick off at the Point State Park at 7:30 pm, except for the Sunday numbers which start at 6 pm. More information on the festival will be released starting next week.