Known as the City of Bridges – boasting 446 in total, more than any city in the world, and 90 official neighborhoods – Pittsburgh has mastered the art of building these architectural connections between communities which otherwise would remain disparate. No stranger to the reinvention that this era has demanded, the ‘Burgh is swiftly evolving from a town known for the production of steel and 19th century robber barons, to an eclectic 21st century cultural capital, beguiling in its contradictions and complexity. While Pittsburgh is often cited as one of the most livable cities in the US and civic pride is abundant, the people of PGH have resisted languishing in self-satisfaction and instead have turned a mirror on themselves and asked: most livable for whom? In 2019 a local study called for city-wide recognition of unevenly distributed wealth, resources, and access with the goal to make Pittsburgh livable for all residents, and the cultural community was ready. At the forefront of a movement for accountability and healing are Pittsburgh’s new generation of theatre practitioners, university arts leaders, and students – connecting once disparate communities, collaborating across sectors, striving for healthy relationships between institutions and freelance artists, and embodying a mutually supportive spirit in the vision of Pittsburgh’s own August Wilson.
From June 15-18, 2022, as we entered our seventh decade of serving the theatre field, TCG joined with theatre-makers in Pittsburgh – a city that TCG also happens to claim as its founding home – to host our first hybrid National Conference, embracing the duality of both in-person and virtual programming. Whether you joined us on the ground or online, you were part of a single Conference community on distinct but converging paths of content: the virtual experience from June 15-17, and the in-person experience from June 16-18 in Pittsburgh. Through fluid, action-oriented programming arcs on Redefining our Art, Transforming our Practices, and Tending to our People, we took inspiration from our host city as we reflected on our shared yet imbalanced challenges, galvanized for our collective future, and developed new ground. Together.