Named after Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright and Pittsburgh Native, the August Wilson Center opened in 2009. The center is dedicated to housing the creative work of the African American community within Western Pennsylvania. The center presents performing and visual arts programs and features galleries, classrooms, a 500-seat theater, gift shop, café, and numerous multi-use spaces. It also spotlights numerous special events and rotating exhibits.


  • The August Wilson Center, Exterior
    The August Wilson Center, Exterior
  • Musicians preform within the center.
    Musicians preform within the center.
  • Dancers preform on the center's stage.
    Dancers preform on the center's stage.

For decades, Pittsburgh had seen a number of failed plans to open a museum for the display and preservation of African American culture and art. The plans for the museum began as early as 1996 and were pitched by Pittsburgh's NAACP President Tim Stevens. It took many years to both finalize the plans and secure the funding in order to finally build the museum. At last, in 2009, over a decade later, the museum opened to the public. 

The museum houses a variety of art forms, from traditional visual artwork to the performing arts. The museum does its very best to fulfill "its mission of preserving, presenting, interpreting, celebrating and shaping the art, culture and history of African Americans utilizing the rich history, legacy and culture of African Americans from Western Pennsylvania as a foundation."

As of 2012, the museum has suffered financially and was sold in 2014 to a nonprofit group that includes the Pittsburgh Foundation, the Heinz Endowments and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Lindstrom, Natasha. "August Wilson Center Gains Momentum." Pittsburgh Tribune Review. June 19, 2016. Accessed October 7, 2016. http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/10459798-74/center-wilson-august Ferola, Anne; Jennifer Ginsberg, & Martice Sutton. "Saving the August Wilson Center." Nonprofit Quarterly. January 20, 2016. Accessed October 7, 2016. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/01/20/saving-the-august-wilson-center/