Championing Black Cultural Experiences
August Wilson African American Cultural Center champions artists and programs that reflect universal issues of identity illuminated in the works of the 20th century’s greatest American dramatist and which still resonate today.
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14TH ANNUAL PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
September 19-22, 2024
The Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival presented by Citizens has become one of the coolest music destinations in the country. Jazz in multiple genres, newly commissioned music, unique collaborations between artists, emerging artists alongside legendary music makers, hip jam sessions…it is an experience not to miss.
Current ExhibitionsPlan Your Visit
The August Wilson African American Cultural Center, one of the largest cultural organizations in the country focused exclusively on the African American experience and the arts of the African diaspora, will create The Writer’s Landscape, the first-ever exhibition dedicated to the life and works of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson.Timed Ticketing
Onna-Bugeisha: Warriors of Light is a new artistic endeavor in which Tim Okamura imagines an alternate reality - a society that closely mirrors our own, which was once liberated and equitable, but is now experiencing a rapid descent into a state of oppression due to the rise in power of an authoritarian regime. It is under these conditions, in a shift towards a riotous dystopia, that an astounding development has occurred: the sudden appearance of a clandestine group of women warriors – freedom fighters guided by the Bushido, or Code of the Samurai - sworn to battle back the forces of persecution and injustice at all costs.
Comprising 67 spectacular works of art, Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art is the culmination of a 35-year journey into a realm that few have explored with such passion and dedication—the world of art and art collecting.
The Hope of Radiance brings together art works and texts created between 2020 - 2022 that are part of Dr. Imo Nse Imeh’s developing project titled Benediction. The exhibition addresses Imeh’s emotional and spiritual tumult during the pandemic period, when the world went silent under lockdown and became an unwitting witness to the horrors of Black life.
Jo-Anne Bates is a prolific artist and arts educator from Pittsburgh. As a prize-winning printmaker, she has exhibited at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Carnegie Museum of Art, and numerous regional and national galleries. Named the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 2017 Artist of the Year, Bates continues to influence her community of artists and students with her work.
Radio Gulf is a sound installation by interdisciplinary sound artist Ricardo iamuuri Robinson. This new work of art considers a plethora of social gaps by dissecting the game of golf. It interrogates elements of racism, colorism, classism, acculturation, gentrification, imperialism, militarism, economics, ecology, defensive architecture and the sound of a people determined to be recognized as full human beings. A miniature golf fairway encourages attendees to reconsider if this way of living has been fair at all.
Red, Black, and Green is a collection of contemporary Pro-Black propaganda, imagined in the colors of and in tribute to the Pan-African flag. Just as the Pan African Flag was created as an emblem of unity and pride for all people of African descent, this exhibition seeks to promote the same principles using materials and references that are staples in Black Culture. Featuring photographic portraiture, yarn tapestry, and beading, Crowe seeks to reinvigorate the themes of unity, reflection, and self-affirmation, all of which were a part of her upbringing.
OPTICVOICES: Mama’s Boys is an interactive, mixed-media exhibit that orbits the healing of mothers who have lost their sons due to systemic violence and aims to fossilize their legacy. The vessel of cinematic and provocative storytelling is captured through the galvanizing lens of Emmy Award-winning, multidisciplinary artist, Emmai Alaquiva. The kindred journeys of mothers around the world are shared through artistic love letters in the form of photography, film, mixed media and augmented reality.
Visas make possible the passing of boundaries, geographical and spatial, artificial and natural. While these lines may be crossed, the bounds of culture, identity, distance and otherness accompany our travels, meet us where we land. Seed Lynn has used story and story-working circles to enter communities as a listener and witness, less concerned with solving our mysteries than making them. But, how is that received in lands unknown? Where gaze prevails and listening takes effort? Can stories grant passage?
Grounded in the rich continuum of African American history and cultural expression, Robert Hodge’s work celebrates resilience and reclamation, with his commemorations of African American musical and cultural icons serving to both preserve the past and illuminate the present. With a nod to “sampling culture” and Rauschenberg’s principle of working in “the gap between art and life”, Hodge’s collage based works pair urban detritus and found objects with cut-out images, lyrics, and other signifiers of the African- American experience, forming a duality of meaning wherein fragments of everyday urban life becomes conduits of artistic expression.
Like our namesake, we believe in the beauty of connecting with all people. Wilson often said he didn’t write for Black or white audiences, but rather about the black experience in America.
We believe that creativity is boundless. From gypsy cab drivers to Blues divas, Wilson’s work tenders no apologies and evokes love sonnets of black struggle and triumph, offering clarion tributes to the ancestors gone before, living in eternal memory.
Envisioning the Future
For over a decade, the non-profit August Wilson African American Cultural Center has embraced Wilson’s magnificent legacy. We believe by celebrating black culture and fostering the exchange of ideas, we can transform how people think about the world.
News & StoriesVisit Blog
The 6th annual festival, showcasing connections of the blues from Africa to the Americas, will feature a Friday night concert with Bobby Rush, the two-time Grammy winning Arkansas-bred bluesman.
Western Pennsylvania’s film industry just received some great news at a time when this region’s creatives have been desperately searching for a win.
True cinephiles like Janis Burley can’t hide the glee in their voices while discussing movies. Burley is the president and CEO of Downtown’s August Wilson African American Cultural Center.
August Wilson African American Cultural Center Unveils an Inspiring ’23-’24 Season Celebrating Arts and Culture
September 27, 2023 (Pittsburgh, PA) – The August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) is proud to announce its captivating ’23-’24 season lineup, showcasing an array of remarkable events, exhibitions,…
Celebrating the Tapestry of African American Cinema October 10, 2023 (Pittsburgh, PA) – The Black Bottom Film Festival (BBFF), proudly presented by Citizens, returns for its sixth edition, illuminating and…
Black Bottom Film Festival To Honor Academy Museum Head Jacqueline Stewart At 2023 Edition Curated By Micheaux Film Festival
Pittsburgh’s Black Bottom Film Festival (BBFF), hosted by the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC), has inked a curatorial partnership with LA’s Micheaux Film Festival for its upcoming sixth…
The festival returns for a 13th edition with a stellar lineup of jazz and R&B artists over four nights at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Downtown, and Highmark…
The 13th annual Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival returns to the August Wilson African American Cultural Center and Highmark Stadium Thursday through Sunday.