August Wilson: The Writer’s Landscape: The first-ever exhibition dedicated to the life and works of August Wilson is now open! Learn More

President & CEO

Janis Burley Wilson has been an arts leader for almost two decades in Pittsburgh and beyond. She was named President/CEO of the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) in July 2017.


Prior to taking the helm at the AWAACC, she was Vice President of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for 15 years. Her reinvention of the Pittsburgh jazz scene elevated her to Director of Jazz Programs in addition to her other roles. Burley Wilson’s curation diversified the Pittsburgh arts community with programs like the Gallery Crawl, a downtown quarterly art showcase which she created in 2004.

Burley Wilson launched the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival (PIJF) in 2011 and is one of the few women in a curatorial and directorial role in jazz. In addition to leading as President, she is the Artistic Director of the AWAACC, curating the successful Soul Sessions music series, the Highmark Blue & Heritage Festival, TruthSayers speaker series and a host of education and community engagement programs like AWCommunity Days. Most recently, she gracefully pivoted the AWAACC with a menu of virtual programming that has engaged new audiences around the globe. She is most excited about the upcoming permanent exhibition, August Wilson: The Writer’s Landscape that will open in 2022. A shrewd arts administrator, under her leadership, the August Wilson African American Cultural Center is financially stable, ending the last two years with a surplus. The organization is bound for a bright and sustainable future.