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The Arts in Pittsburgh: Expressing Ourselves  


Until very recently, in Pittsburgh, it would have boded ill for a man to build a handsome house a few miles out of the smoke; and to this day it is said that a Pittsburgh man of business who should publish a poem would find his "paper" doubted at the bank. "A good man, sire, but not practical."
James Parton, 1868

The arts help humans express what is important and see things as if for the first time. Through good times and bad times, Pittsburgh artists, writers, musicians, dancers, and dramatists have helped us all be a little more human.

Related subjects: Language arts, art, music, dance, drama

Grade levels: Adaptable 4-12 grades

FYI: Background article

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From the earliest humans who roamed this planet to the youngest child just learning to grasp a crayon, humans have struggled to communicate not just the empirical facts of an event, but the elusive emotions we attach to it. But why not simply relay the facts and move on?

Perhaps it is because, as Pablo Picasso once said, "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

An artist sees through the "dust," through the minutia, to the details that give life its richness and texture. The artist then attempts to communicate the significance of those details in a way that balances individual expression with a "common" language others can understand.

Marking those observations as special is an action of art.



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