From highbrow to lo-fi and classical to avant-garde, Pittsburgh is rich with cultural offerings.
“We love our symphony, our ballet, our opera and our sports teams,” says Abby Goldstein, the long-time general manager of WYEP. But she and other like-minded residents see one glaring oversight in our entertainment landscape.
“The music scene doesn’t have the level of civic pride that some of our other amenities enjoy,” Goldstein says. So she and her fellow music mavens have banded together to launch Love PGH Music, a grassroots network dedicated to supporting and promoting local acts.
“There is absolutely world-class music happening here in Pittsburgh,” Goldstein tells NEXTpittsburgh. “And it needs a bigger audience.”
The website is now live, but Goldstein says the work will really ramp up in July — which the group has claimed as the first-ever “Love PGH Music Month.”
Based on interviews with 1,800 community members over 10 months, the study recommended a variety of practical policies to spur the development of the local music scene. The hope is that these policies will lead to broader economic and cultural development across the city.
Goldstein expects that the network can bring more performing gigs and production work to Pittsburgh’s local musicians. But she sees intangible benefits as well: “For the community, it creates a more vibrant, a more interesting, a more culturally diverse city.”
Along with Goldstein, participants in Love PGH Music include multimedia artist Christiane Leach, who serves as artist relations coordinator for the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and Cody Walters, creator of the Deutschtown Music Festival and main street director at the Northside Leadership Conference.
The launch of the website comes at an auspicious moment for Goldstein, as she transitions from her long-time position at WYEP to a new role as national president of the Public Radio Programming Directors Association, a nonprofit media development organization.
Though her day job is now national, Goldstein says she will remain devoted to supporting Pittsburgh’s music scene and the new Love PGH Music network.
“I’m very invested in the city,” she says. “I’m staying in Pittsburgh, and I’m going to stay involved in this movement as much as I can.”