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August Wilson Center - Front & Center - “Amplifying African American Voices”

Contract Resistance: Hip-Hop, Soul & More

Posted in Events, General on October 20th, 2009 by Shaunda – Be the first to comment


It’s all going down this Friday — don’t miss out on how the August Wilson Center does hip-hop, soul and more!
The beats are tight and the grooves smooth as the August Wilson Center, the Shadow Lounge and Urban Kontent Brand present an evening of hip-hop and soul collective performances featuring hip-hop artists Formula412, J-San & The Analogue Sons, Chen-Lo, D.C.’s own W. Ellington Felton, Common Wealth Family, Kellee Maize, DJ Selecta will provide the house music and Yah Lioness & Gene Stovall will host the evening.

Free After Party* @ Shadow Lounge featuring J-San & the Analogue Sons and Man in the Street…Plus DJ Vex spinning in AVA til 2 am! Show your ticket stub at the door.



State of Hip-Hop Forum

Friday, October 23, 6 pm

Explore the economic, social, political and musical influences of hip-hop, both in the United States and around the world, at this special “town hall” discussion featuring a panel of hip-hop artists, including Paradise Gray, Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis (aka Dr. Goddess), DJ Boogie, DJ Omar-Abdul and Jasiri X. Appropriate for high school students and adults.

DJing Workshop

Saturday, October 24, Noon to 2 pm

Explore the world of DJing in this hands-on course, appropriate for teens and adults. Learn the technical and musical skills necessary to become a DJ, including mixing and blending, scratching and beatmaking. Herman Pearl, aka DJ Soy Sos will be instructing. For details, call 412.338.8737 or e-mail

Counting Down the Hours!

Posted in General on September 16th, 2009 by Shaunda – Be the first to comment

Greetings all,

This is Sarah Williams-Devereux, Manager of Education at the August Wilson Center.  I’m tearing myself away from our preparations for our grand opening celebrations to blog for a second.

First, and I cannot say this enough: OUR VOLUNTEERS ARE INCREDIBLE.  We had a huge crew of people for our Community Open House on May 30th, and they were fabulous — attentive, energetic, welcoming, talented folks.  We just had our first performance of our inaugural season last week (Ms. Lalah Hathaway!), and, once again, a wonderful group of resourceful and flexible volunteers.

Now we’re getting ready for our Grand Opening tomorrow (!) and our Member Preview and Free Admission Day on Saturday, and, twice again, we have the greatest crew of volunteers.  They’re ready to help wherever, whenever, and at a moment’s notice.  So…THANK  YOU! We cannot do this work without you.

Overall, it’s been an exciting time here watching the building take more of its final shape.  Little things, like walls getting their finishing coats of paint, the carpet being installed on the second floor, and (my favorite) the exhibits going up in our exhibit spaces.  The first time I saw our core exhibit, Pittsburgh: Reclaim Renew Remix being installed, I let out a little squeal of joy.

Time to dash away again — see you on Thursday and Saturday!

One-on-One with Lalah Hathaway

Posted in Events, General on September 10th, 2009 by Shaunda – 3 Comments

Lalah Hathaway

Lalah Hathaway

LISTEN NOW: One-on-One w/Lalah Hathaway

Lalah Hathaway is in the building.

Well, not literally, but she is in Pittsburgh and, from what I hear, is very excited about being the first performer in the August Wilson Center’s Inaugural Season. The energy level has been through the roof here in the Center’s offices…chatter is high on our Twitter, Facebook and MySpace pages–everyone is amp’d about Lalah.

Not that I needed a reason to, but Lalah Hathaway has been on heavy rotation on my iTunes. What is it about Lalah that makes people from various walks of life flock to her like bees to honey? When I told all of my musician and non-musician friends alike that the August Wilson Center was bringing Lalah into Pittsburgh, all of them had the same reaction–and it usually included screaming.

I asked one of my friends in particular, why she had such an appreciation for Lalah. Our conversation:

Me: Hey, I know you bought your ticket for Lalah, why do you like her?

Friend: WHY? WHY? I mean, there are so many answers to that. I mean, it’s not rocket science–she can SING!

Me: That’s it? That’s why you paid $45 to sit two inches from the stage to hear Lalah sing?

Friend: Lalah is set apart from the masses. Her music and sound are soulful, and everybody doesn’t have that. Most people sing just because they have talent. Lalah’s voice comes from a place of authentic soul.

My friend is correct. Lalah’s refreshing tone and vocal acrobatics are simply amazing, impeccably crisp and will leave you jaw-dropped for days. What’s bananas is that Lalah doesn’t even have to do a lot vocally to leave you memorized. I remember when her latest project Self Portrait first came out how my friends and I would listen to it intently, always turning up the volume at the end of every song because every Lalah fan knows that she tends to give us little vocal treats at the end of her songs. Man we wore that CD out. lol. Instrumentation — off the charts. Background singers (in her concerts) — will just have you shaking your head (do a Lalah search on YouTube to see what I mean). Her lyrics reach deep into your heart and connect with every issue in your life.

Lalah is authentic soul. Funny…..remind you of anybody else with the same last name?


Keepin’ it real,


P.S. If you all see a woman standing and waving at the concert like that old lady from It’s Showtime at the Apollo—that’s just my friend–she means no harm, she just loves Lalah. Can you blame her?

It’s Official…the August Wilson Center blogs!

Posted in General on September 6th, 2009 by Shaunda – 1 Comment

It’s almost time.

In less than two weeks, the August Wilson Center’s permanent home will officially open to the public. Up until now, the Center’s six seasons of programming has been spread across the Pittsburgh Cultural District’s fine spaces like french fries on a Primanti Brother’s sandwich–but no more.

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture will finally live, operate and exist in its own home at 980 Liberty Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh. Guess what—you are all invited to see what we are all about!

Now, you can experience the Center in a multitude of ways: You can always physically visit the Center (of course we encourage that), but you can also visit us via our Web site, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter pages.

However….if that’s not enough….(insert drum roll)….the August Wilson Center blogs! This is awesomeness on so many different levels because in THIS realm you will learn about the Center from the voices of various people working behind the scenes to the voices of people performing in the Center’s theater to those installing exhibits in the Center’s gallery spaces and everything in between.

While I will be the primary blogger, a couple of my other friends, who happen to be my colleagues, have agreed to get down and bloggy with me by submitting regular posts. This is magically delicious because we all share the same main goal — Amplifying the Voices of African Americans — but see the world through different spectacles, have varied experiences resulting in contrasting personalities and writing styles. For example, in this realm I tend to be more informal/some would say comedic, and guilty of making up a word or two just because I can (I promised my boss no misspelled words though lol). Sarah on the other hand, a brilliant mind, is very analytical and studious and may use a word or two that will have you searching every now and then. Maybe that’s why she is the Manager of Education at the Center. The point is: RELAX and enjoy–it’s all done in a great effort to help you stay connected to the Center.

We look forward to being able to rap with you openly in this space. Feel free to hang your coat up and kick off your shoes. Let’s talk intimately about the art, history and culture of people of African descent throughout the world and in Western Pennsylvania and the issues that affect us all.

Real talk. Authentic voices.

So get ready—ain’t no stoppin’ us now!

Keepin’ it real,


Treshea Wade - AWC Blogger

Treshea Wade - AWC Blogger

The Center’s on Facebook - Become a Fan!

Posted in Community, General on May 21st, 2009 by Shaunda – Be the first to comment


The August Wilson Center has more than 1,100 Fans. Are you a Fan? Follow us along with others in the Community on facebook. Share your stories, thoughts and suggestions on how we can connect better with you on the Center’s upcoming events.

Job Seekers: FOUR available positions at the August Wilson Center!

Posted in Job Seekers on May 18th, 2009 by Shaunda – Be the first to comment

The August Wilson Center has four positions currently for a Development Associate, Senior Accountant, Gift Shop Manager and Sales Clerk.

Development Associate

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture (AWC) seeks a Development Associate to provide support and capacity to advance the AWC’s interests by researching and identifying sources of support, proactively seeking opportunities to generate new proposals based on corporate, foundation and government guidelines, and maintaining strong relationships with contributors and prospective donors. The position is responsible for providing solid administrative support for the Development Department Leadership.
See Full Position Description @

Senior Accountant

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture (AWC) seeks a Senior Accountant to be responsible for independent performance of professional accounting and administrative tasks required as well as maintaining the centralized revenue and expenditure accounts of the department. The Senior Accountant is required to work on a production basis in the performance of professional accounting tasks. The individual works closely with all Central Departments of the Center, External Auditors on the Financial Management and reporting of donations.
See Full Position Description @

To apply for the above positions, download an employment application from and mail or fax it with your cover letter, resume and references to:
Cassandra Payne, Manager of Administrative Affairs
August Wilson Center for African American Culture
425 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1750
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Fax: 412.258.2701

Note: You may e-mail your cover letter, resume and references to cpayne@augustwilsoncenter.

org, but you must also mail or fax your employment application.
August Wilson Center Gift Shop Manager

AA Museum Shops, which manages the Center’s Gift Shop operations, is seeking a full-time Gift Shop Manager to oversee the day-to-day operations of the August Wilson Center Gift Shop. In addition to being professional, friendly and a responsible, Individual must be a “hands on” manager involved in all aspects of sales, customer service, inventory control, receiving and stocking, and managing the ongoing store activities. To apply, please follow the directions on the downloadable job description on-line.
See Full Position Description @

August Wilson Center Gift Shop Sales/Customer Service Clerks

AA Museum Shops, which manages the Center’s Gift Shop operations, is seeking both full and part-time Gift Shop Sales/Customer Service Clerks who are able to provide our customers with an excellent customer service experience. To apply, please follow the directions on the downloadable job description on-line.
See Full Position Description @