Sunday, December 14, 2008

First Night Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 10, 2008
Contact: Veronica Corpuz, 412-471-6082 /
Electronic art and a complete listing of events are available upon request.

Celebrating the First Night® of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s 25th Anniversary!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 6 pm – Midnight
In the heart of the Cultural District

PITTSBURGH … Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District with The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s First Night® Pittsburgh 2009. This family-friendly community event is presented by Education and Community Engagement department of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, with generous support from lead sponsor, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. The city will revel in a joyous celebration of the arts: dance, music, theater, comedy, magic, visual art and film, plus hands-on activities for children and adults.

In addition to celebrating the conclusion of Pittsburgh 250, First Night® also marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s 25th anniversary. Founded in 1984, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has led the way for the creation and ongoing development of Pittsburgh’s award-winning Cultural District. Utilizing the arts as a means for transforming a formerly blighted downtown, the Cultural Trust today welcomes over a million visitors annually to thousands of performances, gallery exhibitions and community events.

In addition to First Night® Pittsburgh, the Trust presents the PNC Broadway Across America – Pittsburgh series; the Pittsburgh Dance Council; the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater and Festival; and Three Rivers Arts Festival among other events. Additionally, the Trust owns and operates Theater Square and the Cabaret at Theater Square; the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts; Byham, O’Reilly, and Harris Theaters; Wood Street Galleries; SPACE, a visual arts gallery at 812 Liberty Avenue; 707 and 709 Penn Galleries; and 937 Liberty, a multipurpose performance and exhibit space, among other downtown arts facilities.
First Night® Pittsburgh Festivities begin at 6 pm with the Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks Display and a performance by the Spirit and Soul All City Gospel Choir on the Dollar Bank Main Stage, followed by the Target First Night® Parade at 8 pm. This year, the evening concludes with a live performance by The Fabulous Thunderbirds and the First Night® tradition, The Countdown to Midnight and Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale atop Penn Avenue Place. The Highmark Stage, where all the First Night® revelry concludes, is located on Penn Avenue by Fifth Avenue and Fifth Avenue Place.

Among the 125 events and activities held in 50 venues throughout the Cultural District, other special First Night® Pittsburgh attractions include the Duquesne Light Family Tent and performances by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Symphony Brass at the Byham Theater, Pure Gold at the Benedum Center, the city’s largest Line Dance Party, among many “weatherproof” activities. For a complete listing of events, please visit or call (412) 456-6666.

To join the celebration, simply purchase a First Night® Pittsburgh 2009 Button, a passport to all of the performances, activities and art exhibits. A First Night® button costs only $8; children age 5 and under are admitted for free. First Night® buttons are available at participating Giant Eagle stores and The Box Office at Theater Square. NEW: First Night buttons are also available online at!

Due to their overwhelming popularity and limited seating in Cultural District theaters, a free General Admission Seating Voucher is necessary to see the performances of Pure Gold, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, The Amish Monkeys, Hustlebot, and Magician David Lawrence’s Magic Show. Vouchers are available at The Box Office at Theater Square. Simply show your First Night® button to obtain up to two seating vouchers per performance. The Box Office at Theater Square is located at 655 Penn Avenue between the O’Reilly Theater and Katz Plaza.

There will be general admission waiting lines for performances at the Benedum Center, Byham Theater and CAPA Main Stage; patrons will be served on a space-available and first-come, first-served basis. Box Office hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 am to 9 pm and Sunday, noon to 6 pm.

First Night needs volunteers for numerous jobs--from button checkers to activity helpers to parade assistants. Families, co-workers, school groups and individuals of all ages are needed to help us ring in 2009 in a fun, alcohol-free, family-friendly way. To volunteer with First Night, please email Kathi Radock, First Night Volunteer Coordinator at, call 412-390-4660.

First Night® ® Pittsburgh 2009 Celebration Sponsors as of release date include: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield as the lead sponsor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, County of Allegheny, Dollar Bank, Duquesne Light, Giant Eagle, PNC Foundation and Target.

First Night® Pittsburgh 2009 Community Supporters include: Dominion Resources, Eden Hall Foundation, Roy A. Hunt Foundation and R.P. Simmons Family Foundation, US Steel Corporation and Take Care Health Systems.

First Night® Pittsburgh 2009 Media Partners include: KDKA TV, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Port Authority of Pittsburgh, Comcast, WDUQ 90.5 FM, WQED fm89.3, 91.3fm WYEP and Y108.

First Night® Pittsburgh 2009 is further supported by the following local officials: Senator Jay Costa, Senator Wayne Fontana, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, Pittsburgh City Council President Doug Shields, and Councilman William Peduto.


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