Brentley committee explores AWC purchase by city schools

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When Mark Brentley suggested to his fellow Pittsburgh School Board members that the district should acquire the bankrupt August Wilson Center for African American Culture, rather than ask how a district projected to be insolvent in two years could purchase the building, they agreed to form an ad hoc committee to explore the idea.

That committee held its first public brainstorming session Jan. 31, and heard a few ideas that Brentley said sounded promising, all of which included some association with the Creative and Performing Arts high school.

“The one I really like involves putting the adjunct professors like Roger Humphries and Sean Jones there, and then charging surrounding school districts that have lost their arts programs to come in and get top notch instruction–for a fee, of course,” he said.

“The building could generate its own income.”

Further suggestions included using it for classes during the day and for performances at night, perhaps partnering with one of the foundations. Trombonist Hill Jordan said the district is missing the boat by not selling its facilities and expertise to parents outside the city.

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