Allegheny County Councilman William R. Robinson plans to introduce legislation to provide funds to the August Wilson Center for African American Culture during the regular council meeting Oct. 16.

“The August Wilson Center is a primary example of something that should be at or near the top of a Black agenda, such as I have described in the past,” Robinson said.  “Allegheny County can be instrumental in preserving this cultural asset, and in attempting to obtain the assistance of the Commonwealth in doing so.”

Robinson will introduce two bills related to the center. The first would request state funds, contingent on the county matching a designated portion. Secondly, Robinson would put forth a bill to fund the center directly through the county’s capital budget.

He said because the Wilson Center’s influence reaches far beyond the City of Pittsburgh, the county should be involved.

“It obviously goes without saying that the County’s African-American population transcends the City’s boundaries. As a result, this issue has significant ramifications for all of the County’s residents and, by extension, for each of us as residents and elected representatives,” he said. “The August Wilson Center is a perfect example of this, as individuals come into the City of Pittsburgh from areas throughout the County in order to visit the Center and enjoy the many events that take place there.”

Dollar Bank began foreclosure proceedings against the center after it failed to make payments on its $7million debt. Shortly thereafter, the county’s Regional Asset District said it would not be allocating funds to the center this year.


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