Super Bowl of Artists

Photo by Dustin McGrew — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

The Super Bowl is America’s national community day; no matter which two teams culminate the American football season, the country comes together to watch, eat, and celebrate.

At half-time of the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the arts join the national stage, this year with America’s icon, Bruce Springsteen. However, there’s more to the story of the Super Bowl and the arts.

Pittsburgh prides itself on its small town feel: friendly, accessible, and always unpretentious. The steel mills of the twentieth century brought immigrants from all over the world who created a genuinely multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cuisine city. The attribute most often associated with Pittsburghers is their strong work ethic.

Perhaps then it is no surprise that the ‘Burgh has produced artists: accessible, unpretentious, and with a disciplined work ethic. What is surprising is that such a relatively small city, closer to the middle of America than the east coast, has produced so many significant artists.

So while 100 million people watch Pittsburgh’s source of pride in sports, take a look at a few of the names that have been Pittsburgh’s source of pride in the arts:

Martha Graham
Gene Kelly
Barbara Feldon
Shirley Jones
Don Knotts
George Romero
David Selznick
Jimmy Stewart
Sharon Stone
George Benson
Perry Como
Chris Frantz
Stephen Foster
Lena Horne
Henry Mancini
Billy Strayhorn
Rachel Carson
Willa Cather
Annie Dillard
Gertrude Stein
August Wilson
Visual Arts:
Mary Cassatt
Andy Warhol

And where we would be without emoticon master, Scott Fahlman :)

Pittsburgh’s pride: the Steelers and the arts.

- Bill Reichblum

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