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The Pittsburgh Art show Scene
[ Shadyside ] [ Three Rivers ] [ A Fair in the Park ]
Shadyside 2002
The real show is on Walnut Street and always has been there. Howard Alan was invited to take the show over five years ago when the merchant association got tired of the existing promoter. The old promoter then moved to a street three blocks away and worked with the Ellsworth Avenue merchant association (actually only because Howard Alan turned them down when they asked him to run both shows) until they finally threw him out after last year. The Ellsworth Avenue merchants association purchased Craftproducers mailing list and from what I understand, Carole King, the new director, got some technical advice from the Craftproducers director and from Howard Alan's public relations person. The two shows are completely different but are working together now and it will improve in the future when they set up a shuttle to move the public between the shows starting next year. This year they split local advertising with a series of billboards around the city.

The old promoter who was now thrown out of both shows started a third show, driving distance, not walking distance from the other two shows and NO ONE SHOWED UP. A news clip on the local NBC station showed the artists gathering around the promoter saying he lied to them promising 150,000 people when the attendance was non existent.

Play the news clip interview with the disgruntled artists
6.18 megabytes wmv file (requires Windows Media Player)

Here's a quote from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette article linked below:
After the 2001 festival, D'Alessandro and the Ellsworth Avenue Business Association parted ways. D'Alessandro said he didn't want to be restricted by businessmen anymore. Jim Schneider, president of the Ellsworth Avenue Business Association, said the rift was caused because of six or seven bounced checks, totaling $6,000, that D'Alessandro had written to the association and never made good on.
In addition, Schneider said, his association was unable to get a permit for this year's festival until it paid $3,000 to the off-duty police officers who had worked security last year, money that was supposed to be paid by D'Alessandro.

The major differences between the two shows are that the Ellsworth Avenue show has a mix of crafts, antiques, commercial booths and a Sunday farmers market. Howard Alan has his usual selection of quality exhibitors.

Here are links to the articles in the Pittsburgh papers:
Saturday "Low turnout spurs some artists to leave festival"
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_85560.html

Sunday: "Shadyside Arts Festival 'disintegrates'" http://www.post-gazette.com/neigh_city/20020811artsfestcity2p2.asp

Monday was much more positive: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_85753.html

Three Rivers Arts Festival 2002
Here's one I haven't done in two years after doing it consistently for about 20 years. They had stopped advertising about 12 or 13 years ago and it took it's toll on the lack of local attendance. We did see TV advertising this year and the food vendors reported a record take, but I'm still hesitant about it.
A Fair in the Park (in Mellon Park, Shadyside)
I only did it once before and had to leave after the first day due to a family emergency but I'm trying it again this year. Because it's a guild show, there are very few spaces available for non guild members. I was told that only 39 people were accepted out of 250 that applied for the non guild spaces.
Two years later
I've now done the show twice since creating this web page. This is an easy to do, well run art show in a local affluent neighborhood. In 2003 I had my best show of the thee times I've tried it and am looking forward to doing it again.

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