A Guide to Pittsburghs Cultural District

Nestled in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh lies the Cultural District, a 14-square block area containing some of the finest theatres, shops, restaurants and parks in the region. In addition to its five theatres and eight public parks, the District boasts 88 retail shops and 47 restaurants.

At the heart of the Cultural District is the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which performs at the Heinz Hall. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been entertaining music lovers for over a century, and Heinz Hall is a must-see destination on any music lover’s checklist.

If the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is the heart of the Cultural District, the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts is the soul. America’s eighth oldest opera company, the Pittsburgh Opera, performs here along with the Pittsburgh Ballet and the Pittsburgh Dance Council.

Since 1975, Pittsburgh Public Theater has drawn audiences with its proud tradition of producing world-class theater. The Pittsburgh Public Theater company performs at the O’Reilly Theater. Adjacent to the O’Reilly is Theater Square, which houses a main box office where you may purchase tickets to any Cultural District performance, as well as find easy and accessible parking.

Film enthusiasts will also appreciate the Cultural District. Contemporary and foreign films are presented by Pittsburgh Filmmakers at the Harris Theater. This early twentieth-century movie house is named in honor of Pittsburgh native John P. Harris, who created the nation’s first nickelodeon in downtown Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is also home to Cabaret at Theatre Square, which hosts live cabaret shows as well as jazz performances. Jazz music has always been a special part of the Pittsburgh experience and many live entertainment venues throughout the Cultural District offer music lover’s the chance to hear live music from some of the nation’s best musicians and bands.

Art lovers will delight in the Cultural District. Every quarter, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust hosts the free Gallery Crawls, a showcase of art and entertainment throughout the Cultural District. The increasingly popular Crawls feature music, dance, theater and provocative visual art. The District contains several contemporary art galleries, including Wood Street Galleries, SPACE, 707-709 Penn Galleries, Future Tenant, Gallery 209/9 and Watercolors Gallery, among others. New exhibits are held year-round, and best of all, galleries are usually free and open to the public.

Many people overlook Pittsbugh as a destination for culture and the arts, but its offering of theatres, galleries, parks, and museums make the city one of the most culturally-rich and diverse cities in America.