See You Later: A Note from André Solomon, Manager of Programs

André Solomon began at the Arts Council as an intern, eventually becoming our first Manager of Programs. Join us in wishing Andre all the best in his next adventure at Creative Generation.

For those used to my sharings, this is not a typical posting about arts opportunities. Today, I am letting you know that I am transitioning from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

For those who do not know, my work situation consisted of juggling two part-time jobs, here at the Arts Council and at Creative Generation (Arts Education Collective). For the past two years, COVID-19 provided the opportunity to balance my time virtually between these positions. Unfortunately, with 60+ hour work weeks, navigating increased responsibilities, and tending to my personal life, I was overworking myself. I think we can all relate.

After several dialogues with myself and my employers, I will be transitioning to working full-time at Creative Generation. Though I could not execute everything I wanted here at the Arts Council, I hope my contributions created positive change. Below are a few testaments to the various groups I interacted with:

Working Groups

It will always be an impressionable experience to have witnessed the willingness of our arts leaders coming together to support one another during a moment of uncertainty. As many of us have become accustomed to the long-lasting effects of COVID-19, it still looms over us all. I mention this not to be pessimistic, but to encourage continued camaraderie especially for the individuals who have been affected the most. I do hope Pittsburgh arts organizations continue these dialogues well beyond COVID-19 to address issues in the field.

Pittsburgh’s Black Arts Community

Being allowed the opportunity to be in community with you all has been a privilege. Though many arts organizations and individuals still have much to learn, I have felt good about the Arts Council’s recent actions toward hosting community discussions and initiating the Black Arts Action Committee to help us stay accountable and relevant on these issues.

To the Committee members, I want to express a huge THANK YOU for working with us! I am looking forward to how you help the Arts Council stay accountable and relevant on racial issues. This way the Arts Council can meaningfully and intentionally execute Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion within the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

Peer Networks: Pittsburgh Coalition for Racial Equity in the Arts and National Arts Administrators of Color

I am looking forward to entering this new chapter purely as a community member, but I appreciate you all entertaining my chronic sharing addiction, especially Cecile Shellman who introduced me to this group. I hope to continue my efforts in sharing resources that promote racial equality in the Arts.

Thank you all for your vulnerability and collaboration during these past few years. I have absorbed many nuggets of wisdom, which I will use toward becoming a better arts leader, artist and overall human being.

My last day is April 22nd, but as always, feel free to connect beyond the Arts Council, especially if you need support. It has been a pleasure working here and I’m truly excited for the Arts Council’s and the Greater Pittsburgh arts ecosystem’s futures.

Photo of André Solomon by Sarah Schreck.