Facing The Music In Pittsburgh

It’s trial by fire time for 25 arts and culture organizations in Pittsburgh, as the city’s Allegheny Regional Asset District prepares to distribute some $78 million in funds. Rather than simply considering grant applications, the RAD board grills representatives of applying groups at a series of public meetings, then renders its decisions based on the board’s impressions of the stability of the applicants. This year, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, which recently dropped its live orchestra and is struggling to stay afloat, is on the hot seat, with the RAD board worrying that PBT is “draining its endowment to balance its budget.”