East Meets PGH
Silk Screen celebrates diversity and promotes cross-cultural understanding through the Arts, with special emphasis on Asia.
The Year-round Asian Arts Programming brings local, national, and international artists, musicians and dancers to schools, universities, museums and other venues across the region.
In addition to exposing local residents to uniques and exciting cultural experiences, Silk Screen brings together the region's diverse ethnic communities. Through the media of film, music, dance, and theater, these communities learn and experience each other's cultures.
Silk Screen's goals are:
To foster understanding across lines of race, ethnicity and culture.
- To help make Pittsburgh a cosmopolitan, economically robust city.
- To make Pittsburgh THE DESTINATION for Asian cultural events.
- To educate residents about Asian culture, experiences, viewpoints and issues.
Diversity and Economic Development
As western Pennsylvania works to build bridges between people of various ethnic origins, as Asian cultural exchange of this caliber is necessary. Silk Screen programming has become a fixture on the region's cultural landscape. Studies show there is a direct link between international, ethnic and cultural diversity and broader economic development.
Numerous Asian students attend Pittsburgh's Universities and medical training centers. However, few of them make Pittsburgh their home. Silk Screen provides a strong cultural atmosphere that contributes to making new immigrants feel at home. This will help the region grow. Pennsylvania's economic prosperity at the turn of the 20th century came about, in part, because of its willingness to welcome immigrant populations. Today, immigrants from Asia will usher Pennsylvania into the economy of the 21st century. Silk Screen will play a role in putting Pittsburgh on the cultural map of America.
Silk Screen has achieved remarkable success in its first four years. It has partnered with more than 30 arts and culture organizations. In addition, Silk Screen has built a strong and diverse audience and volunteer base. In 2010, over 5,000 people are expected to attend the film festival, and year round events.
East Meets Pittsburgh
Studies show there is a direct link between international, ethnic and cultural diversity and broader economic development in the region. Southwestern Pennsylvania's economic prosperity at the turn of the 20th century came about, in part, because of its willingness to welcome immigrant populations.
In order to attract new immigrants, apart from financial and career considerations, the quality of cultural events and lifestyle are equally critical factors for professionals. Since a large percentage of the higher education students in Pittsburgh are Asian or Asian-American, providing a rich variety of Asian cultural events will persuade them to make Pittsburgh their home.
According to the U.S. Census approximately 60,000 people left the seven-county Pittsburgh metropolitan area in the years 200 to 2006. As Western Pennsylvania works to attract a diverse array of new residents, and build bridges between people of various ethnic origins, an Asian Arts Organization of this caliber could become a fixture on the region's cultural landscape.
The 2006 update to the 200 US Census reports there are over 50,000 Asian or Asian-American residents in Allegheny and contiguous countries and more than 250,000 throughout Pennsylvania. This highly educated minority has an economic impact on our region greater than their relatively small numbers might suggest, with over 70% earning a household income between $50,000 and $199,000, and many in top positions in the medical and high-technology sectors. Expanding and welcoming the Asian community here will continue to grow as Pittsburgh continues its transition from an industrial to a knowledge-based economy.
Today, immigrants from Asia will usher Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania into the economy of the 21st century. Silk Screen can play a leading role in the new renaissance of the region by making Pittsburgh more welcoming to these immigrant populations.
Furthermore, the availability of diverse cultural amenities like Silk Screen play a crucial role in the region's ability to retain students of all ethnic backgrounds who spend time here as undergraduate or graduate students. Every major city in the U.S. has a thriving Asian-American Festival or Asian cultural events. Prior to the advent of the Silk Screen the art of Asian film was woefully under-represented in Western Pennsylvania, and other Asian performing arts were only sporadically represented.