Current Photo by Jake Mysliwczyk
BY BETHANY RUHE - PITTSBURGH CURRENT ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER BETHANY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM
f the city of Pittsburgh had a neighborhood worthy of an attitude, it would be Oakland. It’s the hub for education, medicine, arts, culture, and technology. It has more restaurants per square mile than any other neighborhood. It’s home to the two largest nongovernment employers in the city. It gave the world both Andy Warhol and Dan Marino and has educated Nobel Prize laureates and Tony Award winners. And, it helped cure polio. It would be very easy for Oakland to be an unbearable, selfimportant ass, so full of itself that no one wanted to sit next to it at a dinner party. But that’s not Oakland at all. Rather, it beckons: “Come here. Come enjoy. Come learn. Come
play. Look, we have green space.” Oakland doesn’t want to keep its treasures locked up for itself, nor does it want to rub your face in its incredible good fortune. Oakland became the diverse cauldron of literally everything good in the world by welcoming everyone. How it got this way could be up for debate, it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s largely comprised of institutions designed to attract outsiders, and not just from around the country but from around the world. Starting with a name you can’t avoid when you talk about Oakland: Carnegie. Carnegie Mellon University, arguably one of the best universities in America, attracts top-notch students, faculty and staff from pretty
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much everywhere. Within their walls they host people from all 50 states and over 65 countries. Over 6,320 of their 14,625 Fall 2018 student body was international, or about 43%. That’s a lot. And they don’t just attend school in Oakland. In many cases they live there. They work there. Through their very presence they butterfly-effect the very fabric of Oakland and people’s experience of Oakland when they visit. And visit they do. The Carnegie Museum of Art attracts visitors from all all over on any given day, but those numbers are currently off the charts. Right now they are smack-dab in the middle of the 57th Carnegie International, one of the longest running contemporary art exhibitions in the world. Held every
four to five years, started by Andrew Carnegie himself, the International attracts worldwide attention. Since the International opened in November, there has been an uptick of visitors from all over the US and the world. People from as far as France, Greece, China, UK, Ireland, Germany, and Vermont have descended upon Pittsburgh to visit. And that’s just the visitors. The artists exhibiting at the International come from Austria, Bahamas, Cameroon, Cherokee Nation, Colombia, England, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Navajo Nation, Nigeria, Nonuya Nation, Pakistan, Palestine, Scotland, Senegal, Switzerland, United States of America, and Vietnam.