Pittsburgh Visual Arts Groups Begin Negotiations to Merge

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Members of the boards of directors for the Pittsburgh Glass Center and the Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts have announced the beginning of negotiations to merge the two organizations.

Combining the organizations would create one entity that supports all visual artists of any age and stage of their creative lives, said Charlie Humphrey, executive director of both the Pittsburgh Glass Center and the Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Talks are expected to take between 12 and 18 months, he said on Saturday.

The complexity of the merger, the intricacies of setting up a new governance structure and the inclusion of stakeholder voices combine to make the merger process take that long, Humphrey said.

"We want to ensure that members, students and patrons of both organizations feel they have input," Humphrey said.

A merger is not guaranteed, officials said, but board members from the two organizations are hopeful.

"At both places we have full-time personnel whose jobs are to help artists find grants, fellowships and the resources they need," he said. …