Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Art, Technology Collide at Create Festival

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Art, Technology Collide at Create Festival

Article excerpt

Summer in Pittsburgh is a time of festivals. There's the Pride Festival, a host of music festivals and the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which began Friday and continues through Sunday.

Then there's the CREATE Festival, affectionately described as the arts festival's sister, said Kim Chestney, director of creative industries acceleration for the Pittsburgh Technology Council. It runs from noon to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Fairmont Pittsburgh hotel, Downtown.

What makes this festival different?

"It's specifically focused on art and technology. Artists working with technology. Technologists working with artists," Ms. Chestney said.

The CREATE Festival is a place where people with passion for creating things from apps to robots to graphic novels come together to show their work and collaborate. Known as the Data Awards in its infancy, the CREATE Festival started as a largely grass-roots effort, according to Ms. Chestney.

"When we first started this initiative a few years ago, we got a lot of flak for trying to bring these things together. Artists were fearful of technologists, and the technologists were dubious of the artists," she said.

The director likened the earliest stages to "herding cats," but she persevered because she felt strongly that art and technology don't have to oppose each other.

"They are two sides of the same coins when they work together. Together they do things that haven't been done before. Mixing together is fertile ground for economic and creative growth," she said.

Last year, the Pittsburgh Technology Council partnered with Carnegie Mellon University and the Three Rivers Arts Festival for two days of events at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh hotel. Although some were skeptical, attendees came from around the country. Attendance at the first event last year exceeded the meeting room's capacity, Ms. …

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