by Joe Vennare, Storyteller

New Hazlett Theater

The story of starting again is one that we Pittsburghers are familiar with. A narrative that we know all too well. One that, dare I say, we’ve come to embrace.

The steel boom that built our city could just as easily brought us down when it went bust. But, instead of breaking we came together, like carbon and iron. We formed an alloy capable of withstanding the elements. One that would come to define the revival by the rivers.

The results of this restart, of this revival can be seen all across this city. There’s a touch of resilience at every turn. A palpable history and sense of brilliance that are redefining our direction.

The Same Story, a New Narrative

At TEDxGrandviewAve we’ve made it our mission to showcase the people and ideas that are playing a pivotal role in this restart. So, on April 26, 2014 that’s exactly what we plan to do. When the speakers take the stage at the New Hazlett Theater their ideas will be added those thoughts capable of setting a new course. Preserving the past while preparing for the future.

Which is to be expected, given the restart story of Pittsburgh that we know. But, so fitting given the resilience of the New Hazlett that might be overlooked.

The History of the New Hazlett


In recent years Pittsburgh has become home to a number startup spaces and business accelerators. During that same time, the New Hazlett has served as an incubator for the arts. It’s history mirrors that of the city it resides in.

History – Thanks to Andrew Carnegie, the New Hazlett was built in 1889. Originally it was the Carnegie Free Public Library and Music Hall – the first of it’s kind. Later, in 1980 the Public Library and Music Hall was renamed in honor of Theodore L. Hazlett Jr, a civic leader who supported the arts and worked to rid the city of smog.

Resilience – When the hall was threatened by demolition in 1967, the community stepped up (as we’ve been known to do) to secure the necessary funding for a renovation.

Defining the future – Flashforward to the present day and this nonprofit theater continues to thrive and as an active component of PIttsburgh’s arts community.

And on April 26, 2014 the New Hazlett will play host to a performance that encompasses the arts, but doesn’t stop there. We’ll explore technology and education, creativity and innovation as we engineer the businesses, relationships and communities as we continue to redefine Pittsburgh.