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Benedum Center And Byham Theater First Performing Arts Venues In PA To Achieve GBAC Accreditation

The venues are the first theaters or performing arts venues in Pennsylvania to receive GBAC Star Facility Accreditation.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces that it has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities, at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts and the Byham Theater. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the Cultural Trust has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its facilities.

As the cleaning industry's only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility's readiness for biorisk situations. The program verifies that the Cultural Trust implements best practices to prepare for, respond to, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.

"GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers, and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments," says GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. "By taking this important step to attain GBAC STAR, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust receives third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely."

To achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, the Cultural Trust demonstrated compliance with the program's 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Learn more about GBAC STAR accreditation at

"We have been working for months to implement the necessary health and safety improvements to our venues and art spaces in order to meet GBAC STAR's impeccable standards," says Joanna Obuzor, Operations Manager for the Benedum Center. "Receiving this validation is a major step in our Roadmap to Reopening, a working plan that the Trust has been adjusting and building upon since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are more confident than ever in the safety of our venues, and truly cannot wait to welcome our guests back through our doors."

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is also pursuing GBAC STAR accreditation for other venues in the Cultural District, including the Greer Cabaret Theater, the Harris Theater, and the O'Reilly Theater.

This GBAC STAR accreditation is particularly timely as the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust ramps up for the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival in June. The full line-up for the Festival will be announced on Thursday, April 29. In addition to planning through the health and safety logistics and artistic programming for this Festival, the Cultural Trust is also readying the Cultural District for visitors. Recently, poster cases throughout the District have been updated to display new health and safety messaging and the Cultural Trust is working to connect with and train volunteers during the month of April, which also happens to be volunteer appreciation month.

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