The Rubber Duck Project Departs Pittsburgh, 10/20

By: Oct. 18, 2013
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The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust confirmed that Studio Florentijn Hofman's The Rubber Duck Project will begin its departure on Sunday, Oct. 20.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust welcomed hundreds of thousands of spectators on Friday, September 27th, when The Rubber Duck Project launched on the Ohio River, kicking off the Trust's third installment of the International Festival of Firsts. Since its arrival, The Rubber Duck Project has been a celebrity of sorts-people of all ages have flocked to Point State Park, photos and posts exploded across social media hubs and the floating exhibit even became the backdrop for a retirement celebration and a marriage proposal. The momentum and the memories The Rubber Duck Project has hatched, during its North American premiere in the Steel City, will last for generations to come. In addition to the pure joy the project brought its visitors from near and far, the overall increase of activity in Pittsburgh's Cultural District brought a boom in businesses, attracting tourism, workforce talent and business investment from around the globe.

"The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has welcomed more than a million people to Pittsburgh during these past three weeks," sharEd Pittsburgh Cultural Trust President and CEO, Kevin McMahon. "As part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's International Festival of Firsts, The Rubber Duck Project has generated tens of millions of dollars in direct spending. The project has contributed to our region's vitality and cultural quality of life. As we approach the thirty year marker in our mission's work of using the arts as a catalyst for urban revitalization, the success of this project confirms the progress we have made locally, and places the city of Pittsburgh in the forefront of the national urban revitalization movement."

"It is such a coup for Pittsburgh to have the giant Rubber Duck," says Craig Davis, VisitPittsburgh president and CEO. "Our partners are thrilled with the number of people that are coming downtown and if you look in the parking garages, there are license plates from all over the country."

Paul Organisak, Vice President of Programming for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust curated the four dizzying weeks of programming by international companies and artists premiering works never before seen in the United States. After seeing The Rubber Duck Project in Sydney, Australia, Organisak contacted the artist, Florentijn Hofman. Organisak shares the success of the project with supporters. "Without the collective, generous support of an enthusiastic group of sponsors, media, and attendees, this outstanding showcase of premiering works would not be possible," said Organisak.

Local partners that contributed to the project's success include, but are not limited to: Clear Story Creative, VisitPittsburgh, Allegheny Conference, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Alcosan, Matt Greene and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and National Resources, PNC Park, Allegheny County and the Sports and Exhibition Authority, local and national media outlets and the City of Pittsburgh for embracing The Rubber Duck Project.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is pleased to support the International Festival of Firsts through The Carol R. Brown Foundation Performance Fund and numerous other contributors, including two anonymous donors, The Buhl Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, The Hillman Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Snee-Reinhardt Charitable Foundation, and The Richard King Mellon Foundation.

About the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts: This year's Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts (September 27-October 26) features companies and artists representing a vast array of countries from The Netherlands, Quebec, Belgium, Australia, Switzerland and Nova Scotia as well as the United States. The Festival, a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, offers an eclectic mix of theater, dance, puppetry, music and visual arts handpicked from around the world. Join us for some of the most exciting new works begin created in the international contemporary performing arts and visual arts fields. Be first in line to experience art never before presented in the United States. For more information regarding the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, visit

About the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh's most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country's largest land masses "curated" by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh's quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts. For more information, visit


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