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Culture & Arts

We understand our lives and our world better when we’re exposed to art, music, nature, and history, along with conservation and educational activities. UPMC Health Plan provides funding for museums and cultural institutions to help preserve their role in the community as major attractions and regional assets. Below are examples of just a few of the organizations and programs we support.

Music to our ears

Erie Playhouse | MCG Jazz | Pittsburgh Cultural Trust | Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The Erie Playhouse is one of the oldest community theaters in the nation. UPMC Health Plan’s funding helps bring Broadway-quality plays and musicals, concerts, and special events to more than 30,000 patrons each season. The Erie Playhouse’s youth education program and summer camp inspire children and teens to express their imagination and develop creative skills they will use throughout their lifetime.

In 2017, UPMC Health Plan joined other major organizations in Pittsburgh to underwrite the production of a 60-minute PBS documentary film produced by the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild's MCG Jazz program, entitled We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told. The film chronicles Pittsburgh's significant contribution to the nation's jazz music scene and includes historic photos, interviews, and live performances from world-renowned jazz artists.

Our support of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust takes jazz one step further — literally into the streets — with the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival. For three days each summer, downtown is transformed into a jazz party for people from all walks of life to enjoy.

In October 2015, UPMC Health Plan’s sponsorship of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) made it possible to join forces with the Pittsburgh Steelers in honor of former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis’ induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In what was a first for the Steelers, the PSO, and the residents of Pittsburgh, the entire symphony took to Heinz Field at halftime for a rousing performance. Another “first” happened at 2017 Comcast Light Up Night® in downtown Pittsburgh, when UPMC Health Plan’s support allowed the PSO to put on three free mini-concerts for the public with holiday-themed selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Handel’s Messiah, and more,

It’s a zoo out there!

The National Aviary | Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium | Erie Zoo

We continue to support The National Aviary's "Night in the Tropics" event to raise money for this organization's education, avian medicine, and conservation programs in the U.S. and abroad. Senior citizens are a focus at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium on our annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day, and ZooBoo gives children a fun place to go trick-or-treating without the hazard of busy city roads. UPMC Health Plan’s "Wild Wednesdays" at the Erie Zoo allows the facility to stay open late for visitors who want to hang out with the animals through the evening. In addition, our senior walking program at the Erie Zoo encourages our UPMC for Life members to stay fit, and in the summer we host a huge health fair for seniors at the zoo.

However, the best furry friends are the ones you can take home with you! UPMC Health Plan supported 31 Days of Compassion for Animal Friends in 2015, a campaign which raised awareness of lonely animals in shelters who are eager for an adoptive family to love them.

Pop art meets steel-town USA

Andy Warhol Museum | Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh | Frick Art & Historical Center | Johnstown Area Heritage Association

In the "steel city" of Pittsburgh, few artists are more revered than homegrown icon Andy Warhol. Since 2014, UPMC Health Plan has underwritten free evening admission at The Andy Warhol Museum (one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh) during the month of January. On these nights, the museum is often packed. Patrons spanning all generations peruse the exhibits while enjoying hip beats from a DJ and sipping cool libations in the lobby (watch a video of this event here). In the fall, hundreds of visitors to the Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History take advantage of UPMC Health Plan’s Free Sundays event and flu shot clinic to receive a free vaccine just in time for flu season.

Our partnership with the Frick Art & Historical Center (also known as “The Frick Pittsburgh”) allows this unique institution to design community outreach programs that inspire an appreciation for art and history. Programs include UPMC Health Plan Let’s Move Family Fun Day – a full day of wellness activities held annually – and a Student Visit Take-Away Postcard. The postcard includes a coupon for a free return visit to Clayton and is given to every youth who comes to the Frick as part of a school outing, afterschool program, summer day camp, or other outreach program. We also worked with the Frick to produce an activity book for children, full of educational activities based on the Frick’s unique collections.

Not far from Pittsburgh is another steel-making center: Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The Cambria Iron Company made significant contributions to the technological development of the iron and steel industries. We provide exclusive funding for Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s Iron & Steel Gallery & Theater, an exhibit that chronicles the 70-year period of Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s ownership of this steel mill and its impact on the people of Johnstown.