June 17, 2009

Charlie Humphrey Makes the Difference

Pop City has a great new article about the Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Center for the Arts, and Glass Center leader, Charlie Humphrey. He's done so much to promote the local arts in the area and the article is about how he has worked through the budget cuts for the arts and made the groups he leads into successful endeavors. Very inspirational stuff!

From the article:
Faced with enormous – some would say catastrophic – Pennsylvania budget cuts for arts organizations, Charlie Humphrey’s twin organizations – Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts – hit the ground running. Producing the video Arts and Citizenship, Humphrey and his team gathered a series of highly effective, unrehearsed testimonials about what the arts mean.

The initial idea for the four-and-a-half-minute video came from the Children’s Museum’s Jane Werner, who saw something similar in Philadelphia. Adapting it, Humphrey did not want to make it a Pittsburgh plea per se, instead preferring something more universal. “There’s so much time and effort put into fundraising and advocacy,” he says, “we wanted to get more on the emotional, visceral side. We wanted to make the human case.”

Descended from the Westinghouse Air Brake Humphreys, he also has McClintick-Marshall Steel and Fisher Scientific blood in his veins. Humphrey went to college in Walla Walla, Washington, studied philosophy, dabbled in radio, then returned home.

Taking a job at WQED-FM in 1981, he spent four years working for the legendary Ceci Sommers, learning the not-for-profit world from the inside. Producing radio shows and working fundraising, “I cut my teeth at QED,” Humphrey recalls. “Budgeting. Financials. Asking people for money.” A management training program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “changed my life,” he says.
Read the rest here.

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