Sweetwater Center for the Arts is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. At Sweetwater, our mission is simple: to enrich the lives of children and adults in the community we serve by providing excellence in arts education and cultural programs.
Sweetwater offers nearly 400 classes, workshops, and lectures annually in the visual, performing, literary and culinary arts for children, teens, and adults at every skill level, from beginner to experienced. Sweetwater's multidisciplinary approach includes classes in ceramics/sculpture, cooking, drawing, painting, photography, jewelry & metalsmithing, fiber arts, traditional crafts as well as private music lessons.
Our vision is to thrive as a regional asset and to lead innovative, relevant arts and cultural programming throughout the region. Our values of Community, Classes, and Culture help us focus on serving communities as a regional asset, providing programming of the highest artistic quality, and creating an environment that supports excellence in the arts. We collaborate with schools and other community organizations to provide affordable and accessible opportunities; most of our outreach initiatives target underserved and at-risk youth. Sweetwater also continues to offer every student who wishes to attend a class the opportunity to do so through our need-based scholarship program. Sweetwater passionately believes that the foundation of arts education and skill development are critical to the individual regardless of his or her age or career path. Through inquiry-based instruction, students explore new pathways into topics that make them more alive and relevant. Classes and workshops inspire core competencies that include: Imagination, Creativity, Innovation, Transformation, Problem Solving, Team Building, and Presentation.
In addition to educational programming, Sweetwater provides cultural programming that is open to the public and offered for free or for a nominal cost - including musical performances, educational lectures, and exhibitions featuring local, regional, national, and international artists. Through gallery exhibitions, educational programming, and fundraising events, Sweetwater supports over 300 emerging and professional artists, musicians, and teachers throughout the region annually.
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Barbara Cooley Thaw
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
E. Alyx Hamilton
Elizabeth Shapiro Murphy
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Wayne Murphy, Chair
A. Gary Chace
Elizabeth Asche Douglas
ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Sweetwater began as a grass-roots effort developed by community residents and initially offered a small number of classes in the fine arts and crafts for residents in local communities west of Pittsburgh. After receiving nonprofit and certified teaching institute status on October 22 1974, Sweetwater opened its doors in January 1975 and began operating as a full-service arts education facility. In 1987, Sweetwater moved from a small Victorian house into its current space in the Old Sewickley Post Office building — where it is uniquely situated on the periphery of Pittsburgh with easy access to many areas that traditionally have not had the opportunity to experience the high quality arts and cultural programming that Sweetwater offers. For the past 45 years, Sweetwater has been a cornerstone in the Sewickley community and continues to be committed to programming unique and innovative experiences in the fine and performing arts.
Sweetwater’s Founding Patrons:
Mr. & Mrs. William Boyd
Mr. & Mrs. J. Judson Brooks
Mr. & Mrs. Henry Chalfant
Child Health Association
Mr. & Mrs. Clinton L. Childs, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Frederic L. Cook
Mr. & Mrs. William D. George, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. W. H. Krome George
Mr. & Mrs. W. D. George, III
Mr. Francis Gerald
Mrs. Elizabeth C. Hall
Mr. & Mrs. Arthur F. Hetherington, Jr.
Dr. & Mrs. Arthur F. Hetherington, III
Mrs. James H. Higgins
Mr. & Mrs. B. F. Jones, III
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Lockhart, III
Mr. & Mrs. William Metcalf, III
Mr. & Mrs. Charles H. Muse, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Fredrick Okie, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. David B. Oliver, II
Mr. & Mrs. George Oliver
Mr. & Mrs. Henry Oliver
Mr. & Mrs. John C. Oliver, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Frederic C. Paffard, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Nathan Pearson
Mr. & Mrs. Charles J. Ramsburg, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Henry O. Rea
Mrs. M. Pollard Rea
Mr. & Mrs. Frank E. Richardson, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. R. S. Risien
Mr. & Mrs. Alexander L. Robinson
Mrs. J.M. Schoonmaker, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. G. Harton Singer, III
Mr. & Mrs. G. Witney Snyder
Mr. & Mrs. William P. Snyder, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. William P. Snyder, III
Mr. & Mrs. William P. Snyder IV
Mr. & Mrs. William L. Standish
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Wardrop
Mrs. Mary Wardrop
Mr. & Mrs. James W. Wilcock
Evening and weekend hours pending class schedule.
Please call office at 412.741.4405 for weekly schedule.
Free parking is available in our lot located in the rear of the building, along both sides of Bank Street, and along the right side of Broad Street.
Reserved parking is available for people with disabilities on Bank Street and in Sweetwater's parking lot.Map It
Sweetwater welcomes individuals with disabilities to our facility and is committed to providing the best access possible to our events and programming. We encourage questions, requests, and suggestions to help us achieve our ongoing goal of creating a comfortable, enjoyable environment suited to all unique needs and abilities.
Accessible entrances to our building include the Bank Street entrance and Sweetwater’s parking lot entrance. The Bank Street entrance may be used to access the lower level of our building. The parking lot entrance may be used to access the upper level of our building. Once inside the building, the lower level and upper level are only connected via stairs. Both sets of doors open outward and are not automatic. Office staff can be reached at 412-741-4405 and is happy to help with these doors. All restrooms contain a large stall; however, these stalls may not accommodate larger motorized scooters or wheelchairs. Accessible water fountains are available on each level. Due to the nature of our historic building, Sweetwater’s gallery, located on the mezzanine, is not accessible for persons with limited mobility.
Sweetwater invites individuals with disabilities to participate in our many classes offered each semester. Since each class is unique, please feel free to contact the accessibility coordinator beforehand so that she may establish communication with individual instructors regarding any questions or accommodations. Sweetwater is able to accommodate seating needs during events held in our Community Room.
When you or a family member is looking to take an art class, view an exhibition, or attend a cultural event, where do you turn? If you're like most in our community, you go to Sweetwater Center for the Arts.
$1,000 Sponsors an event.
$750 Covers building operational costs, upkeep, and preservation.
$500 Provides technology updates and improvements.
$400 Aids Outreach Programs for at-risk youth and underserved communities.
$250 Sponsors a teaching artist.
$100 Supports the purchases of ceramic studio glazes and supplies.
$50 Provides one art supply package for classes and workshops.