Monday, June 25, 2007

Leadership Burgh

Mike Madison succinctly covers how Carl Kurlander's article in yesterday's Post-Gazette resonates with the Manifesto for a New Pittsburgh. I would add only one observation about what I think is Mr. Kurlander's call for leadership:

As [Lions Gate producer John Dellaverson] went to numerous meetings and saw and heard about the many resources in this region -- the universities, WQED, the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Civic Light Opera, etc. -- he repeated what other expatriates who visited have said: There is great potential here -- but someone has got to sew all this up. Someone has to get everything to work together to transform these nonprofit resources into a lucrative business.

The emphasis is Mr. Kurlander's and conveys, at least to me, a void in Pittsburgh's economic development landscape. The necessary vision is there, but who will marshal all these forces and regional assets towards that end?

Dan Rooney could be the Pied Piper if you think that Steelers Nation is the way to build New Pittsburgh. Perhaps Mr. Kurlander is trying to step into this role, but I see him as a leader of the arts and entertainment community. He's part of the puzzle, but we need someone who can "sew" up all the initiatives across the entire economy. Then again, Mr. Kurlander's efforts might make the perfect pilot project to get things going.

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