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Michelle Obama offers Warhol Museum trek to spouses of world leaders

September 22, 2009 |  3:12 pm

While President Obama and leaders from 19 other world economic powers meet at the G20 economic summit in Pittsburgh, Michelle Obama is scheduled to shepherd dignitaries' spouses through a day of arts-hopping Friday.


In the morning, they'll tour a local arts middle school/high school, the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, where students will give a concert with Yo-Yo Ma, pop singer Sarah Bareilles and country music star Trisha Yearwood as ringers.


Then it's on to the Andy Warhol Museum, repository for the art and archives of a leading Pittsburgh native son. Lunch at the museum follows the tour, and Culture Monster wants to know whether the fare will include site-specific helpings of Campbell's soup.

The newest kid on Pittsburgh's cultural block, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, named for the playwright who set all but one of the 10 plays in his cycle on black America during the 20th century in his hometown's Hill District, opened Thursday and was hoping for summit-related action. "We didn't make the cut," says Shay Wafer, vice president for programming (and former managing director of L.A.'s Cornerstone Theatre Company). But, she added, "we're still hoping we might get a surprise. We're directly across the street from the convention center, and if they ask for a private tour, we'll be happy to give them one."

The Obamas got lots of attention -- not all of it positive -- when they took in a Broadway performance of Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" this year during one of their date nights. Some griped that the first couple and their security entourage shouldn't have shuttled up to Manhattan on the taxpayers' tab.

-- Mike Boehm

Related stories:

The latest news and analysis about the G20

The Obamas give their regards to Broadway

Photos: Michelle Obama; bust of Andy Warhol by Choi Jeong Hwa. Credits: Win McNamee/Getty Images, Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times.

Comments () | Archives (7)

Is Michelle Obama not the coolest First Lady ever? A real role model, vs at a distance wife-of-dignitary. I have always felt Michelle is the way more interesting party in that couple. And I'll bet 10 time brighter than her husband. I'll bet she also gets pissed off at his mamsy-pamsy equivocations and mixed messages, and obsession over perception of process -- vs -- producing outcomes.

Yay Michelle -- please step in an be President. The country would start to move out of your husband's quicksand.

One correction, Culture Monster: The genuine site-specific luncheon would be Heinz baked beans and ketchup, as the Warhol Museum lives on Pittsburgh's north side down the street from the original Heinz plant. Take it from me, a culture vulture who grew up inhaling Pittsburgh's smoky air one generation behind Andy Warhol. (I know, I know, it's all clean now!)

What about large scale art installations at the Mattress Factory? James Turrell anyone?

The Warhol Museum - What a great choice, yeah!!

a. warhol is an insult to art - rubbish at best -does it prove money talks?

I second Wilson:

The Mattress Factory is the only reason I ever venture into Pittsburgh, site specific installations and a bevy of unknown artists with a lot to say. I make a yearly visit, its one of the most fantastic spaces and a groundbreaking way of encouraging multidisciplinary art explorations, I wish each city had one!

http://bit.ly/BizHy Michelle looks like Greta Van Susteren!!


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