Carnegie Mellon Press Release: October 21, 2003
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Teresa Thomas

For immediate release:
October 21, 2003

Social Entrepreneur to Lecture At Carnegie Mellon on Nov. 3

PITTSBURGH—Bill Strickland, president and CEO of Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and Bidwell Training Center, will deliver a lecture at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 3, in McConomy Auditorium in the University Center. The lecture is part of Carnegie Mellon's University Lecture Series and is free and open to the public.

Founded in 1968, the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (MCG) rescues at-risk youths by using the arts to inspire them. Each year, approximately 450 teenagers sign up for after-school classes in ceramics, photography, drawing and design. Last year, the multimillion-dollar operation sent 86 percent of participating seniors on to college, as opposed to 30 percent from Pittsburgh's public schools at large. In 1972, Strickland took over Bidwell Training Center, a struggling vocational center. He transformed the failing school into an innovative enterprise that prepares displaced adults for work in real jobs. Located in the Manchester neighborhood of Pittsburgh, the company is collectively called the Manchester Bidwell Corp.

While youth programming remains the primary focus of MCG, the building also houses a center for jazz performance and a record label, MCG Jazz. Just a year after its founding, the label's second disc won a Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble.

In recognition of his many contributions, Strickland has received a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award and was named the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's No. 1 Cultural Force in 2002. Strickland has also lectured at Harvard Graduate School of Education and served on the board of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Carnegie Mellon University Lecture Series is a partnership between the Office of the Provost, Office of the Associate Provost, The Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics and Division of Student Affairs.

For more information about the lecture or the series, contact the Carnegie Mellon Office of the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at 412-268-9510.


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