MacArthur Fellows Program

William E. Strickland Jr.

Arts Educator | Class of 1996

Arts Educator
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
49 at time of award

William Strickland is a community organizer who is the creator and director of programs in job training and the arts.

Strickland uses the arts, education, job training, job creation, and economic development to reclaim neighborhoods from urban decay.  While balancing a job as an airline pilot with his community work, he developed the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, a multicultural, multidisciplinary, alternative learning center in Pittsburgh, where educational programs engage young people in learning through mentored training in the arts.  The guild conducts an accredited program that integrates the arts with core academic studies, an after-school program, summer programs, and places artists in the schools.  Equal to the guild’s national prominence in arts education is its status as one of the nation’s foremost concert venues for jazz, featuring performers in concert throughout the year.  Strickland also heads the Bidwell Training Center, an accredited vocational training center for displaced workers.  He is the author of Across the Spectrum (1987), a primer for the development of arts education.

Strickland is the executive director of the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, which he founded in 1968, and has been the president and chief executive officer of the Bidwell Training Center since 1972.

Strickland received a B.A. (1969) from the University of Pittsburgh.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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