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AUGUST WILSON
Michelle Mcloughlin  /  AP
Playwright August Wilson poses for a portrait at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., in April 7, 2005.
updated 2/26/2006 5:37:30 PM ET 2006-02-26T22:37:30

The city's African American Cultural Center will be renamed after the late Pittsburgh-born Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson.

Officials expected to formally announce the new name _ the August Wilson Center for African American Culture _ on Friday.

"We know this name gives us a lot to live up to, as does the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's magnificent support," said Neil A. Barclay, president and chief executive officer of the center. "But we recognize the perfect fit between our mission and August Wilson's life, art and all that he inspired."

The Pulitzer- and Tony-winning playwright died Oct. 2 at age 60 of liver cancer in Seattle.

"We know that this recognition, in his hometown of Pittsburgh, would have meant so very much to him. We thank the center for this lasting tribute to both the man and the artist," his estate said in a statement.

The center presents education and visual and performing arts programs that recognize the contributions of African Americans to the Pittsburgh region. It has been fundraising for a planned $33 million facility with a theater, music cafe, gift store and exhibition space.

Groundbreaking for facility, which is slated to open in November 2007, is expected in the spring

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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