Completing the Carnegie Carnegie Challenge!

At the sold-out and terrific Pete & Scott & Benny & Joe concert on May 5th, we announced that the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall had received a $50,000 challenge grant. Very generous friends of the Library & Music Hall, who wish to remain anonymous, gave a huge boost to getting us across the Completing the Carnegie Carnegie finish line.

We have to hustle!  Our anonymous donors want to generate momentum and have set a June 9th deadline for securing the match. They will contribute $50,000, provided we raise that amount between May 5th and June 9th.  The clock is ticking!


Since announcing our $1.25 million state grant for “Completing the Carnegie Carnegie” in December 2021, the ACFL&MH has raised more than $3.4 million – from foundations, from other state grants, and from you, our community. (Accomplishments below.)


Already renowned for its superb acoustics and historic ambiance, the Music Hall is poised to become the region’s finest mid-sized performance venue. Upgrades to bring that about include:

  • replacing knob and tube wiring, a sprinkler system and safety improvements;
  • a new stage floor and house lighting; aligning the Hall’s sound system and theatrical lighting with professional industry standards;
  • restoring water-ravaged plaster and long overdue painting.

Air conditioning will delight audiences and performers alike while finally making the Music Hall a sustainable, year-round venue.


The view from the base of our new stairway. Photo by Bernadette Kazmarski.

Library Park opened to great fanfare in April 2022.  It connects the Library & Music Hall to Main Street below via a walkway lined with benches and after-dusk illumination. Library Park draws people “up and in” to the ACFL&MH, and helps position Carnegie as one of the region’s most attractive destination communities.

Our once waterlogged gym is now the Studio. Recent upgrades include a new entrance, new theatrical and house lighting and acoustic treatments.  The Studio serves as an alternative performance space with a club vibe; a venue for art shows, symposia, job fairs, training, and poetry readings.  It is an increasingly popular place for private events — weddings, milestone birthdays and reunions.

A previously unimproved partial floor between the Library and Studio levels became the Mezzanine in January 2023. A compact 900 sq. ft., it dramatically expands Library programming. Tutoring, tax help, teen and senior activities, English as Second Language classes, supervised visits and emerging community partnerships all work better in an intimate setting. The Mezzanine also enhances the Studio as a rental venue. It serves as the green room for performers, and thanks to its kitchen, a much-appreciated staging area for events and parties.


In 2004, our community contributed $500,000 in just ten months to save our grand, impoverished facility and launch the capital campaign that has gone on to raise more than $15,000,000!  Thanks to your support, we have overcome decades of poverty, floods, great recessions, mudslides and pandemics.  We stand stronger — more vibrant and valued than ever. 


The Library & Music Hall turns once again to you — people who love libraries, live performances, history, architecture, green space and the Carnegie Carnegie.  We also welcome foundations and corporations to join us in Completing the Carnegie Carnegie.

Our May to June challenge is the first hurdle in the final laps of reaching our destination – a fully Restored, Revitalized and Sustainable Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. 

This last leg is a steep one, but we are so close.   Please contact Maggie Forbes at 412-276-3456, x. 8 or with questions about memorial or honor gifts, pledges, ideas or just to check on our progress. 

If you’d like to make your donation with a check, make it payable to ACFL&MH Challenge and mail it to:

Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall
300 Beechwood Avenue
Carnegie, PA 15106

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