August Wilson House at 1727 Bedford Avenue. Photo by Maya Henry.

After more than a decade of hard work on the part of August Wilson’s nephew Paul Ellis, the August Wilson House has reached its fundraising goal of $5 million.

Oscar winner Denzel Washington announced the new donations yesterday at the acclaimed playwright’s childhood home, located at 1727 Bedford Avenue in the Hill District. Among his many accolades, Washington was nominated for Best Actor and Best Picture Oscars in 2017 for starring in and directing the film version of Wilson’s play “Fences.”

The $5 million in funding for the house, which is set to be renovated and to present arts programming, comes from a host of prominent artists. Along with Washington, they include Pittsburgh-born filmmaker Antoine Fuqua, TV showrunner Shonda Rhimes, Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey.

Washington’s visit caps off a star-studded week for Pittsburgh, with Tom Hanks in town working on the new Mr. Rogers film and encouraging Pittsburghers to get out the vote.

Kidsburgh Editor Melissa Rayworth specializes in stories about culture, gender, design and parenting. She has written for a variety of outlets in the U.S. and Asia, and is a frequent contributor to The Associated Press. Find a selection of her work at