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Hilliary ClintonThe Manchester Craftsmen's Guild is a testament to the power of the arts to transform children's lives...
Hillary Clinton,
Secretary of State

Quincy JonesOne of the most innovative social enterprise thinkers I have ever met...
Quincy Jones, Producer

Jeff SkollStrickland is a genius, because he sees the inherent genius in everyone...
Jeff Skoll,
First President of eBay












William E. Strickland, Jr.: CEO, Social Architect, Community Leader and Visionary

As president-CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries, Bill Strickland builds partnerships to help the disadvantaged build a better future. He's also the author of Make the Impossible Possible, which includes his story of how a kid from Pittsburgh's ghetto would go on to lecture at Harvard and serve on the National Endowment of the Arts board. The MacArthur Fellowship "genius" award winner is also founder of the Grammy-winning MCG Jazz, the most successful jazz subscription series in America.
“A successful life is not something you simply pursue, it is something that you create, moment by moment.”
- Bill Strickland











Bill Strickland to Speak at Ramapo College

January 23, 2015 3:15 pm

By Natalie Mieles / Patch Staff

Mahwah’s Ramapo College is accepting nominations through Feb. 13 for the 2015 Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference.

New Jerseyans who have made a significant difference in their communities through a lifetime of service or a single heroic act are eligible for cash awards of up to $50,000. Members of the community are invited to nominate New Jersey residents whose deeds, carried out in the state, make them worthy of recognition. The Russell Berrie Foundation sponsors the program. Read More click here

Philanthropy Day speaker sets high expectations for at-risk youthWilliam E. Strickland, Jr, President & CEO, Manchester Bidwell CorporationWilliam E. Strickland, Jr, President & CEO, Manchester Bidwell Corporation and Russell Willis Taylor, Chair of Center for Nonprofit

William E. Strickland, Jr speaks at Center for Nonprofit Excellence Philanthropy Day luncheon - Nov. 10, 2014• Residents see art as an equalizer in redevelopment around Ix projectby Brian Wheeler  | Monday, November 10, 2014 at 9:02 p.m.

Read More Click here




Strickland presents “The Art of Leadership” at The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy

October 20, 2014 11:55 am

The American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series is proud to have presented “The Art of Leadership” by Bill Strickland, President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries.

Watch the video of his lecture here.

For 46 years, Bill Strickland has been in the business of successfully shaping―and changing―lives. At the heart of their unique interrelationship under Strickland’s Manchester Bidwell Corporation, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and Bidwell Training Center share a dedication to helping disadvantaged individuals by offering them exceptional quality educational and cultural opportunities. Strickland will also speak about the National Center for Arts & Technology,  the organization he founded to export the Manchester Bidwell educational model to communities both domestic and international.

To learn more about Mr. Strickland, click here.

Date:  October 8, 2014

This event was sponsored by the Dick Thornburgh Forum and the University Honors College and co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entreprenurial Excellence.
















October 2014

Pittsburgh Tribune

Manchester Craftsman Guild director Bill Strickland stands by some of the images of himself which are being used for a exhibit on Friday Oct. 17, 2014. Being Good is a collaborative effort to document three remarkable locals who are using their art, and committing their resources, to improve distressed neighborhoods in the city.

Read more: 


Fall 2014

Pittsburgh Quarterly

William E. Strickland, Jr.: A life’s recounting in the subject’s own words...

I'm a North Side kid. I grew up in the Manchester section of Pittsburgh and graduated from Oliver High School, where I was lucky enough to meet a person named Fr
ank Ross, who was my art teacher. In several important ways, Frank turned my life around dramatically. 

Read more:



Being Good A Collaborative Photo Documentary Exhibit About The Good People Do In Their Pittsburgh Neighborhoods..

Being Good is a collaborative effort to document three remarkable Pittsburghers who are using their art, and committing their
 resources, to improving distressed neighborhoods in the city: Vanessa German, poet, performance artist and sculptor, photographed by Lynn Johnson; Bill Strickland, ceramicist, educator and entrepreneur, photographed by Scott Goldsmith; and Randy Gilson, visual artist and gardener, photographed by Brian Cohen


Click here for more information



October 2014

The Jewish Chronicle

Akko, Israel, project could pave way to Middle East reconciliation

An arts education and job training program that has been turning around the lives of thousands of Pittsburgh’s underserved for decades is set to be replicated in Akko, Israel, and if organizers’ dreams take hold, it could ultimately help pave the path for reconciliation in the Middle East.

Read more: The Jewish Chronicle - Akko Israel project could pave way to Middle East reconciliation 





October 2014

Jane Chu, NEA Chair -how the arts foster creativity for the current generation of leaders...

This September when I was in Pittsburgh for the Arts Education Partnership National Forum I was also able to visit frequent NEA grantee ManchesterCraftsmen's Guild (MCG) and spend some time with MCG president/CEO and former National Council on the Arts member Bill Strickland. 

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 Make the Impossible Possible has been selected for Common Reading at FAMU, Florida Agriculture Mechanical University For Summer 2013 and Boston College.


  Make the Impossible Possible has been selected for Common Reading  at the following institutions:

A number of Schools have selected "Make the Impossible Possible" as their Common Freshman Reader:

* Frank Phillips College* Indiana University Pennsylvania* Juniata College* Kendall College * Mt. Union College* North Dakota State University * Penn State-New Kensington* Purdue University* University of Southern Indiana * Voorhees College* Winthrop University* Florida A & M University * Boston College




 More information about FAMU selection Click Here:   


 More information about Boston College selection Click Here:




Bill Strickland hopes to persuade 200 cities around the world to replicate his arts, education and job-training program. It's late spring, and Bill Strickland is spending some quiet time in the ceramics studio at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, the art and job-training center he founded in Pittsburgh's struggling Manchester area. ... more