Denzel Washington is honoring legendary American playwright August Wilson by raising money to renovate Wilson’s childhood Pittsburgh home. The Academy Award-winning actor was reportedly able to raise $5 million in an effort to start the process of turning the 1727 Bedford Avenue home into a museum and art studio.
The August Wilson House will be renovated to resemble how it looked during Wilson’s occupancy and will include some artifacts that belonged to him. It has also been said that the space will be used to hold classes for aspiring writers and to host plays.
“I love August Wilson,” Denzel said during the groundbreaking ceremony in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. “He touches my soul, our souls, in a way that no one else I know has. This is just like coming home.”
Celebrity donations to the August Wilson fundraising project include Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Samuel L. Jackson, Shonda Rhimes, and Spike Lee.
“It’s surreal, being able to cultivate a relationship with a significant donor just caps off this incredibly long journey,” said Paul Ellis, Wilson’s nephew.
In 2015, Washington announced that he had landed a deal with HBO to produce nine of August Wilson’s plays for the cable network. According to the Post-Gazette, the HBO project is still in the works and is slated to be released by 2020. This is also the expected completion of the August Wilson House.
“It starts with August and the wonderful people here and the commitment that we see today to this community, and I’m glad to be a part of that,” said Washington.