Friday, June 30, 2017

The Milk Shake Factory Pittsburgh

Great Looking Sundaes at the Milkshake Factory in Pittsburgh Credit: Joseph K. via Yelp.com


Had my first ever milkshake this evening at the Milk Shake factory on Fifth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh, a chocolate malt that was delicious. The place opened in August of last year (What took me so long to get there)? Check out this link on Travel and Leisure to see where they ranked it. Of course, the image is of a sundae which they serve as well along with great looking chocolates. There's a second location on Pittsburgh's South Side.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/food-drink/best-milkshakes-in-america#elm-street-din

Next Downtown Gallery Crawl Slated for July 7

Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is pleased to announce the next Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District, downtown Pittsburgh, will take place on Friday, July 7, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  CrawlAfterDark events begin at 10:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted, at select venues throughout the Cultural District.  The Gallery Crawl, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, takes place quarterly and is free and open to the public.  Bring your family, a friend, or come to the Crawl on your own and join up with hundreds of folks who will be enjoying all of the free offerings taking place that evening.  All ages are welcome!

The Gallery Crawl is well-known for its visual arts premieres by award-winning local, national and international artists, outdoor public art, as well as live music, comedy and dance performances.  Now in its 13th year, the Cultural Trust’s free Gallery Crawl is an evening where everyone in the community can experience artistic expression first-hand and close-up through cultural exchanges across visual art and performance genres.
Pittsburgh’s Cultural District is home to a variety of exhibition galleries where visual art can be seen year-round. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is unique in the arts industry for its commitment to providing high-quality, contemporary visual and public art along with a robust performing arts schedule.

 “We are excited to present the popular summer Gallery Crawl and welcome everyone in the community, and visitors alike, to spend a leisurely evening together in the Cultural District while celebrating summer in our city.  The Crawl is an essential part of the Cultural Trust’s mission and programming goals for the community.  We encourage attendees to meet the artists and to enjoy the offerings that make each Crawl unique - just several great reasons to come for the first time or return to - again and again.  An important aspect of the Gallery Crawls are collaborations between artists and the opportunity to experience many genres of Art in one night."  shares Janis Burley Wilson, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Community Engagement for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Sarah Gilmer, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Program Coordinator also notes, “A few highlights not to miss include the public art opening of FLOW on the Wood Street-T Station, a performance by local folk rock group, Devin Moses & The Saved and definitely the Night Market in Market Square!”

Friday July 7, 2017 Gallery Crawl Schedule

For more information, visit: www.TrustArts.org/Crawl or call 412-456-6666

SPACE
812 Liberty Avenue
Wall Paintings: Storytellers | Guest Curated by Robert Raczka
On the day of the Crawl, from 1 – 9 pm, SPACE will be open to the public as 12 artists or collaborative teams each create a large painting directly on the gallery walls. This live art event will culminate with an evening reception during which the artists will complete their paintings. The art will then remain on view for the duration of the exhibit.

"Wall Paintings: Storytellers" brings together a broad cross section of artists whose work incorporates elements of narrative or storytelling. Acknowledging the attention and respect given to art forms that fall outside of the traditionally-defined arts, this exhibit brings together a broad range of Pittsburgh artists including those working in comics, illustration, & graphic design. The exhibition encourages artists to continue working in their current direction while pushing their boundaries, as each artist is assigned a large wall and invited to work at a scale of up to 12 x 12 feet, with the art itself being temporary and ephemeral--the artwork will be painted over at the end of the exhibition period. Artists: Caitlin Rose Boyle, M.L. Walker, Ashley Cecil, Mike Budai, Genevieve E. T. Barbee-Turner, Jessica Heberle, Alphonso Sloan & Baron Batch, Ryder Henry, Renee Ickes, Nils Balls Hanczar, Ann Rosenthal & Lisa Rasmussen, and Paulette Poullet.
Through September 3

Wood Street Galleries
601 Wood Street
robotlab
"bios [bible]" & "the big picture"
robotlab works with industrial robots in public spaces. It explores the relationship between man and machine by means of installations and performances. robotlab was founded in 2000 by Matthias Gommel, Martina Haitz and Jan Zappe.
"bios [bible]"

An industrial robot writes down the bible on rolls of paper. The machine draws the calligraphic lines with high precision. Like a monk in the monastery it creates the text step by step. "bios [bible]" is focusing on the questions of faith and technical progress. The installation correlates two cultural systems which are fundamental for societies today – religion and scientific rationalism.
"the big picture"

A creative process that goes beyond the limits of human possibilities. In a months-long, uninterrupted working process, the robot artist fabricates a single large-sized drawing. With an inimitable technique it creates a unique artwork with a high level of detail and precision.
Through September 3
Wood Street “T” station building on Liberty Avenue

FLOW, 2017
Light Installation with 40,128
Animated Red LEDs
Artist: Erwin Redl
Flow has been made possible through generous support from The Fine Foundation and the David Nimick Family Foundation.

Social Status
717 Liberty Avenue
The 5 Hottest Women in Streetwear
Photography by Sarah Bader

Social Status Boutique will host photographer Sarah Bader and her exhibition The Top 5 Hottest Women in Streetwear. The title itself is a play on the marketing traditionally utilized by the male-dominated streetwear industry, and popular culture. Female streetwear models often fit a very specific archetype; we rarely see diverse imagery, or imagery that celebrates women of color, or full figured women. Women in general are not marketed to within this industry, despite buying into and popularizing certain brands, while defying gender norms with the 'menswear as womenswear' trend. Sarah aims to recognize these women and their value, and challenge brands to broaden their range.

Trust Arts Education Center
805-807 Liberty Avenue
Peirce Studio
Collaborative Visual Art with
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Arts Education Teaching Artists
Join teaching artists from the Trust Arts Education Department for a collaborative visual art making experience.
3rd Floor

Drap-Art
Drap-Art is an association of artists who use trash as their material and/or conceptual resource. Drap-Art promotes a new trend in visual art that has its origins in the movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Last year, Drap-Art had its premiere in the US at the Re:NEW Festival in Pittsburgh and is again present in the city. It was recently featured as part of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.
4th Floor

Pittsburgh Chapter of ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers)
Current photography work from members of the Pittsburgh chapter of ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) will be on display.
Harris Theater
809 Liberty Avenue
Shorts by Pittsburgh Filmmakers Members
presented by PF/PCA
5:30 - 8:30 pm
Stop by the Harris Theater for shorts by Filmmakers Members with hands-on activities from Filmmakers School.

Arcade Comedy Theater
811 Liberty Avenue
Arcade Comedy Theater creates comedy out of thin air (and audience suggestions)! Stop by Pittsburgh's favorite spot for comedy and catch quick and hilarious improv shows every half-hour. Featuring an all-star cast of the theater's performers, every show is different. Admission is free and all Gallery Crawl shows are family-friendly.

Catholic Charities
212 9th Street
Susan Zubik Welcome Center
Pixels
Artwork created by high-school students from the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild digital arts studio.

937 Liberty Avenue
CSA PGH Remix
Opening, 5:30 - 10 pm (open through August 25: Fridays 12 - 7 pm, Saturdays 12 - 5 pm)
Do you know where your art comes from? Casey Droege Cultural Productions launches its new gallery with “CSA PGH Remix," showcasing past CSA PGH editioned artwork along with new work from selected alum. CSA PGH creates “shares” of art to feed the public’s cultural appetite. Each season, CSA PGH commissions local artists to produce editioned work, which are collate into shares available for purchase by the public. CSA PGH is part of a national artist-driven movement inspired by agricultural CSAs.

The ToonSeum
945 Liberty Avenue
The ToonSeum, Pittsburgh's Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, is one of the very few museums of its kind in the country. Its current exhibit, “Play Time: The Comic Art of Games and Puzzles,” features nearly 100 examples of original comic strip art, plus games and puzzles, featuring well-know and forgotten comic strip characters. During the Gallery Crawl, the ToonSeum will host a book signing by nationally syndicated cartoonist Joe Wos, who will sign copies of his book "A-Maze-ing Animals: 50 Mazes for Kids." The book features over 150 different animals illustrated within 50 different mazes for all ages. Joe's work is a unique hybrid puzzle and cartoon illustration. His newspaper feature MazeToons is distributed by Creators Syndicate.

Urban Pathways Charter School
914 Penn Avenue
6 - 12 Gallery
Annual Summer Y-Art Sale
Our annual summer Y-art sale! Come make art, decorate ceramic pieces and more!

Future Tenant
819 Penn Avenue
Night Fever | Curated by Emily Colucci
Night Fever examines the aesthetic legacy of disco through a diverse multi-generational group of local and national contemporary artists who engage with the bygone era of mirror balls, disco divas, and transformative nights of dancing. While disco and its cultural impact have often been brushed off as too artificial, too commercial and too kitsch, Night Fever will emphasize Alice Echol’s assertion from Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture that “disco…broadened the contours of blackness, femininity and male homosexuality.” The artists in Night Fever use disco to create a rich dialogue about the communities, performances, and self-fashioned identities that emerged through the music and clubs. Artists: Scott Andrew, Androxx, Hilary Harp and Suzie Silver, Gabriel Martinez, Adam Milner, Devan Shimoyama, Pacifico Silano, and Bradley Wester.
Opening Reception, 5:30 - 10 pm
Through August 13, 2017

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
810 Penn Avenue
An ART Show
See historical style line drawings created with the express purpose of evoking funny emotions. The Rev. Daisher Rocket, the Good Leader at The Church Of Daisherology, is a pretty nice guy.

Cafe 808
808 Penn Avenue
Anthony Jager
Anthony Jager is a professional photographer based in Pittsburgh, PA. Having developed a love for the craft at a young age his style blends the designs found in nature and those created by design professionals allowing the viewer of the images a place to contemplate how beauty surrounds us no matter the place or time.

ColorPerfect Printing
804 Penn Avenue
Smoking Joe Perry | Hippie Speedball
Perry’s stylistic approach deviates from tangible figures or structured narratives in favor of a purely visual and sensory experience. A saturated focus on vivid, often hypnotic tones, repeating geometric forms, variegated patterns and symmetry form a template for his works. Although these pieces may elicit a feeling of spontaneousness and playfulness, Perry’s use of design is not haphazard but rather, intuitive - employed with precision skill and calculation, with care that the austerity is tempered with intimacy.

709 Penn Gallery
709 Penn Avenue
This Isn't About You
work by Natasha Neira
An immersive bedroom scene with talking furniture and a ringing phone that turns patrons into voyeurs as they sift through belongings during a period of heartbreak and uncertainty.
Artist talk July 21 - 6pm
Through August 27

707 Penn Gallery
707 Penn Avenue
Body in the Landscape of the Mind
work by Angela Biederman
Ceramic, clay, and mixed media sculptures referencing the body and mind depict personal and natural landscapes, and the internal and external self.
Artist talk July 28 – 6pm
Through August 27

Agnes R. Katz Plaza
Penn Avenue & 7th Street
Carnegie Library and Friends!
You can make keepsake buttons. You can take a spin on the prize wheel. You can purchase excellent books from our Friends to benefit the Downtown Library. Please stop by!

Devin Moses & The Saved
Devin Moses released his first album, The Lawrenceville Sessions in the summer of 2014 in Pittsburgh. After that, Devin began to put together the band now known as The Saved. It includes Nino Albanese on lead guitar, Scott Mervick on drums, Chris Trepagnier on bass, Derek January on rhythm guitar and Julie Shepard on violin and backup vocals. The band released its first LP, Hit to Hurt, in the summer of 2015.  The group had a release show at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, Saturday, June 10, 2017, where they released their second album, a five-track self-titled EP.  Backstage Bar
655 Penn Avenue

Boxes by Kathleen Kase Burk
Boxes is a series of still life drawings using cardboard and common objects as design elements in complex compositions.
Verve360
142 6th Street
bombyx collective presents

Another Other
8:30 – 9 pm; 9:30 – 10 pm
Aerial meditations on the lines we draw that create the shape of self and the ways we relate to and treat everyone outside.

the Lantern
600 Liberty Avenue
Sometimes I Just Don’t Know How to Be In The World | work by John Peña
Artist Statement: For the Lantern, I am creating a series of three dimensional word balloons that will be suspended off the ground with two-by-fours. The audience will be encouraged to physically navigate the space of the gallery in order to investigate the individual sentiments written on each object. I want to continue exploring how the act of speech has the capacity to carry a significant intellectual and emotional weight. In addition to the word balloons, I will be exhibiting selected drawings from my on-going project titled, “Daily Geology.” For this project, I have made a drawing every day for the last seven years in which I have recorded a memorable moment from my day. I also publish years collections of the drawings in book form. Both the drawings and books will be available for sale during the exhibition.
Through August 31.

Revel + Roost
242 Forbes Avenue
Nathan Henry
7 – 11 pm
As part of a citywide music initiative to support local musicians and bands, Revel + Roost is proud to present Friday Night Live, a free live music series featuring local artists EVERY Friday. Nathan Henry will set up street level at Revel and provide free entertainment for music enthusiasts in downtown Pittsburgh.

Market Square
Forbes Avenue & Market Street
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's Night Market (5:30pm to 11:00pm)
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership presents the Night Market in Market Square. The pop-up festival features Pittsburgh’s most creative independent vendors, food, drinks, music, art, jewelry, clothing, crafts, games and more! Be sure to check out the expanded series of Night Markets that run every Saturday evening through October 28 in Market Square.
Long-Term Public Art
Learn about the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's outdoor public works of art, parks, and beautification projects at TrustArts.org/PublicArt.
Outdoor Installations/Public Art
Along the way to various indoor Crawl locations, be sure to stop and see some outdoor public art installations:

Water Cube
Penn Avenue at 8th Street
https://trustarts.org/pct_home/visual-arts/public-art/water-cube/

The Water Cube is an artist-designed water fountain that dispenses both still and sparkling water. Located at the parklet of the 8th Street block of Penn Avenue, this new permanent installation opened during the 2016 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival and adds to the functional public art work presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust throughout the Cultural District. The Water Cube was designed through a collaboration of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and GBBN Architects / EdgeStudio with generous support by Colcom Foundation.

Art Bike Racks
various locations: Cultural District
https://trustarts.org/pct_home/visual-arts/public-art/bike-racks/
http://artbikeracks.weebly.com/

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust installed 16 artist-designed bike racks between 2014 and 2015. The project was produced in collaboration with Bike Pittsburgh, and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh. The Cultural District Public Art Bike Racks have been made possible through the generous support of the Colcom Foundation.

Magnolias for Pittsburgh
Penn Avenue at 7th Street
https://trustarts.org/pct_home/visual-arts/public-art/7th-and-penn-parklet/
Agnes R. Katz Plaza
Penn Avenue at 7th Street
https://trustarts.org/pct_home/visual-arts/public-art/katz-plaza

Tito Way
Cell Phone Disco
https://trustarts.org/pct_home/visual-arts/public-art/cell-phone-disco/
Memento Mori
https://trustarts.org/pct_home/visual-arts/public-art/memento-mori/

Haas Mural
Ft. Duquesne Blvd., between 6th Street and 7th Street
https://trustarts.org/pct_home/visual-arts/public-art/haas-mural/

CrawlAfterDark
Cultural District - Late Night - Laugh - Watch!
CrawlAfterDark cover charges may apply, as noted.

Arcade Comedy Theater
811 Liberty Avenue
CrawlSpace: Art + Comedy with Carnegie Museum of Art
Join Carnegie Museum of Art and Arcade Comedy Theater after the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District for CRAWLSPACE, an improv comedy show based on art and audience suggestions. CMOA offers up works of art from its 30,000-plus collection to serve as inspiration for hilarious short form improv comedy. Featuring voice-dubbing of characters from famous paintings, quick vignettes driven by scenic landscapes, and faux curator lectures, CRAWLSPACE is the perfect way to round out your evening of downtown culture.
Tickets: $7 (10:00 p.m.)

Harris Theater
809 Liberty Avenue
Manifesto
A Film by Julian Rosefeldt starring Cate Blanchett presented by PF/PCA.  From acclaimed visual artist Julian Rosefeldt, MANIFESTO features two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett in 13 distinct, must-see vignettes that incorporate timeless manifestos from 20th century art movements. From anchorwoman to homeless man, from Pop Art to Dogma 95, a chameleonic Blanchett gives a tour-de-force performance as she transforms herself like never before. Rosefeldt weaves together history’s most impassioned artistic statements in this stunning and contemporary call to action.
Tickets: $8 gen admission, $7 students/members/seniors (10:00 p.m.)

For a thriving downtown scene, Trust Culture.  Love Art? Want More?
Text “TRUST” to 20222, to donate $10 to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.  A one-time donation of $10.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. All donations must be authorized by the account holder. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. User must be age 18 or older or have parental permission to participate. By texting YES, the user agrees to the terms and conditions. Service is available on most carriers. Message & Data Rates May Apply. Donations are collected for the benefit of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.hmgf.org/t. You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to 20222; text HELP to 20222 for help.  To donate online, visit TrustArts.org/support  #TrustCulture

Save the Date!
The next Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District takes place on Friday, September 22, 2017, 5:30pm -10:00pm.  For information, visit www.TrustArts.org/Crawl.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Summer Happenings at Carnegie Stage

For the Love of You at Carnegie Stage


 For The Love Of You
June 30, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

  A night about love, acceptance and support by some of the best artists in the Pittsburgh area. For The Love Of You is a fundraiser organized by Elisa-Marie Alaio for Project Heal to raise awareness for men/women who have gone through body acceptance issues and/or eating disorders. A night of live painting, music, singing and acting along with auctioning off photography and a beautiful painting. We will also be providing food/drinks and raffling off several baskets and tickets for upcoming shows.
General Admission - $25  Artist/student Admission - $15



An Evening of Bellydancewith Michelle Sorensen
 Gala Show featuring Internationally Touring Belly Dancer Michelle Sorensen.

Based in Salt Lake City, UT, Michelle Sorensen is an award winning professional Belly Dancer with nearlya decade of dedicated dance training.

Gala show performers include Maria Hamer, Joanna Abeland 3rd Street Bellydance,
Sahra DeRoy, Evil Eye, Colleen Wilde, Tribe of EOS, Anela, Hakan, Kari Anne, Hamsa, Yolanda Enid,
and Golden Gun Fusion.











Sex Werk

July 27-29  8:00 pm  / July 30 7:00 pm
sex werk A one-woman show about working as a stripper in Pittsburgh.
Choreographer Moriah Ella Mason explores how we perform eroticism and consume intimacy, both in the club and at home.
Through theater and dance, she unpacks the world of sex work: the emotional and economic forces, the movement vocabulary, the masks, and the moments of authentic connection.
Mason is joined by collaborating sound artist J.F. Winkles, video artist Liz Barentine, and the voices and expertise of other sex workers.


Summer School

We all learn from experience but some of us have to go to Summer School. 
The School at Off The Wall makes it easy.

The following classes are still available in 2017:
Acting Camp (Age 12-17)













Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How About the 4th on Board the Gateway Clipper?


4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS SIGHTSEEING CRUISE
The perfect way to enjoy Pittsburgh's great Fourth of July Celebration is aboard our 4th of July Fireworks Sightseeing Cruise sailing at 9 pm.  Come aboard our grand riverboat for the best view of the fireworks in the city!  Limited spaces are available - call now to spend Independence Day out on the water and under the stars!

For tickets, go to https://www.gatewayclipper.com/kids-ride-for-1-summer-holiday-weekends/


 KIDS RIDE FOR $1
JULY 1, 2, 3 & 4!
Looking to celebrate with the family during the holiday weekend?   Come on down to the Gateway Clipper where all kids will ride any Three Rivers Sightseeing Cruise for just $1*! Join us July 1,  2, 3 and 4 when all kids 12 and under ride any sightseeing cruise for just $1! Use Promo Code:  KIDS1


*Offer not valid on 9:00 pm Fireworks Sightseeing Cruise. One adult ticket must be purchased to redeem $1 rate for children. Valid for kids 12 years of age and younger. Cannot be used with any other offer, coupon, Groupon or discount.  Certain Restrictions apply.

The Gateway Clipper Fleet, 350 West Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Looking for a Place to Spend the 4th of July?



People looking for a great place to base their Fourth of July fun, should look no further than Carnegie Science Center.

Those interested in viewing the fireworks from the banks of the North Shore are invited to park at the Science Center on July 4th.  A special event rate of $15 will be collected upon entry to the Science’s Center’s lot. Visitors can come inside and beat the heat, and enjoy special live shows and demonstrations. The Science Center will be open for extended hours on July 4th, from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.. General admission rates apply.

After a day of science fun, visitors can head onto the riverfront trail for an up-close view of the fireworks. Many great viewing areas are just steps from the Science Center parking lot.

Those looking for reserved fireworks viewing can purchase tickets for the Science Center’s July 4th VIP Fireworks Experience. For the price of $60 per person, visitors will enjoy free parking, access to all Science Center exhibits, an Omnimax film, and be able to watch the fireworks from the best view in town - either from the USS Requin submarine or the Science Center’s 5th floor overlook. After the fireworks are over, VIP guests will be treated to a special live demonstration show to cap off the evening.

Tickets for the VIP experience are very limited and sell out quickly. To register, call 412.237.3400, then press 7, or visit www.CarnegieScienceCenter.org.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

PSO to Honor America's Service Personnel in Free Concert

Ricky Manning, "Singing Detective" will perform in concert  Credit: Courtesy Photo


In collaboration with Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra offers a free performance in honor of American service men and woman. “In Honor of Service – An Americana Concert” is Friday, June 30 at 7 p.m. at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland.

Led by Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco, this concert features sing-alongs, marches and tributes to military personnel including Stars and Stripes Forever and God Bless America. Pittsburgh Symphony cellist and veteran Charlie Powers will perform Bragato’s “Graciela y Buenos Aires,” and vocalists Katy Shackleton Williams and singing detective Ricky Manning will join the Pittsburgh Symphony the Armed Forces Salute, an annual crowd favorite, as well as for a salute to George M. Cohan. This concert will be hosted by Dr. Christopher B. Howard, president of Robert Morris University and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra trustee.

A pre-concert performance featuring Pittsburgh brass ensemble, the Brass Roots, will begin at 6 p.m.

This concert is part of the In Honor of Service program, a new initiative that provides greater access and engagement between the Pittsburgh Symphony and active and retired military personnel. The program includes a single ticket discount, presentations by Pittsburgh Symphony musicians at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and a free annual concert in honor of military personnel.

Through this program, a single ticket discount of 25% off any seat to any BNY Mellon Grand Classics, PNC Pops and Fiddlesticks Family concerts is available to military personnel. Those who wish to purchase up to four discounted tickets through the program can do so over the phone, at the box office or online with the promo code “MILITARY.” Tickets ordered through the program must be picked up at will call and purchasers will be required to present military ID. For more information about the In Honor of Service program, please visit pittsburghsymphony.org/military to learn more about the program and associated events.

Tickets to “In Honor of Service – An Americana Concert” are free, but reservations are required. Reservations can be made via phone at 412-392-4900 or online at www.pittsburghsymphony.org.

The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank The Fine Foundation for its support of this program.

About the Artists

Having completed highly successful first seasons as music director of Tulsa’s Signature Symphony at TCC, as well as assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, ANDRÉS FRANCO has established himself as a conductor to watch.

While maintaining his roles as principal conductor of the multimedia project Caminos del Inka, and artistic director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s summer festival “Concerts in the Garden,” he continues to delight audiences with his imaginative programming and energetic style.

During the 2016-2017 season, Franco will make debuts with the Boise Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Texas Music Festival, and will return to conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

A frequent guest conductor in the United States, Europe and South America, Franco has appeared with the Columbus, Elgin, El Paso, Eugene, Fort Worth, Houston, Lake Forest, Mississippi, Saginaw Bay, Springfield, St. Louis and Stockton symphony orchestras; the Chicago Sinfonietta; Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Spain; the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, as well as with the National Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic and EAFIT Symphony Orchestra in Colombia.  Festival appearances include the Cabrillo, Grant Park, OK Mozart and Oregon Bach Festivals.

Franco formerly served as music director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City, as associate and resident conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony, and as Leonard Slatkin’s assistant conductor during the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

A native of Colombia, Franco is dedicated to preserving and performing the music of the Americas. As principal conductor of Caminos del Inka, he has led many performances of works by Latin American composers, such as Jimmy López, Diego Luzuriaga and the famous Argentine composer Ástor Piazzolla.

Born into a musical family, Franco began piano studies with his father, Jorge Franco. An accomplished pianist, he studied with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jose Feghali, and attended piano workshops with Rudolph Buchbinder in Switzerland, and Lev Naumov in France.  He studied conducting with Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Helmut Rilling, Gerard Schwarz and Leonard Slatkin.

Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as master of music degrees in piano performance and conducting from Texas Christian University.

Franco is married to Victoria Luperi, associate principal clarinetist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

KATY SHACKLETON WILLIAMS has performed extensively in the Pittsburgh area with prestigious organizations such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera, Civic Light Opera, the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Opera Theater and River City Brass Band. She also has had the frequent pleasure of singing with Maestro Lawrence Loh’s Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and with Maestro Lucas Richman and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in Tennessee.

Williams has been a featured soloist for the Pittsburgh Symphony Highmark Holiday Pops concert series, singing the Marvin Hamlisch original song “Take Me to Christmas Past.” She made her Pittsburgh Symphony debut in September 2005 with Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and has been a frequent guest artist ever since. She was the boy soprano voice in Howard Shore’s Heinz Hall performance of The Lord of the Rings. She also has performed with the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, and has sung the National Anthem at Three Rivers Stadium.

Williams was praised in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Best Classical Performances for her singing in Gustav Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She has recorded Leonardo Balada’s Encenas Borracones with New World Records and his La Muerte de Colon under the Naxos label.

Notable solo engagements include being the soloist for the Voices of the Spirit at The Peterson Events Center with the Pittsburgh Symphony and more than 2,000 voices, the Star Spangled Banner for the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, performances of Honegger’s King David, Christopher Theofanidis’s The Here and Now, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. John’s Passion and Cantatas 74, 51 and 202, Dubois’s Seven Last Words of Christ, Barber’s Prayers of Kirkegaard, Holst’s Christmas Day, Archer, Brahms, Durufle, Faure, Mozart and Rutter Requiem, and Poulenc, Rutter and Vivaldi Gloria. She also had the honor of singing at the dedication of the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent’s College with acclaimed songwriter/pianist Michael Moricz.

Operatic roles include Margarita Xirgu in Osvaldo Golijov’s opera Ainadamar, Adina in Elixir of Love, Adele in Die Fledermaus, ‘First Mother’ in Dead Man Walking, ‘Love’ in Orfeo and Eurydice, ‘Barbarina’ in The Marriage of Figaro Sandmann and Taumann in Hansel und Gretel. She has sung under the baton of Manfred Honeck, Sir Andrew Davis, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Rafael Frubeck de Burgos, Lucas Richman, Marvin Hamlisch, Robert Page, Lawrence Loh and Daniel Meyer.

Currently, Williams is a chorister in Pittsburgh Opera and is adjunct music staff at Point Park University and Washington & Jefferson College. She is the soprano soloist at Rodef Shalom, Oakland, and the vocal artist in residence at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in vocal performance.

RICKY MANNING, dubbed by the late Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch as “The Singing Detective,” is a greater Pittsburgh native and a 17-year veteran of the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, who was promoted to sergeant in April 2013.  After a short audition with Hamlisch, he was originally brought to the Heinz Hall stage for the 2011 Highmark Holiday Pops performances, singing “Danny Boy” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”  He most recently performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony the Sensory Friendly Concert in June 2017, “Salute to Veterans” during Neighborhood Week in 2015 and the Highmark Holiday Pops performances in 2013.

Manning also had the pleasure of several return performances as a guest vocalist with Pittsburgh’s own River City Brass, under the direction of Master Conductor James Gourlay.  Manning performed in a River City Brass special, Celtic Connections, and he performed at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky, singing “500 Miles,” “Country Roads,” “I Walk the Line” and “Rocky Top.”  He is a graduate of Central Catholic High School and holds a B.S. in law enforcement from Point Park University.

Manning was a member of the Carnegie Mellon University Pipes and Drums for 12 years and studied under the late world-renowned Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies. Manning performs a wide variety of music from rock, folk, country and Celtic styles.  He is the lead singer in local band “Donnie Irish” and can be seen performing around town with local bass legend Justin Brown and drummer Bill Gendron. They performed as the opening band at the 2013 Pittsburgh Irish Festival.
As always, Manning would like to dedicate his performance to the memory of all military, law enforcement and emergency services personnel whose families can only be with them in spirit.  Manning would like to thank God for all of his many blessings, including his entire family, his wife, Sarah Beth, and his son, James.

Charlie Powers Credit: Peter Kahn
CHARLIE POWERS’ playing has been described by The Washington Post as “poised, elegant, supple of phrasing and mellow of tone.” He joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra cello section during the 2013-2014 season. He previously served as assistant principal of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Chamber Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and performed regularly at the White House, the State Department, the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the vice president’s residence.

Since making his solo debut at age 17, Powers has appeared with orchestras throughout the United States and abroad. Notable performances include Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto with the U.S. Marine Chamber Orchestra and Brahms’ Double Concerto with the Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan. A proponent of new music, Powers has recently performed works for cello and orchestra by Aulis Sallinen and Jennifer Higdon.

Powers is a founding member of two critically acclaimed chamber ensembles, the Teiber String Trio and The Phillips Camerata. He has collaborated with renowned artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Ricardo Morales and Peter Wiley. He received the Karl Zeise Memorial Cello Award at Tanglewood, where he served as principal cellist of the Tanglewood Music Center orchestra under James Levine. Other festival appearances include Banff, Heifetz, Aria, Icicle Creek and the 2000 World Cello Congress.

A native of Tacoma, Wash., Powers began his cello studies at age three with Jeannette Chapman. He graduated with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he was a Piatigorsky Scholarship recipient and studied with Colin Carr. Other influential teachers include John Michel, Richard Aaron, David Wells and Michael Mermagen.

Powers resides in Pittsburgh’s Strip District neighborhood with his wife, soprano Anastasia Robinson, a yellow Lab named Maizey, and two Russian Blue cats, Mischa and Dmitri. Away from his cello, Powers enjoys golf, baseball and exploring Pittsburgh.

Dr. Christopher Howard Credit: Courtesy Photo
DR. CHRISTOPHER B. HOWARD is the eighth president of Robert Morris University near Pittsburgh. Howard is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he earned a B.S. in political science in 1991. A Rhodes Scholar, he earned his doctorate in politics at the University of Oxford and an M.B.A. with distinction from the Harvard Business School.

Howard received the Campbell Trophy, the highest academic award in the country presented to a senior college football player, and is a member of the Verizon Academic All-America Hall of Fame. In 2016, he received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, which recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletic careers. He is a member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and the NCAA Honors Committee.

A retired Air Force reserve lieutenant colonel, Howard served as a helicopter pilot after earning his doctorate, and then became an intelligence officer for the Joint Special Operations Command. Defense Secretary William Cohen asked Howard to accompany a 1999 U.S. delegation to South Africa as a political-military advisor. He was called back to active duty during 2003 in Afghanistan, and was awarded the Bronze Star. Howard also served as the Reserve Air Attaché to Liberia.

Prior to his appointment as president of RMU, Howard was the president of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He previously served as vice president for leadership and strategic initiatives at the University of Oklahoma after a successful career in the corporate world, working in General Electric's Corporate Initiatives Group and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Corporate Associates Program.

SOLDIERS & SAILORS is the nation’s only memorial and museum dedicated to honoring the men and women of all branches of service and in all capacities (Active, Reserve, Guard). Operated and maintained by a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, the historic memorial was designed by renowned architect Henry Hornbostel and opened in 1910.  The museum within the memorial offers a unique look into American history by telling the stories of the individuals that served our country through exhibits covering all of America’s conflicts from the Civil War through Afghanistan. Through educational and veteran outreach programs, museum displays and special events, we share and promote the significance of the facility to the community as a living memorial, an educational asset and a cultural treasure.

Friday, June 23, 2017

PPTC Restaging Highly Acclaimed Production before Heading off on a World Tour

A Scene from the Play L-R: Chrystal Bates, Kevin Brown, and Tami Dixon * Credit: Gail Manker


Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company
Miss Julie, Clarissa and John returns for three performances!

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company's acclaimed 2016 production of Miss Julie, Clarissa and John will be on tour during the entire month of August, first at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina, and then at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland! But first, Pittsburgh has three more chances to see it!

To help raise funds for the tour, the company will present just three performances at the end of July, right here in Pittsburgh, immediately before the show heads to North Carolina. Seating is limited, so buy your tickets now! Go to http://www.pghplaywrights.org/miss-julie-clarissa-and-john-2017/

Monteze Freeland returns to direct the original cast:

These will be full productions, including set and costumes, presented in Bricolage's theatre space (entrance right next to ours). We've very proud of this show, and can't wait to show it off in these national and international venues. So we'd appreciate any donation you can make toward our tour of this show.

More on the original 2016 production:

"A tremendously theatrical event — a celebration of the enormous and unique power of drama and how a brilliant playwright writing at the top of his game can levitate an audience." - Ted Hoover, City Paper

"A riveting reinvention ... an inspired transfer." - Sharon Eberson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Miss Julie, Clarissa and John
By Mark Clayton Southers
Directed by Monteze Freeland

Original production ran March 12-27 2016, extended through Saturday April 2 2016!
Featuring Chrystal Bates, Kevin Brown, and Tami Dixon*
Chrystal Bates
Tami Dixon

Kevin Brown

 Inspired by August Strindberg’s groundbreaking 1888 naturalistic drama Miss Julie, Mark Clayton Southers relocates the action from Sweden to a Reconstruction-era Virginia plantation.

The dangerous attraction between the landowner’s daughter and his top servant takes on new shades as its taboo nature expands from crossing boundaries of social class to also encompass racial lines. The situation is heightened further by Southers’ extensive development of the third onstage character from Strindberg’s play, who in this searing version becomes central to the conflict through her identity as the mulatto daughter of a slave woman.

The result in this world premiere production is an intense struggle that illuminates cultural dynamics of two key moments in U.S. history: then and now.

"I could go on at length about their performances but — and not to slight them — the news here is that Mark Southers has written a play that is destined for greatness." - Ted Hoover, City Paper
"A powerful dramatic experience" - Yvonne Hudson, Pittsburgh in the Round
Reviews: City Paper, Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh in the Round, Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh Tatler, New Pittsburgh Courier, Pittsburgh Owl Scribe, City Paper blog
Previews: Post-Gazette, City Paper
* Member of Actors' Equity

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Jane Lynch Brings Her Talent to Heinz Hall

Performer Jane Lynch Credit: Jake Bailey

TV star Jane Lynch brings her unique blend of comedy, music and storytelling to a one-night-only experience, “Jane Lynch Sings the Great American Songbook (plus one Guatemalan love song),” with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Friday, July 7 at 8 p.m. at Heinz Hall.

Three-time Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress Jane Lynch from “Glee,” “Best in Show,” “Hollywood Game Night” and more joins the Pittsburgh Symphony, led by assistant conductor Andrés Franco, in a rollicking musical journey. Along with pianist Brad Ellis — the silent accompanist from “Glee” — Lynch will perform hits from Broadway and other classic favorites, such as “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,” “King of the Road,” “Mambo Italiano,” “I Feel Good” and more, while sharing humorous and heartfelt personal stories.

Tickets, ranging from $35 to $85, are available at the Heinz Hall Box Office, via phone at 412-392-4900 or online at pittsburghsymphony.org/summer.

About the Artists

Actress JANE LYNCH was raised outside of Chicago and first cut her theatrical teeth at The Second City, Steppenwolf Theatre and in many church basements all over the greater Chicagoland area. No stranger to the stage, Lynch made her Broadway debut in the 2013 production of Annie as Miss Hannigan in a limited run at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theater in New York. Soon thereafter, Lynch decided to embark on her own musical comedy tour, See Jane Sing, in which she mixes her signature quick wit with beloved Broadway songs.

Lynch is the host of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night for which she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Host. Lynch also recently wrapped the final season of Glee on Fox for which she is an Emmy and Golden Globe winner for portraying the iconic television character, Sue Sylvester. Some of her other recent credits include the Starz series Party Down, Lovespring, a Lifetime original series, Desperate Housewives and Weeds, as well as the last season of The L Word opposite Cybill Shepherd. She also had recurring roles on Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds and The New Adventures of Old Christine.

Jane Lynch Coming to Heinz Hall July 7
In addition to her television credits, Lynch’s recent film credits include A.C.O.D, Three Stooges, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wreck-It Ralph, Julie & Julia, Shrek Forever After, The Post Grad Survival Guide, Paul and Brownie Masters. Lynch also authored the autobiography Happy Accidents, which topped several national best-sellers list, including The New York Times and LA Times. With her comedic timing, fantastic look, and remarkable wit, Lynch is an actress to watch.

You may recognize BRAD ELLIS as the curiously silent piano player on Glee who is killed in the final episode by Sue Sylvester. Other television includes Gilmore Girls, Bunheads, Rocky Horror Picture Show (2016) and the 81st Academy Awards. Film credits include Chicago, De-Lovely, and Beauty and the Beast. A long-time session player, Brad has led more than 6,000 performances of more than 400 different concerts and musicals in New York and Los Angeles, and orchestrates for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He's been the leader on 35 albums for RCA, DRG and Varese Sarabande. Artists he’s worked with include Matthew Morrison, Kristin Chenoweth, Billy Joel, Christoph Eschenbach, Ariana Grande, Rod Stewart and Tim Curry. He’s married to Jazz pixie Eydie Alyson, and they frequently perform as Ellis 'N' Alyson.

Having completed highly successful first seasons as music director of Tulsa’s Signature Symphony at TCC, as well as assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, ANDRÉS FRANCO has established himself as a conductor to watch.

While maintaining his roles as principal conductor of the multimedia project Caminos del Inka, and artistic director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s summer festival “Concerts in the Garden,” he continues to delight audiences with his imaginative programming and energetic style.

During the 2016-2017 season, Franco will make debuts with the Boise Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Texas Music Festival, and will return to conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

A frequent guest conductor in the United States, Europe and South America, Franco has appeared with the Columbus, Elgin, El Paso, Eugene, Fort Worth, Houston, Lake Forest, Mississippi, Saginaw Bay, Springfield, St. Louis and Stockton symphony orchestras; the Chicago Sinfonietta; Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Spain; the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, as well as with the National Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic and EAFIT Symphony Orchestra in Colombia.  Festival appearances include the Cabrillo, Grant Park, OK Mozart and Oregon Bach Festivals.

Franco formerly served as music director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City, as associate and resident conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony, and as Leonard Slatkin’s assistant conductor during the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

A native of Colombia, Franco is dedicated to preserving and performing the music of the Americas. As principal conductor of Caminos del Inka, he has led many performances of works by Latin American composers, such as Jimmy López, Diego Luzuriaga and the famous Argentine composer Ástor Piazzolla.

Born into a musical family, Franco began piano studies with his father, Jorge Franco. An accomplished pianist, he studied with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jose Feghali, and attended piano workshops with Rudolph Buchbinder in Switzerland, and Lev Naumov in France.  He studied conducting with Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Helmut Rilling, Gerard Schwarz and Leonard Slatkin.

Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as master of music degrees in piano performance and conducting from Texas Christian University.

Franco is married to Victoria Luperi, associate principal clarinetist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"Stroking Its Ego" - A Sensuous, Erotic Dance Performance That Strips away Societal Expectations



I've been to several of Elisa-Marie Alaio's dance performances and always came away amazed by the theatricality, expertise and intriguing subject matter she and her company come up with. The current dance creation, "Stroking Its Ego" seems a doozie, one that promises to peel back societal expectations in its choreographed exploration of sensuality and eroticism.

"Stroking Its Ego" runs for four performances starting tomorrow at the Carnegie Stage, 25 W. Main Street in Carnegie. For tickets, go to www.insideoffthewall.com or phone 724-873-3576. 

Famed British Actor included in Special Battle of Homestead Events



The Meet, Greet, Commemorate event with actor-activist Mark Rylance as guest of honor, acknowledges the 125th anniversary of the Battle of Homestead, when thousands of locked-out steel workers and townspeople clashed with Pinkerton guards hired by Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Carnegie. Rylance calls it "a story worthy of Shakespere." Rylance will meet guests, who can tour the steelmaking exhibits and artifacts at the historic Bost Building. The evening features light fare, drinks, and songs led by local musician Jason Kendall.

Friday, June 30, 7 to 10 p.m.
LOCATION
The Bost Building
623 East 8th Avenue
Homestead, PA 15120
Tickets are $90 and benefit the non-profit Battle of Homestead Foundation.
For tickets to these events go to battleofhomestead.org.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Body in the Landscape of the Mind" at the Penn Gallery Starting July 7



"12 Tower Detail" Artist: Angela Biederman

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces Body in the Landscape of the Mind, work by Angela Biederman, will be on view Friday, July 7 through Sunday, July 27, 2017 at 707 Penn Gallery, located at 707 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. The opening of this exhibit will coincide with the quarterly Gallery Crawl, and an opening reception will be held on Friday, July 7 from 5:30-10:00 p.m. A talk with the artist will also be held on July 28 at 6:00 p.m.

The works in Body in the Landscape of the Mind resulted from two objectives bound by one cohesive goal.  Biederman’s first objective was to make ceramic sculptures that referenced the body by abstracting and merging components such as appendages, organs and bones.  Her second objective was to turn the mind and its thoughts into tangible art objects that resembled a landscape in which these body forms existed.

“Thoughts about the body resided in my mind, which came to be their environment, and resulted in depicting the body in the landscape of the mind. In perceiving the mind like a landscape, the natural world guided these manifestations, because growth, decay and regeneration are inherent qualities of both. Some forms, colors, and textures mimic those found in nature, and some materials were repurposed from my environment, appropriated, altered, and renewed, just as our thoughts often are or can be,” Biederman explains. “Together, these objects became a hybridization of personal and natural landscapes, and depict the internal and external self.”

Regarding further influences of work, Biederman also shares, "when I traverse the landscape, I am engaged in my environment, and simultaneously have the freedom to let musings enter, remain and develop in my mind. The features in the landscape correlate to these encounters and abandonments, and the unpredictable discoveries found in both nature and thought arouse curiosity, astonishment and a sense of calm in me.  It is this same experience that I undergo when making art, and attempt to ultimately uphold in final form.”

About Angela Biederman

Angela Biederman is a sculptural artist whose primary medium is clay. The natural world has always been the principle influence of her work, and it is often used to also recognize personal and human endeavors such as growth, relationships, and existence.

\Angela earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010. She maintained a small, personal studio in Milwaukee for over four years before beginning her graduate studied in the ceramics department at Kent State University in the fall of 2014. Before earning her MFA in May of 2016, she taught ceramics at Kent State, and was the Curatorial Assistant in the School of Art Galleries.

She has exhibited nationally at NCECA’s Providence and Philadelphia conferences, locally where she resides in Pittsburgh, and regionally in Kent, Cleveland, Columbus, Milwaukee, and the John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
For more information, please visit www.angelabiederman.com.

"Sometimes I Just Don't Know How to be in the World" Opens July 7 at Landmark Buiklding

Exhibit of Work by John Pena Opens July 7 at the Landmark Building

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is excited to announce Sometimes I Just Don’t Know How To Be In The World, works by John Peña, will be on display July 7 through August 31, 2017 at the Lantern Building, 600 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. The exhibit will open with the quarterly Gallery Crawl and an opening reception will be held July 7 from 5:30-10:00 p.m. An artist talk will be held August 10 at 6:00 p.m.

Sometimes I Just Don’t Know How To Be In The World consists of a series of three-dimensional word balloons that will be suspended off the ground with two-by-fours. The audience will be encouraged to physically navigate the space of the gallery in order to investigate the individual sentiments written on each object, completing the special narrative. “I want to continue exploring how the act of speech has the capacity to carry a significant intellectual and emotional weight,” shares Peña of the exhibit.

In addition to the word balloons, Peña will exhibit selected drawings from an on-going project titled Daily Geology. This project consists of a collection of daily compositions that Peña has drawn over the past seven years, recording a memorable moment from his day. “I am interested in slow and gradual actions that over a sufficient period of time begin to carve out and shape forms that are monumental and powerful. In effect, I am creating an art practice that mimics geological processes like drift and erosion. With “Daily Geology,” no given entry carries that much important. It is only when they are put together that they gain a momentum to illuminate a larger story, one that hopefully evokes an appreciation for the ordinary and daily experiences of my life,” Peña states of the process.

About John Peña

John Peña is a multidisciplinary artist, illustrator and educator from the desert of Washington state. He makes art as a way of exploring the natural world and his daily interactions. A few of John’s projects include: racing with clouds, sending a letter to the Pacific Ocean every day for the last twelve years, making daily drawings about his life and constructing large-scale plaster word balloons that are precariously balanced on two by fours. John has attended a number of residences including The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art & Fine Art Work Center in Provincetown, MA. He currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.

For more information about John Peña, please visit www.johnpena.net and follow him on Instagram @johnpenastudio.

Lantern Building
Donated by PNC, the Lantern Building, located at 600 Liberty Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh, is a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Gallery hours are Wed., Thurs. from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Fri., Sat. from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sun. from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For more information about all gallery exhibitions featured in the Cultural District, please visit www.TrustArts.org.

Monday, June 19, 2017

"The Christians" - Theology Presented in a Most Entertaining Way

David Whalen and Mindy Woodhead in Kinetic Theatre's THE CHRISTIANS Credit: Rocky Raco


The Christians
Presented by Kinetic Theatre
June 16 - July 2
Pittsburgh Premiere
Written by Lucas Hnath
Directed by Andrew Paul
Musical Direction and Arrangements by Douglas Levine

Pastor Paul has spent 20 years successfully growing his church from a modest storefront to a gleaming megachurch, but he no longer believes in Hell, and he’s about to preach a sermon about it. He thinks all of the people in his church are going to be happy to hear what he has to say. He’s wrong…
The Christians is epic and unexpectedly intimate, an unflinching look at faith in America.
For tickets, phone 1-888-718-4253

I sat through this very thought-provoking play on opening night and got caught up in some interesting theological issues. So much so that II concluded I'd like to have attended a discussion group with a bunch of knowledgeable ministers afterward. The playwright, author of the much acclaimed "A Doll's House, Part 2" that's racked up 8 Tony Award nominations, including Best Play, poses some intricate food for thought about Hell and other doctrinal tenets most of us take for granted.

Joshua Elijah Reese, David Whalen, & choir in Kinetic Theatre's Pittsburgh premiere production of THE CHRISTIANS Credit: Rocky Raco
David Whalen as Pastor Paul puts in a valiant (and commendable) effort to get his points of view (beliefs)  across and opens up the gate to some heady reactions on the part of his congregation. Associate Pastor Joshua, played with passion and conviction by Joshua Elijah Reese, takes umbrage with Pastor Paul's debatable, (and perhaps heretical?) outlook and initiates the inevitable schism within the congregation.

Besides exploring the implications of the minister's new spiritual insights, the playwright includes some more practical concerns such as the economic impact his revelations has on both his church and the board of directors who govern it.

One of the most interesting elements of the practical argument comes from Jenny, a congregant (Gayle Pazerski), who confronts the minister with less than admirable motives some of his flock have attributed to the beleaguered cleric.

In addition to 90 minutes of scintillating dialogue, the audience gets treated to some fine Gospel music sung by Monteze Freeland, Natalie Hatcher and Missy Moreno that's part of the church service that anchors the play. It's like a mini concert full of spirit and electrifying harmony.

Coupled with the "Act of God," currently getting a staging at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, local drama lovers can certainly get their theological fix in a pair of contrasting plays that are both presented in an extraordinarily entertaining way.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

O'Jays Join Pittsburgh Symphony at Heinz Hall June 29

O'Jays Coming to Heinz Hall Credit: Courtesy Photo

Icons of the 1970s R&B and soul sound, the O’Jays, join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for a summer concert that’s sure to sizzle on Thursday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Heinz Hall.

The soundtrack of multiple generations, the O’Jays — with founding members Walter Williams and Eddie Levert — will perform their legendary hits with an orchestral twist provided by Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco and the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Throughout their career, the O'Jays have achieved 10 gold albums, nine platinum albums and 10 #1 hits. The audience will shake their groove things to songs from these Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees such as “Love Train,” “Put Your Hands Together,” “I Love Music” and many more.

Tickets, ranging from $39 to $119, are available at the Heinz Hall Box Office, via phone at 412-392-4900 or online at pittsburghsymphony.org/summer.

About the Artists

THE O'JAYS are touring history, a connection to an era and a sound that formed the soundtrack for the lives of several generations. The O’Jays are still hitting the road with the same electrifying energy they’ve had for more than 50 years.

Walter Williams and Eddie Levert first met when they were the ages of six and seven respectively. As teenagers in Canton, Ohio, they formed a band originally consisting of Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles. In 1963, the band took the name The O'Jays in tribute to Cleveland radio disc jockey Eddie O'Jay. Several members have changed, but the core, original lead singers Eddie Levert and Walter Williams, continue to front the group.

In 1972, Gamble & Huff, a team of producers and songwriters with whom the O'Jays had been working for several years, signed the group to their Philadelphia International label.  With this magic formula, often called The Sound of Philadelphia, The O’Jays scored the first number 1 and million-seller, “Backstabbers.” Subsequently, they succeeded with various chart-topping pop and R&B singles including “Love Train,” “Put Your Hands Together,”  “For the Love of Money,”  “I Love Music,”  “Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby (Sweet, Tender, Love),” “Livin’ for the Weekend” and  “Use Ta Be My Girl.” This success propelled The O’Jays to be the first black vocal group to perform in arenas throughout America during the ’70s and ’80s.

Levert and Williams have a rare lifelong bond that few of us will ever experience; friends and partners for almost 65 years.
“We still appreciate our friendship, dedication to each other and the group and our love for good music." Walter continues, "We probably could have had great solo careers, but I don't think either one of us could have ever have been as big as The O'Jays."

Williams has battled multiple sclerosis for 30 years and continues to execute his dance moves with perfection when performing onstage with the group. Williams is also a volunteer national ambassador for the MS Society and a spokesperson for MS Active Source. Levert is known for his raspy voice and has a range that takes him from alto to second tenor. Levert teamed up with his son, Gerald, for a duet on  “Baby Hold on to Me,” which hit number one on the R&B charts. Levert has also mentored his very successful sons, Gerald and Sean, who became major forces in the music industry.

The O'Jays were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2005 and honored with BET's Life Time Achievement Award in 2009. In 2013, they were inducted into The Official R&B Music Hall of Fame. Today, the songs of The O’Jays are still being used in many movies, commercials and TV shows. “For the Love of Money” continues to be the theme song for “The Apprentice.”

Eddie Levert Sr., Walter Williams Sr. and Eric Nolan Grant, who joined the group in 1995, continue to thrill fans today. Throughout their career The O'Jays have achieved 10 gold albums, nine platinum albums and 10 #1 hits. It's been a long journey but thanks to the fans the LOVE TRAIN is still going strong!

Having completed highly successful first seasons as music director of Tulsa’s Signature Symphony at TCC, as well as assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, ANDRÉS FRANCO has established himself as a conductor to watch.

While maintaining his roles as principal conductor of the multimedia project Caminos del Inka, and artistic director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s summer festival “Concerts in the Garden,” he continues to delight audiences with his imaginative programming and energetic style.

During the 2016-2017 season, Franco will make debuts with the Boise Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Texas Music Festival, and will return to conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

A frequent guest conductor in the United States, Europe and South America, Franco has appeared with the Columbus, Elgin, El Paso, Eugene, Fort Worth, Houston, Lake Forest, Mississippi, Saginaw Bay, Springfield, St. Louis and Stockton symphony orchestras; the Chicago Sinfonietta; Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Spain; the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, as well as with the National Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic and EAFIT Symphony Orchestra in Colombia.  Festival appearances include the Cabrillo, Grant Park, OK Mozart and Oregon Bach Festivals.

Franco formerly served as music director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City, as associate and resident conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony, and as Leonard Slatkin’s assistant conductor during the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

A native of Colombia, Franco is dedicated to preserving and performing the music of the Americas. As principal conductor of Caminos del Inka, he has led many performances of works by Latin American composers, such as Jimmy López, Diego Luzuriaga and the famous Argentine composer Ástor Piazzolla.

Born into a musical family, Franco began piano studies with his father, Jorge Franco. An accomplished pianist, he studied with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jose Feghali, and attended piano workshops with Rudolph Buchbinder in Switzerland, and Lev Naumov in France.  He studied conducting with Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Helmut Rilling, Gerard Schwarz and Leonard Slatkin.

Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as master of music degrees in piano performance and conducting from Texas Christian University.

Franco is married to Victoria Luperi, associate principal clarinetist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Special Program Slated for Fort Necessity



The National Park Service will host an encampment at Fort Necessity National Battlefield on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25.  Troops and Native re-enactors will perform fort construction activities and military exercises.  They will present an accurate, historical portrayal of dress, customs, manners and activities of warriors and soldiers of the French & Indian War.  Their camps will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days.  

As the French were moving into the Ohio River Valley in 1754, Native nations wanted assurance from the British that they would be committed allies and trading partners.  The weekend’s events highlight the negotiations between the Natives and British about British commitment in securing the area from the French.

 Tanagharisson, known as the Half King, was a Seneca emissary in the Ohio River Valley, monitoring activities there for the Iroquois Confederacy.  Visitors can witness these discussions as they explore the campsites of Ensign Ward’s Company and Half King’s Native Allies History talks and demonstrations of historic black powder weapons will begin at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.  The 3:00 program will be a re-enactment of the surrender conference at Trent’s Fort.

Following the conference, at 4:00 p.m there will be an artillery firing Demonstration.  Admission to the park is free.  For more information on this and other programs at Fort Necessity, please call (724) 329-5512 or visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/fone.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Diana Krall Coming to Benedum Center June 27

Jazz Vocalist Diana Krall Credit: Mary McCartney


The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning jazz pianist and world-renowned singer, Diana Krall, will perform on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at 8:00 p.m., at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  This performance is part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents Series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Tickets ($57.50-$157.50) are available at these Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s official ticket sources: TrustArts.org, by phone at 412-456-6666, or in person at the Box Office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue.

Special offer! Tickets for this show include a copy of Diana Krall’s most recent album. When ordering online, patrons will receive an email with instructions on how to redeem this offer following your ticket purchase. Please allow 7 business days for this email to arrive.

Ms. Krall announced the 2017-2018 World Tour in support of her new album, “Turn Up The Quiet” (released on Verve Records, May 5) earlier this year.  The new album celebrates Ms. Krall’s return to Jazz and The Great American Songbook, reuniting the artist with GRAMMY® Award-winning producer, Tommy Lipuma.

Krall's world tour kicked off in North America on June 2 in Minneapolis, MN at The State Theater.  The European leg of the tour will begin September 10 in Vejle, Denmark at the Musikteater and also features two nights at The Royal Albert Hall in London on September 27 and 28. For a complete list of cities on the tour, including Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center, please visit:  www.dianakrall.com/tour.

Diana Krall is the only jazz singer to have eight albums debut at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. To date, her albums have garnered five Grammy® Awards, eight Juno® Awards and have also earned nine gold, three platinum and seven multi-platinum albums. Krall's unique artistry transcends any single musical style and has made her one of the most recognizable artists of our time.
Pittsburgh Jazz Festival Outdoors Credit: Courtesy Photo

he Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is proud to present the 2017 Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival (PJLIF). This year’s festival kicks-off with a ticketed performance of multi-Grammy Award winner, David Sanborn live at the August Wilson Center on June 16 and closes with Latin uber group, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra on June 18.

“In its 7th year, the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival has developed a brand of excellence and commitment to our jazz roots while exploring many perspectives on this music we love,” shared Janis Burley Wilson, Vice President, Strategic Partnership and Community Engagement and Director of Jazz Programs at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

The three day festival also features internationally renowned and multi-Grammy award-winner Angelique Kidjo on Saturday June 17. Kidjo, is one of the greatest international music artists today and was named by Time Magazine as “Africa’s premier diva.”  Kidjo’s appearance is a ticketed performance at the August Wilson Center.

Free concerts on outdoor stages are always the highlight at the PJLIF, and this year’s festival will not disappoint with all-star group Hudson leading the way.  This quartet is comprised of legendary musicians, Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, John Medeski and Larry Grenadier coming together to create a distinct, remarkable sound. Internationally-acclaimed trumpeter/composer and Pittsburgh favorite, Sean Jones returns to this year’s festival, and will premiere a commissioned work reflecting the political and social discourse that we are experiencing in the U.S. Each new composition is influenced by the writings of James Baldwin, and will personify the current social and cultural issues plaguing the country.

To enhance the festival goers experience, the celebration will start Friday night with a bash at the 9th Street Stage – AFROHEAT!  – a 3-hour party featuring DJ SMI spinning deep & funky Afrobeat, Afrohouse, Afrolatin, Afrofuture and AfroBrazilian rhythm’s that will keep you dancing the night away! The PJLIF will also have a JazzLive pub crawl, jam sessions, artist booths, vinyl record boutique, food trucks and a craft beer garden.

The second installment of Rhythm & Groove 2017, a large scale jazz soiree takes place on June 16th at the August Wilson Center featuring the Caribbean vibes of Elan Trotman’s Topicality, classic, jazz standards by Allan Harris, Latin grooves of Noel Quintana’s Latin Orchestra and a special appearance by Sean Jones.  General admission and VIP tickets for Rhythm & Groove are available at $50 for the party and $250 for the full VIP experience that includes pre David Sanborn show cocktails, meet and greet with the artist, and a VIP lounge throughout the evening with open bar and hors d’ouevres, plus VIP seating at each outdoor stage during the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival.  Tickets for Rhythm and Groove 2017 are available at https://trustarts.org/production/53421/rhythm-and-groove.

Tickets for David Sanborn and Angelique Kidjo are available at these Pittsburgh Cultural Trust official ticket sources: www.TrustArts.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or in person at the Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.
The performances on the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival outdoor stages are free but also have VIP seating available.  To become a JazzLive Friend and receive VIP benefits visit http://pittsburghjazzlive.com/support/jazzlive-friends/.