Friday, March 28, 2014

Local "Madame Presidenta" Documentary Airs Tomorrow

Posted By on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 3:19 PM

In case you missed its premiere screening a couple weeks back, at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Heather Arnet's politically themed documentary Madame Presidenta: Why Not U.S.? airs tomorrow night on WQED.

The one-hour documentary explores how women are emerging as political leaders around the world, espeically in Brazil, where Dilma Rousseff is president. Arnet interviews women from different regions and backgrounds in Brazil to trace the changes there.

There is a trailer here.

The film is a collaboration between Arnet's Women and Girls Foundation and ELAS, the Women's Social Investment Fund of Brazil.

Madame Presidente screens at 10 p.m. as part of WQED's Filmmakers Corner series.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cirque du Soleil Wackiness at Strip Primanti’s

Posted By on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Members of the famed performance troupe clowned at the eatery this morning to promote their show Varekai. Pictures in Program Notes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Second “Art CSA” Sale begins Saturday

Posted By on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 1:54 PM

At 10 a.m. Saturday, Community Supported Art PGH will begin selling member shares for its second season.

Last year, CSA PGH, which connects artists directly to art-buyers, sold out of the 50 shares showcasing six local artists in its inaugural offering.

This year, it’s expanding its roster of both shares and artists.

CSA PGH is modeled after community-supported agriculture, where farmers sell shares in the year’s bounty up front, and shareholders collect boxes of produce all season long.

This year, the group offers 50 full shares for $450 each, entitling shareholders to eventually collect small works by accomplished local artists Edith Abeyta, Cara Erskine, Alexis Gideon, Jennifer Myers, Lucia Nhamo and Barbara Weissberger. (One sign of success: The share price is up from $350 last year.)

New this year, CSA PGH is also offering 50 half-shares, at $225 each, featuring works by Dave Montano, Alisha Wormsley, and Jim Rugg with Jasen Lex.

CSA PGH is run by Casey Droege, Corey Escoto, Blaine Siegel and Kilolo Luckett, and sponsored by Fractured Atlas.

The group is not to be confused with the New Hazlett Theater’s performance-art CSA, which is in the midst of its first season producing dance, music and theatrical events on a similar shareholder model.

Both groups started last year.

For more informations about CSA PGH’s new share offering, see here.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Local Composer’s Work Featured at Symphony This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Carnegie Mellon professor Nancy Galbraith's "Euphonic Blues" is on the program tonight and Sunday, along with works by Wagner and Mendelssohn. Get the score in Program Notes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

“First 3D, Interactive, Generative Documentary” Pittsburgh-premieres at CMU Tomorrow

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 3:04 PM

CMU hosts a free screening of CLOUDS, a film about “the global community of new-media artists and technologists [that] … brings together documentary storytelling with the interactivity of a game-like world.”
Watch a preview here, where you’ll see people looking like this …


… presumably due to the 3D aspect. The trailer also includes some trippy sequences. Ideas about open-source technology seem to figure in prominently.
The film, screened earlier this year in the Sundance Festival’s New Frontier showcase, is directed by James George and 2007 CMU grad Jonathan Minard. It was created during a two-year fellowship at theCMU-based Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.
According to a press release, the film uses a new 3D cinema format called RGBD and a “'probability-based story engine’ to present an endless, ever-changing conversation about the role of computational thinking in contemporary arts and design.”
The film’s interview subjects are an international array of “more than 40 hacker-artists and luminary thinkers, who discuss their struggles to develop new forms of visual expression that resonate at a deeper human level.”
The project was produced by New York-based technologist Winslow Porter. The executive producer was Golan Levin, who directs the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. The film is also slated to screen as part of New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival.
The screening is at 5 p.m. tomorrow, at the STUDIO (Room CFA-111 — the building’s down the far end of the quad off Forbes Avenue). Refreshments (presumably 3D interactive ones) will be served.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Final Weekend for “Congregation” in Market Square

Posted By on Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 12:22 PM

This fun, interactive, nights-only public artwork runs through Sunday evening.

I stopped out last Friday, and especially with the weather warming up it’s definitely worth a half-hour look-see.

The projected lights that respond to human movement — all of which is captured and projected on a big screen hovering over the square — is the kind of thing that gets little kids hopping frantically about in hopes of getting a spot or line of light to move, or else laying on the ground in hopes that their outlines will show up on screen.

As pictured, some adults have enjoyed getting in on the game, too.

Renee Piechocki, who heads the city’s Office of Public Art, says “Congregation” has even been drawing repeat visitors, including hotel workers, construction laborers and other shift workers whose schedules let them duty just as the artwork is in full swing.

Here’s Nadine Wasserman’s review of the piece for CP.

"Congregation," the first installment of the Market Square Public Art project runs from dusk to midnight tonight and tomorrow, and dusk to 10 p.m on Sunday. (Sunset these days is about 7:30 p.m.)

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Children’s Festival Moves Downtown

Posted By on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 1:02 PM

The 28-year-old Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival, which in recent years has lived in Oakland, is headed for the Cultural District on May 14-18.

  • Photo courtesy of Architects of Air (UK)
  • "Miracoco"

The move was announced this morning at a Pittsburgh Cultural Trust press conference attended by children from a nearby day-care, plus two adults in giant papier-mache frog heads.

Frogs, in fact, are a theme of the fest. The five-day event’s geographic centerpiece will be LilyPad Park, a temporary “green space” (partly artificial turf) that will close down the intersection of 8th and Penn, and expand on the weekend.

So instead of Schenley Plaza, it’ll be there that families take in free performances on outdoor stages, do hands-on activities and enjoy what’s billed as a giant sand-box. There’ll also be free short films from around the world, at the Harris Theater. And a festival returnee, the U.K.’s Architects of Air, will plant its new giant, inflatable walk-in sculpture (pictured) in a nearby parking lot.

Meanwhile, ticketed performances by an international line-up of performance troupes will take place in nearby venues including the Byham Theater, the Trust Arts Education Center, Bricolage and the August Wilson Center, says festival director Pam Lieberman.

The venues will feature groups from Spain, Israel, Netherlands, Canada and Denmark. Local talent includes the Brassroots music group, Bricolage’s Midnight Radio Jr., and festival veteran Temujin the Storyteller.

Why relocate, when Oakland seemed to work pretty well? “The Cultural District’s mission is to bring people Downtown,” says Lieberman. Also, she notes, Downtown has bigger theater spaces than Oakland.

And what about that perennial anxiety over parking Downtown? PICF is offering discount parking vouchers with your ticket — a $10 flat fee for a spot at the Theater Square garage.

The festival also has a new title sponsor, the EQT Foundation.

Single ticketed events cost $5 a person for Architects of Air’s "Miracoco," and $8 for stage shows. Multi-show discounts are available.

For more information, see

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Choir's twist on Broadway through this weekend

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Three performances remain of Renaissance City Choir's Unexpected Broadway show. Details in Program Notes.

PSO looking for a few good dogs

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Q: How do you get to Carnegie Hall if you're a dog!
A: Learn to bark and stay silent on command!

OK, it's not Carnegie Hall, but if your dog is obedient and a particularly melodic barker — and, presumably, can stand to be in the middle of the din of a symphony orchestra — it could get a spot performing at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's June 9 performance at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

A form is available here to start the ball rolling — you'll have to post on Youtube a clip of your dog proving itself on a few commands. (Yes, you theoretically could use slick editing to make your dog look better than it is. But that would only last until the in-person, er, in-dog audition, which would weed out the cheaters.)

FYI, it's for a piece by Leopold Mozart that seems to take cues from a hunt — it's not an arrangement of The Barking Dogs' "Jingle Bells."

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dueling feature films, documentary project in production here

Posted By on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 2:33 PM

If it’s day 19 of the shoot for the "Untitled Shane Dawson Comedy," it must be Most Wanted Fine Art.

The interior of the Garfield storefront gallery has been remade for a couple of days as a used-record store called The Vinyl Vault. It’s just one of the many sets for “Untitled,” which in turn is one of two low-budget feature films being shot here almost simultaneously, based on the same source material, as part of a unique larger TV and film project.

Dawson, the wacky Internet comedy and music star, is directing a version that leans toward the raunchy comedy of American Pie. This scene centers on some phone sex that young protagonist Joel (played by Drew Monson) is having at the store counter.

Continue reading »

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