The open studio itself runs 5-9 p.m. in the College of Fine Arts Building. Check out the artists’ studios and works in progress. Artwork is for sale, and there are food and drink, and sounds from WRCT DJs. There’s even performance art out on the lawn; we hear a “bubble dome” is involved.
The event also includes "Building BMX," a temporary exhibition space for the university’s interdisciplinary degree programs (designed to get science and art students mixing, for instance). That space, also in the CFA Building, will also be active from 5-9 p.m., with an artist talk at 7 p.m.
And if you need to kill time on campus between the concert and the Open Studio, the Miller Gallery is open from noon to 6 p.m., currently featuring the riot-grrrl-themed exhibit Alien She . Here, too, admission is free.
The big news for the 20th annual iteration of this community New Year’s Eve festival Downtown is: ice labyrinth and Charles Bradley.
The ice labyrinth is a natural extension of the popular “fire-and-ice” exhibits at Katz Plaza; along with the other 150-some events at 50-some venues at First Night, people can’t seem to get enough of live ice-sculpting. Now, as announced this morning at a Pittsburgh Cultural Trust press event by First Night director Darcy Kucenic, they’ll get to wander through a 40-foot-square maze built from ice-block walls 5 feet high, all lit by LEDs. The labyrinth, by Ice Creations’ Rich Rubin, will sit right next to the Fire & Ice Plaza.
The musical headliner is old-school soul singer Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires. Bradley, who’s getting spins on WYEP, had been performing for years, most recently as a James Brown impersonator named Black Velvet, when he was “discovered” by a member of the Daptones. Now he’s got a couple albums under his belt, and performs live to growing acclaim.
The rest of the Dec. 31 festival is the familiar mix of family-friendly (and alcohol-free) stuff, including live music, dance, comedy, visual art and hands-on activities. Plus that big community parade down Penn Avenue, and (duh) midnight fireworks.
Highlights of shows by local artists include a performance by Attack Theatre, which actually had its public debut at the very first First Night (in 1994) and has appeared in 11 more since. Also look for new work by Bricolage Productions (an “immersive urban adventure”) and Miniature Curiosa (a video-enabled puppet-theater spectacle titled It Was the Coldest Winter Ever).
But really, there’s too much more to name — the vast majority of it indoors — and it’s all accessible for the price of an $8 First Night button ($10 at the door); children ages 5 and under are admitted free. A handful of events require free seating vouchers, available in advance.
For a complete schedule for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, and how to get buttons, see www.TrustArts.org/FirstNightPGH.
If you’re looking for further commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, and don’t mind braving Light Up Night traffic, Prime Stage Theatre has an event for you.
The Kennedy Legacy is a short program of readings of excerpts from some of JFK’s key speeches, performed by local actors. Dek Ingraham directs.
There will also be audience discussion by folks who remember where they were on Nov. 22, 1963.
The reading’s at Max’s Allegheny Tavern, on the North Side. It starts with hors d’oeuvres at 7 p.m.
The one-hour reading begins at 7:30 p.m. (meaning you can leave in time to catch the fireworks, at 9:30).
Max’s is at 537 Suismon St. Tickets are $15 and available in advance only at www.primestage.com.
Why hasn’t someone thought of this before? Raising funds for typhoon victims by teaching people how to kick butt.
Tonight, Ryer Martial Arts Academy, in Oakland, is hosting an Intro to Filipino Martial Arts Workshop.
The class will be taught by Master Zach Whitson, who is a student of Grandmaster Cacoy Canete, a Filipino working in the relief effort overseas. The two are pictured. Whitson is founder of the Counterpoint Tactical System affiliate of martial-arts studios.
The workshop is open to anyone 13 and up.
Filipino martial arts is known for its heritage of stick fighting, as pictured, as well as other weaponry.
“This workshop will be a wonderful way to help the Filipino people in this time of great need as well as immerse yourself into the martial history and warrior culture of the Philippines,” says Ryer Academy owner Joshua Ryer in a statement.
Similar fund-raising workshops are being held at martial-arts studios in several other cities across the U.S.
Ryer Martial Arts Academy is located at 5440 Centre Ave. Learn more at www.ryeracademy.com.
Writer Matthew Newton continues his chronicles of life during the Great Recession with "In Case of Emergency," the zine that's the first publication of his new small press, No Empire. The launch is tomorrow night, in Braddock; details in Program Notes.
Amazing Books, which succeeded Awesome Books as Downtown’s only independent bookseller, holds its official opening party tomorrow evening.
The celebration, hosted by the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corp., includes refreshments and readings by local authors.
Amazing Books is owned and operated by Eric Ackland, who in March bought the stock of Awesome Books. Ackland, then a recent transplant to Pittsburgh, is a free-lance writer with a background in book sales. He changed the storefront's name and has been running the place since.
Announcements for the grand opening asked that attendees RSVP by Nov. 1 at 412-235-7263, but we’re guessing it’ll still be OK if you RSVP ASAP.
Amazing Books, featuring both new and used volumes, is located by 929 Liberty Ave.
Saru Jayaraman brings her national book tour for labor expose Behind the Kitchen Door to North Oakland tonight.
Jayaraman, who directs the Food Labor Research Center at University of California — Berkeley, has made her case on national TV, with the likes of Bill Maher and Bill Moyers.
She works to bring attention to the restaurant industry’s widespread low wages, lack of benefits, lack of paid sick days and racial and sexual discrimination. The “tipped minimum wage,” for instance, hasn’t risen since 1991, and many employed in the industry live in poverty.
Jayaraman also calls on restaurant-goers who’ve raised their awareness about sustainable foods to be more concerned with how restaurant workers sustain their livelihoods.
In a break from the political infighting between Tony Ceoffe and Deb Gross, a Tuesday-night forum organized by Ceoffe at the Union Project gave the three other candidates vying for Patrick Dowd's seat in District 7 a chance to make their case.
Everything from the small stuff (improperly managed sewer grates) to UPMC's tax-exempt status got a hearing. But concerns about violent crime and management of the police bureau kept bubbling to the surface.
If you're not still a quivering mess from last night's gnarly Breaking Bad episode, consider putting your knowledge of the long-running AMC show to test next Wed., Sept. 25. That's when James Street Gastropub hosts the Geeks Who Drink Breaking Bad Trivia Night. It's part of a nationwide event, officially titled "Los Geeks Hermanos: A Breaking Bad Quiz," to be held in 17 cities.
Quiz teams can have up to six players (at $5 cash a head). The quiz begins at 8 p.m., but admission is first-come-first-served, so plan accordingly. The organizers recommend arriving at least an hour early. More info about the event is here.
Questions will cover Walt, Jesse, Hank, Skyler, assorted meth labs, possibly Walter Jr.'s choice of cereals ... anything that occured over the past five seasons is fair game.
The only question that won't be answered is what finally happens to Walt since the very last episode doesn't air until four days after the quiz. Guesses are welcome, but alas, no prizes.
Tomorrow night, at the University of Pittsburgh, there’ll be a screening of a classic documentary about an infamous military coup in Chile.
Patricio Guzman’s The Battle for Chile chronicles the Sept. 11, 1973, overthrow of democratically elected president Salvador Allende by the Chilean military, Chilean elites and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA’s involvement was clandestine but has since been made public.
Allende, a socialist, died defending the presidential palace, and tens of thousands of his party’s supporters were ultimately murdered or violently repressed by the country’s new leaders, including strongman Augusto Pinochet.
The Battle of Chile is actually a trilogy, mostly shot on the streets while these historic events were taking place. (In fact, Guzman and his small crew were documenting the big political changes in Chile under Allende well before the events leading to the coup.)
Tomorrow’s screening includes only part two, the stand-alone 88-minute segment covering the coup itself. It was released to great acclaim in 1976 (though it wasn’t allowed to screen in Chile until 1996).
The screening is presented by Dan Kovalik, an attorney and Pitt adjunct professor of international human rights. A brief discussion will follow.
The screening will be held at 7 p.m. in Room 109 of the Barco Law Building, on Pitt’s Oakland campus. For more information, call Kovalik at 412-562-2518.
Love this episode. I'm already looking forward to visit. :)
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