People who like the Three Rivers Arts Festival basically the way it’s been shouldn’t have any complaints about the 2013 edition. But people hoping for something new should find it, too — starting with the flashy re-opening of the Point State Park fountain, on the opening night of the Dollar Bank-sponsored June 7-16 festival.
As the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced this afternoon at the Wyndham Grant Pittsburgh Downtown, you’ll know it’s all on when you see the Point Park fountain, after a lengthy reconstruction, spurting again. And you won’t be able to miss that because they’re going to light the bejabbers out of it in something called Riverlights at the Point.
According to Lisa Schroeder, of Riverlife, the “new and improved” fountain will be the focus of a three-night light-based artwork called “Pittsburgh Spectral Ascending.”
Hard to describe precisely at this juncture, but it involves artists with international resumes setting up on top of PPG place and shooting the fountain with lasers.
The festival, as usual based in and near Point State Park, also includes a river-borne, light-based art installation; more room for the artists’ market; a bigger Giant Eagle Creativity Zone for kids; and — just what your life’s been missing — a “10-foot tall inflatable transparent Buddha,” afloat, by artist Chang-Jin Lee.
Here's an image from the juried show, by Maxwell Perim:
Even the music lineup at feels fresher than usual. Most of the mainstage acts, including openers Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and closing-night bill-toppers The Airborne Toxic Event, haven’t played the fest before, nor been in town lately.
Other notable names include Grupo Fantasma, Glen Hansard, Lucius, Jontre and Red Baraat (pictured below).
Other things that’ll return include the indoor Juried Visual Art Exhibition and that ongoing Zero Waste Initiative (this year especially targeting plastic bottles).
The festival’s also happening in conjunction with several other summer shindigs, including the Pittsburgh Pridefest (June 14-16); Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival (June 7-9); the June 15 ceremonial dedication of the Great Allegheny Passage; and the Americans for the Arts Conference.
And as always, of course, the festival is free.
Each week, you read, digest, and are probably both tickled and angered by, the work of cartoonist Matt Bors in City Paper; Bors, an Art Institute of Pittsburgh grad, is a nationally syndicated artist who was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2012, and this Saturday, May 4, he returns to Pittsburgh to appear at the Toonseum.
He's in town to sign copies of his new book of cartoons and essays, Life Begins at Incorporation, and appears as part of the Toonseum's Free Comic Book Day celebration. Bors appears from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.; the event is free.
On the morning of March 13, the driver of a car — described by witnesses as likely a Lincoln MKZ or a similar model — hit a cyclist at the corner of Liberty and Mathilda in Bloomfield. The driver fled the scene and was never caught; the victim, a longtime member of the local arts and music scene named MJai, sustained serious injuries, including a broken femur.
Tonight, friends and supporters have put together a benefit show at the Mr. Roboto Project to help defray the costs of MJai's treatment and medical needs. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7; bands include The Frantic Heart of It, Robin Vote, Chaibaba and Pairdown. It's a sliding-scale donation, from $5-15.
There'll also be a bike ride prior to the show, starting at Dippy the Dinosaur by the Carnegie Museums in Oakland at 5:30, and ending at Roboto.
For those who can't make it tonight but want to donate, there's a link on this website to do so.
America's very first Carnegie Library — which almost didn't survive the 1970s — is being declared a National Historic Landmark tomorrow.
The celebration includes a ceremony featuring local politicians, a guided tour of the grand old structure and a primer on efforts to remake it as a center for community engagement and life-long learning.
The library first opened 1889 — when Andrew Carnegie launched it with a million-dollar endowment — but declining population led to its closure in 1974. The library, slated for demolition, was saved and renovated by volunteers led by former BCL librarian David Solomon.
Efforts have ramped up further in recent years, with arts classes and more.
The ceremony tomorrow from 1-2 p.m. includes addresses by U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle and Braddock Mayor John Fetterman. The guided tours begin at 2:30. And from 2-4 p.m., there's a "hands-on" reception including access to button-making, screen-printing, music and other activities.
See here for details.
Pitt’s new lecture series on climate change begins tomorrow, and the first speaker is one of the nation’s top voices on the subject, Joseph Romm.
Romm is a physicist and author whose feisty blog Climate Progress is a crucial clearinghouse for climate info and perspective, from documenting the acceleration of our vanishing Antarctic ice to debunking the science-free pronouncements of climate-change deniers.
Romm’s free talk is about how climate change — whose effects are already being felt around the world in extreme weather and changing ecosystems — will affect the U.S.
The lecture is titled “To Hell and High Water: What You Need to Know About Climate Change,” a reference to Romm’s 2006 book, Hell and High Water. His latest book is 2010’s Straight Up: America's Fiercest Climate Blogger Takes on the Status Quo Media, Politicians, and Clean Energy Solutions.
The talk kicks off Pitt’s University Honors College Climate Change Series, described in a press release as “a long-term program to educate students, faculty and staff members on issues regarding climate change.”
“There are some challenges to civilization that are of such urgency that every college graduate should understand them, and the implications of research on climate change are among them,” University Honors College Dean Edward Stricker said in the release.
Romm has testified frequently before Congress, and his writings and comments have been featured everywhere from The New York Times to National Geographic.
The talk is at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the J.W. Connolly Ballroom of the University of Pittsburgh’s Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., in Oakland.
Reservations are requested. Make yours here.
Several groups will hold a rally Monday to speak out against global military spending.
The rally, called "Our Tax Day, Not Theirs," will be from noon to 2 p.m., Monday, outside the Squirrel Hill Post Office at Darlington and Murray avenues.
"As we file our taxes on April 15, half of every dollar spent in the annual discretionary budget feeds the Pentagon," event organizers wrote in a press release. "That is neither what we need nor the spending priorities that a majority of people support. We are calling for a change to our national spending priorities on Tax Day."
The rally is being sponsored by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, American Friends Service Committee PA Program, Pittsburgh Raging Grannies, Coalition for Peace Action and the Thomas Merton Center.
This weekend marks the annual Pinburgh pinball tournament, sponsored by the Professional and Amateur Pinball Association, headquartered in Scott Township. It always attracts players from across the country and even the world — and our Ian Thomas caught up with a musician from Philadelphia, Dave Hartley, who's in town to play ball instead of guitar.
Attilio "Buck" Favorini, a playwright and the founder of Pitt's theater department, gives his farewell lecture tomorrow. Details in Program Notes.
A vigil will be held tomorrow to call attention to a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay prison and to call for the prison to be closed.
The vigil will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the corner of Forbes and Bigelow in Oakland. It is being sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee Pennsylvania Program, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and The Thomas Merton Center.
Tomorrow is Equal Pay Day across the country, and the Women & Girls Foundation is holding rallies locally to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.
In Pittsburgh, a rally will be held from noon to 1 p.m., Tue., April 9, at Market Square, Downtown.
In an email blast today, the Women & Girls Foundation sent out this infographic by Ultra Violet, to show what's behind the rally and movement toward equal pay:
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