Short List: Nov. 16-23 | This Week's Top Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: Nov. 16-23

PCA Artist of the Year Jo-Anne Bates; Queer Artist Showcase; East of Liberty screenings; Pittsburgh Artists for Puerto Rico

Short List: Nov. 16-23
Photo courtesy of Sarah Huny Young

FREE EVENT: Fri., Nov. 17 - Art

Generations of students at Pittsburgh’s High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) knew Jo-Anne Bates (pictured) as a teacher and chair of the school’s art department. But Bates is also an accomplished artist, with solo exhibitions at venues from Massachusetts to West Virginia. And this week, she claims another accolade with the opening of her exhibit as Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Artist of the Year. Bates, primarily a printmaker, is active with local arts groups including the Pittsburgh Print Group, Women of Visions, Inc., and Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. Her Artist of the Year show, Exploration of Color, includes 40 new abstract, mixed-media prints of varying sizes that reflect her experiences as a woman, mother, grandmother and educator. Working in her home studio, in Point Breeze, she has used her shredded junk mail to create the colorful works, which often employ text to emphasize themes of social injustice; one is titled “Black Lives Matter 2,” another “Black vs. Blue Don’t Shoot.” The lone installation work, says Bates, incorporates donated footwear to communicate the message “Don’t judge me until you’ve walked in my shoes.”

The Nov. 17 opening reception for Bates’ PCA exhibit also fetes two other shows, including the PCA’s Emerging Artist of the Year show, by sculptor Haylee Ebersole. Ebersole is known for employing such unusual materials as Kool-Aid and laundry detergent; New Works is a collection of crystallized gelatin sculptures and prints that evoke an imaginary landscape inspired by the concept of the Anthropocene, a proposed geological era that acknowledges the impact humans have had on the planet.

Additionally, one of the organizations with which Bates is associated gets its own show. Women of Vision, which supports and promotes art made by women of the  African diaspora, presents a group show titled Sankofa Soul.

— Bill O’Driscoll

Opening reception: 5:30-9 p.m. Fri., Nov. 17 (free). Exhibit continues through Feb. 11. 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside.

Short List: Nov. 16-23
Photo courtesy of Renee Rosensteel

Fri., Nov. 17 – Festival

Open the holiday season tonight at the 57th annual Comcast Light Up Night, presented by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Starting at 11:30 a.m., partake in cheery activities like tree lightings and horse-drawn carriage rides. Stop by the Peoples Gas Holiday Market, in Market Square, and catch performances by YouTube pop sensation Maggie Lindemann, Lyndsey Smith and Soul Distribution, and hitmaker Andy Grammer. Amanda Reed 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Various venues and locations Downtown. Free. 412-566-4190 or

Fri., Nov. 17 – Screen

Explore the intersection of architecture and film tonight and tomorrow at the inaugural Pittsburgh Architecture Movie Festival, at Springboard Design studio. The festival, organized by filmmaker Andres Tapia-Urzua and architect Paul Rosenblatt, highlights short films exploring form, movement, architecture’s relationship to nature, and, of course, how people interact with the built environment. AR 7-10 p.m. Also 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., Nov. 18. 1931 Sidney St., South Side. Suggested donation at the door. 412-390-4040 or

Short List: Nov. 16-23
Art by Kristen Kovak

Fri., Nov. 17 – Art

The gray area between the representational and the abstract is explored in a new dual exhibition by Kristen Letts Kovak, opening tonight at 707 and 709 Penn Galleries. In On Looking, Kovak inspects museum artifacts as they appear under spotlights and behind glass, reflections and all. The collection of drawings and installation work titled White Noise, meanwhile, “hovers between objects and atmosphere.” Kovaks, who’s been exhibited nationally, teaches at Carnegie Mellon University. An opening reception takes place Dec. 2. Bill O’Driscoll 5-8 p.m. Exhibits continue through Jan. 28. 707 and 709 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412-456-6666 or

Fri., Nov. 17 – Stage

The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater presents the first annual Queer Artist Showcase. Part of the theater’s ninth annual My People series, the event explores the life and accomplishments of queer people of color through film, conversation and performances. Tonight’s event includes a screening of acclaimed 2017 James Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro. Featured performers include Nick Daniels — The DANA Movement Ensemble; Brittney Chantele; Princess Jafar; Trevor Miles; and Mara Daviis and Tinky Younger. AR 8 p.m. KST Alloy Studios, 5530 Penn Ave., Friendship. Pay what you want. 412-363-3000 or

Short List: Nov. 16-23
Photo courtesy of Ralf Brown

Fri., Nov. 17 – Dance

PittStop Lindy Hop swings into town this weekend for a round-the-clock, multi-venue marathon of dances. Now in its 17th year, PittStop celebrates the Lindy Hop, a 1930s dance craze. Tonight, boogie and shimmy to music by the Boilermaker Jazz Band in the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall grand ballroom, in Oakland; a late-night session features Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five at Pittsburgh Opera, in the Strip. Two Sunday dances take place at the Carnegie Mellon Rangos Ballroom. AR 8 p.m.-midnight (Soldiers & Sailors) and 1-5 a.m. (Pittsburgh Opera). Continues through Sun., Nov. 19. Various venues. $10-20 (seven-dance pass: $80).

Short List: Nov. 16-23
Art by William Henry Fox Talbot

Sat., Nov. 18 - Art

It might surprise some to learn that photography predates the Civil War by decades. One pioneer included a British “gentleman scientist” who’s credited with inventing paper-based photography — you know, the kind pretty much everyone did until a few years ago — some 175 years ago. Today, get your first look at William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography, a Carnegie Museum of Art exhibition of more than 30 extremely rare (and often quite fragile) works by Talbot and his associates. It’s the largest U.S. exhibition of Talbot’s photography in 15 years. BO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Exhibit continues through Feb. 11. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $11.95-19.95 (free for kids under 2). 412-622-3131 or

Short List: Nov. 16-23
Photo courtesy of Eric Rosé

Sat., Nov. 18 – Dance

La Roche College and Bodiography Contemporary Ballet present Maria Caruso’s Lux Aeterna (2013) and The Messiah (2015) tonight at the Byham Theater. Lux Aeterna is set to Morten Lauridsen’s eponymous requiem, and The Messiah uses music from Handel’s famous oratorio. Both dance works investigate movement through song. Caruso chairs LaRoche’s performing arts department and is Bodiography’s artistic director. The two performances today are accompanied by the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra and the Meastri Singers, under the direction of Thomas Octave. AR 2 and 8 p.m. 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $35-55. 412-425-3766 or

Sat., Nov. 18 – Screen

Future historians of Pittsburgh will do well to consult East of Liberty, Chris Ivey’s epic documentary series about race, class and gentrification here. Produced over a decade, the films — inspired by residents’ mixed emotions over the 2005 demolition of an East Liberty high-rise — chronicle the voices of residents, business owners and others whom sweeping changes displaced from East Liberty and Homewood. Today’s free double-feature, at the Regent Square Theater, includes “In Unlivable Times,” a youth-centered installment, and a condensed hybrid of two other feature-length chapters. A community discussion with stakeholders from the neighborhoods follows each film. BO 4 and 6 p.m. 1035 S. Braddock Ave., Swissvale. Free.

Sat., Nov. 18 - Dance

SOLE Defined performs tonight at Shady Side Academy as part of the Hillman Performing Arts Series. The group’s eight members put an exciting twist on dance and music by turning their bodies into drums, composing a “percusical” with tap and sand dancing and body percussion. Created in 2011 by Ryan Johnson (STOMP, Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE) and award-winning performance artist Quynn Johnson, SOLE Defined has performed at venues including the Kennedy Center, The Shakespeare Theater and the Smithsonian. AR 7:30 p.m. 423 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel. $16-30. 412-968-3040 or

Sat., Nov. 18 – Comedy

Ensconced in its shiny new two-theater venue, Arcade Comedy Theater welcomes an old favorite from its old space down the street: Kevin McDonald, the Kids in the Hall writer and performer, returns for two shows this weekend. Tonight, McDonald is joined by Arcade regulars for a best-of assortment of sketch comedy from his podcast, Kevin McDonald’s Kevin McDonald Show; tomorrow night, it’s a mix of improv and sketch with students from this weekend’s two-day sketch-writing intensive. BO 9 p.m. ($15). Also 7 p.m. Sun., Nov. 19 ($12). 943 Liberty Ave., Downtown.

Sun., Nov. 19 - Benefit

Puerto Rico will be recovering from Hurricane Maria for years to come. Pittsburgh Artists for Puerto Rico is getting started now. Today’s all-day, all-ages fundraiser, at Spirit Lounge, includes an all-star cast of music and dance talent, including Timbeleza, Liz Berlin, Matthew Tembo, The Turpentiners, Ben Opie, Phat Man Dee, The Hamer Sisters Bellydance and Guaracha Latin Dance Band. The event is produced by locally based, Puerto Rico-born musician Geña, in collaboration with groups including the Latin American Cultural Union and Global Beats. Proceeds benefit Pittsburgh Stands With Puerto Rico. BO 3-9 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. (“pittsburgh artists puerto rico”)

Short List: Nov. 16-23
Photo courtesy of Elena Seibert

Mon., Nov. 20 – Talk

Richard Russo is known for his novels about blue-collar folk, like Nobody’s Fool and the Pulitzer-winning Empire Falls. He takes a different tack in his latest, Trajectory, a collection of four short fictions including “Intervention,” about a real-estate agent with a worrisome medical prognosis, and “Voice,” about an aging academic who joins his estranged brother at the Venice Biennale. Russo makes a rare local appearance with tonight’s talk at Pittsburgh Arts & Lecture’s Ten Evenings. BO 7:30 p.m. Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15-35. 412-622-8866 or