5 Reasons to Tune in to Hotline Ring 2021 | Sponsored | Sponsored Content | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

5 Reasons to Tune in to Hotline Ring 2021

As events start to come back on the Pittsburgh calendar this summer, one to make sure you tune into is Hotline Ring, a virtual fundraiser happening July 15, from 6-10pm led by a collective of 7 organizations in Pittsburgh. In collaboration, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, 1Hood Media, BOOM Concepts, Braddock Carnegie Library Association, Dreams of Hope, The Legacy Arts Project, and Pearl Arts, Hotline Ring raised over $130,000 last year to help further the goal of an inclusive arts experience through abundance, shared resources, and an affordable and accessible experience.

So, why should you tune into Hotline Ring 2021? Besides supporting this group of forward-thinking non-profit organizations blazing the trail forward for a more dynamic, inclusive Pittsburgh arts scene, they also have these 5 moments you can’t miss:

1. Black Political Leaders of Southwestern Pennsylvania including State Representative Ed Gainey and Mayors Dontae Comans & Chardae Jones

Watch some of the most influential Black politicians in the Pennsylvania region speak. Including Ed Gainey, an East Liberty native, member of the PA House of Representatives, and Democratic Nominee for the Mayor of Pittsburgh; Dontae Comans, Pittsburgh-born and newly elected Mayor of Wilkinsburg; and Chardae Jones, longtime organizer and volunteer, and current Mayor of Braddock.

2. Performance by Victor Muthama & JM The Poet

Join in for fun and lively performances by local Pittsburgh artists. Victor Muthama, a Kenyan-born and Pittsburgh-raised artist, and JM the Poet, originally from South Carolina and now living in Pittsburgh, will both give live performances that you won’t want to miss!

3. Performance by E the Dragnificent

Have a blast with Pittsburgh sensation E the Dragnificent, during their live performance! A 15-year-old transgender drag queen from Pittsburgh, E has been performing in the city since they were 12, and has been delighting and entertaining audiences ever since!

4. Damon Young, writer, editor & co-founder of Very Smart Brothas

Stay and listen, think, laugh and engage with Damon Young. A lifelong Pittsburgher, Damon has amassed an amazing career across different avenues. He’s the co-founder and until recently, Editor-in-Chief of VerySmartBrothas, a writer and satirist whose work has appeared everywhere from the New York Times to Time Magazine, and a memoirist for his first book, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays.

5. Hotline Ring Double Dutch Off

Yes, you read that right, a Double Dutch Off! The jump ropes are coming out and Joseph Hall, Kelly Strayhorn Executive Director and double dutch champ, will lead a double dutch off and dance party during the show.

With all this and more, Hotline Ring will be a must-attend event. Most importantly, all of the proceeds will help further the goals of the organizations involved. From the Hotline Ring collective, “Our vision remains — a future of abundance and shared resources fueled by inclusive arts experiences through affordability, multiple forms of access, a range of aesthetics, outreach, and education. As organizations in community with or led by queer, Black, people of color, unity draws us together to create systemic change, divest in state-sanctioned violence, and build space for healing.”


Donations and the full line up of speakers and participatory moments (coming soon!) can be found at kelly-strayhorn.org/hotlinering!

Learn more about each organization:

Through education, instruction and interactions, The Legacy Arts Project preserves the history and traditions of African art as represented throughout the diaspora. The organization strives to share the presentation of art throughout the community in order to inspire the upliftment of individuals within the urban neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.

PearlArts is a dance-focused arts organization that also provides music and media arts programming. PearlArts offers artistic experiences through creative residencies, innovative collaborations, and a broad range of dance and sound education and outreach opportunities. PearlArts is the creative parent organization for STAYCEE PEARL dance project & Soy Sos and Tuff Sound Recording.

BOOM Concepts is a creative hub based in Pittsburgh dedicated to the advancement of POC and LGBTQIA creative entrepreneurs. BOOM Concepts serves as a space for field building, knowledge sharing, peer to peer mentorship, and storytelling.


1Hood Media is a collective of socially conscious artists and activists who utilize art as a means of raising awareness about matters affecting people around the world. Our mission is to build liberated communities through art, education, and social justice.

Braddock Carnegie Library provides creative tools for dynamic, engaged learning, resources for meeting life’s challenges and joy. It is a place where neighbors meet, create and experience art, exchange ideas, share cultures, resources and creative strategies with one another, while strengthening communities.

Through the power of the arts, Dreams of Hope provides the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, and allied (LGBTQA+) youth a welcoming environment to grow in confidence, express themselves, and develop as leaders.

Kelly Strayhorn Theater is a non-profit community performing arts center in East Liberty, advancing live art through strategic vision and community collaboration with two venues running along Penn Avenue. KST’s Alloy Studios is a cultural hub in the heart of East Liberty, and the historic Kelly Strayhorn Theater is located in the thriving business district. More than 15 years after its founding, KST continues to use its broad reach to impact the contemporary arts and the community.

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