The festival’s 57th annual incarnation, June 3-12, will be broadly familiar: a Point State Park-based footprint, lots of bands, the artists’ market, large-scale outdoor public artworks, a juried visual-art show, festival food.
There’s even the welcome, lately near-annual tradition of a new show by performance-art rock-band faves Squonk Opera.
And it’s all still free, thanks largely to the title sponsor in what’s officially titled the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.
But according to info released today by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, there’ll be a few new wrinkles in the festival-going experience, and this year’s public art has a local bent.
For one, the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s CREATE Festival, which last year merely happened in conjunction with the arts fest, is more fully integrated – and it, too, is now free. The day-long festival, will take place June 9 at the Fairmont Hotel, with talks, the Innovation Salon exhibition and more.
Things will also be more comfortable and culinarily pleasing for some fest-goers. Sarah Aziz, the Trust’s new program manager for special events, announced that for the first time the festival will include sensory-friendly “breakout areas” for people on the autism spectrum. Also look for the fest’s first ever feeding room for parents and kids, with a changing station, quiet space for breast-feeding and more.
For those on solid food, there will also be extended availability of food trucks.
At today’s press conference, at the Trust’s Peirce studios, Downtown, Aziz also recapped the previously announced musical guests, including opening-night headliner Michael Franti.
The public art, which in years past has often featured work by visiting artists, this year offers work by three locals.
In Gateway Center, look for large-scale installation “Multiverse Wall,” by Jesse Best (CREATE Festival’s featured artist of the year), and “Dandelions,” street signs mimicking the ubiquitous plant, by Carin Mincemoyer. Meanwhile, Point State Park will host the visionary “WindNest Prototype,” a quarter-scale model of a proposed artwork that doubles as a renewable-energy generator, by Trevor Lee (of Philadelphia-based Suprafutures) and Pittsburgh-based Land Art Generator Initiative.
The surrealism-minded Squonk Opera’s latest, Cycle Sonic, gets six performances June 11 and 12.
Also on the performance front, for the first time Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.’s Theatre Festival in Black and White (with black playwrights directing one-acts by white playwrights, and vice versa) is part of the arts fest.
For a full schedule, see here.