Pittsburgh Humanities Festival runs March 24-26 | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh Humanities Festival runs March 24-26

Guests include writers from The Onion, rock critic Robert Christgau and local comics creators Ed Piskor and Yona Harvey

Kathleen Neal Cleaver
Kathleen Neal Cleaver
The second Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University, runs March 24-26, with about 30 programs of “smart talk that matters” on the theme of Being Human by scholars, artists, writers and more. Most of the on-stage interviews and conversations take place at Downtown venues, including the Trust Arts Education Center, the Harris Theater and the Byham Theater.

The three featured presenters include: the writers of The Onion (March 24), the Facebook-winning satirical news organization that gave us headlines like “Drugs Win Drug War”; Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef (March 25, see main feature); and writer, scholar and former Black Panther official Kathleen Neal Cleaver and activist and former Black Panther Denise Oliver-Velez (March 26).

Guests at a series of daytime Core Conversations, many running simultaneously at multiple venues, include: author and Penn State literature professor Michael Berube; Dance Theatre of Harlem Artistic Director Virginia Johnson; documentary filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams); Carnegie Mellon art professor Suzie Silver (A Presentation of Queer Media Projects); University of California scholar Elizabeth Watkins (“On the Pill”); poet and former National Endowment for the Arts chair Dana Gioia; local comics creators Yona Harvey and Ed Piskor; famed Village Voice rock critic Robert Christgau; and Syrian-born writer Osama Alomar.

“Partner events” include a dance performance, a concert and film screenings.

Tickets for the three featured events are $15-50 each. Core Conversations are $10-20 each. All-access passes are $45-120. Partner events are ticketed separately.

For a complete schedule, see www.trustarts.org/smarttalk.