Short List: June 8-15 | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: June 8-15

Pride Week marches, parties and more; Sweetwater sees us Turning Red; author Aatish Taseer; Pump and Dump at the Improv

Fri., June 9 - Festivals

The good news on this traditional weekend for celebrations of LGBTQ pride is that in Pittsburgh, there are more Pride events than ever — if partly because of ongoing disagreements about who best represents the LGBTQ community. The most high-profile events remain those organized as part of the Delta Foundation’s long-running Pittsburgh Pride. These include June 9’s citywide Pub Crawl and outdoor Michael Jackson Tribute Concert MJ Live!, Downtown, and June 10’s Pride in the Street concert Downtown, with headlining mega-diva Jennifer Hudson. PrideFest, the big, free, family-friendly street fair featuring live entertainment and more on Liberty Avenue, expands from one to two days, June 10 and 11, and this year includes a mobile zipline. On Sun., June 11, comes the Rise Up for Our Rights Rally, at noon at PPG Paints Arena, followed by the EQT Equality March. (See for details.)

Critics say that the new corporate branding of the march, by oil-and-gas company EQT Corporation, betrays the grassroots origins of LGBTQ-pride events, and compounds their critique of Delta, a nonprofit whom they charge with marginalizing and exploiting black, brown and trans members of the community. Thus, right after the EQT Equality March, you’ll have the option to join the People’s Pride March, which starts at Liberty and 11th Street and heads down Liberty. (See “people’s pride march 2k17” for details.)

And new this year is the GLCC of Pittsburgh’s Penn OUT Loud/Smoke & Mirrors, a day-into-evening art show, gallery crawl and dance party on Fri., June 10. Starting at 3 p.m., enjoy art shows, live performances and more at a dozen-plus venues along Penn Avenue, from Bloomfield to East Liberty. Attractions include Queer PGH and Assemble’s queer craft market, and sets by dance troupe Project Silk and comedy outfit LGBTQ*Bert. It all wraps at the Ace Hotel, with a Discoball Dance Party with bubble-pop DJs Kates Weeney and Stephanie Tsong. Most Penn OUT Loud events are free; for details, see

— Bill O’Driscoll 

Fri., June 9 - Exhibit

It’s not often you get a chance to swing through the Senator John Heinz History Center for free. But starting today, you can do it three days running (if you’re really all about it), courtesy of the Jack Buncher Foundation. The museum’s six floors include such permanent exhibits as the original set from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, treasured Pittsburgh sports memorabilia, and the world’s oldest jeep. It’s also a chance to see #Pixburgh: A Photographic Experience, the museum’s display of local photos dating to the 1850s. And it’s the final three days for the trove of 80 paintings titled Gift of Art: 100 Years of Art From the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Collection. Bill O’Driscoll 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District. Free through Sun., June 11.

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Art by Ryan Lammie

Fri., June 9 – Art

In making the works for his new solo exhibit, Pittsburgh-based artist Ryan Lammie started, as he often has, with domestic objects like transistor radios. But he departed from the typically monochromatic finishes of his previous work to try out layers of oil, plaster and other media for a variety of colors, textures and treatments. Nice Painting, which also includes 2-D paintings, opens with a reception tonight at UnSmoke Systems. BO 6-9 p.m. (free). Exhibit continues through June 28. 1137 Braddock Ave., Braddock.

Sat., June 10 – Art

Pennsylvania voted Republican for president in 1988 — and not again until November, when it helped put a cruel and ignorant political amateur into the Oval Office (not to editorialize). What this means for our self-image as Pennsylvanians is for all of us to ponder, including artists. Tonight, Sweetwater Center for the Arts opens Turning Red, a group show investigating the changes to our political and social climate. The 18 contributing artists in a variety of media include Alan Byrne, Christopher Boring and Patricia Hill. BO Reception: 6-8 p.m. (free). Exhibit continues through July 29. 200 Broad St., Sewickley.412-741-4405 or

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Art by Tony Cavilline

Sat., June 10 – Art

Depending on whether you are reading this in print or online, you may be glued to your smartphone this very second. Humans Being, a show at Percolate Art Gallery, explores real-life human interaction in the midst of social-media obsession. “This exhibit asks that you free yourself from the chains of your phone, iPad and Facebook, and once against just ‘be’ with each other,” read press materials. The exhibit, whose opening reception is tonight, includes paintings by Tony Cavalline, John Eastman, Timothy Kelly, and Samir Elsabee. Matt Petras 6-8:30 p.m. Exhibit continues through July 1. 317 S. Trenton Ave., Wilkinsburg. 412-477-4540 or

Sat., June 10 – Art

The Art of Movement, an exhibition at The Westmoreland Museum of Art, brings together the work of three artists; one of them, Tim Prentice, is alive and was inspired by the work of the others, pioneering artists Alexander Calder and George Rickey. All three use(d) sculpture and art on paper to create mobiles: pieces that actually move, using “movement of air, not mechanical or electrical operating parts.” Many of these works use suspended paper and other materials, activated as the air takes them. A 1 p.m. talk by Prentice today is followed by tonight’s opening reception. MP Reception: 6:30-8 p.m. 221 N. Main St., Greensburg. $10-15. 724-837-1500 or

Sun., June 11 – Festival

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s annual Summer Reading Extravaganza is back for the 17th time, equipped with a series of activities and vendors to get kids into reading. Outside the library’s main branch, in Oakland, kids can decorate an Eat’n Park Smiley Cookie, listen to readings, watch live puppet shows, and play a variety of games. Food and, of course, books will be on sale, but the event is free for all to attend, with no need for registration. These yearly festivals are put together by more than 100 volunteers. MP Noon-5 p.m. Free. 412-622-3114 or

Tue., June 13 - Words

The London- and Delhi, India-based author and journalist Aatish Taseer visits City of Asylum to read from his latest novel, The Way Things Were. Taseer’s CV includes bylines in publications like the Wall Street Journal as well as highly regarded fiction. The Way Things Were follows the interpersonal drama of a family in India, spanning the 1970s through the ’90s. “Taseer (already beloved, feted, the voice of his generation, et cetera) is a writer at the peak of his skill, giving the finger to hubris,” writes NPR’s Jason Sheehan. MP 8 p.m. 40 W. North Ave., North Side. Free. 412-435-1110 or

Wed., June 14 - Talk

Pittsburgh Glass Center continues its Summer Lecture Series with talks by a quintet of presenters. The internationally known artists speaking tonight include Mexican-born, California- and Mexico-based brothers Jamex de la Torres and Einar de la Torres, who make contemporary art-glass sculptures and figures; Italian glass artisan Mauro Vianello; Texas-based kiln-formed-glass specialist Jean Fernandes; and Czech-born, New Jersey-based sculptor and jeweler Pavel Novak. The free lectures, which include informal discussions, continue weekly every Wednesday through Aug. 9 except for July 12. BO 6 p.m. 5472 Penn Ave., Friendship. Free. 412-365-2145 or

Wed., June 14 – Music

At tonight’s season finale of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s genre-blending Fuse@PSO series, conductor Steve Hackman welcomes special guests Time for Three. The Philadelphia-based string trio — violinists Nick Kendall and Charles Yang and double bassist Ranaan Meyer — are known globally for mixing musical styles from classical to country, and have appeared on TV’s Dancing With The Stars. Tonight’s program at Heinz Hall, Mash-Up Mix-Down, finds Time for Three marrying Mahler to The Verve and Guns N’ Roses, Britney Spears to Vivaldi, Mozart to John Legend and “Eleanor Rigby,” and Henry Purcell to “Stairway to Heaven.” BO 6:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $30-35. 412-392-4900 or

Thu., June 15 – Words

City of Asylum welcomes to Alphabet City three distinguished visiting poets. Robin Coste Lewis is poet laureate of Los Angeles and the winner of the 2015 National Book Award for her collection Voyage of the Sable Venus. The widely published Major Jackson (pictured) has four collections to his name. And the venerable Haki Madhubuti, a veteran of the U.S. Army, civil-rights activism and the Black Arts Movement, has published collections including Don’t Cry, Scream. All three are current faculty members of African-American poetry collective Cave Canem. BO 7:30 p.m. 40 W. North Ave., North Side. Free.

click to enlarge Short List: June 8-15
Photo courtesy of Paul Joyner

Thu., June 15 – Comedy

Pump and Dump isn’t what you think — unless you already know that that’s what Colorado-based comedians Shayna Ferma and Tracy Tee call their nationally touring show that takes an irreverent look at motherhood. As one of their tuneful original songs goes, “These are the lies that we tell ourselves: that babies are cheap, and when they go to sleep, we’ll get shit done.” (Other numbers include “Eat Your F-ing Food.”) With audience games and more, the Band of Mothers tour hits the Improv tonight, for one night only. BO 7:30 p.m. 166 E. Bridge St., West Homestead. $30. 412-462-5223 or