Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud!
Carnegie Museum of Art is honored to share images of a selection of artworks that are on view on the Cathedral of Learning Lawn at the University of Pittsburgh as a part of the university’s Black Lives in Focus initiative. The eight artworks reproduced and on view in the museum's Scaife hallway were selected by Sean Beauford, manager of community relationships.
Black Lives in Focus is presented with the University of Pittsburgh’s Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI), the Center for Creativity, and the Department of Theatre Arts and the University Art Gallery of the University of Pittsburgh’s Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences.
Black Lives in Focus highlights twenty artworks, ten written responses, and a video that explore the richness and complexity of the Black experience in America. From celebrations of Black love and beauty to reflections on systemic biases and tributes to lives lost, these works offer diverse responses to the exhibition’s guiding question, “What do we learn when Black life is in focus?” This exhibition does not presume to represent the entirety of the Black experience but aims to highlight some of the voices in the community. The artists and writers represented were selected from the Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania communities. The hope is that viewers, too, will reflect on how to better celebrate and amplify Black lives.
Guests are encouraged to visit the campus to view the entire exhibition, which is free and open to the public through September 23.
On Friday, October 1, the fourth annual Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival returns to the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, featuring a roster of award-winning musicians including gospel and R&B great Mavis Staples, Blues Hall of Fame guitarist and vocalist Robert Cray, R&B/sacred steel/funk/jam band Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Go-Go legends Rare Essence, reggae icons Third World, and more, celebrating the blues and honoring the musical roots that continue to inspire today’s generations of artists. Tickets are available now at blues.aacc-awc.org. The Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival is presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Oct 6 and 13, 2021, 7:30-9:00 p.m. ET via Zoom
This year’s McClure lectures will feature Dr. Kimberly D. Hill, historian of African-American missions and Black internationalism, who teaches U.S. and African-American history at the University of Texas at Dallas. Hill’s important research on the contribution of African-American missionaries to Protestant missions has been published in numerous ways, including her recent book, A Higher Mission: The Careers of Althea Brown Edmiston in Central Africa. Hill’s research and teaching career has brought to light an often-neglected stream of mission history: African-American missionaries sent by Protestant denominations to Africa.
The McClure events will be held on two Wednesdays, Oct. 6 and 13, 2021, from 7:30-9:00 p.m. ET. The first session will feature a presentation by Dr. Hill on "Christian Justice, Exploitation, and Racial Violence from ‘Red Rubber’ to ‘Bloody Sunday.’" The second session will be a panel discussion with Dr. Hill and Dr. Asa Lee, president of PTS, on the topic of "Reckoning with Invisibility: African-American Missionaries and Their Hidden Legacies". Mark your calendar for these two important dates of lecture and conversation and register below.
The Neighborhood Academy’s Nancy and Paul O’Neill Speaker Series will feature Wes Moore: best-selling author, combat veteran, social entrepreneur and former CEO of Robin Hood — one of the largest anti-poverty forces in the nation on September 29th. Moore recently announced his run for governor of Maryland in the 2022 elections.
His book, “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates” explores the lives of two Wes Moores and the factors and choices that led one to a Rhodes scholarship, military service, and a White House fellowship; and the other to drug dealing, prison, and eventual conversion to the Muslim faith. Moore’s latest book, “Five Days,” explores the uprisings in Baltimore in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody through different perspectives and examines the deeper causes of violence and poverty.
The Neighborhood Academy is a faith-based, college preparatory, independent school whose mission is to break the cycle of generational poverty by empowering youth and preparing them for college and citizenship.
For more information and ticket purchases, visit www.theneighborhoodacademy.org. The event will be held both in-person at the school and virtually via Zoom. Students and Veterans should contact Jonathan Winkler at 412-203-0158. All proceeds benefit student scholarships.
For the third year in a row, County Executive Fitzgerald proclaimed September as Black Girls Equity Month in Allegheny County. This distinction comes ahead of the 6th Annual Black Girls Equity Alliance (BGEA) and Awards Reception. Gwen's Girls will host this year's Summit, September 22-24, 2021.
This year's BGEA Summit theme is Beyond Surviving: Engaging Schools, Systems and Families to Support Black Girls Thriving and registration is now open by visiting gwensgirls.org/equitysummit.
"We are thrilled to, once again, have the support from local elected officials as we recognize the hard work and community contributions provided by our Black girls during Black Girls Equity Month," said Dr. Kathi Elliott, CEO of Gwen's Girls. "Also, we have announced details of this year's BGEA Summit. We have a jam-packed schedule that includes some of the top executives, elected officials and speakers that work every day to support and better the lives of Black girls and women."
Kalisha Dessources, Special Assistant to the U.S. President for Gender Policy, will provide Opening Remarks at the Summit. Attendees also will hear from two well-respected keynote speakers fluent in education and Black youth along with parent engagement:
· Dr. Bettina Love, author of We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom
· Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, author of Parent Like it Matters: How to Raise Joyful Change-Making Girls
And, guests can choose from a variety of Fireside Chats and Breakout Sessions throughout the two-day virtual event.
In June, U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), reintroduced the Counseling not Criminalization Act. She, among other elected officials, brought forth this federal legislation that will help disrupt the school-to-confinement pathway, invest in safe and nurturing school climates that support all students and bring an end to the over-policing of our nation's K-12 schools. Several lawmakers have been invited and encouraged to participate, support and pass this legislation. This critical subject will be a topic of discussion at September's BGEA summit.
Nova Place on Pittsburgh's North Side will be the setting for the Awards Reception and Ceremony on Wednesday, September 22, which celebrates the 2021 awardees who made a difference in the lives of Black girls in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
Details, including ticket prices and full agenda, can be found by visiting Gwen's Girls website, gwensgirls.org/equitysummit.
Featuring Chaka Khan, Dianne Reeves, Marcus Miller, Christian McBride, Branford Marsalis, Patrice Rushen, Gregory Porter, Jazzmeia Horn, and more.
The August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) announced today additions to the line-up, Con Alma Jam Sessions, Chaka Khan after party, and more for the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival (PIJF) presented by Citizens Bank. Taking place live, in person, from September 17-19, 2021, the 11th annual festival includes newly announced jazz bassist and bandleader Christian McBride’s New Jawn; award-winning jazz pianist and composer Patrice Rushen & Friends; and three-time Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis; who join the previously announced ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan; pre-eminent jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves; Grammy-winning instrumentalist, composer, and producer Marcus Miller, and many others. In partnership with Pittsburgh’s famed restaurant and jazz bar Con Alma (613 Penn Avenue), located in the Cultural District, AWAACC will offer an array of jam sessions throughout the weekend beginning at 10 p.m. until close as well as at host hotels throughout the city.
To ensure the health and safety of its audience, artists, and staff, the PIJF is a fully ticketed event.
Tickets to Chaka Khan at the Benedum Center and performances at Highmark Stadium are available now at pittsburghjazzfest.org. AWAACC will also host the “Through the Fire” after party for Chaka Khan ticket holders, featuring live performances and other special offers at the Center on Friday, September 17 following the performance.
In addition to Chaka Khan; Dianne Reeves; Marcus Miller; Christian McBride’s New Jawn; Branford Marsalis; and Patrice Rushen & Friends, the updated festival line-up includes Grammy-winning vocalist Gregory Porter; vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, winner of the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition; two-time Edison Award-winning, trumpeter Christian Scott a Tunde Adjuah; jazz and R&B duo The Baylor Project; Pittsburgh native drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, who has performed alongside Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter and Alice Coltrane; Lakecia Benjamin, chosen as the “2020 Up and Coming Artist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association; The Kenny Garrett Quintet, whose leader, saxophonist and composer Garrett, was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and, most notably, a member of Miles Davis’s band.
In partnership with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, on Saturday, September 18 at 11 a.m. EST, the Center will present the world premiere of Jazz Time! A Musical for Children and Families on YouTube. Created and performed by local Pittsburgh talent, Jazz Time! introduces children to jazz music, tempo, melody and improvisation through an engaging story by Anqwenique Kinsel with music and lyrics by Douglas Levine, and will be available for viewing throughout the festival In addition to late night jam sessions at Con Alma, various PIJF “Host Hotels” will offer jazz performances throughout the weekend. To learn more about the host hotels and limited available discounted rates, please visit https://pittsburghjazzfest.org/travel/.
The Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival (PIJF) is curated by Janis Burley Wilson, AWAACC President & CEO, who created the festival in 2011 and has built it into its a signature program of the Center. For additional details and the complete festival lineup, please visit pittsburghjazzfest.org. The Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival extends the non-profit AWAACC’s mission to celebrate Black culture and the African diaspora and highlights the Center as a leader in presenting programming that reflects the diversity of Pittsburgh and the nation. To learn more about the Center and its year-round activities, please visit https://aacc-awc.org/.
AWAACC, Highmark Stadium, and the Benedum Center are committed to the utmost safety of its patrons, artists, and staff, and there will be safety measures in place following federal, state, and local guidelines. Ticket buyers will receive a communication including all safety details closer to the event to ensure that all attendees have an enjoyable and healthy experience throughout the festival.
Ticket Information: Tickets for all performances can be purchased at pittsburghjazzfest.org.
Tickets for Chaka Khan at the Benedum Center start at $55. One-day Jazz Fest passes for Saturday or Sunday are available starting at $40, and two-day Jazz Fest passes are available starting at $75 for performances taking place at Highmark Stadium. Jam sessions at Con Alma do not require tickets
Student one-day passes for $25 and two-day passes for $40 will be available for purchase in-person at the venue, as well as $10 tickets for children (ages 4-12) and free Lap Passes for children under 3. These tickets must be purchased in-person at the Highmark Stadium box office.