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"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. January 15, 2022, would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s. 93rd birthday. A man that stood against injustice for all people. We the members of The Pittsburgh Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People commemorate this great leader and recognize his dedication and vision to peacefully unify our Country. 59 years ago in front of the Lincoln Memorial Dr. King gave his iconic, “I have a Dream” speech. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for it to come to fruition. Today in this country, people of color are still held down by chains of joblessness, hatred, and discrimination. Still left behind on the island of poverty with no way to salvation. Still, in many situations, we continue to be judged by the color of our skin rather than the content of our character. However, progress has been made since his speech, but the work is far from over. We must continue to solidify our hands into the unyielding fires of injustice. To continue working towards the goal of our American creed: "That all men are created equal." So as you and your family, take the time to reflect on this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Think about how you can contribute to making a difference in the struggle for a more perfect Union.
Sincerely, Johnnie L. Miott President of Pittsburgh NAACP Unit 2285
Ceremony will be virtual and preceded by Interfaith Prayer for Pittsburgh’s Future
The City of Pittsburgh today announced the inauguration and swearing-in of Mayor-Elect Ed Gainey as the 61st Mayor of Pittsburgh. In accordance with guidance from public health officials, the ceremony will take place virtually. The inauguration will be preceded by an Interfaith Prayer for Pittsburgh’s Future that will be live-streamed on Mayor-Elect Gainey’s Facebook page and on Twitter.
A full schedule of inauguration activities can be found below:
Sunday, January 2, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
Interfaith Prayer for Pittsburgh’s Future
Monday, January 3, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.
Inauguration and Swearing-In Ceremony
City of Pittsburgh YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/CityChannelPittsburgh
City Channel Pittsburgh: Comcast channels 13 & 14, Verizon channels 44 & 45
City of Pittsburgh Facebook: www.facebook.com/city.of.pittsburgh
City of Pittsburgh Twitter: twitter.com/pittsburgh
Stephen Towns: Declaration & Resistance Opens at The Westmoreland in January
The exhibition features newly created works by artist Stephen Towns and examines the American dream through the lives of Black Americans
Opening on Sunday, January 30, 2022 and remaining on view through May 8 at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Stephen Towns: Declaration & Resistance features a body of newly created work by artist Stephen Towns. Organized by guest curator Kilolo Luckett in collaboration with Towns, the exhibition examines the American dream through the lives of Black Americans. Using labor as a backdrop, Towns highlights the role African Americans have played in the economy and explores the resilience, resistance, and endurance that have challenged the United States to truly embrace the tenets of its Declaration of Independence.
"Much of the work in Declaration & Resistance began when I was quarantining in the spring of 2020. I thought about how I had the privilege to take a step away from my work. When I returned to my studio, I reflected on how I had gained a deeper appreciation for essential workers risking their lives in the midst of a global health crisis. I come from a long line of laborers in Georgia and South Carolina. Prior to being a full-time Artist, I also worked many laborious jobs. This show is a testament to my ancestors and also the coworkers I have befriended along the way," indicated Towns.
For this exhibition, Towns is creating over 30 new figurative paintings and story quilts that, along with existing work, expand the historical narratives of enslaved and free people who toiled under the most extreme hardships yet persevered through acts of rebellion, skillful guile and self-willed determination. Working in series, Towns explores industries such as coal mining, agriculture and domestic labor, as well as labor that highlights care and nurturing such as nursing, a theme that the artist felt was important to pursue as he created new work during the COVID-19 pandemic that highlighted the racial disparities that continue to plague the country.
The Coal Miners series features Black miners of West Virginia who were relegated to the most difficult, underpaid, most dangerous and insecure jobs. Paintings in the Cooks series call attention to the hidden figures who helped shape American cuisine. Among these are Elsie Henderson, who worked for several wealthy Pittsburgh families including the Kaufmanns, owners of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Fallingwater. Lastly, Towns pays tribute to Ona Judge, a woman who escaped from slavery and was formerly enslaved by President George Washington. Judge was an invaluable seamstress and body servant to Martha Washington, who as a teenager escaped Mount Vernon and fled to New England.
Stephen Towns: Declaration & Resistance is organized by guest curator Kilolo Luckett, founding executive director and chief curator of Alma|Lewis (named after abstract artists Alma Thomas and Norman Lewis), an experimental, contemporary art platform for critical thinking, dialogue, and creative expression dedicated to Black culture.
“I’m very committed to questions around American patriotism, exceptionalism and labor. I’m also interested in querying the foundations of belonging and access, and unsettle some of the assumptions we have. Through his beautifully imposing quilts and mixed-media paintings, Stephen offers viewers sobering truths and tender stories of Black life that break away from dominant narratives that continue to plague society in the United States of America,” Luckett stated.
A full-color catalogue will be available in April 2022 featuring an essay by Luckett. Additionally, a short documentary film on Towns is being produced by Eleven Stanley Productions, founded by Njaimeh Njie, a Pittsburgh based photographer, filmmaker, and multimedia producer. A variety of public programs will be presented by The Westmoreland throughout the run of the exhibition to provide the opportunity for deeper connections. More information on the Museum’s public programming and events can be found at thewestmoreland.org/events.
“At the core of our permanent collection are scenes of industry, highlighting the labor of this region during the big steel era. This exhibition centers the lived experiences and contributions of Black Americans, whose labor built this nation, through beautifully rendered multi-media and textile works. With a shared focus on labor, Stephen's art connects well to our collection, but more importantly, his works reveal stories that have been largely left untold in American history and in American art. This is why we are so honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with him and Kilolo in presenting Declaration & Resistance and to bring more light to these stories of resilience,” commented Anne Kraybill, The Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO of The Westmoreland.
Stephen Towns: Declaration & Resistance is supported by Eden Hall Foundation; Arts, Equity, & Education Fund; and De Buck Gallery. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding for this exhibition was also generously provided by The Heinz Endowments and the Hillman Exhibition Fund of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art. This exhibition is completed in partnership with the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area. Funding was provided in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Environmental Stewardship Fund, administered by the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp.
About Stephen Towns:
Stephen Towns was born in 1980 in Lincolnville, South Carolina and lives and works in Baltimore. He trained as a painter with a BFA in studio art from the University of South Carolina, and has also developed a rigorous, self-taught quilting practice. In 2018, The Baltimore Museum of Art presented his first museum exhibition, Stephen Towns: Rumination and a Reckoning. His work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Artforum, The Washington Post, Hyperallergic, Cultured, AFROPUNK, and American Craft. Towns was honored as the inaugural recipient of the 2016 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore Travel Prize, and in 2021, Towns was awarded a Maryland State Arts Council’s Individual Artist Award. Towns’ work is in the collections of The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Art + Practice, artist Mark Bradford’s nonprofit based in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, The Petrucci Family Foundation, The Baltimore Museum of Art, the City of Charleston, South Carolina, The Nelson Atkins Museum, St. Louis, Missouri, and is held in private collections nationally and abroad.
About Kilolo Luckett:
Kilolo Luckett is a Pittsburgh-based art historian and curator. With over twenty years of experience in arts administration and cultural production, she is committed to elevating the voices of underrepresented visual artists, specifically women and Black and Brown artists. Luckett is founding executive director and chief curator of ALMA|LEWIS (named after abstract artists Alma Thomas and Norman Lewis), an experimental, contemporary art platform for critical thinking, dialogue, and creative expression dedicated to Black culture. She recently served as an Art Commissioner for the City of Pittsburgh’s Art Commission for twelve years. Luckett is guest curator of the upcoming exhibition titled, Stephen Towns: Declaration & Resistance, which opens January 30, 2022 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. She is also currently writing an authorized biography on Naomi Sims, one of the first Black supermodels.
About The Westmoreland Museum of American Art:
Western Pennsylvania’s only museum dedicated to American art, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, is a place to share meaningful cultural experiences that open the door to new ideas, perspectives and possibilities. The Westmoreland’s extraordinary permanent collection with its strong focus on the art and artists of Southwestern Pennsylvania is complemented by an impressive temporary exhibition schedule featuring both nationally traveling exhibitions and those organized by the Museum. Additionally, The Westmoreland presents a full slate of community-oriented programming as well as special events. More information is available at thewestmoreland.org and on the Museum’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles.
General admission to the Museum is free with advance online registration recommended. The Museum’s operating hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm. One can find information on registering for a visit at thewestmoreland.org/visit. For information on ways to connect with the Museum through virtual experiences, please click here.
Monday, January 17, 2022
1:00pm – 4:00pm Lobby Activities
Kelly Strayhorn Theater | 5941 Penn Ave
Pay What Makes You Happy!
Tickets Available 1/6/22
East Liberty Celebrates MLK Day highlights the life, legacy, and activism of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a day of family-friendly activities and performances, featuring BOOM Concepts, Women of Visions, Anita Levels, Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, The Alloy School, and PearlArts.
KST is excited to work in collaboration with BOOM Concepts to curate this event. This year’s theme, “Give Me Liberty,” explores using our voices for justice. Inspired by the work of Dr. King and the many civil rights activists fighting for equality then and now, we’ll have engaging activities and performances that will highlight the multitude of ways we can use our voices and stories to transform the world.
More Information: https://kelly-strayhorn.org/events/mlk-day-2022/
Stephanie Mills is a Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and Broadway star. Born in Brooklyn New York, she started singing at the age of three. At the age of nine, she starred in the Broadway musical “Maggie Flynn”. She followed that up by winning the competitive Amateur Hour at the Apollo for six straight weeks. The New York native rose to stardom as “Dorothy” in the original Broadway run of the hit musical, “The Wiz”.
In 2015, Stephanie was cast as “Aunt Em” in the NBC live musical of “The Wiz, forty years after her initial Broadway appearance in the production. Ms. Mills, studied music at New York’s prestigious Juilliard School of Music. The recipient of countless number one hit records to include “I Have Learned To Respect The Power Of Love”, “I Feel Good All Over”, “You’re Putting A Rush On Me”, “Something In The Way You Make Me Feel”, and “Home”. Ms. Mills have won multiple awards including a Grammy Award, Tony Award, NAACP Image Awards, and American Music Award just to name a few.
She continues to do what she loves, which is travel around the country on tour and performing live in front of sold out audiences spreading love and empowering people to be their best. On June 19th, 2021 Stephanie Mills announced the release of her new single “Let’s do the Right Thing”. Her long awaited new music brings fans back to her traditional soulful sound infused with an empowering message that challenges the listener to take an introspective look at oneself to create love and peace. Ms. Mills wanted to do more than just sing about love.
As the mother of a Down Syndrome child, Ms. Mills recently formed her own 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. The 444LOVE Foundation headquartered in Charlotte, NC; The 444LOVE Foundation is a nonprofit that advocates and invests in caring for, educating, and developing programs for individuals with special needs. The foundation has evolved fortifying its mission of putting love back in the community by educating children, nurturing them with love and showing them that someone cares. The mission of 444Love is to create a positive change in our community.
More information and tickets: https://trustarts.org/production/77794/soul-sessions-stephanie-mills
With the holiday season upon us, Pittsburgh is primed to help visitors celebrate the season through boundless Only in Pittsburgh experiences, attractions, shops, restaurants and so much more that help set the region apart.
“The 2021 holiday season is the perfect time to reunite with friends and family in Pittsburgh,” VisitPITTSBURGH President & CEO Jerad Bachar said. “Pittsburgh has plenty to offer visitors, from outdoor festivities and events to unique shopping experiences, new cultural exhibits and award-winning food and beverage options.”
VisitPITTSBURGH aims to reach potential visitors through paid social and native ad placements in key drive markets, including Cleveland, Erie, Harrisburg, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
“We want to demonstrate to visitors the holiday-season magic waiting for them in Pittsburgh while also assisting our hospitality community, including the wonderful small and local businesses,” Bachar continued. “We remain grateful to this dedicated workforce and the incredible service they provide each day, ensuring that visitors feel welcomed in Pittsburgh.”
Festivities officially kick off in Pittsburgh this week with Highmark Light Up Night. This beloved celebration returns in 2021 for its 60th Anniversary and moves from the typical Friday evening experience to a full day of activities on Saturday, Nov. 20. Several tree lightings and fireworks displays will take place during the day, as well as the dedication of the Pittsburgh Créche. Additionally, multiple stages throughout Downtown Pittsburgh will feature free music and entertainment, and the World’s Largest Pickle Ornament – over 35-feet tall – will make its grand debut at EQT Plaza.
Visitors can start checking off their gift list this weekend, too, as the Peoples Gas Holiday Market™ opens in Market Square on Nov. 19. Inspired by the original German Christkindlmarkts, the Holiday Market features national and local vendors housed in vintage, wooden chalets selling one-of-a-kind holiday gifts and remains open until Dec. 23. Holiday shoppers also won’t want to miss Handmade Arcade, the largest holiday market in the region. This one-day event is scheduled for Dec. 4 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and will feature unique, one-of-a-kind products from 200 talented makers, artists and craftspeople. Holiday shoppers also can support even more local businesses with suggestions found in the VisitPITTSBURGH Holiday Gift Guide.
Visitors also will want to experience long-time favorite activities like skating around The UPMC Rink at PPG Place (Nov. 19 – Jan. 9, 2022) and riding the Duquesne Incline up to Mount Washington for breathtaking views of the holiday lights that dazzle the iconic Pittsburgh skyline.
Speaking of holiday lights, visitors of all ages are invited to walk among 1 million twinkling bulbs at Kennywood’s Holiday Lights, Nov. 20 – Jan. 2, 2022 (times vary). Select rides will be open for kids, plus special entertainment for all. And, the Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden returns to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Nov. 19 – Jan. 9, 2022).
Several of Pittsburgh’s world-class museums will feature special exhibits this holiday season. The Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Architecture will once again transform into a winter-wonderland with BEDAZZLED: Celebrating the Diamond Anniversary of the Carnegie Trees (Nov. 20 – Jan. 10, 2022). Additionally, the Senator John Heinz History Center will allow visitors to relive childhood memories and make new ones with their families at its A Very Merry Pittsburgh exhibition (Nov. 20 – Jan. 17, 2022). Featuring a special selection of family keepsakes, artifacts, film and imagery, visitors can explore how Western Pennsylvanians have celebrated major winter holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali and Kwanza, through the years.
Celebrations continue throughout Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, with several holiday-themed shows planned for the nine theatres, including Cirque Dreams Holidaze (Nov. 26-27, Benedum Center), Black Violin: Give Thanks Holiday Tour (Dec. 2, Byham Theater), Texture Ballet presents The Nutcracker (Dec. 3, August Wilson African American Cultural Center), The Second City It’s a Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Life (Dec. 8-12, O’Reilly Theater) and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker (Dec. 10-29, Benedum Center).
Finally, ring in the New Year with the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh celebration on Dec. 31. A variety of family-friendly activities will be available throughout the Cultural District, with a dazzling fireworks display planned for midnight!
Be sure to visit VisitPITTSBURGH.com for additional events throughout the holiday season.
Applications for the 2021-2022 Snow Angels Program are open now. This program pairs older adult residents and residents with disabilities with nearby volunteer Snow Angels to help them shovel and salt their sidewalk and property throughout the winter.
Along with fostering stronger community relationships and relieving some of the stress that comes from snowfall or a freeze, Snow Angels make our sidewalks safer for those who are outside during the winter weather – like postal carriers, firefighters, police officers, and other neighbors.
To request help from a Snow Angel, neighbors must:
The 2020-2021 program saw over 356 neighbors matched with volunteers to help them manage the hardships of winter.
The Department of Public Works will offer incentives throughout the winter season for individuals to volunteer on the City of Pittsburgh’s Facebook page, Twitter and NextDoor. Community organizations, companies and/or employers are encouraged to assist with volunteer recruitment in their communities by having volunteers mention the organization’s name when they register. The organization that recruits the most volunteers will win the 2021-2022 Golden Shovel award and other rewards, including gift cards from local businesses, free passes to Schenley Park Ice Rink and more that will be announced later.
For more information or to find out more about how to help with volunteer recruitment, visit pittsburghpa.gov/snowangels, contact the Snow Angels Program at email@example.com or call 412-255-0846.