Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pittsburgh Cultural Event Forecast 2012, 1-23-12

Positively Pittsburgh Live News 1-23-12

Pittsburgh Cultural Event Forecast 2012”

André Kimo Stone Guess, President and CEO, August Wilson Center for African American Culture
Anne Madarasz, Museum Division Director and Director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Senator John Heinz History Center
Kristin Garbarino, Marketing Technology Manager, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust


André Kimo Stone Guess has been the President and CEO of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture since February of 2010.

André has held positions as vice president and producer, and director of finance and administration at Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) from 2000 - 2006. He produced the first three seasons at JALC's new home, Frederick P. Rose Hall.

In 2006, André founded GuessWorks, a management and consulting firm for non-profit institutions and performing artists, based in Montclair, New Jersey. As a consultant, he has worked with many notable arts and cultural institutions and foundations including the Pew Charitable Trusts and New York City Opera.

André is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys) and was the Producer and/or Executive Producer of nine albums, one of which received a nomination for a Grammy.  He also served as Executive Producer of two JALC concerts whose "Live from Lincoln Center" broadcasts were nominated for EMMY awards.

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture engages regional and national audiences in its mission of preserving, presenting, interpreting, celebrating and shaping the art, culture and history of African Americans utilizing the rich history, legacy and culture of African Americans from Western Pennsylvania as a foundation.  The Center presents a year-round program of dance, music and theatre along with special visual arts exhibitions and cultivation activities for all ages and backgrounds in its state-of-the-art venue in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District and throughout the region.

Suite Bill
André spoke about the AWC Dance Ensemble which was named among DANCE magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch” in 2012, a pretty amazing feat for a dance ensemble that is only two years old. The ensemble recently collaborated with the Pittsburgh Symphony, bringing a very old, and a very new tradition together. There was a positive reception of the company at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and they just did a sold-out performance called Suite Bill, dancing to all Bill Withers music.

Suite Bill
André also spoke about this year’s Continuum. Affrilachia (af-ruh-LAY-shuh) is a term describing African Americans living in Appalachia, and is the theme for the Center’s 2011-12 Continuum, a year-long series of programs tied to a specific theme. “Common Ground:  Affrilachia! Where I’m From,” is presented as part of the Continuum.  The exhibition runs through March17, 2012 and it celebrates artists from the area of Appalachia, Pittsburgh being right in the heart of that.

This year there are nationally acclaimed playwrights and actors working with AWC Theatre Ensemble: e.g., Anthony Chisolm, Montae Russell, Tony Award-nominated playwright and actor Samm-Art Williams’ “Last of the Line” premiere here.

There will be outstanding performances by Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra. A popular Pittsburgh ticket with guest stars from all over the country slated to play.

“Come and check us out,” says André. “So many things are going on all the time. We even have a subsidy program where non-profits can rent our space. We want to be part of a rising tide, a cultural tidal wave, to get people downtown to be a part of the arts. I came from NYC (lived in New Jersey) and now I live in downtown Pittsburgh. I see the energy, the hustle and bustle of this unique place. There is a genuine work ethic here; you can even see that with our sports teams, as well. It is a testament to the level of greatness that emanates from this place. Living here has made me a different and better person, appreciating things more and wanting to work harder. There is no other cultural district like Pittsburgh. I meet with the six other CEOs in the arts world on a monthly basis, nothing like that happens anywhere else. The level of collaboration is unlike any other place, and I’ve been all over the world.”

For more information, please visit www.augustwilsoncenter.org. The Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11-6 and admission is free.It is located at 980 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, 412-258-2700

Anne Madarasz is museum division director and director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Senator John Heinz History Center, where she's worked since 1992. She received her undergraduate degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and did coursework for a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. Madarasz served as project director and curator for "Glass: Shattering Notions," and authored the accompanying catalog. She was awarded a Richards Fellowship for research from the Corning Museum of Glass, and lectures and writes frequently on the subject of Pittsburgh glass, regional industry, and the history of Pittsburgh sports. Madarasz oversaw the research and design of the exhibit "Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation," which opened at the History Center in November 2008.

From the pre-revolutionary drama of the French & Indian War to the legendary match-ups of the Super Steelers, discover 250 years of Pittsburgh history at the Senator John Heinz History Center. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the History Center is the largest history museum in Pennsylvania. The 275,000 sq. ft. museum features six floors of long-term and changing exhibition space, including the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, a dynamic museum-within-a-museum, and the Library & Archives, an extensive scholarly resource documenting 250 years of life in Western Pennsylvania. The History Center presents the most compelling stories from American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection, all in an interactive environment perfect for visitors of every age!

The Senator John Heinz History Center, located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, is the largest history museum in Pennsylvania and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Heinz History Center presents the most compelling stories from American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The History Center traces its roots back to 1879, making it the oldest cultural institution in Western Pennsylvania.

The History Center museum system includes the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum in Point State Park, and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village in Avella, Pa.

The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a state-of-the-art 20,000-square-foot museum within the History Center that captures the unforgettable and almost forgotten tales of Pittsburgh sports through hundreds of artifacts, more than 70 hands-on interactive exhibits, and 20 audio-visual programs.

Now Showing:
Now through June 17, 2012, the History Center’s feature exhibit is Stars & Stripes: An American Story, which details the stories of the people behind the more than 200 year history of our nation’s most enduring symbol.The 7,000 square foot Stars & Stripes exhibit, which was developed by History Center museum staff in conjunction with Dr. Peter Keim and historians including Marc Leepson, includes objects, images, and archival materials from the History Center’s collections, as well as items on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, The Warhol Museum, The National Gallery of Art, and private collectors.

February is Black History Month, and visitors to the History Center can learn more about African American history in Western Pa. as part of the America’s Best Weekly: A Century of The Pittsburgh Courier exhibition. Through a number of photographs, artifacts, and audio-visual displays, the exhibit profiles the major contributors who propelled the Courier from a 1907 start-up publication to the most influential African American newspaper in the country. In the 40s and 50s this paper had the largest circulation of any black weekly in the country.

2012 Events:
         February 17 - History Uncorked: A Red, White, and Blue Affair (young professionals networking event) This is for the 20 to 30 something crowd and we expect 1,500 -2,000 young pros enjoying a night of music, food, drink, karaoke, meeting new people, making friends, and enjoying the exhibits. This is the10th year of this event, so come in your business casual and cocktail dresses and network away.
         April 13 - 20th Annual History Makers Award Dinner:
Five distinguished Pittsburghers will be recognized for their exceptional contributions to the history of Western Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world as the History Center presents its 20th Annual History Makers Award Dinner on Fri., April 13, 2012 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. This year’s honorees include Jackie Evancho (Arts & Letters); Stephen Tritch (Business & Industry); Ronald Davenport (Community Service); Hon. Michael Fisher (Government); Chip Ganassi (Sports).
     August 2012 – Third Annual Bocce Tournament & Festival and Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures appraisal show

2012 Exhibits:
Stars & Stripes: An American Story
pen now through June 17, 2012; 1st floor

Angels of Mercy: Sisters in Healthcare in Western Pennsylvania
Open now through May 2012; 4th floor

America’s Best Weekly: A Century of the Pittsburgh Courier
Open now through June 2, 2012; 4th floor

Post-Gazette: The Stories That Touch Our Lives 2011
Opens Feb. 2012; 4th floor

The Story of Negro League Baseball: We Are the Ship
Opens June 29, 2012 through Aug. 26, 2012
Celebrating the 100-year birthday of Josh Gibson

Opens Oct. 6, 2012 through April 2013

From Slavery to Freedom: Pittsburgh and the Underground Railroad
Opens Nov. 30, 2012 – long-term exhibition

“The sports museum is near and dear to my heart,” says Anne.“It brings people in that aren’t museum dwellers because it’s a story they are comfortable with. It’s a thrill to come and see the Super Bowl Trophies or the Stanley Cup. This is a space that we didn’t just build and then let it go, it changes all the time."

For more information, visit www.heinzhistorycenter.org, open 7 days a week from 10-5      
1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, 412-454-6459

Kristin Garbarino
Kristin Garbarino joined The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s marketing team in November as the  Marketing Technology Manager .Prior to joining the Trust, she spent four years marketing for Pittsburgh Public Theater.  Kristin also produced her first independent film this past summer—Judy’s Dead—and starred opposite Tom Atkins and Helena Ruoti.  This film was about two adult children returning to attend their mother’s funeral, after being estranged from their parents. It’s set in Grindstone, PA. She is also the host of Pittsburgh Theater Talk on PCTV.

Some  upcoming events include the Distinctively Dutch Festival, 24 events in the Cultural District and around Pittsburgh. This is a collaboration between the Cultural Trust and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and many local arts organizations are participating in the festival. “It is exciting to work with their government,” says Kristin. “There is a lot of collaboration and I’m excited for our kick-off event on February 18th. This program will run through the end of May”.

The Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival will have six main productions.  Tickets are only $8 and it begins in May.

Gallery Crawls, there are four scheduled this year. These are FREE events. There are over 25 participating vendors, district-wide, including live music and opportunities to openly visit many galleries. It’s a great evening to walk around downtown, and it’s a family-friendly event perfect for all ages.

GALLERY CRAWL IN THE CULTURAL DISTRICT - Art. Music. Dance. Architecture. Film. Networking. Fun. FREE!

BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL - Winner of ten 2009 Tony Awards®, BILLY ELLIOT is a celebration of a young boy’s triumph against the odds with an unforgettable score by Elton John.

CEDRIC WATSON & BIJOU CREOLE - One of the most noted young talents to emerge in Cajun or Creole music in recent years, Cedric Watson is a fiddler, vocalist, accordionist, bandleader and songwriter of seemingly unlimited potential. 

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE: OCEAN SOUL - Voyage across the earth’s oceans with Brian Skerry, one of National Geographic’s most seasoned underwater photographers and discover a vast, hidden world beneath the waves.

DANCE WORKS ROTTERDAM ANATOMICA - Performing Anatomica, an unyielding exploration of the danger, beauty and consequences of the human body on display.

BRIT FLOYD- This brand new show, celebrating the amazing musical legacy of Pink Floyd, will bring its Pink Floyd Greatest Hits World Tour 2012 to the Benedum.

PLAYING FOR CHANGE - A transformative multimedia event, Playing for Change was created to connect and inspire people to work for peace through benefit concerts that showcase recording artists from all over the world.

THE OFFICIAL BLUES BROTHERS REVUE - The tireless spirit of Jake and Elwood Blues lives on with the only Blues Brothers’ tribute officially sanctioned.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES - The tuneful and touching tale of one family’s struggle to stay together...stay fabulous... and above all else, stay true to themselves!

JACOBTV "THE NEWS" - His works are based on speech melody and explore the absurdity of television-culture, transmitting ordinary people’s most intimate confessions to an audience of millions. This is a pop opera. 

707 PENN GALLERY - PAPER THIN THEATER - "Paper Thin Theater" is a collection of paper cut art by Kathryn Carr. It focuses on the art of storytelling; children's tales, puppetry, opera and the stage are presented in a narrative silhouette form. 

937 LIBERTY AVENUE - Windows and Mirrors: Afghanistan - Windows and Mirrors exhibits 45 murals from artists across the U.S., shown alongside drawings from Afghan high school students about their daily lives. Also features the War Dialogues Project: Collaborative art from two Pittsburgh artists--a U.S. Iraq veteran and a high-school Iraqi refugee.

For more information, visit www.trustarts.org and check out www.trustarts.org/dutchfestival 
803 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, 412-471-6070


This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith. Listen to the show here. (c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2012 All rights reserved.

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here. 

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