By Christine Wells
Opening – The Salvation of Art: Pittsburgh by Pittsburgh Artists, Friday, October 4, 7 pm – 10 pm, Irma Freeman Center for Imagination, 5006 Penn Avenue, Garfield. 20 master artists, all over the age of 45, use photography, sculpture, fiber arts, painting and more to reflect on our city. Don’t miss all the great art being displayed at the other art venues along Penn Avenue in Garfield on Friday as part of the neighborhood’s monthly Unblurred First Friday gallery walk. (Art work pictured by Ruth Klawansky)
Steps We Take, October 4 – 13, The first portion of this series sponsored by Bike PGH and the Office of Public Art , celebrating city steps and neighborhood connections, starts this weekend at various city step locations. Friday, join in the Polish Hill Vertical Block Party from 7 pm to 10 pm at Harding Way. Landscape architects Merritt Chase will create a temporary vertical park for the enjoyment of the community along the stairs that work their way up the Polish Hill community. Fashion takes over the West End steps on Saturday from noon to 6:30 pm at S. Main Street and Alexander Street at the Sanctis Street Steps, where six Pittsburgh fashion designers will present their creations at a fashion show and market. The weekend climb ends back on Polish Hill on the Phelan Way Steps for a Pierogi Party from 11 am to 1 pm on Sunday for a good, Pittsburgh carb load to fuel the climb. Check out the Steps We Take on-line for more details out this weekends’ and next weekends’ city step activities.
Open Doors Pittsburgh, Saturday and Sunday, October 5 & 6, It’s a rare chance to get a glimpsed behind the scenes of some of Pittsburgh’s most iconic buildings. Check out the The Office of the Mayor at the City-County Building and get a rare glimpse inside the City Vault which contains the city’s archives. For theater buffs, perhaps the chance to stand on the stage at Heinz Hall will be an instagram worthy thrill. Some buildings located on the Northside are also included, such as the historic Boggs Mansion. A full list of participating buildings, a map, hours of operation for each venue, and ticket information is available at the Open Doors Pittsburgh website. Tickets: $12 for 1 day general admission, $17 for 2 days.
Reel Q – Pittsburgh LGBTQ Film Festival, October 3 -12, Row House Cinema, 4115 Butler Street, Lawrenceville. This festival, in its 34th year, showcases the best of LGBTQ films over 10 days. A full list of the 23 films being screened at the festival, their descriptions and show times is available at www.reelq.org. On Friday at 7 pm the French film “The Shiny Shrimps” will take the screen to tell the story of an amateur water polo team competing at the Gay Games and being trained by a homophobic coach. Saturday’s line up includes “Good Kisser” at 7 pm about a lesbian couple seeking a threesome which uncovers jealousy and secrets. The highlight on Sunday will be the screening of the award winning film “Socrates” at 3 pm which explores the obstacles and struggles experienced by queer youth. Tickets for each film are $7 for students and $10 general admission. For serious movie buffs, the Screen Queen pass provides 5 tickets for $40 ($50 value)
All Scene Entertainment Festival, Saturday, October 5, 3 pm – 12 am, Mr. Smalls, 400 Lincoln Avenue, Millvale. If you’re looking for a variety of entertainment possibilities in one location, then this is the festival for you! 15+ music performers, 15+ visual artists, dance performances, open mic performers, comedians, yoga and a drum circle are sure to please a diverse creative palette. Check out the complete line up here. Tickets: $10.
Shonen Knife, Saturday, October 5, 8 pm, Cattivo, 146 44th Street, Lawrenceville. The all girl indi- punk band legends from Osaka, Japan, Shonen Knife, will perform with Denver’s Indi-rock band Dressy Bessy on the Cattivo stage. Tickets $16 in advance, $20 at door.
Ravi Coltrane Quartet, Saturday, October 5, 8 pm, New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, Northside. The Kente Arts Alliance presents Grammy nominated saxophonist/composer, and son of John and Alice Coltrane, Ravi Coltrane. He and his quartet will move audiences with an evening of outstanding jazz. Tickets: $35.
Four Chord Music Festival, Sunday, October 6, 11:00 am – 11 pm, Highmark Stadium, 510 W. Station Square Drive. A full day of music, with headliners The Offspring and Simple Plan plus another dozen bands, will be rockin’ the south shore! Tickets: $59
Pittsburgh Dragon Boat Festival, Saturday, October 5, 8:30 am – 5 pm, North Park Lake/Boathouse, 10301 Pearce Mill Road, Allison Park. It’s a day of competition, cheering, and culture. Hearts of Steel, a non-profit empowering breast cancer survivors, OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates and The Japan-American Society of Pennsylvania are sponsoring this unique event on the water in. North Park. Seventeen 40-foot canoes with 20 paddlers each will race on the lake, with a drummer leading the cadence for the rowers. Dragon boat racing dates back over 2500 years, based on an ancient Chinese legend. Between races, festival-goers can enjoy cultural demonstrations, food and stroll the I Made It Market to browse and shop handmade creations.
Italian Heritage Day, Sunday, October 6, 10 am – 3 pm, Senator John Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman Street, Strip District. Help celebrate the Italian community’s contributions to our city and region at this annual family event at the History Center. Bocce, cooking demonstrations, geneology information, accordian and mandolin performances, storytelling and more will add to the Italian American bazaar atmosphere. Tickets: $18 (regular museum admission rate), under 17 yrs. free.