Inclusive Experiences in Pittsburgh

Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s Executive Director Joseph Hall pursues an exciting mission: leading a home for creative experimentation, community dialogue, and collective action rooted in the liberation of Black and queer people. He shares some of Pittsburgh’s many inclusive experiences that make it a city of love.  

Inclusive Experiences in Pittsburgh

Marvin Touré: the blood is the water. 

Mattress Factory, North Side, March 9, 2024–March 30, 2025 

Marvin Touré is an Ivorian-American interdisciplinary artist who uses fictional narratives and the objects of innocence as a vehicle to interrogate themes of love, loss, and memory. Through mark making, anthropomorphic objects, and installations, he visually imparts the nonlinear, fragmented ways in which family history is passed down through oral traditions.  

Pittsburgh Pride 2024 

Point State Park, Downtown, May 31-June 2, 2024 

The Steel City has an exceptionally vibrant LGBTQ+ community, grounded in support and inclusivity for the most marginalized among us. Pittsburgh Pride stands tall as a beacon of the rust belt’s revival and the joy of honoring queer heroes that came before us. Celebrate with a lineup of exciting artists featuring dancers, drag performers, speakers, and musicians. The most visible event in a packed three days of activities, June 1’s Pride March, is a lot of fun. Check out the full weekend schedule online.  

New Works Showcase 

Alumni Theater Company, Homewood, June 7-9, 2024 

Experience new theater works by ATC’s professional ensemble. ATC operates a year-round program providing talented Black youth in grades 6-12 with high quality performing arts training and a platform to express their ideas. Their 16 seasons of bold theatrical work have given fresh voice to the experience of young Black artists, and highlighting their rich contribution to our community. 

A group of 1Hood Media gather outside the Pittsburgh Pirates gates for an inclusive event.
Photo courtesy of 1Hood Media

Art as Liberation with the Pittsburgh Pirates 

PNC Park, North Side, June 18, 2024 

Embrace the power of art as a catalyst for liberation and change at this 3rd annual partnership between 1Hood Media and Pittsburgh Pirates as they commemorate Juneteenth. The free event features visual artists, a live DJ, musical performances, food, and giveaways. 

House Party 

Kelly Strayhorn Theater, East Liberty, July 13, 2024 

At KST’s captivating annual summer benefit you’ll experience a hazy cabaret, VIP performances, and a down-and-dirty Dance Party. House Party supports a diverse array of arts events in East Liberty during the fall season.   

The 12th Dance Africa Pittsburgh by The Legacy Arts Project 

New Hazlett Theater, North Side, July 27-28, 2024  

This community-wide event brings together local, national, and international performances to celebrate the beauty of the African diaspora through song, dance, drumming, visual art, and spoken word, all with the intention of sharing gifts with the world. The event is an annual mainstay event hosted by The Legacy Arts Project and features a meet-n-greet, panel discussion, an African marketplace, and more.  

Azure Family Concerts 

Schenley Plaza, Oakland, August 11, 2024  

Wongai (let’s go!) to West Africa to experience hands on music, song, and dance with Balafon as part of the family-friendly Azure Family Concert Series. Balafon creates enriching opportunities to experience the joyful spirit of traditional West African dance across Pittsburgh. 

Bayard Rustin Pride Festival 

Various Venues, November 20-24, 2024 

A recent Netflix film has brought new attention to civil rights leader Bayard Rustin. Learn more at this celebration of same-gender-loving men seen through the lens of 20th-century icons Bayard Rustin, Billy Strayhorn, James Baldwin, and Miles Davis.

A man sings on a concert stage with a microphone in hand and purple lights throughout.
Photo courtesy of @chadisaiahphoto

Suite Life 

Kelly Strayhorn Theater, East Liberty, November 30, 2024  

KST invites you to celebrate its namesakes. Enjoy the music of composer Billy Strayhorn and the imagery of performer Gene Kelly in an unforgettable theatrical jazz concert. 

35th Annual International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference 

Hosted by Hill Dance Academy Theatre at various venues, January 20-26, 2025 

A pioneering four-day dance experience with an awards celebration, meals and social events, performances, and more. 

Story by Executive Director Joseph Hall, Kelly Strayhorn Theater 

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