7. City of Asylum @ Alphabet City + Jazz Poetry Month: September 10 – October 9
After eight years of visionary work, City of Asylum is unveiling its permanent new home along the Northside’s revitalized Garden Theater block—and you’re invited to the month-long opening bash. The momentous culmination of a $12.5M project, City of Asylum @ Alphabet City—formerly a historic Masonic Hall—will house a specialty bookstore, Casellula Wine & Cheese Cafe, state-of-the-art performance, event and workshop spaces, and eight apartments. Be among the first to see the cultural hub at the public Grand Opening on September 10, when 2015 Nobel Laureate in Literature Svetlana Alexievich will deliver an inaugural address and participate in a Q&A with New Yorker writer Philip Gourevitch. The celebration continues with Jazz Poetry Month—an expansion of COA’s popular, one-day festival. Featured musical guests include Pittsburgh jazz icon Roger Humphries, renowned saxophonists Oliver Lake and Hamiett Bluiett, contemporary jazz trio Thumbscrew, global jazz phenom Jack Sooäär, nationally acclaimed poets and spoken word artists Richard Blanco and Yona Harvey, and COA exiled writer-in-residence Tuhin Das. All events are free and open to the public. RSVP and view a schedule.
8. Bricolage Production Company’s Enter the Imaginarium in Harmar: September 14
Unlock your hidden Harry Houdini and experience one-of-a-kind live theater. In other words: Enter the Imaginarium (if you dare!). Reinventing the escape room, Bricolage invites adventurous souls age 12 and up to be among the first to explore Pittsburgh’s newest permanent attraction. Joining forces with Pittsburgh’s world-renowned ScareHouse, the company is producing a four-part “thrilling live-action adventure” inside a massive, former nightclub in Harmar Township, just 20 minutes from downtown. The first installment, Chamber of Illusions, opens September 14, while part two, The Inventor’s Paradox, opens October 12. Both experiences will run permanently, with two additional segments to come. Ready to play the part of everyday hero? Within lavish scenic environments, brave participants will follow clues, navigate intricate game designs, and attempt to connect intricate plots—all in a world where the goal is not to escape, but rather to “discover a crucial piece” of the story. Equal parts immersive theater, alternate reality game, and large-scale installation art, the Imaginarium is unlike anything the ambitious company has ever staged in its 15-year history. The full-bodied, multi-sensory visit will not only challenge your intellect but will also excite your senses and trigger your emotions. Bricolage will soon envelop Pittsburgh in a shadowy world of mystery, macabre, and intrigue. Buy tickets.
9. The Amachi Hachi Pachi at PNC Park: September 15
Achieve pure solid gold and bask in the glow of doing good and giving back at the Amachi Hachi Pachi at PNC Park’s Hall of Fame Club. Groove to the beats and rhythms as you curate your own playlist throughout the night featuring tunes from hot Pittsburgh DJs Selecta, Nate Da Barber, and EYEJAY. Dubbed the “Breaking the Silence is Golden Disco,” the Hachi Pachi will feature a special VIP reception, live music, prizes, and a silent auction. While dancing your heart out, you’ll also help raise funds for Amachi PGH, an award-winning local nonprofit that provides critical mentorship, support, and services to children with incarcerated parents. Pittsburgh’s only organization focused on children of prisoners, Amachi has a 92% success rate at insuring these children do not end up incarcerated. Be sure to come dressed in those dazzling metallic duds and swank dancing shoes. Buy tickets.
10. Silk Screen Film Festival: September 16 – 25
The story of a washed up surfing champion who is the illegitimate love child of Francis Ford Coppola. A gritty, crime thriller chronicling one of Japan’s greatest police scandals. A portrait of rampant misogyny faced by women in rural India. These are just a few of the captivating stories slated for the 11th annual Silk Screen Film Festival. Showcasing Asian and Asian American cultures and countries around the globe—from South Korea and Turkey to Kazakhstan and Iraq—the 30 films will be augmented by Q&As, sneak previews, receptions, parties, and live entertainment. Featured works span documentaries, anthologies, dramas, LGBTQ films, comedies, shorts, and more. Pre-game the festival at the August 31 launch party at Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse, where cinephiles will see select trailers, receive festival passports and sip signature cocktails. Not-to-miss is the Red Carpet Gala on September 15 at the Omni William Penn Hotel, featuring global cuisine, a silent auction, live music by Purple Bamboo, film trailers and more. View a schedule and buy tickets.
11. Pittsburgh Pup Crawl: September 17
Take your pooch on an urban adventure, enjoy the city’s skyline at magic hour and help support the area’s many homeless animals during a festive downtown evening celebrating those four-legged friends we can’t live without. All paws and pooches will pound the pavement during the sixth annual edition of the Pittsburgh Pup Crawl, a nighttime walk benefiting Animal Friends, the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center, and the Western PA Humane Society. Setting up shop along the scenic Roberto Clemente Bridge at PNC Park, the pup party will feature family-friendly activities, games, prizes, a vendor village and food truck roundup, pet adoption opportunities, and more. The walk begins at 9 p.m. Register now.
12. Art on Fire Celebration & Auction at American Eagle Outfitters Corporate HQ: September 23
The vibe will be all flames and heat at Pittsburgh Glass Center’s 15th annual Art on Fire Celebration & Auction. See the magic that’s made—and bid on a one-of-kind works to take home—inside the 2,200-degree creative cauldrons at Pittsburgh’s only contemporary glass art auction. The night of fiery fun will showcase 100-plus handmade objects in both live and silent auctions (online bidding starts September 9). Fire-goers can nosh on food and drink by Guckenheimer, Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka and Nasse Brewing Co., and bid the night away on everything from glass pumpkins and animal sculptures, to intricate flame-worked jewelry and funky fused dishware. With auction prices ranging from $50 to $10,000, there’s a piece for every glass lover’s budget. This year’s esteemed honorary artist—who will be in attendance—is contemporary glass pioneer Richard Marquis, who studied Venetian techniques in Murano, Italy. Can’t make the event? Submit an absentee bid by calling 412-365-2145. Buy tickets.
Check out more events every week in NEXTpittsburgh, including these coming up in September:
Pittsburgh New Works Festival: September 1 – 25
Party in the Tropics at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: September 2
Edward Eberle Retrospective Opening Reception at Society for Contemporary Craft: September 9
Steel City Big Pour: September 10 (Session #2 is sold-out; tickets available for Session #1 only!)
Johnny Cash Day at the Allegheny Elks Lodge: September 10 (sold-out)
Reclaim! At Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse: September 17
Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council’s Search and Sip in the Strip at Bayardstown Social Club: September 17
Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District: September 23
Penn Ave Arts in Motion and The Pittsburgh Art Car Festival: September 24
Mt. Lebanon Artists’ Market: September 24 & 25
Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment at Carnegie Museum of Natural History: September 24 – January 8
After Hours: Books First at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
Pittsburgh Opera’s Diamond Horseshoe Ball at the Omni William Penn Hotel: September 30