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2021 Virtual Pittsburgh Humanities Festival Announced

Although the festival may look different this year, the online format encourages participation from anywhere.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has announced the complete programming lineup for the sixth annual Pittsburgh Humanities Festival.

This year the festival will take place online in a virtual format every Wednesday in April at 7PM EST. The virtual Festival - typically produced in a lively, entertaining, accessible format in the heart of the Cultural District each spring - is designed to create meaningful dialogue online. These events connect us for conversation when we need it most. Each event will be streamed on the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Although the festival may look different this year, the online format encourages participation from anywhere. The enhanced accessibility allows featured speakers to broaden their reach and potential impact. Randal Miller, Director of Dance Programming and Special Projects, hand selects the speakers and explains, "The Pittsburgh Humanities Festival is a project that I look forward to programming every year. Each guest speaker is chosen in alignment with the mission of the festival to help explore what it means to be human. We are proud to present four diverse speakers who boast eclectic backgrounds and accolades."

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust works with community partners to ensure the vitality of accessible and engaging artists experiences for the communities of Pittsburgh. This year the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is partnering with Citizens Bank to create virtual content with a widespread reach and powerful messages.

Daniel Fitzpatrick, President of Citizens Mid-Atlantic Region, expresses, "It is extremely important to support programs that create positive connections and impact on our communities. This is why we at Citizens are happy to support the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, because it provides for meaningful dialogue and connection - right when we need it most."

This accessible online version presents free and fascinating live-streamed interviews with artists, academics, and intellectual innovators exploring a range of topics-a youthful take on gun violence prevention, baking cookies for social justice, restoration of Homewood's National Negro Opera House, and perceptions of Black women in popular music history. It's smart talk about stuff that matters.

2021 Pittsburgh Humanities Festival Featured Events

The National Negro Opera House with Jonnet Solomon

Interviewed by Graham Fandrei

Wednesday, April 7, 2021| 7 p.m. (est) | Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Facebook page and YouTube channel

Jonnet Solomon will discuss the rich history of the National Negro Opera House located in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood and the effort she is leading to restore it to its former glory. The house which welcomed significant figures such as Lena Horne, Joe Louis, Roberto Clemente, Count Basie, Ahmad Jamal, and Sarah Vaughan was recently named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's annual list of 11 Most Endangered Places.

Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound with Daphne A. Brooks

Interviewed by Terri Bell

Wednesday, April 14, 2021| 7 p.m. (est) | Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Facebook page and YouTube channel

Daphne A. Brooks, Yale professor and award winning black feminist music critic, takes us on an epic journey through radical sound from Bessie Smith to Beyoncé as she discuss her new book Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound.

Cookie Activism: Using Sugar as a Platform for Social Justice with Jasmine Cho

Interviewed by Sara Tang

Wednesday, April 21, 2021| 7 p.m. (est) | Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Facebook page and YouTube channel

Jasmine Cho will discuss her work as a baker based in Pittsburgh and how she uses the art of cookie making and decorating as a therapy and to promote Asian American representation. She creates intricate, hand-drawn cookie portraits of Asian American figures as a way to increase representation and raise awareness of Asian American history and identity. Her work has been featured internationally on various media outlets and she is currently working toward developing a research-based bake therapy program rooted in the field of art therapy.

Gun Violence Prevention: A Discussion with Young Community Leaders

Wednesday, April 28, 2021| 7 p.m. (est) | Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Facebook page and YouTube channel

Not My Generation, founded by college student Kathryn Fleisher after the Tree of Life synagogue massacre, prioritizes coalition-building and the bringing together of diverse communities to create meaningful, sustainable change. This panel includes Fleisher and members of Not My Generation discussing how to overcome the community's unique struggle with gun violence and how youth can achieve effective agency.


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