FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2019
PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST ANNOUNCES
PITTSBURGH HUMANITIES FESTIVAL 2019
COMPLETE PROGRAMMING LINEUP
A production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
& the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University
MARCH 22 - 24, 2019 | Cultural District
PITTSBURGH, PA - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University are excited to announce the complete programming lineup for the fourth annual Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, which takes place March 22 – 24, in locations throughout the Cultural District.
The Festival kicks off with major star power on March 22 at the Byham Theater, with “An Evening with Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians and the Power of Representation.” As part of this Featured Event, the author of the 2013 novel that inspired one of the year’s biggest blockbusters will provide insight into his early life, how Asian-American culture influenced his writing, and the process of transforming a novel into a movie.
“Mr. Kwan is a perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, as academics, artists, and intellectual innovators alike gather to take on some of the toughest topics of today,” says Randal Miller, Director of Dance Programming and Special Projects at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The major social impact and popularity of Crazy Rich Asians is undeniable, and provides an entertaining platform for ‘smart talk about stuff that matters.’”
This year’s Humanities Festival will include a second Featured Event on March 23, starring the Last Podcast on the Left, presented in partnership with Live Nation. This hugely popular podcast focuses on all things horror, both real and imagined. Hosted by comedians Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski, Last Podcast on the Left manages to find the humor in the darker side of humanity.
In addition to the Featured Events, the Festival will also be comprised of fourteen Core Conversations with local artists and influencers, whose unique perspectives and platforms are advancing important dialogue in our region. Taking place on Saturday, March 23, these interactive sessions will explore universal themes by delving into the realms of fashion, music, social media, comic books, and more. Core Conversations will include interviews with such notable Pittsburgh figures as: editorial cartoonist, Rob Rogers; Fashion Africana founder, Demeatria Boccella; magician Lee Terbosic; Artistic Producer at City Theatre, Reginald Douglas; David Newell—best known for his portrayal of Mr. McFeely on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; and street-style photographer and social media star, Chancelor Humphrey. In addition, Core Conversations will also feature such national figures as DJ Perly, female world champion DJ, and performance artist Bill Shannon, whose work celebrates dance and disability.
“The festival demonstrates that the humanities are stimulating, entertaining and vital to the life of the community,” says David Shumway, co-director of the Humanities Festival and director of the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon. “This year’s lineup of interviews and presentations by national and international thought-leaders, exemplifies Pittsburgh’s rise as an innovation city and a capital of culture.”
Additional partner events include City Theatre’s production of The Roommate (through March 24), and an evening with author Valeria Luiselli at Carnegie Music Hall on March 11, exploring her novel, Tell Me How It Ends, which focuses on the reality facing undocumented children seeking asylum in the U.S.
To view the complete schedule, visit: TrustArts.org/SmartTalk.
Bookish in the ‘Burgh
As the Humanities Festival unfolds, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust will also launch Bookish in the ‘Burgh, a brand-new free, one-day festival celebrating teen literature by bringing authors and readers together. Running concurrently with the Humanities Festival on Saturday, March 23 in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Bookish in the ‘Burgh will provide a platform for eight acclaimed young adult authors to join their readers for a full day of conversation, book signings, and a celebration of young adult literature.
Bookish in the ‘Burgh will be comprised of a writing workshop, book signings, and intimate interviews and panel discussions with some of the top young adult authors in the country, including:
- New York Times Bestselling author Morgan Matson, author of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, named one of the Top Ten Best Books for Young Readers by the American Library Association; and New York Times bestseller, The Unexpected Everything
- Critically acclaimed author Anna-Marie McLemore, whose books in the magical realism young adult genre (Wild Beauty, When the Moon Was Ours, and The Weight of Feathers) have won multiple awards and titles, including the Stonewell Honor Book, Kirkus Best Book, Booklist Best Book, School Library Journal Editors’ Choice, and many more
- Pittsburgh local Rachael Lippincott, whose debut novel Five Feet Apart was named a New York Times Bestseller
- K. Ancrum, author of The Wicker King and the upcoming The Weight of the Stars, emerging star in the psychological, young adult thriller genre
- Jay Coles, whose debut novel, Tyler Johnson Was Here, is about a boy whose life is torn apart by police brutality when his twin brother goes missing, inspired by events from the author’s life and the Black Lives Matter movement
- Kathryn Ormsbee, a.k.a. K.E. Ormsbee, whose young adult and middle grade books (Tash Hearts Tolstoy, The Lucky Few, The House in Poplar Wood) have been critically acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times
- Caribbean-American author, Kheryn Callender (This is Kind of an Epic Love Story and Hurricane Child), who is committed to expanding diversity in both middle grade and young adult books
- Rachel Lynn Solomon, whose critically acclaimed debut novel You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone was named a Sydney Taylor Honor Book
“As an emerging young adult author and longtime fan and advocate of the importance of young adult literature, Bookish in the ‘Burgh is a complete passion project for me,” says Kelsey Ford, Programming Manager at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “There are very few teen book festivals in the Mid-Atlantic Region, so the opportunity to bring these critically acclaimed and New York Times Bestselling young adult authors to Pittsburgh for a free festival designed especially for teens is incredibly special and exciting for our city.”
Tickets and Information
Tickets are now on sale for all Core Conversations and Featured Events. Tickets for Core Conversations can be purchased for $5 per Conversation. Ticket prices for Featured Events varies. For pricing and to purchase tickets, visit TrustArts.org/SmartTalk, the Box Office at Theater Square, or call 412-456-6666.
To register for Bookish in the ‘Burgh, and to see a complete list of programming, visit trustarts.org/bookish
About Pittsburgh Humanities Festival
The Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Humanities Center of Carnegie Mellon University, first launched in 2015, is a gathering of internationally-renowned academics, artists, and intellectual innovators in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. The fourth Festival, March 22 – 24, 2019, will offer intimate conversations, interviews, and performances focused on art, literature, music, science, policy, politics, and more—all helping us to explore what it means to be human. It’s smart talk about stuff that matters. Tag your social media posts with #PGHsmarttalk.
Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University
Founded in 2003, the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon promotes and supports scholarship and research that actively engages with culture and human production across the disciplines. Both a commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement with the traditional questions addressed by the humanities are essential at a university historically focused on science, technology, and the arts. Through lectures, panel discussions, conferences, and public outreach in the Faces Film Festivals and Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, we demonstrate the value and interest of the humanities on and off campus. Over the past decade, Carnegie Mellon has strengthened its standing in the humanities. Its Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences has distinguished faculty and talented students in the departments of English, History, Modern Languages and Philosophy who are focused on teaching and learning deep intellectual knowledge as well as developing useful, practical skills.
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts. TrustArts.org
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