It’s time to crawl out of your hibernation den and into these 11 must-do happenings around the city.
1. Pittsburgh Fringe Festival: April 4-7
Where can you attend a comedy show that begins by asking audiences to leave their cell phones on, dance in a free-form movement piece inside a chic hotel and have an award-winning performance artist premiere his latest production at your house? You will LOL way outside the box when Fringe returns with double the programming, 105 performances and a new East End HQ. Experience immersive and innovative productions exploring a myriad of topics — from internet addiction and gay conversion camp to depression and politics. With an old-fashioned medicine show, folk musicians and musical puppets, and an “arts living room” in the city’s streets — there’s so much to love about Fringe. Buy tickets.
2. Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival at the Byham: April 5-7
Discover the inspiring mission of the National Brotherhood of Skiers. Watch in awe as a 97-year-old runner conquers Mt. Washington. Follow Jayson Sime on his journey to overcome homelessness and dyslexia and finish a 100-mile marathon. Seen through the lenses of the world’s top explorers and adventure filmmakers – this adrenaline-pumping film fest is a must. From the edge of your seat, you’ll encounter friends propelling across the Alps, Native Americans fighting to save Bears Ears National Monument, a fierce 19-year-old rock climber, a pioneering surf photographer and more. Don’t miss the Après Banff party at the Allegheny Elks Lodge. Buy tickets.
3. Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer Home Show: April 6 at Teamsters Hall Local 249, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Whether your abode is a minimal loft, sprawling manse or split-level ranch, this is your one-stop shop for creating inspiring living and entertainment spaces. Focusing its love of collectibles on everything and anything for the home, Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer’s springtime market will overflow with two floors of cool finds from 35 local and regional vintage sellers. The organizers do the sorting and curating for you, which means all the goods are authentic, one-of-a-kind and genuine. From tiki to tupperware — so many treasures await.
4. Mother of All Pottery Sales at Union Project: April 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Clear out those shelves and cupboards because Pittsburgh’s biggest ceramics extravaganza is here. The aptly monikered marketplace is your one-stop shop for meeting prolific potters, learning techniques from the pros and purchasing beautiful and functional work directly from your favorite artists. This year’s mega-market features pottery from 30-plus regional ceramic artists, including Jowdy Studio, Bombabird, OATMEAL and first-time sellers like Christy Culp and Citizen Clay Collective. You can even discover how artists from Coded Clay use a 3D printer to produce pottery. Get your hands dirty during hands-on studio activities, and watch live demonstrations by ceramicists Justin Rothshank and Isaac Scott.
5. Pittsburgh Earth Day’s Steel to Sustainable: April 17-20, various locations & times
Pittsburgh is one of five U.S. cities to adopt the 2030 Challenge — meaning it aims to halve energy consumption, transportation emissions and water use by that year. The citywide “Steel to Sustainable” celebration is a terrific time to renew your own commitment to incorporating sustainable practices into everyday life — and have fun while doing so. Always fabulous is the Ecolution Fashion Show curated by Richard Parsakian at the Fairmont. See how 20 local designers are rocking the runway and protecting the planet by integrating recyclable and organic materials into stunning environmentally-savvy ensembles. Go even greener at the Sustainability Business Breakfast, Sustainable Sips Pub Crawl, Food Truck Festival and Paint the Square Green Celebration.
6. Step and Repeat Third Thursday at Carnegie Museum of Art: April 18, 7-11 p.m.
Get a much-needed burst of color when CMOA unveils a first-of-its-kind solo exhibition featuring acclaimed painter Ruth Root. Start your museum merrymaking at the opening reception and artist talk, and then head to the after-hours party to get immersed in tactile artworks combine abstraction, sewn fabric designs, acrylic and spray paint and dazzling colors, shapes and patterns. Screen-print your own cool patterns onto bandanas with artist Mary Tremonte, who will also DJ a groovy dance party with Ginger Brooks Takahashi. Pop into the TapSnap photo booth to become part of a giant pattern, and step your way through the museum following Root’s interactive gallery guide. Buy tickets.