JFilm
“Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life,” Patrice O’Neill. Film still courtesy of Film Pittsburgh.
“Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life,” Patrice O’Neill. Film still courtesy of Film Pittsburgh.

7. JFilm Festival at the AMC Waterfront Theater and online: April 28

With the return of JFilm, cinephiles have opportunities to gather in person again to watch and discuss 18 thought-provoking premieres — while also enjoying screenings from the comfort of home. A program of Film Pittsburgh, the 12-day flick fest will present three in-person events and 15 virtual screenings. Going beyond the screen with filmmaker Q&As and virtual Film Schmooze events. All the deets will be released on April 7, but for now, we’ve got a few teasers about films with strong Pittsburgh ties. On April 28, Pittsburghers will be the first to see Sundance winner “Cha Cha Real Smooth” before it premieres on June 17 on Apple TV+. Written, directed, produced and co-starring Cooper Raiff, the film follows a 22-year-old college graduate who takes a job as a party host for bar/bat mitzvahs in New Jersey. For its centerpiece presentation, JFilm presents “Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life,” followed by a Q&A with director Patrice O’Neill. The powerful world premiere documents the community’s response following the deadliest anti-Semitic assault in U.S. history. View a schedule and buy tickets.

Photo courtesy of the Heinz History Center.

8. History Uncorked: Black & Gold Bash at the Heinz History Center: April 29

Finally, a gala where you can combine your fave LBD or swank suit and your black and gold hometown pride. Pop some bubbly when Pittsburgh’s premiere young professionals party returns for its 24th edition. Get uncorked with signature drinks, food stations and snack bars, a photo booth and live music. This gala even comes with an irresistible Pittsburgh cookie table. Make an entrance in your black and gold best and strike a pose in front of party scene backdrops. Show your competitive edge during a scavenger hunt and explore the exhibits after dark from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Get your groove on during a dance party with DJ Bamboo and bid on auction items to support the museum. Buy tickets.

Commonwealth Press Beer Barge. Photo by Matt Dayak.

9. Commonwealth Press Beer Barge: April 30

Stop the presses! After being docked for two years due to the pandemic, the floating festival affectionately dubbed the “beer barge” will shove off into the sunset and the spring brewing season. Hop aboard The Gateway Clipper’s 212-foot Empress at Station Square for three hours of maritime mayhem. Cramming the vessel with as many local breweries — and nearly 400 boaters on the dance floor — as possible, the event will showcase tasty brews made in the Burgh. Attendees will receive a 5-ounce taster glass and can buy snacks on the ship. From 6 to 9 p.m., river riders will rub elbows with representatives from a dozen local breweries, distilleries and cider houses. Providing the onboard soundtrack for the booze and tunes cruise will be Century III, BjORDAN and Jx4. Set a reminder now to get tickets on March 31 at 5:30 p.m. These babies can go in minutes.

10. Romare Bearden: Artist as Activist and Visionary at The Frick Pittsburgh: April 30

Another world-renowned artist with strong Pittsburgh roots will be showcased in a major exhibition opening locally. Examining significant synergies between creative practice and social change, Romare Bearden: Artist as Activist and Visionary features the work of the African-American artist, author and songwriter. One of the 20th century’s most prolific artists, Bearden lived from 1911 to 1988 and worked in a wide range of media. As a teen, he lived with his grandparents in East Liberty, graduating from Peabody High School in 1929. Drawn from the Romare Bearden Foundation Collection, the exhibition features a diverse collection of collages, watercolors, prints, reproductions, and rare archival materials, including the artist’s magazine covers and editorial cartoons. Bearden’s 1984 mural, “Pittsburgh Recollections,” is installed Downtown at the Gateway T station.

See more events here.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...