Pittsburgh Fermentation Festival

Courtesy Pittsburgh Fermentation Festival.

6. Pittsburgh Fermentation Festival at Spirit: February 18, 11 a.m. — 5 p.m.

From beer to bread, fermented foods are packed with great flavors and health benefits. The ancient fermentation process is breathing new life — and microbes — into contemporary cuisine. Showcasing the region’s burgeoning fermentation scene, the free festival is packed with workshops, Make-Stations, food contests and community activities. Sample sourdough bread from Driftwood Oven, award-winning cheeses from Goat Rodeo and Threadbare Cider from Wigle Whiskey. New faces like Cultures LLC and Clay Kitchen Studio will share their delicious vegetables and hand-crafted earthenware. Don’t know kimchi from kombucha? Chat with passionate artisanal makers during workshops led by Prescription Foods and Legume chef Trevett Hooper. Roll up your sleeves at the Make-Stations, where you can concoct your own sauerkraut, miso and ancient Chicha beer.  New highlights include the Fermenter Olympics and an interactive display co-hosted by Grow Pittsburgh.

Betty Davis

Film still, Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different, Phil Cox, 2017.

7. Black Bottom Festival at the August Wilson Center: February 23 – 25

The extraordinary life and legacy of writer Audre Lorde. An Oscar-nominated drama about world heavyweight champion James Braddock. A woman’s unexpected journey following her sister’s sudden death. These poignant stories and many others will come to life for this showcase of African-American cinema during Black History Month. Several films have strong Pittsburgh ties. “Quiet Soldier” shares the little-known story of Wendell Freeland, an African-American leader, civil rights attorney and Tuskegee Airman who was based in Pittsburgh. Phil Cox’s long-awaited documentary, “Betty — They Say I’m Different,” is a powerful portrait of funk music trailblazer Betty Davis, who still lives in the Pittsburgh area, and the film is making its U.S. premiere at the festival. Also not to miss are Gabourey Sidibe’s directorial debut, “Tale of Four,” and “Odds Against Tomorrow,” the first feature film produced by Harry Belafonte. Films, shorts and documentaries will be augmented by Q&As, podcasts and workshops. Special guests include #OscarsSoWhite activist April Reign, actor Khalil Kain and producer Lisa Cortes. Learn more and buy tickets.

Pittsburgh Beerfest

Courtesy Pittsburgh Beerfest.

8. Pittsburgh Winter Beerfest at David L. Lawrence Convention Center: February 23 & 24

The frothy goodness will flow when the region’s biggest winter beer festival sets up shop Downtown. Sample offerings from more than 125 local and national breweries with unlimited samples of 400 fresh craft beers, from Coconut Porters to Blood Orange IPAs. Explore Pittsburgh’s rich brewing history and head to the food truck roundup for tasty bites like pretzels and pierogies. Helping to create a winter warmer vibe will be live music, a connoisseurs reception, vendor displays and more. Choose from  Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. Drink up because proceeds support Animal Rescue Partners and Biggies Bullies. Buy tickets.

We Are the XX

We Are the XX.

9. Pittsburgh Humanities Festival in the Cultural District: February 24 – March 4

NPR host Guy Raz. Lou Reed biographer Anthony DeCurtis. Feminist media gurus Allison Rapson and Kassidy Brown. These visionary voices are on tap for the now-annual Pittsburgh Humanities Festival. The heady week is packed with 14 core conversations and five featured events showcasing internationally-renowned artists, scholars, thought leaders and intellectual innovators.  Topics will explore everything from sexual politics on college campuses and artificial intelligence, to slavery, autism and the Trump era. Not to miss is the multimedia “PostSecret” show based on the popular blog, bestselling books and Smithsonian art exhibit. Pittsburgh’s own comic book rock star Ed Piskor will discuss his work for Marvel’s X-Men and his best-selling “Hip Hop Family Tree.” Discover the Spinosaurus — the largest predatory dinosaur — during an immersive presentation by National Geographic explorer Nizar Ibrahim. Learn more and buy tickets.


2015 UpPrize networking event. Photo by Dave DiCello.

10. UpPrize 2018 launch event at Nova Place: February 27, 6 – 8 p.m.

Have an innovative solution that could help solve a big challenge facing our community? Looking to connect with progressive thinkers, nonprofit leaders and tech innovators? Just want to have fun? Don’t miss one of the city’s best networking events, hosted by NEXTpittsburgh, where The Forbes Funds and BNY Mellon will kick off the 2018 UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge. Meet others involved in UpPrize, exchange ideas and work together to address common problems. Hear inspiring remarks from UpPrize creators and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, enjoy drinks and light bites and network with all kinds of people working for the good of the community. Child care is also available. Learn more about UpPrize here. Register now since it’s filling up fast.

Check out more terrific events every week, including these coming up:

Imbibe North Side at the Mattress Factory: February 3
MAKEnight (21+): My Snarky Valentine at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh: February 8
Fun-A-Day Art Show Opening Reception at Artists Image Resource: February 9
Wigle Whiskey’s Afterglow Spicy Soirée: February 9 & 10
Attack Theatre’s One Night Stand at Ace Hotel: February 10
Andy Warhol Museum’s Vintage Valentines Workshop at Ace Hotel: February 11
Welcome to the Jungle 21+ party at The National Aviary: February 23
Showcase Noir at the August Wilson Center: February 23 – 25

For kids’ events, read 10 great family adventures in Pittsburgh this February