Beers of the Burgh Festival
Beers of the Burgh Festival
Marcus Miller
Marcus Miller.

6. Taste of Jazz at the August Wilson Center: June 15, 9 p.m.

Before immersing in the vibrant sounds and rhythms of the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, music fans can enjoy a cultural appetizer. Kicking off the three-day Downtown fest, the Taste of Jazz pre-party will heat up the August Wilson Center with a special concert by Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist Marcus Miller. You’ll want to be a VIP so you can have access to the post-show meet-and-greet with the jazz star, as well as exclusive musical entertainment by Benny Benack III, an open bar and appetizers from Eddie V’s. At 9 p.m., the main party will be electrified by live music filling every corner, including performances by Orrin Evans, DJ Selecta and Noel Quintana & The Latin Crew. Pittsburgh’s top restaurants – like A519 Chocolate, Fogo de Chao, Pirata Caribbean Cuisine and Yuzu Kitchen – will serve up chef-inspired tastings. Buy tickets. Read more about the Jazz Festival here.

Photo by John Altdorfer.

7. Urban Garden Party at the Mattress Factory: June 15, 7:30 – 11 p.m.

Forty years ago, artist Barbara Luderowski stopped in Pittsburgh to visit family while driving from Detroit to NYC and fell in love with the North Side neighborhood. She bought a 49,000-square-foot former mattress warehouse on Sampson Way and the museum is now a leading global art destination and residency program. There’s one night when the people-watching is almost as fantastic as the art itself. For this year’s anything-goes Urban Garden Party, the museum entices party-goers with this question: What will the year 2058 look like? Dubbed the “Galactic Get Down,” the benefit bash will feature performances by New Orleans futuristic funk sensations Water Seed, hip-hop artist Mars Jackson, Steel City Kitty Burlesque and more. Get there early to bid on one-of-a-kind artwork and savor culinary creations from a staggering selection of local restaurants and bars. Then rocket over to the “Cosmic After Party” at Rivers Casino. Buy tickets.

Photo by Christopher Sprowls.

8. TEDxPittsburgh at the Byham Theater: June 16, 11:30 a.m.

How can soap rescued from hotels save lives in Cambodia? Can chess be a catalyst for social change? How is artificial intelligence being harnessed to fight opioid addiction? These are just some of the powerful stories that will be shared when TEDxPittsburgh explores the theme of “Small Worlds” and connects the dots between people and very big ideas. Don’t miss the chance to hear from San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, who was nominated for Time’s 2017 Person of the Year, and former NBC news anchor Darieth Chisolm, who founded 50 Shades of Silence to raise awareness about cyber crimes. Also taking the mic will be 2017 CNN Hero Samir Lakhani, Leadership Pittsburgh CEO Aradhna Oliphant, and author Leon Ford, who started a foundation after being a victim of police brutality. The afternoon will also feature performances by Vanessa German, Punchline and Prince G., plus an Innovation Corridor packed with interactive exhibits. You’ll leave empowered by ideas that challenge, inspire and shift your way of thinking. Buy tickets.

Courtesy Jewish Family and Community Services of Pittsburgh.

9. World Refugee Day in Market Square: June 20, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

According to Jewish Family and Community Services of Pittsburgh, approximately 600 refugees were resettled in Pittsburgh in 2016. You can help welcome them all — and celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month — at this vibrant festival animating Downtown’s Market Square. Free to all, World Refugee Day will feature live entertainment, guest speakers, cuisine and craft vendors, children’s activities, and more. New this year will be performances by the award winning Blackhawk High School Music Academy Choir, under the direction of Maura Underwood, and a Girl Scout Color Guard ceremony showcasing flags from many countries. Organized by the Northern Area Multi-Service Center, along with a number of area service organizations, this year’s event will also feature a citizenship ceremony for 10 immigrants. Serving as emcee is Gisele Barreto Fetterman, founder of The Free Store, For Good PGH and The Hollander in Braddock. A wide variety of community partners are participating, from All for All to the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council to No One Left Behind.

Rendering courtesy of Tree Pittsburgh / GBBN Architects.

10. Summer Solstice Party at Tree Pittsburgh: June 22, 5 – 9 p.m.

In 2013, Pittsburgh was touted by National Geographic for its abundance of urban trees. But Allegheny County lost 10,000 acres of its tree canopy between 2011-2015. You can help Tree Pittsburgh with its vital work restoring and protecting our urban forests at this summer solstice soirée along the Allegheny River. Get a sneak peek at Tree Pittsburgh’s new Lawrenceville campus — opening in September at 32 62nd Street — and help the nonprofit complete the final stretch of its $2.6 million capital campaign. Be the first to see the new facility — which will feature an education center, tree nursery, and public access to the river — as you enjoy local libations and live music by The Morningside Band. By taking part, you’ll help the environmental organization plant 4,000 trees in Allegheny County this year. Buy tickets.

Check out more terrific events every week, including these in June:

Making the Ordinary Extraordinary at Pittsburgh Glass Center: June 1
Excursion to the Exotic Gala at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium: June 8
Summer Fridays at The Frick Pittsburgh: June 15
Nerf War at Century 3 Mall: June 16
Lights Out Celebration at Pittsburgh Playhouse: June 18
Dan Savage at New Hazlett Theater: June 21
YNGBLKPGH + 1Hood Media Anniversary Gala at Hyatt Place: June 23
Feminist Zine Fair at the Irma Freeman Center: June 24
OpenStreetsPGH: June 24
Festa di Limoncello at Vallozzi’s: June 30

For family events, read Top 10 events for kids in Pittsburgh this June.

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...