The NEXTpittsburgh event guide is underwritten in part by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

What’s going on this week in Pittsburgh, Aug. 8-14? Find out here. Visit each organization’s website and social media for changing Covid protocols. Know of a cool event? Email us.

Monday, Aug. 8 through Sunday, Aug. 14: Pittsburgh Restaurant Week
Various times
Who wants to turn on the oven with August’s sweltering temps? Let Pittsburgh’s top chefs cook for you during the summer edition of Restaurant Week. For seven days — with many extended to Aug. 21 — it’s a great way to support local businesses with participating restaurants spanning the city and county. Take a seat, or grab takeout, at dining destinations from Scratch & Co, Carmella’s and Fujiya Ramen to Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen and Bar and Mastic Trail Brewing.

Tuesday, Aug. 9: #ONEDAY Critical Needs Alert
8 a.m.-11:59 p.m.
With the pandemic persisting, it’s a crucial time to help our region’s vulnerable populations. Led by The Pittsburgh Foundation, today’s effort will help 200 regional organizations provide basic needs to our communities — from child care to job skills to food, housing and more. Every little bit helps to maximize the impact with the campaign’s $500,000 matching fund. Donate here.

Barrel & Flow Fest
Photo courtesy of Barrel & Flow Fest.

Tuesday, Aug. 9-Sunday, Aug. 14: Barrel & Flow Fest at multiple venues
Various times
There’s even more to love about the country’s first Black beer festival which expands to include six days of frothy festivities, including new satellite activities at neighborhood breweries around town. Founded by Day Bracey, the community-fueled event goes far beyond hops, malt and foam. Kicking thinks into high gear on Friday is the networking conference and bottle share. On Saturday, the award-winning festival hops over to a new home in the Strip for its marquee event, where the welcoming showcase of Black culinary and cultural creators will embody a spirit of collective creativity in the transformed open-air plaza. On tap is a staggering lineup of 55 unique releases, 150 vendors, 30 Black-owned breweries and more. Creating the “vibe and imbibe” atmosphere will be live music, DJs, visual art stages and a craft market. Cap off the weekend at the Sunday Brewers Brunch. Buy tickets.

Alejandro Pinzón. Photo courtesy of Al Reid.

Tuesday, Aug. 9: Just Summer Series at The Highline
7:30 p.m.
Spend summer in the city with renowned musicians in Pittsburgh’s newest riverfront destination. Chamber Music Pittsburgh kicks off its free August series with “maestro tango” Alejandro Pinzón. Inspired by revolutionary composer Astor Piazzolla, the free concert explores tango, Latin music and contemporary work and features a string quartet with members from the Grammy-winning PSO. Make a night of it with drinks and food from Sly Fox Brewery and De Fer Coffee & Tea.

Wednesday, Aug. 10: Write the Rivers at 317 E Carson St.
7-8:30 p.m.
Prose and nature converge during this workshop led by Pittsburgh-based writer, editor and educator Sherrie Flick. During the guided writing and walking tour, you’ll explore the urban environment and rippling water along the mighty Mon as inspiration. No experience is required — just bring your pen, paper, curiosity and walking shoes! Buy tickets.

Tull Family Theater
Photo courtesy of the Tull Family Theater.

Thursday, Aug. 11: Red Carpet Event at The Tull Family Theater
9:30 a.m.
Our region’s talented young filmmakers are ready for the big screen. The cinematic celebration includes a kick-off breakfast, games, red carpet photo opps, screenings and a cookie reception. Be there when 50 middle schoolers — first-time filmmakers from underserved communities — watch the movies they produced during this summer’s 10-week Cinema Maker Sessions at the nonprofit theater. Film critic Josh Axelrod will offer his feedback, and Emmy-winning musician FRZY will present a freestyle performance.

Photo courtesy of Adda.

Thursday, Aug. 11: Coffee Cupping and Artisan Chocolate at Adda Coffee & Tea House
6-8 p.m.
Struggling to make that perfect cuppa joe you get in your favorite coffeehouse? Join the barista gurus at Adda’s Cultural District location to learn pro pour-over techniques and sample single-origin selections from Santa Barbara-based roastery, Verve Coffee. Sweeten things up with pairings showcasing craft-made, single-origin chocolate. Buy tickets.

Thursday, Aug. 11: Inside Out at Carnegie Museum of Art
5-9 p.m.
Just say no to FOMO! The final two Inside Out events of summer are happening this week. Spend happy hour in CMOA’s Sculpture Court, where DJs Joshua Orange, Royal Haunts and Arie Cole from the Everything the Light Touches collective will keep the party vibes pulsing. Soul Biscuit will serve comfort food from its signature tandem bicycle and Trace Brewing will sell beer.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Friday, Aug. 12: Asian Lantern Festival at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
6:30 p.m.
Real-life animals converge with those that once roamed the Earth when this stunner returns. More than 50 massive silk and steel handcrafted sculptures will illuminate the zoo’s pathways – some soaring 30 feet high and reaching 100 feet long. Adding prehistoric favorites — colossal dinosaurs — the new lanterns were created by Tianyu Arts & Culture. As dusk descends, the lanterns will glow as visitors encounter Chinese dragons, a gorilla, Koi fish and sea turtles, joined by Ceratops, T-Rex and Stegosaurus. Highlighting Asian culture and history, the festival also raises awareness about endangered species and conservation. Buy tickets.

Friday, Aug. 12: ZODIAC: Garden Party at the Mattress Factory
7-11 p.m.
“What’s your sign?” is the perfect salutation for this summer soirée. Under the Perseid meteor showers and full sturgeon moon, this epic Pittsburgh party returns. Hosted in August for the first time, the stars are aligned for this zodiac-themed garden gala. Nestled within the Mexican War Streets, revelers will be treated to fab food, fab drink and fab fashion. Pop into divination stations to get a glimpse of your destiny, consult the tarot and wander through room-sized installations. The benefit bash will heat up with performances by Clara Kent, Good Sport, Bjordan and Steel City Kitty, plus music by queer dance party Jellyfish, and the signature art auction. Buy tickets.

Friday, Aug. 12 & Saturday, Aug. 13: Big Day Aht in Pittsburgh
Various times
Where can you try forest bathing, forage for mushrooms — and attend two drive-in film festivals in one weekend? It’s time to get outdoors in a big way. There’s something for outdoor enthusiasts, weekend warriors and couch potatoes alike with 16 adventures spanning regional destinations. Mother Nature provides the stunning backdrop as you kayak with Fido, bird-watch in Frick Park, bike to breweries or reel in a big one. New workshops are dedicated to skateboarding, rock climbing and mountain biking. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival will inspire you to save the planet and the first-ever No Man’s Land Film Festival will have cheering on inspiring female athletes. View a schedule.

Photo courtesy of Cello Fury.

Friday, Aug. 12: Cello Fury at South Park
7:30 p.m.
What happens when you mix classical chamber music with rock and roll? Enter Cello Fury, who will heat up the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series with its eclectic fusion sound at South Park Amphitheater. Opening the free show will be fellow Pittsburghers Good Brother Earl. Save room for food truck bites and libations from Black Dog Winery and Hop Farm Brewing Co.

Friday, Aug. 12: Pangina Heals at Spirit
8:30 p.m.-12a.m.
Look out dance floor: two of the hottest local parties are joining forces. The brainchild of Huny’s MostBeautifullest and the Moon Baby’s Altsut69, the debut of Pangina Heals features drag performances and DJ sets. Joining Pittsburgh’s own Moon Baby is Philadelphia-based performance artist Icon Ebony Fierce and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant Calipso. Downstairs, Mostbeautifullest collective founder Huny will hold court behind the decks with Kilopatrah Jones. Buy tickets.

Photo courtesy of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
Photo courtesy of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Saturday, Aug. 13: Kindergarten Readiness Celebration at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Kindergarten is a huge life transition and this event will help make the experience less stressful and more fun for the city’s youngest learners. Children entering kindergarten this fall are invited to hop on a school bus and score classroom essentials, while parents will get resources on topics such as vaccination, learning and healthy nutrition. Buy tickets.

Saturday, Aug. 13: GAMMA Off the Court with Doors Open 
10 a.m.-2:45 p.m.
If you’re hooked on the sport after attending the GAMMA Pickleball Classic — or are hearing the buzz about the country’s fastest-growing sport, don’t miss this insider tour of GAMMA Sports’ cool facility on Washington’s Landing. Discover the fascinating story behind the company’s founder Harry Ferrari, a Westinghouse nuclear engineer and avid tennis player who invented a game-changing racquet string 45 years ago. In addition to hosting the Pickleball Classic, GAMMA operates a state-of-the-art research and development lab, offers pickleball camps and supports the Parkinson Foundation. Buy tickets.

Saturday, Aug. 13: Inside Out at Carnegie Museum of Art
12-5 p.m.
Celebrate summer’s last hurrah and get “inside out” at CMOA. Pittsburgh’s own Beauty Slap will fill the open-air party with its high-voltage hybrid of beats, brass and electronic dance music. The free closing celebration features DJ Sets by ADAB, suds from Trace Brewing, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

Photo courtesy of Rob Pfaffmann.

Saturday, Aug. 13: Grand Opening at the August Wilson House
5 p.m.
The childhood home of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Hill District native August Wilson is poised for its next act as a new community arts hub. Born in 1945, Wilson spent 13 years at 1727 Bedford Ave. with his mother and five siblings. His nephew Paul Ellis led efforts to save the home, obtain landmark status and secure donations from local leaders and Hollywood A-listers alike. Be among the first to see the beautiful architecture and preservation led by Pfaffmann & Associates. The grand opening gala includes a Community House Party with dancing and music by UNION, Big Phil, DJ Selecta and Blakk Steel. Buy tickets.

Saturday, Aug. 13: Steel City Ska Fest at Spirit
5 p.m.-12 a.m.
Calling all ska fans for seven whopping hours of rollicking live music from The Toasters, Pilfers, Joystick, Burnrides and Soulios. The all-ages event will also showcase a special reunion of The Irritating Stick. Buy tickets.

Ryder Henry
Artwork by Ryder Henry.

Saturday, August 13: Ryder Henry’s Futurelistic Landscapes at Double Dog Studios
6-9 p.m.
Visitors will encounter a world populated by “island sculptures” at tonight’s free opening reception in Carnegie. Showcasing new work by Pittsburgh-based sculptor and painter Ryder Henry, the exhibition features “buildings isolated on rock foundations suspended in their own universe.” Known for his massive futuristic model city constructed from found cardboard and paper products, Henry has worked as an artist-in-residence at Contemporary Craft and the Mattress Factory.

Joe Beretta Foundation
Photo courtesy of the the Joe Beretta Foundation.

Saturday, Aug. 13: Hopeful Hearts River Cruise on the Gateway Clipper
6:30-9:30 p.m.
Hop aboard a floating fête to help the Joe Beretta Foundation provide vital non-medical needs to advanced heart failure patients at five hospitals in two cities, including UPMC and AGH. Cruising in Gateway Clipper’s Duchess vessel with the best views in town, you’ll enjoy dinner, dancing, drinks, live entertainment and a silent auction. Buy tickets.

Sunday, Aug. 14: Neighborhood Flea at The Stacks at 3 Crossings
10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Score fab finds at this open-air flea market in the Strip. Vendors, shops and food trucks will set up shop along 29th and Railroad streets and adjacent parking is just $3 at The Hive. The dog-friendly marketplace features artwork, vintage goods, clothing, collectibles, food trucks, small batch foods and lots more.

Sunday, Aug. 14: When She Thrives Luncheon at Heinz History Center
12 p.m.
Join When She Thrives to help uplift single mothers and their families. During the benefit luncheon, five community leaders will receive awards and six women will be recognized as published authors. Featuring a keynote address by Diamonte Walker, the event will raise crucial funds to help single mothers move their families from poverty to prosperity via advocacy, education and personal and professional development. Buy tickets.

Sunday Aug. 14: Pittsburgh Cannabis Fest in Allegheny Commons Park
12-5 p.m.
If you’re eager to learn more about cannabis, including its uses, medicinal properties and potential benefits, don’t miss Pittsburgh’s premiere festival dedicated to the plant. Attendees can apply for medical card certifications, attend educational presentations and yoga classes, and talk with budtenders and statewide advocates. Showcasing this “budding industry,” the free fest includes live dance and music, food trucks and a market vendor village spotlighting local businesses that support cannabis culture — from glass art to soap to cuisine.

Allison Russell. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Sunday, August 14: Allison Russell at Hartwood Acres
7:30 p.m.
Don’t miss Canadian singer-songwriter and activist Allison Russell at tonight’s edition of the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series. A founding member of several bands, the prolific musician has been nominated for three Grammys, four Canadian Folk Music Awards, two Junos and a Polaris Music Prize.

For more things to do, read 13 hottest Pittsburgh events in August, from Barrel & Flow to Party at the Pier. For live music, check out 19 best concerts in Pittsburgh this August, from Thundercat to Matmos. For family events, see 10 best August events for fun-loving kids in Pittsburgh.

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 of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.