Cultural District Downtown

September 26
5:30 – 10 p.m.

This Friday won’t be your typical Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District. Fall into art and help The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust celebrate 10 years of arts crawling through Downtown with special programming from 5:30 to 10 p.m., and select after-hours activities until 11 p.m.

Kicking off the Autumnal season with much to celebrate, The Trust’s signature quarterly showcase marks its 10th anniversary year with a free night of thought provoking art, live music and DJs, engaging performances, film screenings, hands-on activities, comedy acts, independent shopping and dining and more.

What began a decade ago as a conversation between Murray Horne of Wood Street Galleries and Janis Burley Wilson of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, has evolved into one of Downtown’s most popular cultural happenings. Expanding from four venues in 2004 to 30-plus in 2014, the Crawl is poised to march into its next decade of arts and culture Downtown. The Fall edition features programming 33 Crawl venues and six CrawlAfterDark spots—look for the bright green sidewalk signs—along with a new street party taking place at the “Blacktop at 8th St.” outdoor stage.

Not to miss is the Crawl’s music headliner, Les Nubians, who will take the stage on 8th St. at 8 p.m. Featuring French sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart, the Grammy-nominated Afropean act released their latest album, Nü Revolution, in 2011 via Nubiatik Shanachie. Raised in Bordeaux, France and Chad, Africa—and now based in Paris and NYC—Les Nubians are one of the most successful French-language musical groups in the US. Acclaimed for their Billboard R&B hit “Makeda,” a single from their Grammy nominated album, Princesses Nubiennes, the dynamic duo received two NAACP Image Awards nominations in 2000 and are winners of a 1999 Soul Train Lady of Soul Award. Also live on the 8th Street Stage will be music by local DJ Nate da Phat Barber.

Head to SPACE to see the gallery’s contribution to the 2014 Pittsburgh Biennial. A multi-media group show exploring love, absurdity, surveillance, gaming and identity, Public Record features new work by Carolina Loyola-Garcia, Susanne Slavick, Matt Biederman (with Aljosa Abrahamsberg, Marko Peljhan, Brian Springer), Caroline Record, Paul Rosenblatt, Martha Rial, Rafael Abreu-Canedo and Paolo Pedercini. Don a mask a be a part of Loyola-Garcia’s Map of Love, during which two characters will find each other to create a live movement performance in the village of “New Friendship.”

Swing by Social Status to see Artistic Integrity, a new exhibition by former Steelers running back Baron Batch, who will create live paintings and offer special giveaways. Pop into Crazy Mocha to watch as artist Gerard Tonti paint with coffee and tea during a live demo. Using only coffees and teas from around the globe, Tonti creates life-like portraits set in cafe environments via a technique that has been featured in The London Daily, Art Magazine in Italy and Italian Tea Magazine.

There is a lot going on at the Trust Arts Education Center all night. Enjoy performances of WordPlay, a show combining actors, writers and everyday folks reading their own humorous and captivating true stories along with a live DJ score. While there, be sure to peruse AIA Pittsburgh’s 2014 Design Exhibition to see impressive new work by talented Pittsburgh architects, designers and photographers. Next, be sure to play “Build YOUR Burgh,” a life-sized interactive game designed by AIA Pittsburgh that will help you and fellow crawlers collaborate to create your ideal community one block at a time. Architects will be on-hand to guide you through the game, as you have fun learning about your built environment and the importance of a well-designed community.

Vinyl lovers won’t want to miss Well Played: Paul’s Vinyl Records at 707 Penn Gallery. An interactive installation by architect and designer Paul Rosenblatt, Well Played features an astounding presentation of 15,000 LP records, along with turntables, amplifiers, speakers, computers and related audiophile artifacts. Visitors. both in person or online, are invited to dig into the crates and spin tunes throughout the run of the show. Featured platters will rotate, as the installation itself represents another rotation. Stay tuned to find out what will happen to the collection when the exhibit closes!

Live music will also animate Katz Plaza, with festive sounds by Noel Quintana and the Latin Crew. Need to unwind? Drop by Bend Yoga to practice your Downtown Dog during free classes throughout the night.

Stay late to shop in the open air at the Fall Night Market. Featuring local independent vendors selling food, music, art, jewelry, clothing, crafts and games, the outdoor marketplace is open until 11 p.m. at the corner of Penn Avenue and 8th Street.

Extend your Downtown staycation at CrawlAfterDark, hosting special late-night programming at select venues. Launched in January 2014, CrawlAfterDark highlights the ongoing transformation of the Cultural District by promoting options for after-hours entertainment, comedy, music, theater, clubs and dining.

CrawlAfterDark highlights include live electronic performances by YXU and Ennui at SPACE, music by Maureen Budway at the Fairmont Hotel and Salsa Fridays at Cabaret at Theater Square,

At Arcade Comedy Theater, watch as improvisers, public speakers and comedians compete during the Electric Slidez PowerPoint Karaoke Throwdown. Each contestant will be faced with a deck full of slides (and whacky surprises) they’ve never seen before, and must transform them on the spot into a public PowerPoint presentation.

Avant-garde film fans should head to the Harris Theater to catch a screening of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1970 cult classic El Topo, the landmark film that kicked off the midnight movie phenomenon. A surreal western tale about a mystic gunfighter who sets out on a bizarre path to achieve allegorical self-enlightenment and resurrection, the film explores philosophy, religion, violence, cinematic counterculture and expressionism.

It all sounds like a great way to start the weekend to us.

All Gallery Crawl events are free and open to the public. View a complete Gallery Crawl schedule, map and brochure.

Les Nubians. Photo courtesy of Sweetwine Entertainment Group.

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.