Charlie Wallace
Charlie Wallace.

Here are some great ways to stay connected and explore Pittsburgh from home. Know of an interesting virtual event taking place in May? Email us here.

Monday, May 4: Italian Cuisine at Home
5-6:30 p.m.
There’s nothing like comfort food — make that authentic Italian cuisine — to improve your mood during quarantine.
You’ll become a master of your own cucina in no time during this live cooking class led by Justin Melnick, exectutive chef at Spello. You’ll receive the ingredients list prior to the session so you can cook along and have a scrumptious dinner on the table by 6:30 p.m. Sign up for a single class or the entire Phipps series.

Monday, May 4: Where To From Here: Conversation & Drinks
5-6:30 p.m.
After six weeks (and counting) of social distancing, where do we go from here? Explore this looming question during a happy hour and Q&A hosted by the Circle of Intrapreneurs PGH Chapter — a group that aims to nurture “purpose-driven business ideas from social intraprenuers.” The conversation about leadership and social impact initiatives will be facilitated by the chapter’s Director of Development, Amber Thompson.

Monday, May 4: The Show Must Go On(line) Pittsburgh
7 p.m.
The region’s first shared virtual programming channel kicks off this week and all the shows are free. Developed by City of Asylum, The Show Must Go On(line) Pittsburgh is a new virtual platform for connecting the city’s cultural sector with and international artists. Kicking things off will be Italian pianist Claudio Cojaniz, who created his Balkan Blues Music concert for City of Asylum’s signature Jazz Poetry Festival. Audiences will experience sounds from Cojaniz’s childhood, music from his grandfather’s native Serbia, and Balkan dances, prayers, songs and lullabies. The program will include an interview  with Cojaniz recorded at his home in Southern Italy.

Claudio Cojaniz
Claudio Cojaniz. Photo courtesy of City of Asylum.

Monday, May 4: AcoustiCafe Virtual Open Stage & Watch Party
7-10 p.m.
The music won’t stop for AcoustiCafe, a signature event of The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls. Turn your mundane Monday night into a shared space for local live music. Musicians who wish to perform live from home, and be added to the watch party, can sign up for a 10-minute slot on the event’s Facebook page. Fans should tune in there from 7 to 10 p.m., and keeping filling up those virtual tip jars. The series will also broadcasting pre-recorded video submissions.

Monday, May 4: May the 4th Be With You Trivia
7:30 p.m.
Star Wars Day is here again, which means it’s time to show off your cosmic knowledge and party like it’s 1979. Join Pittsburgh-based magician and balloon artist Weird Eric and other Star Wars aficionados to celebrate the global grassroots commemoration during this trivia game played via Zoom.

Monday, May 4: Submit your movie to Lights, Camera, Quarantine: The Sequel
Various times
Some days it seems like the COVID-19 crisis is something straight out of a zombie movie. If you could make a film about a global pandemic, what would it be like? Back by popular demand, Steeltown is announcing a second round of its short film contest. Lights, Camera, Quarantine: The Sequel starts today and the theme is connection. Through May 11, budding directors should pick up a camera or phone, start rolling and compete for cash prizes. Read the guidelines here.

Monday, May 4: Virtual Fringe Visual Art Edition
Various times
The first-ever Pittsburgh Virtual Fringe Festival kicked off last weekend with 19 different shows in three days. The freeform festival continues with visual art exhibitions happening all month long. Online exhibits include multimedia work by Pittsburgh artists, as well as entries from around the world, including 3D virtual galleries. Not to miss are the collaborations with VaultArt Studio and LevelUp Studios, including Charlie Wallace’s series, Celebrities, and Sweet and Low, featuring work by Sarah Harris and Wendy Davis.

Tuesday, May 5: Craft Show and Tell
1-2 p.m.
Have you been getting crafty during quarantine? Share the cool projects you’ve been working on at home during this virtual show and tell session hosted by Contemporary Craft. Participate as an observer to get some cool and inspiring ideas or show off the art project you’re currently working on — all while booming with fellow local makers. The free event will be led by Contemporary Craft Studio Manager, Allison Jones.

Tuesday, May 5: What Black Pittsburgh Needs to Know About Covid-19
2-5 p.m.
1Hood Media and UrbanKind Institute are teaming up to host a series of virtual town hall meetings addressing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on education. The event will provide resources for Black residents of Southwestern PA and will include speakers from Pittsburgh Public Schools, along with entrepreneurs, local leaders and artists.

Tuesday, May 5: Swartz Center Corporate StartUp Lab Public Demo Day
6 p.m.
Be inspired by the next generation of innovators. Students from the Bosch, Giant Eagle, numo and Optum teams at CMU’s Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and Tepper School of Business will share their big ideas about corporate innovation, startups and lessons learned during this public presentation. The event will be hosted by Sean Ammirati, director of the Corporate Startup Lab Director and adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the Tepper School.

Tuesday, May 5: Give Big Pittsburgh and GivingTuesday
Various times
You can support vital local nonprofits as part of GivingTuesday — a global day of unity organized in response to the unprecedented need caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Locally, the citywide fundraising effort will support nonprofits that are providing essential services to those affected by the disease and organizations whose operations have been disrupted by the economic shutdown. Give Big Pittsburgh’s COVID-19 Response Campaign will help nonprofits in Western Pennsylvania raise critical dollars during a time of exceptional need. Search for a Pittsburgh-based organization to support here and learn more about Giving Tuesday here.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Wednesday, May 6: Musings with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre: Exploring Jewels
7 p.m.
Craftsmanship and choreography will collide during this online program co-presented by The Frick Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Explore exquisite art jewelry in the Frick’s Maker & Muse exhibition and George Balanchine’s life and legacy and legendary three-act ballet, Jewels, and the creation of PBT’s stunning costumes.

Thursday, May 7: Resume Review Workshop
12-1 p.m.
Looking to reboot your resume? Prototype founder Erin Gatz is here to help your through the slog. You’ll learn to use free online software to update the design of your resume and you’ll get helpful feedback on formatting and content.

Thursday, May 7: Story Share
1-2 p.m.
The Heinz History Center misses you! That’s why the museum is hosting this free virtual story circle where you can choose one object and share a story about it. History Center staff will kick off the session by sharing the story behind a favorite piece from the museum’s collection. During this installment of Story Share, archivist Sierra Green will also share personal letters from Fred Rogers.

Thursday, May 7: Mother’s Day Plant Garden Container
1-3 p.m.
This Mother’s Day, skip the generic flower delivery arrangements and make your own instead! Polly Berginc from the American Institute of Floral Designers will teach you how to create a personalized Mother’s Day plant garden in a decorative container. Using a combination of indoor plants and outdoor annuals and perennials, you’ll arrange and customize your mixed plant garden inside your choice of unique containers, and finish by adding embellishments. Participants will receive a materials list, follow-up literature and photo ideas.

Fantastic Fungi
Fantastic Fungi. Photo courtesy of Rangos Giant Cinema.

Thursday, May 7: Tricks for Early Planting of Warm Weather Plants
4-5 p.m.
Each week, Organic Gardener Radio Show Host Doug Oster imparts some of his green thumb wisdom via this new online workshop series hosted by Farm to Table Western PA. Now that the weather is starting to feeling more springlike, this week’s topic of “Tricks for Early Planting of Warm Weather Plants” is particularly timely.

Thursday, May 7: For the Whole Family: Michael Buckley
4-6 p.m.
What would you do if you opened your lunchbox and saw a seven-foot-tall robot? Find out when New York Times bestselling children’s author Michael Buckley reads from his latest book, “Finn and the Intergalactic Luncbox.” Gather the entire family for family-friendly reading and presentation hosted by White Whale Bookstore. Author of the Sisters Grimm and N.E.R.D.S., Buckley — creator of Cartoon Network’s Robotomy — is back with an action-packed middle-grade series all about aliens, robots and kids saving the planet. There are both free and pay-what-you-can tickets available.

Thursday, May 7: Watch Fantastic Fungi with Rangos Giant Cinema
Various times
Spring is blooming and there’s no better time to learn about the remarkable mushroom. Rangos Giant Cinema is offering an affordable rental of Louie Schwartzberg’s eye-popping, thought-provoking documentary. Take an immersive journey into the magical earth beneath your feet to discover “an underground network that can heal and save our planet.” Featuring interviews with renowned scientists, mycologists and writers such as Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone and Andrew Weil, the film shows how the fungi kingdom can help solve some of the planet’s most urgent medical, therapeutic and environmental challenges.

For more virtual events, go here. Know about an interesting virtual event taking place in May? Email us here.

Looking for things to do with kids? Read Pittsburgh parents, keep the kids engaged with these online activities from local groups.

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.