What’s going on this week in Pittsburgh, May 16-22? Find out here. Be sure to visit each organization’s website and social media for Covid protocols. Know of a cool event? Email us.
Monday, May 16: Bike Anywhere Week in Pittsburgh
Whether you’re a cycling rookie, or ready to try a two-wheeled commute, this is the perfect week to ditch the car. Increase your outdoor fitness and help reduce traffic congestion while experiencing the city from a new vantage point. The five-day festivities are packed with events and resources to welcome you into the BikePGH community — from a Women & Non-Binary Ice Cream Ride to a bike light giveaway.
Monday, May 16: American Craft Beer Week at Multiple Venues
Thirsty? American Craft Beer Week kicks off today and it’s your chance to drink outside the box. To celebrate, the Backyard Flight series at City Works in Market Square is highlighting four local breweries. Whet your whistle with 90 beers on tap — from Helltown’s Mischievous Brown Ale to Mindful’s Red Brain. And stay nourished by pairing your brew with a Pittsburgh Classic Sandwich. Consult this handy Brewery Finder to locate a brewpub near you.
Tuesday, May 17: Lost Amusement Parks of Western Pennsylvania’s Mon Valley at the McKeesport Regional History & Heritage Center
We all love Kennywood but what about the region’s forgotten amusement parks? As part of her research for a forthcoming book, author Jennifer Sopko will share fascinating stories and images highlighting long-gone Mon Valley recreation spots, such as Olympia Park in Versailles, Rainbow Gardens in White Oak and Eldora Park near Donora.
Tuesday, May 17: “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations” at the Benedum
You’ll be singing from your seat when this Broadway sensation brings its signature dance moves and silky-smooth harmonies to the Benedum. Follow The Temptations’ remarkable journey from the streets of Detroit to 42 top 10 hits to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in this thrilling production written by three-time Obie Award winner Dominique Morisseau. Nominated for 12 Tonys, it’s a compelling story of “brotherhood, family, loyalty and betrayal.” Buy tickets.
Wednesday, May 18: “By The Waters of Babylon” at Buhl Planetarium
Don’t miss this immersive documentary originally formatted for VR headset viewing that’s been reformatted by producers Halasz, Andrew and Kristen Lauth Shaeffer. It’s a powerful story about a musician who composed and performed while imprisoned in a Nazi camp — and the contemporary Clarion Quartet who are on a mission to share this music with the world. The screening, talkback and reception are co-hosted by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.
Thursday, May 19: Paint the Town Maxo! at St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church
Have some fun while helping to preserve one of Pittsburgh’s most significant cultural treasures. Participate in Maxo Vanka-inspired activities, VR experiences and games, savor Millvale-sourced bites and beverages and enjoy live entertainment. You’ll be the first to see the “Gift to America 2.0” project and meet the local artists. Buy tickets.
Thursday, May 19: Gordon Parks in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Museum of Art
Join Dan Leers, CMOA’s curator of photography, and author Mark Whitaker for this compelling conversation about the book, “Gordon Parks: Pittsburgh Grease Plant 1944/46,” and the accompanying exhibition. Published by Steidl, the publication features 100 previously unpublished photographs and contributions from Philip Brookman and LaToya Ruby Frazier. Signed copies of the book will be for sale. Buy tickets.
Thursday, May 19: Momentum New Play Festival at City Theatre
Open mic nights are not just for musicians. Providing a behind-the-scenes look at the process of creating plays and theatrical experiences, this six-day campus-wide festival features public readings of three new works and an open mic with Pittsburgh’s brightest talents. Amplifying the voices of local and national playwrights, this year’s event features Ty Greenwood — the first artist to receive a commission from the Kemp Powers Commission Fund for Black Playwrights. Buy tickets.
Friday, May 20: GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World at Carnegie Science Center
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where can you see the world’s largest playable electric guitar (all 2,200 pounds of it!), experiment with sound waves and rock out? The planet’s most popular instrument (sorry piano!) will rock the PPG Science Pavilion when this touring exhibit arrives from the National Guitar Museum. Part of our culture for hundreds of years, the guitar (aka the axe!) has been around longer than baseball and hamburgers. Explore the enduring icon via 70 acoustic, electric and unusual guitars, rare antiques and 15 hands-on STEM-based activities. Buy tickets.
Friday, May 20 & Saturday, May 21: Millvale Music Festival
Turning five years young, this community-fueled fest returns bigger than ever with 300 acts rocking 30 stages. There are also special stages dedicated to comedy, spoken word and jazz, a Save Our Stages showcase, visual art components, and opening night festivities with 75 acts. View a schedule.
Saturday, May 21: Pop Day at The Andy Warhol Museum
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Pop over to the North Side for a family day bursting with hands-on art and tech activities inside and outside the museum. Meet public artists Typoe and Michael Loveland, make silk-screen prints and buttons and get your 15 minutes of fame in the TikTok video studio. The event includes tours and food trucks. Register for free.
Saturday, May 21: Pittsburgh’s John Kane: The Life & Art of an American Workman at Heinz History Center
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
At the heart of this must-see exhibition is a very Pittsburgh story. Explore the life and legacy of a Scottish immigrant who endured poverty and adversity to become one of the world’s most admired self-taught artists. Grounded in illuminating new scholarship from Louise Lippincott and Maxwell King, the groundbreaking exhibit features 37 works of art, an immersive walk-through, a re-created boxcar reflecting Kane’s work as a painter for the Pressed Steel Car Company, the artist’s trusty tin whistle and flute, and never-before-seen photos. From immigrating to Braddock in 1880 to losing his leg in a railroad accident to his meteoric rise at age 67, you’ll be captivated by the art and the stories. Buy tickets.
Saturday, May 21: Maple House Music + Arts Festival at Hartwood Acres
11 a.m.-11 p.m
Pittsburgh’s newest festival debuts with 12 acts, including Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Black Pumas, Lake Street Dive, Ghost Hounds, Elle King and Adia Victoria. Produced by Elevation Festivals, the festival will include local vendors and benefit the Allegheny County Parks. Buy tickets.
Saturday, May 21: Song from the Uproar at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center
2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
The remarkable life Isabelle Eberhardt will come to life via this one-act opera by Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek that’s inspired by the journals of Swiss explorer and writer. Opera-goers will explore how Eberhardt travelled alone to Algeria at age 21, dressed as a man, joined a Sufi order and tragically drowned in a desert flash flood at age 27. Featuring Amanda Van Story Lewis — the first Black woman to star in the opera — the opera is produced by DEMASKUS Theater Collective as part of B.U.I.L.D Residency in collaboration with Kassia Ensemble. Buy tickets.
Saturday, May 21: Summer at the Station in Wilkinsburg
Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation and The Equity Impact Center are teaming up to activate a historic landmark. Cruise over to the newly renovated Wilkinsburg Train Station at 901 Hay St. for a Saturday series showcasing local organizations, musicians and artists. Today’s kickoff features music by Jacquea Mae, Byron Nash, Mani Bahia and The Mob, along with activities from FlowerHouse, Wilkinsburg Public Library, Protohaven and Xpogo.
Saturday, May 21: Squonk Opera at Schenley Plaza
Before setting off on a cross-country tour, Squonk Opera is presenting a free production of “Hand to Hand” as part of National Kids to Parks Day, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. Propelled by colossal puppet hands rigged like a ship, the immersive performance is set to an original progressive rock score. Watch in awe as the Squonkers climb a multi-tiered stage and towering thumbs challenge each other with dueling guitars. Quick: Help grab the rigging to manipulate the giant fingers during this imaginative collaboration.
Saturday, May 21: The Allies Ball at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
This year’s benefit bash is more critical than ever because Allies for Health + Wellbeing is serving individuals with far fewer financial resources. Put on something edgy or elegant (or both!) and join the movement to ensure that people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS receive life-saving services. An outdoor champagne reception kicks off the revelry, followed by the Kerry Stoner Award ceremony and a unique dining experience in themed rooms. Gala-goers will then parade to the Free for All party (and it is!) at Buhl Community Park for ebullient entertainment from True T Pittsburgh and DJ Jellyfish. Buy tickets.
Saturday, May 21: Introducing Brian Broome at the Harris Theater
If you love Brian Broome’s new book “Punch Me Up to the Gods” — winner of the 2021 Kirkus Prize for nonfiction — then you can’t miss this documentary by Pittsburgh filmmaker Chris Ivey. The film chronicles “intimate and raw conversations with fellow Black Pittsburgh writers as they all simultaneously reach fame,” including Deesha Philyaw, Damon Young and Vanessa German. Buy tickets.
Sunday, May 22: Pilates Day at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Whether you’re hooked on pilates or wondering what all the hype is about, don’t miss this morning devoted to the mind-body exercise that’s practiced worldwide. More than 11 local pilates and yoga studios will offer master classes at various levels. Benefiting Let’s Move Pittsburgh, the event includes breakfast from Orbis Cafe, raffles and a closing session led by Restore and Renew. Buy tickets.
Sunday, May 22: Western Pennsylvania Spirits Fest at Threadbare Cider House
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The spirits will flow in Spring Garden this weekend. Sample pours from 22 regional distilleries and discover western PA’s rich tradition of producing spirits — from bourbon, rye and rum, to gin, vodka and moonshine. Buy tickets.
For more things to do in Pittsburgh, read 11 May events not to miss in Pittsburgh, from a chalk fest to a lager fest.
For more live music, read 19 concerts coming to Pittsburgh this May, including Pittonkatonk and the Millvale Music Festival.