Can’t Miss Events in July in Pittsburgh
Our Best Bet: A new exhibit at Contemporary Craft explores gender, identity, connection and sexuality through more than 50 works of art.
Through Aug. 19
On one wall, there’s a large-scale print photograph of two shirtless men in fringed masks with buck horns. On another, there’s a line of intricately made, fashionable Kevlar vests — crafted in response to the Pulse nightclub mass shooting. In between, the lines on the floor represent a dance space with a “disco ball” that’s actually a taxidermy mold of a squirrel adorned in pearls and jewels hanging overhead. “Self” explores gender identity through more than 50 objects, each full of beauty and layers of meaning. The exhibit at Contemporary Craft, on display through Aug. 19, features the work of matt lambert, a non-binary, trans, multidisciplinary collaborator from Detroit currently working on their Ph.D. in Sweden, and Erika Diamond, a German-born textile-focused visual artist, curator and educator. “‘Self’ is really two artists in conversation,” says exhibitions manager Kate Dockery. “Really, as a collective whole, they’re both addressing connection, fear of being in a queer body, what it means to exist like that and how to navigate through.” Guided tours are offered on the third Saturday of every month, a Pittsburgh Queer History Project archive screening is set for July 14, and on Aug. 11 the space will host a Queerpunk Slamjunk open mic. — Lauren Davidson
Contemporary Craft, Lawrenceville, through Aug. 19
July 8 • Phipps Conservatory
Is visiting Hawaii on your bucket list but not in your budget this year? Try the next best thing and visit Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for the Tropical Forest Hawai‘i Festival. Make a lei, sample Hawaiian-inspired food and learn something about Hawaii’s rare plants all while being immersed in the Tropical Forest Hawai‘i exhibit.
July 10 • Spirit Hall
Grab your dice and your trivia cards and get ready for a healthy dose of friendly competition: It’s the monthly Board Game Night from City of Play, held at Spirit Hall in Lawrenceville. You can bring your favorite game or grab one on loan for the night. You can bring your own people or fly solo; making new friends won’t be a problem. In addition to games, there will be happy hour specials to really get the party started. It’s free to participate but donations are welcomed.
July 13-15 • Point State Park
Outdoor music festivals are one of the many bonuses of summertime, and Pittsburgh is always willing to accommodate. For three days, Point State Park will be home to the Pittsburgh Black Music Festival. Bring your lawn chairs to enjoy this free event featuring performances by Will Downing, Chanté Moore and Musiq Soulchild, among others. In between musical acts, you can shop local vendors and enjoy cultural activities.
July 20 • The Oaks Theater
Blockheads rejoice! Joey McIntyre, best known for his position as one fifth of one of the biggest boy bands in history, is coming to town. The New Kids on the Block alum will perform hits from his solo studio albums in an intimate — and swoon-worthy — solo show at this Oakmont spot.
July 21 • Downtown
Some things are better at night. Obviously, light-based public art is one of them. Join the Office for Public Art’s Rachel Klipa for an informational Light-Based Public Art Tour. This tour will include six public artworks including “The Puddler” and “Cell Phone Disco” that you may have seen in the daylight but are wondrous to experience under the night sky.
July 28 • South Park Amphitheater
Remember that song about the old couple who just packed up and left it all behind? Remember wondering: where were they going, without ever knowing the way? The year was 1998, the song was “The Way,” and the band is Fastball. The alternative rock band will perform a variety of songs from their eight studio albums during the free 2023 Allegheny County Summer Concert Series.
July 29-30 • Hill District
A weekend dedicated to supporting local artists should definitely be added to your calendar, and the Hill District Arts Festival is just the place for that. In between visiting artist booths, you can enjoy food trucks, musical performances on two stages, and plenty of activities for the kids. If that isn’t enough to get you out there, does the promise of a silent disco help?
July 30 • SouthSide Works
Tacos for dinner? Yes. TacoMania Super Fest? OMG, YES! For just one day, SouthSide Works is rounding up a group of the best taco slingers in town, all ready to show off their tortilla and toppings skills. While stuffing your face with tacos, drink a Don Julio margarita, shake your hips to a mariachi band and watch matches from Enjoy Wrestling.