Meet Pittsburgh’s Newest ‘Genius’

Choreographer Kyle Abraham, leader of Abraham.In.Motion, receives a prestigious MacArthur Foundation genius grant.

Photo by Carrie Schneider


As Dr. Seuss once wrote, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Kyle Abraham has used both his head and his feet to win national acclaim as a dancer and choreographer whose work tackles challenging social issues, and now, he has been rewarded with one of the rarest honors in the arts: a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant."

The Lincoln-Lemington native now resides in Brooklyn; however, Pittsburgh remains his spiritual home — and his favorite place to present world premieres. Abraham’s award-winning The Radio Show lamented WAMO-FM’s demise and dealt with his late father’s Alzheimer’s disease, while the autobiographical Live! The Realest MC grappled with personal identity and sexual orientation.

Abraham is one of only 24 fellows who will each receive $625,000 throughout the next five years to pursue anything they choose. The fellowship was designed to give artists the freedom to pursue their creative ambitions without having to worry for making rent. It’s a problem Abraham knows too well.

Just three years ago, he was relying on food stamps to get by. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.


Photo by Paul A. Selvaggio for the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Get the wallpaper here.


#Tigers: Zoo officially names its cub


OK, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, we’ll give you this much: Your new tiger cub is adorable. We want to cuddle him. We want to take awesome Instagram photos with him in a headlock. He’s the greatest.

We also get that both his parents were born in Russia, so we’re cool with giving him a proper Russian name.

But Pavel?

If you’re going to choose the name of a famous Russian hockey player, may we suggest one closer to our hearts here in Pittsburgh?


Categories: The 412