The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is celebrating ten years of gallery crawls with an Afropean R&B music performance, numerous art exhibits ranging from a billboard display to a cell phone disco and even salsa dancing.
Darcy Kucenic, Manager of Education and Operations for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, said the first gallery crawl was in 2004 and only featured four venues.
“At that time, there wasn’t a…quote unquote a ‘scene’ in the Cultural District unless you had a ticket for a performance,” Kucenic said. “So this was created as a way to bring people downtown and into the District that maybe weren’t seeing a show but were just enjoying some of the galleries and different venues within the District.”
But ten years later, the crawl on Friday has 33 venues and an expected attendance of 5,000 to 10,000 people.
“Our sort of special performance – special ten-year anniversary party – is actually happening on 8th Street, we call it the Black Top on 8th Street,” Kucenic said. “But we’re bringing a group to perform, they’re called Les Nubians.”
The Grammy-nominated group consists of two sisters, Hélène and Célia Faussart, who grew up in Paris, France, but moved to Chad, Africa, and have a sound described as “Afropean (hybrid of African and European), urban, R&B.”
The exhibits include Pittsburgh Biennial: Public Record, which is a multimedia exhibit that delves into the topics of “love, absurdity, surveillance, gaming and identity,” and Cell Phone Disco, which uses thousands of lights to recreate the electromagnetic field of a mobiles phone.
“In Katz Plaza, we’ll have more of a salsa feel, Nöel Quintana & The Latin Crew will be performing there, and we’ll have a dance floor set up for some dancing,” Kucenic said. “And Hola Pittsburgh and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Latin America Cultural Union will be represented there.”
The venues range from galleries to coffee shops and theaters to schools and hotels according to Kucenic.
“They’re not just traditional art spaces, a lot of them are bringing art into sort of non-traditional art spaces,” Kucenic said.
She said the crawl will also feature local vendors and artists and a lot of food.
“I think it’s going to be a really unique experience,” Kucenic said. “There’ll be so many interesting and different things to see, and it’ll help us bring in another ten years of gallery crawls.”
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s gallery crawls are held quarterly. The fall gallery crawl begins at 5:30 this Friday, and the schedule and location of events can be found on Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s website.