The Show Must Go On(line)

City of Asylum is excited to announce a new virtual home for the arts in Pittsburgh.

The Show Must Go On(line) Pittsburgh is our region’s first shared programming channel. It is a collaborative daily webcast that unites and streams programs by Pittsburgh’s arts organizations. By bringing these creative forces together, The Show Must Go On(line) provides free access to high quality, regularly scheduled  programs to connect artists and audiences and continue to build community around the arts.

City of Asylum has long been a home for presenting organizations large and small and artists of diverse artistic genres. This shared platform moves that home online, and allows us to continue fulfilling our mission to celebrate creative freedom of expression.

Ways to Watch

All programs on The Show Must Go On(line) channel are streamed Crowdcast. See the event listings below for access and registration.

We recommend using a laptop or desktop with the Chrome browser. If you’d like to use a mobile device we recommend downloading the Crowdcast app. We’ve prepared tutorials, tips, and tricks on using the Crowdcast app

All programs are streamed at 7:00 PM.
Missed a program? Don’t worry—all programs will remain archived and accessible on The Show Must Go On(line) Crowdcast page.

All programs will be captioned and made available in accessible format 7 days after their original air date. These accessible videos can be found on “past events” on The Show Must Go On(line) Crowdcast page

See below for a full list of FREE events and ticketing links.

A complete calendar can be downloaded here.

TUESDAY, August 11, 7:00 PM
How to survive in America w Damon Young ft. Brian Broome
Presented by City of Asylum

Run time: 90 minutes

Authors Damon Young (What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker) and Brian Broome (Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir) will discuss the trials and tribulations of putting out their debut books, publishing, their creative process, and other topics in this fifth installment of our LIVE series “How to survive in America” hosted by Damon Young.  

Brian Broome a poet and screenwriter, and holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. He is a K. Leroy Irvis Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, and has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition, and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism in 2019. He has been published in The Ocean State Review, Delta Foundation’s Pride Magazine, The Guardian, Creative Nonfiction, Public Source, and moreBrian’s work explores the topics of racism, masculinity and the African American male. You can read a sample of his work in this 2019 story he wrote for Pittsburgh City Paper after the acquittal of the police officer who killed Antwon Rose II. Broome’s new work Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir is a poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir in essays about blackness, masculinity, and addiction, with an expected publication date in May 2021. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA.

Damon Young is writer, critic, humorist, satirist, and professional Black person. He’s a co-founder and editor in chief of VerySmartBrothas — coined “the blackest thing that ever happened to the internet” by The Washington Post — and a columnist for GQ. Damon’s debut memoir — What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir In Essays (Ecco/HarperCollins) —  is a tragicomic exploration of the angsts, anxieties, and absurdities of existing while black in America, and won Barnes & Noble’s 2019 Discover Award. It was also longlisted for the PEN America Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award, nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and is a Krause Essay Prize nominee. NPR, which named it one of the best books of 2019, called it an “outstanding collection of nonfiction.”  Damon currently resides in Pittsburgh’s Northside, with his wife, two children, and his faithful bottles of Nexium and Lisinopril.

WEDNESDAY, August 12, 7:00 PM
Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil
Presented by the Sabira Cole Film Festival

Run time: 90 minutes

More than 4 million Africans were brought to Brazil during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. More than anywhere else in the Americas. 

This documentary film, narrated by Pulitzer-Prize winner author Alice Walker, centers the Afro-indigenous Candomblé spiritual culture in Bahia, Brazil. Grounded in strong community and Earth-based wisdom, Candomblé is a potent legacy of enslaved Africans in the Americas. The film explores contemporary and historical social challenges, resiliency, and triumphs of Candomblé and its devotees through the voices of extraordinary female leaders. 

This award-winning documentary made its Pittsburgh premiere in 2016, including a panel discussion with Alice Walker, who participated in several workshops during her visit, and enjoyed a tour at City of Asylum before Alphabet City was open. These Pittsburgh connections were made possible by Sabira Bushra (Cole) and the Sembene Film Festival. 

Filmmakers Donna Roberts and Gerald (Chip) Hoffman will participate in a post-screening discussion and audience Q+A. 

THURSDAY, August 13, 7:00 PM
An Evening of Oakland Storytelling
Presented by OPDC

Run time: 60 minutes

An Evening of Oakland Storytelling features a unique program of live Oakland-related stories supported by Storyburgh. This year’s event also features a special musical performance by Sierra Sellers.

Serving as OPDC’s signature fundraiser, An Evening of Oakland Storytelling brings together a diverse mix of residents and community partners who share our passion for equitable opportunities and development in Oakland. We are proud to serve one of Pittsburgh’s most vibrant neighborhoods for the 40th year and are grateful to work alongside an amazing community of neighbors, partners, and volunteers.

Sierra Sellers is a singer/songwriter from Pittsburgh, PA. Before quarantine, Sellers released her second EP, Ophelia, where she shared her experiences on the street in South Oakland. Sellers also had a packed performance schedule with her band, having just returned from Chicago before we were all told to stay home. She looks up to neo-soul artists like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, and D’Angelo, in addition to newer soul artists like Anderson.Paak.

Teireik (Ty) Williams was born and raised in South Oakland on Frazier St. He is a journalist and artist/activist working at the intersections of technology and community engagement with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab. He is a graduate of Penn State University, where he studied Print and Digital Journalism. Ty currently holds the title Community Research Journalist, working closely with data scientists and engineers to bridge quantitative and qualitative data to create expansive narratives. He is the founder of the Trap Panther Party, a community organization that serves the needs of vulnerable populations across the city through youth art programs and artist services. Ty runs a youth program in South Oakland with his colleagues and is an active member of the organizing community to secure affordable housing and preservation of cultural community assets.

Laura Zurowski has lived in three “P” cities: Providence, Poughkeepsie, and Pittsburgh. Her project, Mis.Steps: Our Missed Connections with Pittsburgh’s City Steps, attempts to recreate the journey undertaken nearly 20 years ago by Bob Regan in his books The Steps of Pittsburgh: Portrait of a City and Pittsburgh Steps, and features Polaroids and short stories inspired by Pittsburgh’s 739 public stairways. Laura began publishing her journey through the city’s stairs in July 2017, and as of June 2020, has photographed and written about 450 stairways – solidly surpassing the halfway mark!

Oakland Planning and Development Corporation provides quality rental housing to low-income neighbors and affordable housing to new home buyers, financial and career development for residents, after-school enrichment for high school students, and more.

FRIDAY, August 14, 7:00 PM
The Diva Saga: The Legend of The Worst Drag Queen 
Presented by KST Global Stream
Run time: 60 minutes

Please be advised, The Diva Saga: The Legend of the Worst Drag Queen contains sexually explicit content and is recommended for audiences 18 years of age and above.

Part of its KST Global Stream Digital Commissions Program, Kelly Strayhorn Theater presents The Diva Saga: The Legend of The Worst Drag Queen by Veronica Bleaus and Scott Andrew. The Diva Saga: The Legend of the Worst Drag Queen, is a multi-channel video installation and live performance piece that has been restructured for and composited for online KST Global Stream and The Show Must Go On(line). The work questions constructions of sexuality, gender, and identity in a digital age and examines how Veronica Bleaus became the self-proclaimed ‘worst drag queen.’ Lampooning normative and restrictive constructions of sex, artistic judgment, and popular culture, The Diva Saga draws heavily from numerous visual and aural storytelling mediums like comic books, Japanese anime, video games, music videos, and high fantasy.

A series of campy confrontations between a live Veronica and the avatars of drag—digital identities projected on stage (also played by Veronica)—the live and digital Veronicas clash in their respective interpretations, battling each other in a fantastic, campy visual and sonic narrative. A Drag Saga uses live and digital performance to gesture to and capture the importance of camp and divas in queer processes of self-making and alternative identity construction.

John Musser (Veronica Bleaus) is a performance artist and scholar. John is presently a Visiting Lecturer in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2019, John curated an exhibit at the Spurlock Museum in Urbana, IL on drag costuming, titled In Her Closet – How to Make a Drag Queen. His alter ego, Veronica Bleaus, has been performing in drag and collaborating with visual artists since 2005. In 2009, Veronica developed a public performance series, Drive By Drag, with visual and performance artist Dani Lamorte, and in 2015 was featured in Sasha Velour’s Vym magazine (now Velour magazine). Since 2009 Veronica has worked with visual artist Scott Andrew to make queer fantasy worlds in video performance.

Scott Andrew is a multimedia artist working in queer oriented video, installation, and performance. Scott holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University where he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Art and a Fellow of The STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.  Scott also teaches in the Studio Arts program at the University of Pittsburgh, and in the CMU Precollege program.  His curatorial history includes TQ Live! a yearly LGBTQIA variety performance at the Andy Warhol Museum which is organized with Suzie Silver and Joseph Hall, Fail Safe, a local variety series organized with Angela Washko and Jesse Stiles, and The Drift, a platform for artistic research exploring the three rivers as a context for artistic production.  Scott is a co-founder of The Institute for New Feeling and has exhibited at MoMA’s PopRally (NYC), Ballroom Marfa (Marfa, TX), the Hammer Museum (LA), and the J. Paul Getty Museum (LA), among many others.

MONDAY, August 17, 6:00 PM*
Samantha Power: 28th United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Presented by City of Asylum
Run time: 60 minutes
*Please note the special start time of 6:00 PM

Ambassador Samantha Power, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, former human rights adviser to Barack Obama, and US Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, joins us to read from her new memoir The Education of an Idealist and speak about the state of the world. Power will be joined by Feyisola Akintola, Special Initiatives Manager in the City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Equity and City of Asylum board member, to discuss questions such as:  How do we accomplish change and international cooperation in times of closed borders and national self-interest? What changes are needed when facing the worst economic and social crisis in decades?

Samantha Power served in the Cabinet of President Barack Obama and as US Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017. Power’s book “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003, and she has been named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.” Power is currently a professor of practice at Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School. Her most recent book, from 2019, is the best-selling memoir The Education of an Idealist. Power traces her life story from her beginnings as an immigrant to the US through her work as a war correspondent in the Balkans and her ascent to the White House, where she served as President Barack Obama’s human rights adviser and became the youngest ever US Ambassador to the United Nations. Obama called the book “a must-read for anyone who cares about our role in a changing world.”

TUESDAY, August 18, 7:00 PM
Youth Poet Laureate Commencement Performance

Presented by City of Asylum
Run time: 60 minutes

The Youth Poet Laureate of Allegheny County, Vincent Folkes, as well as our four Youth Poet Ambassadors, Abigail Gallen, Oladunni Bejide, Jayla Andrews, and Lily Weatherford-Brown, will be presenting their poetry, inspired by their experiences as young people at this moment in history. The evening will consist of live and recorded segments created by the youth poets. City of Asylum is excited to share the work of these talented poets.

City of Asylum’s All Pittsburghers are Poets: Youth Poet Laureate of Allegheny County program recognizes young writers who excel in the poetic arts and have made contributions to social justice and civic engagement.

Vincent Folkes is a 19-year-old creative, entrepreneur, and college sophomore studying Business at the Community College of Allegheny County. He began writing songs and later transitioned into writing poetry, creating beats, mixing, and mastering music.

Abigail Gallen is a 17 year old rising senior at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. She is the founder and president of the Social Justice Club at North Allegheny High School. She is also a former staff writer for Affinity Magazine and has won awards for her articles focused on social justice.

Oladunni Bejide was born in Rhode Island and is 14 years old. She moved to Nigeria when she was nine, and later moved to Pittsburgh, PA where she now attends CAPA’s in the literary program. She is an honor student who participates in several sports and a writer that dabbles in many genres.

Jayla Andrews is a 17 year old graduating senior from Westinghouse Arts Academy. She is a published writer and has won a variety of contests, including The American Library of Poetry’s youth poet anthology Illustrious and Crossing Limit’s I, Too, Am Pittsburgh bus poetry showcase.

Lily Weatherford-Brown is a 17-year old Youth Ambassador of Allegheny County. Her poetry explores definitions of self through a blend of memory, history, nature, and political commentary.

City of Asylum is grateful for support from the following partners:

This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD). Urban Word is the primary partner for the Youth Poet Laureate of Allegheny County, an official member of National Youth Poet Laureate Program.

WEDNESDAY, August 19, 7:00 PM
Affirming Adornments
Presented by The P.R.I.D.E. Program
Run time: 60 minutes

Affirming Adornments is an exploration of the multifacetedness of Black identity featuring local creatives Sheba Gittens and LaKeisha Wolf. Sheba and LaKeisha will guide audiences in making their own affirming adornments for their bodies and homes. Sheba and LaKeisha will showcase their creative process, from inception to production in these short how-to workshops. Tune in and get inspired to liven up your home and your wardrobe!

View flyer here

Poppin’ Patterns with Purpose
Participants of all ages will view traditional examples of brightly colored patterns found in jewelry and textile adornment from across Africa such as Kente from Ghana, and bead weaving of the Zulu in South Africa, but with a particular focus on the Maasai people of East Africa who create stunning jewelry featuring large widths of tiny glass beads on wire formed into collar necklaces and cuff bracelets. Each piece of jewelry displayed will have basic shapes of triangles, rectangles, squares and circles that together create beautiful patterns. The colors of the patterns used by the Maasai each have meaning, historically associated with cattle and nature, and these meanings will be displayed in bold lettering for participants to see and glean from.  Different styles of jewelry are worn at different ages, rites of passage and special occasions. Participants will create their own Maasai-inspired jewelry: a necklace collar, a cuff bracelet or even a headband using the patterns and cultural meanings of colors found in East Africa.

View materials and instructions for Poppin’ Patterns with Purpose here.

Afro-mation Magnets and Afromation Mini Pillows

This activity is going to offer us upcycle options with cardboard, old t-shirts, or any scrap of fabric hanging around the house. We will use these items to create affirming and culturally relevant adornments for our home!

Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education (The P.R.I.D.E. Program) is a multifaceted program through the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development, helping young black children ages 3-8 and their families understand and embrace their race, heritage, and culture with dignity and love, and to develop confidence and pride in their cultural heritage and race by providing hands-on Africana arts experiences. Learn more at racepride.pitt.edu

FRIDAY, August 21, 7:00 PM
Hugo Cruz and Caminos

Presented by The Frick Pittsburgh
Run time: 60 minutes

Hugo Cruz and Caminos is a Cuban-fusion band led by Hugo Cruz Machado, an award-winning composer, percussionist, and graduate of the Instituto Superior des Artes of Havana, Cuba. Caminos’ rhythms and melodies combine Cuban, Afro-Cuban, African, and American jazz sounds to form a unique style that aims to unify the world’s music expressions in one experience. Tune in and experience their sound!

Band members include Eli Naragon (bass), Roger Romero (saxophone), and Michael Bernabe (keyboard). Caminos have performed at the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival 2019, First Night Pittsburgh 2020, Backstage Bar, and Fabrica des Artes in Havana, Cuba, among other places. Hugo has performed in Havana’s largest jazz festival, Jazz Plaza, with acclaimed artists Dave Weckl and Victor Goines, and won an award at Cubadisco, the most prestige music awards event in Cuba, performing with Afro-Cuban rock-fusion group Síntesis. 

Mathew Tembo & Afro Routes: Live at Alphabet City

Presented by City of Asylum
Run time: 90 minutes

Mathew Tembo and his band, Afro Routes’ music is inspired by reggae, and Western classical music but is heavily rooted in groovy indigenous Zambia’s rhythms. Afro Routes will perform their original tunes live from the Alphabet City stage to a limited audience. 

Mathew Tembo is an award-winning Afro-Pop musician of the highest caliber hailing from Zambia in Southern Africa. He is an important ambassador of Zambian music culture both in Zambia where he is from and abroad. Tembo has toured and recorded all over the world. While touring in Europe, he produced hits including “Nelar” and “Kumalya Ndimu,” both from his second album “Save My Soul” a reggae album which was recorded in the Netherlands in 2001. He was awarded best Afro-fusion for the song “Nandunge” from the album, Anthem, his first album to feature Zambian traditional instruments, at the 2008 Born and Bred Awards in Zambia. Mathew sings mostly in Chinsenga (language of Nsenga people) and Chichewa (music of the Chewa people) and weaves syncopation, repetition, polyrhythm and call-and-response into his music.

He has headlined at festivals such as Millpond 2014 in Bishop, CA, 2014 Umoja Festival in Pittsburgh, PA and the Accacia Festival in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February 2015. He has shared stages with big acts such as the legendary Oliver Mtukuzi of Zimbabwe, Mulatu Astatke and Mohammed Ahmed both of Ethiopia, 3MA, Michael Rose, Steven Marley, Pato Banton, the Skatalites, Tosh 1, Fyah Wyah, Third World and Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the first president of Zambia. His influences include Thomas Mapfumo and Burning Spear. The 2009 Songlines review by Martin Sinnock referred to him as a worthy successor of both the reggae superstar Lucky Dube and the creator of Chimurenga music Thomas Mapfumo. 

Tembo has studied World Music Performance at the renowned School of Music at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL where he graduated in May 2013. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh.

Featured Musicians:
Benjamin Volk on drums
Daniel Nemanic on electric bass
Samuel Lennon Sado on electric guitars
Mathew Tembo on kalimba & vocals

True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality

Presented by City of Asylum and the ACLU-PA
Run time: 90 minutes

For more than three decades, Alabama public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has advocated on behalf of people living in poverty, people who are incarcerated, and people sentenced to death, seeking to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal legal system. An intimate portrait of this remarkable man, True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality follows his struggle to create greater fairness in the system and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved, and continues to threaten the country, challenging viewers to confront it.

The screening will be followed by a live discussion and audience Q&A with Alex Domingos, ACLU-PA Organizer, Campaign for Smart Justice. Presented in partnership between City of Asylum and the ACLU-Pittsburgh Chapter Young Leadership Outreach Team. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization dedicated to defending and expanding individual rights and personal freedoms throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania. Through advocacy, public education and litigation, our staff and volunteers work to preserve and enhance liberties grounded in the United States and Pennsylvania constitutions and civil rights laws. Among those liberties are freedoms of speech, religion and association; the right to petition the government; separation of church and state; the right to privacy; reproductive freedom; due process of law; the rights of the accused; and the right to equal treatment under the law.

#movedbyyou, Maree ReMalia and Jil Stifel 
Presented by KST Global Stream

Run time: 60 minutes

Part of its KST Global Stream Digital Commissions Program, Kelly Strayhorn Theater presents #movedbyyou a collaborative video exchange between Maree ReMalia and Jil Stifel.

#movedbyyou is an Instagram mini project between Maree ReMalia and Jil Stifel. Having worked together over the past eight years, this video exchange originated as a way to continue engaging in vital embodied practices that support bodies being moved by other bodies, while living with physical distance imposed by geographic location (FL and PA) and the Covid pandemic. Their weekly posts act as dialogue and performance meant to activate skills of sensing, initiating, witnessing, listening, and responding and inviting their multifaceted selves to emerge through movement; skills essential for navigating a world in crisis in which humans repeatedly face social and political injustices. For this program they will share the process that unfolded during their first month of making.

During this process the role and importance of Instagram changed. In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, protestors, activists and all of those seeking justice, the artists took a pause from creating and then moved their exchange temporarily offline. This decision was made to help create space for this immediate and essential work in the general feed, while also honoring their own need for time and space to engage in the movement.

“An adoptee born in South Korea and raised in Ohio, dance has been a way for me to connect with people and places that are both kindred and very different than me. In select dance spaces, I have experienced movement as a means of expression, communication, and healing, which has impacted my desire to create and facilitate in ways that cultivate a sense of care for ourselves, each other, and the world of which we are part. With my collaborators and students, I aim to facilitate practices that invite us to experience a greater sense of aliveness and engagement and to discover one another beyond our carefully curated selves. We are not only training our bodies for performance, but investing in practices that open possibilities for how we can be together. As we make and move together, we can root for each other and question each other, while holding space to take risks and feel empowered; we can laugh and cry and rage and rejoice.” – Maree ReMalia  www.mareeremalia.com

Jil Stifel is a performer, choreographer and interdisciplinary collaborator. She is a mother and a gardener, a cancer survivor and an activist, an artist and a scientist. She believes in the power of the earth, rocks, plants, air and water. She is here because of love, the power of thoughts and meditation. You can find her, in real life, teaching dance at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as performing and rehearsing with Maree. Her multimedia projects have been shown at various venues most recently in Pittsburgh as part of KST’s New Moves and PearlPresents dance festival. www.jilstifel.com

Our Partners

Black Transformative Artists Network
Black Unicorn Library Project
Bell’Art Ensemble
BOOM Concepts

City Theatre
Dreams of Hope
The Frick Pittsburgh
1hood Media
Kelly-Strayhorn Theater
New Hazlett Theater

Reel Q
Real Time Interventions
River City Brass

We are always adding more programs and partners. Check back here for the latest schedule or sign up for our newsletter. If you are interested in becoming a partner, email contact@cityofasylumpittsburgh.org.

The Show Must Go(online) Pittsburgh is made possible thanks to generous support form our sponsor,

We are grateful for additional support from the following:

The Benter Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, the Opportunity Fund, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and an Anonymous Foundation. 

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