We are less than 2 weeks away from one of Pittsburgh’s most beloved festivals of the year, the Three Rivers Arts Festival! This free annual festival is put on by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and aims to celebrate the performing and visual arts with this one-of-a-kind event. Running from June 3-12 this year, Three Rivers Arts Festival has quite the lineup of performers, artists, and vendors ready to knock the socks off of every attendee.
In years past, the festival has been held at Point State Park, but this year, the iconic Pittsburgh event has found a new home. Attendees will enjoy this 10-day-long celebration immersed in the heart of Downtown along the 14-block Historic Cultural District! The hopes are that this move will bring more attention to the year-round performances and art that is highlighted throughout Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Performances are set to go on at the Byham Theater and 2 outdoor areas on 8th street and 9th Street. Attendees can experience everything from a sophisticated theater performance from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to a casual outdoor DJ set from local artists like Selecta! Find the full schedule of events by visiting the Three Rivers Arts Festival website.
One of the featured events this year is a performance at The Backyard, the stage on 8th Street, titled STREB Extreme Action. This Pittsburgh Dance Council Season Special has performances on June 3rd through the 5th. MacArthur Award-winning choreographer, Elizabeth Streb, designed this performance to incorporate unique kinesthetic movements and large-scale “action machines.” Returning to the Burgh for the first time in over a decade, this will be a can’t miss show!
This celebration of art and music will be welcoming 14 other artists and groups as featured events throughout the free 10-day festival. Other features include GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist, songwriter, and producer Eric Krasno & The Assembly, GRAMMY Award-winning artist, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Cory Henry, and Sierra Hull a multi-time Mandolin Player of the Year and GRAMMY-nominated virtuoso. The lineup is stacked with renowned talent from all facets of music.
A huge positive to having this year’s Three Rivers Arts Festival in Downtown’s Cultural District is there will be several galleries and public art installations to visit. If you’re familiar with the Cultural District, you may have seen some of these public art pieces before! One of the most well-known public art plazas in the city can be found on the corner of 7th and Penn. This is where you’ll find the famous “eyeball seats” and a 25-foot trickling fountain. Other public art installs in the area include the Cell Phone Disco (Tito Way and Exchange Way), 168 Lightbulbs (outside of Wood Street Galleries), Haas Mural (wall of Byham Theater facing Fort Duquesne Boulevard), and Trust Oasis (7th Street next to Proper Brick Oven).
Speaking of Trust Oasis, this lot turned pop-up art experience is hosting a daily interactive workshop during the Three Rivers Arts Festival! The Giant Eagle Creativity Zone at Trust Oasis will welcome folks of all ages to put their inspiration and creativity into action with a number of family-friendly activities. Open daily from noon to 6 pm, this will be a great place to start, end, or take a break when visiting other sites at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
With this year’s festival being at a new location, there is the benefit of having several indoor galleries along the path of the 14-block stretch. 707 Gallery, Wood Street Galleries, and 820 Gallery are just a few that will be featuring special exhibits and pieces. This is perfect for any of the days where there might be rain in the forecast or if you’re bringing someone sensitive to the heat because you can still enjoy the festival at indoor locations!
While you’re down at the festival, you’ll likely want to grab a bite to eat. Luckily this year there will not only be daily food courts, but also food trucks! The 3 food courts will be located at the parking lot at the corner of 7th and Ft. Duquesne, The Backyard at 8th and Penn, and the intersection of 9th and Penn. Food trucks will be serving on the weekends of June 4-5th and 11-12th!
It is safe to say this year’s Three Rivers Arts Festival will be the start of a new era for this iconic Pittsburgh celebration. For maps and more details visit the event website here. Be sure to bring your friends and family down to this free 10-day event filled with culture, visual art, and musical performances!This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.