Since the start of the pandemic, the streets of the Cultural District have never been the same but several downtown performing arts organizations have teamed up to turn the lights back on! Lights On! A Three – Day Celebration of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District will take place September 9th -11th and is a culmination of free outdoor performances, exhibitions, the return of the official Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District, and other events presented by the The August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Lights On! is sponsored by UPMC and UPMC Health Plan and is the official kick-off event to Allegheny Regional Asset District’s RADical Days.

Lights On! kicks off on Thursday, September 9th at 5:00 p.m. with opening remarks and a performance by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and all Cultural District organizations at the Allegheny Overlook Stage. Other performances at this stage include jazz/rap group Nth Power at 7:00 p.m. and soul artist Shemekia Copeland at 9:00 p.m. The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will perform pieces from the full length ballet Napoli along with a new work at the 8th Street Stage at 6:00 p.m, followed by Love, Laugh, Sing! A concert filled with your favorite Broadway songs performed by members of the Pittsburgh CLO. 

The second day of the celebration includes the return of the ever popular Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust starting at 5:00 p.m. The crawl includes a host of new exciting exhibitions throughout the District’s art galleries in addition to artist spotlights from local businesses, Trap & Paint at the Trust Arts Education Center, performances at Liberty Magic, a Silent Disco dance party and much more! To view the full gallery crawl schedule visit the website. In addition to the crawl the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is performing a special preview of their 2021-2022 season at the 8th street stage at 8:00 p.m.

On its final day, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust invites you and your family to their first ever Baby Rave held at Allegheny Overlook at 11:00 a.m. This event is best for families with children 5 – under and includes child-friendly dance music presented by DJ RBNOUS. After dancing the morning away, head over to the 8th street stage at 2:00 p.m. for Downtown Divas, a combination of Opera’s greatest hits performed by Pittsburgh Opera’s award-winning resident artists.

All attendees are encouraged to mask up and be vaccinated in order to safely experience all the events throughout Lights On! For more information on health and safety, the full event schedule, and a map of all stage locations, please visit

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Rebecca Hansborough

Rebecca is a Pittsburgh transplant of five years with experience in content writing, social media management, public relations, web editing, and much more. Her passion for food inspired her to create an Instagram based food blog that shares a combination of local cuisine and homemade meals. When she’s not focusing on food, she also enjoys the Pittsburgh arts and entertainment scene, from Broadway shows, music festivals, to gallery crawls. She is excited to share her love for all things Pittsburgh with future readers!

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