a crowd enjoys a humanities festival event

Pittsburgh Humanities Festival 2019: Our Picks For Every Attendee

Tue, Mar 19, 2019

Written by: Jamie Crow

Spring is just around the corner, and so is our fourth Pittsburgh Humanities Festival! This year, we’ve got events for just about everyone, from magic and fashion to activism and storytelling. Want to join in on the fun, but not sure which event is the best fit for you? We’ve put together a list of our recommendations for conversations everyone will be talking about.

Events We’re Excited About


a headshot of kevin kwan next to the cover of his book 'crazy rich asians'


Kevin Kwan
Byham Theater | Friday, March 22 | 8:00 P.M.

Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel Crazy Rich Asians has become a cultural phenomenon, generating two sequels and being adapted into an award winning movie last year. The cultural impact of Kwan’s novel and the movie adaptation have become part of a larger discussion about representation in the entertainment industry. This event, where Kwan will talk about his works, will allow the audience to ask questions and be a part of the conversation, letting us all relate to one another through a dialogue.


the last podcast on the left cast


Last Podcast On the Left
Byham Theater | Saturday, March 23 | 8:00 P.M.

Lately, it seems like everyone loves to be scared, whether it’s learning more about Ted Bundy or watching the sequel to Halloween. Last Podcast on the Left loves to go to the dark side with their podcast, where hosts Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski dive into the world of all things horrifying. Speaking to fictional and true horrors, this event promises to be one that capitalizes on your fears, with a hint of comedy for balance, of course.

Our Top Picks for Everyone

For the Storytellers


a headshot of angelique roche with the humanities festival logo


Superheroes and Storytelling: Angelique Roche in Conversation with Yona Harvey
Trust Arts Education Center | Sunday, March 24 | 12:00 P.M.

This event focuses on diversity in our stories, with a special focus on superhero storytelling. Angélique Roché and Yona Harvey, who have both worked closely with Marvel, plan to speak to the importance of having superheroes of color in popular culture.

Storytellers may also enjoy Telling New Stories with Reg Douglas: Diverse Perspectives on Stage on March 23 at the Harris Theater and Blurred Lines Between Fiction and Documentary Cinema on March 24 at Trust Arts Education Center.

For Lovers of Learning


a headshot of eliza griswold with the humanities festival logo


The Human Cost of Fracking with Eliza Griswold (Humanities Scholars Program)
Trust Arts Education Center | Saturday, March 23 | 1:30 P.M.

If you’re interested in learning about the environment and how to do more, this is the talk for you. Eliza Griswold, a journalist and poet, will speak to the human impact of natural resource development and the aspects even environmental activists overlook. Her talk will speak to many pressing topics such as corporate greed, the disenfranchisement of rural Americans, and how we can all do more to help.

Those looking to learn may also enjoy How Not to Save the Planet with Michael Goodhart on March 23 at Trust Arts Education Center, AI: Getting Beyond Clichés with Molly Wright Steenson on March 24 at Trust Arts Education Center, and the Public Open Call | The New Normal: A Conversation about the Trauma of School Lock Downs on March 23 at Harris Theater.

For Creatives


a headshot of bill shannon with the humanities festival logo


The Creative Impulse with Bill Shannon: Opportunities of Choice and Necessities of Survival
Trust Arts Education Center | Saturday, March 23 | 1:30 P.M.

Creative solutions are everywhere, if you’re willing to look for them. For Bill Shannon, finding those creative solutions to complex problems was a necessary part of his survival amongst his peers. As a physically disabled child, Shannon has learned to use creative impulses to his advantage, and will share his thoughts on how we can all do the same.

Curious minds may also enjoy Fashion and the Art of Inclusion on March 24 at Trust Arts Education Center, Scratching the Surface with DJ Perly on March 23 at Trust Arts Education Center, and Drawing the Line: A Conversation with Rob Rogers on March 23 at Trust Arts Education Center.

For Pittsburghers


a headshot of chancellor humphrey with the humanities festival logo


Keeping Pittsburgh Dope: Chancelor Humphrey on the Power of Social Media
Trust Arts Education Center | Sunday, March 24 | 1:30 P.M.

Pittsburgh is full of unique people, and Chancelor Humphrey showcases all of those personalities on his Instagram account, Keep Pittsburgh Dope. In a style similar to Humans of New York, Humphrey’s account utilizes his “life(style) photography” to tell Pittsburgh’s story. At this event, Humphrey plans on talking about his work and the thriving culture he sees in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburghers may also enjoy Speedy Delivery: David Newell and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on March 24 at Trust Arts Education Center and Lee Terbosic - Making Magic: Pittsburgh, Houdini, and History on March 24 at Trust Arts Education Center.

Still looking for more to enjoy? Be sure to check out the great Humanities Festival partner events, happening all throughout March.

  • Humanities Festival
  • Core Conversations
  • Festival Guide