red, black, green, and yellow graphic with the text Ways to Support Black Art in the District written on top

Ways to Support Black Art in the Cultural District and Beyond!

Wed, Feb 8, 2023

Written by: Becca Hansborough

Another Black History Month is upon us and we are back with another round up of ways to support Black art and artists in the Cultural District and beyond! Keep reading for a list of events, concerts, exhibits, films, and much more highlighting Black artists.

Film: Saint Omer at the Harris Theater

Feb. 10 - 16

photo still from the film Saint Omer
Still from the film Saint Omer

Directed by Senegalese, French filmmaker Alice Diop, Saint Omer tells the story of Rama (Kayije Kagame), a Black Senegalese woman, an intellectual, and writer who has traveled to a small coastal town to watch the trial of a horrific crime. As Rama listens to the riveting testimony of Black Senegalese French PhD student and defendant, Laurence Coly (Guslagie Malanda) she begins to question not only the lines that separate the two women from one another, but with that of society at large. Inspired by true events, Saint Omer is a thoroughly engrossing examination of privilege, motherhood, and the myths we seek out to explain the inexplicable. Co-penned alongside Amrita David and critically-acclaimed novelist Marie NDiaye, Alice Diop’s feature debut, announces the arrival of the filmmaker as a considerable talent to watch.

Celebration of Black Comedy

Feb. 11 - 26 | Arcade Comedy

Starting Feb. 11 and spanning the entire month, Arcade Comedy will be centering and amplifying Black voices in comedy through stand-up comedy, improv, storytelling, and variety shows. Arcade Academy will also be presenting two comedy workshops this month, offered for free to all BIPOC performers in the Pittsburgh area. Full list of events can be found here.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Feb. 17 | Byham Theater

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Alonzo King LINES Ballet is a celebrated contemporary dance company that has been guided since 1982 by the unique artistic vision of Alonzo King. The company has worked alongside noted composers, musicians, and visual artists from around the world to create performances that alter the way we look at ballet today. This year marks the 40th Anniversary and in celebration the company will perform King’s newest creation, Deep River, a collaboration with composer Jason Moran and vocalist Lisa Fischer. Get tickets here.

The Collaboration Festival: A Celebration of the African Diaspora

Feb. 18 | Trust Arts Education Center

Featuring professional Black artists from the Pittsburgh region, The Collaboration Festival: A Celebration of the African Diaspora, presented by the Pittsburgh’s Cultural Trust’s Education department, is a very special public performance. It follows the journey of a solo artist who learns about the power of collaboration and community. As they prepare for The Festival, the artist begins to feel that “something is missing.” Luckily, they encounter other artists who have the skills and knowledge that are needed to create a truly collaborative and thrilling performance for The Festival. Participating artists include Naomi Allen, Randall Coleman, Delana Flowers, Dennis Garner, David Minniefield, Saihou Njie, and Candace Walker. This event is a part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's celebration of Hip Hop. Learn more at

Mr. Messado in RINGISTRY

Until Feb. 26 | Liberty Magic

Mr. Messado in Ringistry

Joshua Messado started Messado Magic over 20 years ago at the Houdini’s magic theater in Atlantic City, NJ. There he found his passion for performing and discovered the linking rings, which is now his signature effect. Messado Rings are now a staple in the magic community known as "Ringistry". After Houdini’s, he co-owned a magic shop and theater in Philadelphia, PA for several years. His career in magic led to national and international television appearances as seen on Wizard Wars with Penn and Teller, SyFy Channel (USA), Temple University TV (USA), Illusions of grandeur, OLN (Canada) and recently on Farid Magic 13, Pro7 (Germany). He performed at reputable theaters like the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Chicago Magic Lounge, and Monday Night Magic in New York. Now he continues to pave the way for Black entertainers making their way in the magic industry. Tickets can be purchased at

The August Wilson Archives presented by the City of Pittsburgh

Available until Feb. 28 | City-County Building grand lobby

The City of Pittsburgh celebrates Black History Month by showcasing the life and works of American playwright and Pittsburgh native son August Wilson (1945 – 2005), who became one of the most important voices in modern theater. Working in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Library System — which has acquired Wilson’s archive — the City of Pittsburgh Office of Special Events presents “Highlights from the August Wilson Archive” to spotlight Wilson’s life. A month-long display in the City-County Building’s grand lobby features a variety of photographs, playbills, handwritten notes, play materials, other memorabilia, and an interactive activity. Online content featuring a series of interviews with individuals who knew the playwright personally and professionally, photographs, and highlights of the memorabilia on display downtown is available at

BNY Mellon Presents Jazzlive

Every Tuesday until Feb. 28 | Liberty Magic

Vocalist Anita Levels

BNY Mellon Presents JazzLive is a FREE weekly jazz series taking place at its new cozy and artful winter venue, Liberty Magic. This popular music series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, showcases some of the region’s finest jazz musicians every Tuesday. This month’s artists include renowned vocal artist, voice influencer, songwriter, and producer Anita Levels who will be performing at a special Valentine's Day edition of JazzLive on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Ms. Levels has a plethora of original music on all streaming music platforms and enjoys sharing the history and influence of Black American music on the world and American culture. Pittsburgh jazz great Roger Humphries + RH Factor will perform on Feb. 28.

Exploration of COLOR 2.0: A Retrospective of Works by Jo-Anne Bates

Available until Apr. 30 | 820 Gallery

Explorations of COLOR 2.0 is a series of mixed-media prints with textual statements that represent the culmination of Jo-Anne Bates' life experiences—with a lens placed on the injustices experienced by young African American people. Jo-Anne's constant exploration and manipulation of print material, speaks to the value process that affects collective and individual transformation. Her work offers visual and textual topographies upon which we can personally reflect, and the broader geography of her creative impact can be seen in the generations of individuals who have found their voices through the artwork she has created. Jo-Anne Bates is a prolific artist and arts educator from Pittsburgh. As a prize-winning printmaker, she has exhibited at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Carnegie Museum of Art, and numerous regional and national galleries. Named the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 2017 Artist of the Year, Bates continues to influence her community of artists and students with her work.

Want more ways to support and reflect during Black History Month? Check out this list of Black owned businesses and these events happening throughout the remainder of February.

  • Black History Month
  • Black Pittsburgh Artists
  • Black Owned Businesses in Pittsburgh