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This Week in Pittsburgh: Mayhem, History Quilts, and Black Dandies

Zombies, history, and deliciously disruptive men of leisure are among some of the best happenings in the ‘Burgh this week.

Photography Exhibition + Black Dandies

The dandy is a man of leisure who looks the part, dressed to go anywhere he might desire a well-seasoned respite: the theater, the café, the opera, even the library, should he be so inclined. The black dandy is deliciously disruptive. By adopting the classical styles of the times, the African Diasporan man reveals a certain individuality and sense of self that makes him distinguished, from the tip of his hat to the cut of his jib. He subverts all expectation, by simply existing as he wishes to be—and it is this self-determination that makes dandyism so beguiling.

–from Crave’s review of Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity

On view at Silver Eye Center for Photography through November 14, 2015, Dandy Lion “distinguishes the historical and contemporary expressions of the Black Dandy phenomenon in popular culture. The first comprehensive exhibition of its kind, this project highlights young men in city-landscapes who defy stereotypical and monolithic understandings of Black masculinity by remixing Victorian-era fashion with traditional African sartorial sensibilities.”

Costume Parade + Spooky Shenanigans

Zombies, a costume parade, puppets, live performances, games and more will fill the Kelly Strayhorn Theater for the seventh annual Halloween Mayhem, a spooky day of activities designed to delight and entertain the whole family. The fun happens from 11 AM – 2 PM on Saturday, October 24th. Tickets for this event are available at any price. Simply choose the price that makes you happy!

Director Mark Clayton Southers’ Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre’s production of The Piano Lesson opens Nov. 13th at the August Wilson Center, but we hear tickets are going fast for the 8 scheduled performances of the fourth play in August Wilson’s ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle. The Piano Lesson earned Hill District native Wilson his second Pulitzer Prize for drama  and the 1990 Circle Award for Best Play from the New York Drama Critics. Set in 1936, The Piano Lesson deals with family conflict and the remnant legacy of slavery, with an incorporation of the supernatural and spirituality.

Film Screening + Panel Discussion

The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. Join The Girls Coalition of SWPA and 3ENOW on October 21st at 5:30 PM for a film screening followed by a panel discussion. Light dinner, dessert, and beverages will be provided.

Artist Talk + Workshop

Internationally-renowned story quilt creator Tina Williams Brewer is the artist-in-residence for this year’s Sweetwater Center for ArtsMavuno Festival. In her story quilts, Brewer uses symbolism, textiles, and fabrics to explore African-American history, particularly issues related to family, women, children, and spirituality. The Festival features an exhibition of Brewer’s work entitled Coding: We Are Always There (through Nov. 6); an artist talk on Saturday, October 24th at 6:30 PM; and a workshop for pre-teens also on the 24th at 10 AM.

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