You can’t go out, so local cultural groups are coming to you

Local arts groups and institutions are stepping up to help entertain everyone who is stuck at home. Here’s some online entertainment with a Pittsburgh touch.

Emergency Fund for Artists Web-A-Thon
6-10 p.m. April 4

Through a combination of live streaming and prerecorded segments, The Oaks Theater and Pittsburgh Concert Audio will present local entertainers on April 4 as a benefit for the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Emergency Fund for Artists, which is providing much-needed financial assistance to artists impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19 shutdowns.

The event will be hosted by Phat Man Dee and feature Bill Deasy, Aubrey Burchell, Alora Chateaux, Deryck Tines, Tracey D. Turner, Sons of Margaret, Tim Kutch, Carolina Loyola-Garcia & Jon Bañuelos from Alba Flamenca and Bon Journey. Find details on Facebook.

The emergency fund will allow artists to quickly access up to $500 to recoup financial losses due to cancelled events, offset the loss of expected income, and assist with rent, food, and other needs. You can donate to the fund through the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

City Theatre’s “Cry It Out”
Through April 5

City Theatre will present a video recording of Molly Smith Metzler’s “Cry It Out,” which ended its run early because of the coronavirus crisis. Previous ticket buyers already have access to the video, while those interested can purchase a virtual ticket (the organization’s Pick Your Price initiative tickets start at just $10) at Within one-hour from purchase, you will receive an e-mail with a link to view the performance; the virtual performance is only available to stream until April 5.

Pittsburgh Symphony “Bright Spots”

The Pittsburgh Symphony is creating a series of musical offerings for the community — new music, music from their archives and music for educating at home — that will be presented throughout their digital spaces. Check out Bright Spots and Concert Excerpts for regularly posted videos with music and insight, self-produced by symphony musicians; and, a weekly curated presentation, featuring excerpts and short selections from the current season, hosted by Music Director Manfred Honeck.

Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures: Michael Ondaatje Virtual Lecture
7:30 p.m. April 6

The Man Booker Prize-winning author of “The English Patient” will give a virtual lecture in place of his in-person appearance that had been scheduled for April 6 at Carnegie Lecture Hall. Ondaatje’s newest novel “Warlight” is a mesmerizing tale of violence, love, intrigue and desire.

The dramatic story is set in the decade after World War II told through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two unwitting teenagers. Current ticket holders will be sent a link to the lecture; anyone else interested can purchase a $10 Virtual Lecture Pass at

The Clarks

The Clarks say they will continue to go live at 8 p.m. Saturdays on Facebook “to share their music with all of you during these difficult times.” Coming next is music and a question-and-answer session with founder and lead vocalist Scott Blasey, who also has written such popular Clarks songs as “Born Too Late.” Free

Ongoing activities

Row House Cinema

The Lawrenceville theater is closed, but is offering $12 virtual tickets for a three-day rental. Fifty percent of each ticket helps to sustain Row House during this temporary closure. After you buy a ticket, you will be sent a link and a password to view the film. Check the website for what’s showing now.

Tull Family Theater

The Sewickley theater is offering virtual screenings of award-winning current films and some classics. You can buy a virtual pass for $12.

Heinz History Center

The Senator John Heinz History Center has curated a select list of digital offerings on a new web page: History At Home. The site includes digital exhibitions through Google Arts & Culture, videos of various exhibits, curator talks and podcasts. Free

Frick Pittsburgh

The Frick Pittsburgh offers seven virtual exhibitions, with photos from displays ranging from pastel works by Jean-Francois Millet to fashion from the Gilded Age. There also are five virtual tours through Google maps of various sites on the Frick grounds, including the first floor of the Clayton mansion. Find all the virtual content here, along with projects for kids. Free

Carnegie Museums

You can experience all four of the Carnegie Museums digitally at Carnegie Museums from Home. The website has a variety of different activities and links to things like silly Tik-Tok videos from the Natural History museum’s Tim Pearce, “the world’s most famous mollusk curator”; and all of the social media sites for the museums. The Carnegie Science Center is posting something to read, something to watch and something to do daily on Facebook. The art museum has digital exhibits and you can check out past Silver Studio Sessions from the Andy Warhol Museum. Free

Mattress Factory

Available now at is a curated selection of virtual content, including tours and artist interviews. The Mattress Factory will be adding new content to this page, so check back often. Free

— Susan Jones


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