Welcome to the 2020 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. Our goal has been to produce the best virtual Festival experience yet seen--to shine a light on the approximately 500 artists and arts organizations taking part in the event and to deliver a memorable Festival for our community; after all, the arts can lead the way in difficult times and they have improved quality of life in our region for many decades.
There is enough performing and visual art at this year’s Festival that you could spend many hours exploring it all. We do hope you take your time, and come back to the site multiple times over the course of the Festival’s ten days to keep discovering something new but, for now, we’re going to give you a bird’s eye view of how to interact with our virtual Festival grounds.
We encourage you to keep this tab open and use this page as a companion guide as you browse the site to help answer questions you may have.
Dollar Bank Digital Main Stage
Each night at 7:30 p.m., we’ll bring a special performance to you. If you’re asking how exactly you tune-in or stream, don’t worry. You can find these streams on the Festival’s Facebook page or on the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust YouTube channel. The Festival itself will carry that YouTube stream, though, so all you really need to remember is to find your event is the Festival site.
View the full 10-day lineup for the Dollar Bank Digital Main Stage. In addition to the nightly 7:30 p.m. performances, there are several 5 p.m. livestreams scheduled as well.
Just like the name suggests, performances on this stage can be enjoyed any time you want it. Look for performances by Sierra Sellers, The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Bonnie and the Mere Mortals, and a diverse lineup of talent from Pittsburgh’s music scene.
The Artist Market is one of the Festival’s cornerstones. This year’s artists had already been juried into the Artist Market prior to the onset of the pandemic. Showcasing their work and supporting their livelihoods was a key motivation for the Trust while developing this virtual Festival.
In a typical year, 150 or so artists appear at the Festival on a given day, but cycle through four changeover dates, allowing 350 to participate annually, but each for varying session lengths. This year, all 350 artists will appear simultaneously at our online Festival grounds for the full ten days, June 5-14. We hope this will maximize the audience for every artist and be a convenience to all Festival visitors.
Since the normal on-site footprint couldn’t be replicated, we developed a brand-new, custom-designed virtual neighborhood. When you click or tap through the homepage to the Artist Market, here’s where you will land. Once you click on a category, you’ll be transported from this virtual neighborhood to a pre-filtered listing by that category.
On each artist’s page, you’ll see a description of the artist’s creative process. It’s not so much a business statement as an explanation of how the work is made. It’s exactly the kind of thing you’d normally hear the artists explaining in-person when you duck into their tents. You’ll also see several examples of their work.
When you’re ready to purchase a piece, head to the “shop this artist” section over on the right. Since each of the 350 participating artists has supplied us with their preferred website for doing business, they will all be different. You’ll see many Etsy shops, but also personal websites and, in some cases, you’ll be directed to email artists to discuss purchases.
Compass Roses: Maps by Artists, is a brand new interactive art experience commissioned by the Festival. This special project was curated by Renee Piechocki and Nadine Wasserman and features 20 local artists. The project is meant to increase the breadth and depth of ways to experience our city. Twenty artist-created maps will provide new ways for visitors and residents alike to see the city anew through the eyes of visual artists, writers, poets, dancers, actors and musicians.
View the maps online, or download a .PDF version, great for anyone wanting to walk around with a hard-copy map instead of following along on a mobile device.
Transverse: the Juried Visual Art Exhibition
The annual Juried Visual Art Exhibition is titled “Transverse” this year. Like the Artist Market, this year’s artists had already been juried into the show prior to the onset of the pandemic. Showcasing their work, even without a physical exhibition, was another key motivation for the Trust while developing the virtual Festival experience. Out of hundreds of submissions, 51 works by 40 artists were selected by a panel of four jurors, showcasing exceptional new art never exhibited in Pittsburgh from artists living within 150 miles of Pittsburgh.
This year’s theme and title was meant to explore altered realities, utopias, and challenging the status quo, looking for art that allows us to see the world anew. Now, that theme seems somewhat prophetic as our nation’s heart breaks and seeks justice, as we face uncertainty and fear, and as we grieve and heal.
For the first time, we are showcasing the full exhibition online. You’ll be able to view a custom-built page for each artist’s work, including photos, physical specs and materials, a price tag if for sale, a quote from the artist, and more. Some of the pages even include sound recordings from the artists themselves, which provide additional insights into the work.
Note that each page has a button to cast a vote for the People’s Choice Award. Each visitor can cast a single vote during the Festival in support of their favorite piece in the exhibition. A $500 cash prize awaits in the winner.
Funding for the exhibition was provided by the Bessie F. Anathan Charitable Trust of the Pittsburgh Foundation.
Anthropology of Motherhood: Culture of Care
One more exhibition to cover is Anthropology of Motherhood: Culture of Care. Now celebrating its fifth year as part of the Festival, the exhibition features art and design that engage in the complex visual, material, emotional, corporeal, and lived experiences of motherhood, caregiving, parenting, nurturing, and maternal labor.
Normally a functional, hybrid exhibition that is innovatively designed as both an art space, an interactive amenity, and a place of respite for families with young children, this year’s exhibition has, like everything else, been re-imagined.
If you’re interested in getting outside, safely social distancing, of course, we hope you’ll consider a walking tour of the Trust’s long-term public art installations.
The Festival website will lead you to this overview along with an interactive map to enjoy downtown.
Several artist demonstrations, hands-on creative arts projects, and interactive workshops will be featured in this year’s Giant Eagle Creativity Zone. You’ll be able to enjoy activities from the Trust’s own Arts Education team, as well as community partners like Giant Eagle, the Carnegie Science Center, and more.
Some Creative Activities will be especially for kids, but others will be engaging for all ages. Festival visitors will discover videos from many arts organizations and community partners that provide ideas for fun art-making at home with commonly available materials.
Film has long been an important component of the Festival. In recent years, especially, the Trust’s own Harris Theater on Liberty Ave. has offered screenings free of charge.
Despite the times, the tradition continues. Two groundbreaking art films will be available for free screening in the comfort of your home as part of the Trust’s Harris Theater @ Home series. This year, we are proud to offer three screenings: The Mystery of Picasso, Bless Their Little Hearts, and The Edge of the World. Click through to the individual listings for more information and to watch the film.
Festival food is a highlight for many visitors each year, and the Trust plans to make familiar flavors available throughout the city with help from the region’s creative food community.
Several local restaurateurs, operating either food trucks, pop-up locations, or brick-and-mortar restaurants, are making Festival food available in more than a dozen neighborhoods throughout Pittsburgh. From Troy Hill to Mt. Lebanon and Wilkinsburg to the Strip and downtown, we hope you’ll find something tasty in the spirit of the Festival. All vendors will take orders by phone, some online, a few by walk-up, and some even offering delivery. View the map of participating restaurants and locations and more details.
Our annual partnership with 412 Food Rescue continues as well. Many of the participating food vendors will have a Buy One Give One option, allowing everyone in position to do so to purchase an additional meal as a donation for 412 Food Rescue to deliver to neighbors experiencing food scarcity.
If the art is not enough, and you just need one more thing to sear the memory of our 2020 Festival into your mind, you can order a limited edition commemorative t-shirt. These shirts are high quality and printed locally, available to be shipped to your home with a purchase or donation.
From all of us at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, we hope you dedicate as much time as you can to exploring the Festival over the next ten days, to sharing with friends and loved ones just how much there is to enjoy, and together we’ll have celebrated the 61st annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival like no one ever thought possible.