Pittsburgh Events and Activities

Credit: David Reid / VisitPittsburgh

At each year's convention, NeMLA sponsors activities in our local host city to show attendees all that the city has to offer, with cost of admission discounted for you thanks to NeMLA's sponsorship.

Sponsored Activities

Willa Cather's Pittsburgh Walking Tour

90-minute walking tours of what Willa Cather saw in downtown Pittsburgh during her period of residence from 1896 to 1906, and the decade she came back to visit from 1906 to 1916. The tour begins and ends in Mellon Square, a 3-minute walk from the NeMLA convention hotel, and highlights landmarks from Pittsburgh at the turn of the century. 

The Senator John Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman St

NeMLA members' tour scheduled for Friday, April 13, 2018, 10 AM
And enjoy NeMLA interactive workshops at the Heinz History Center (Register here!)

Credit: Hakrakosky [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

A Smithsonian Institution affiliate and Pennsylvania's largest history museum, the Heinz History Center includes six floors of permanent and changing exhibitions that tell the story of Western Pennsylvania. The Center includes the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum and the Detre Library and Archives. 

The Heinz History Center is a short walk from the Omni William Penn and will host the NeMLA 2018's interactive workshops, including "Digital Storytelling and the Humanities," in which participants will learn about how to effectively incorporate digital storytelling in a variety of humanities classrooms and will have access to the Heinz History Center collections before, during, and after the workshop.

The Hillman Library at the University of Pittsburgh
3960 Forbes Ave

Credit: James St. John [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

NeMLA members' tour scheduled for Friday, April 13, 2018, 1-2 PM

The University of Pittsburgh's largest library, the Hillman houses 1.5 million volumes. Collections include the African-American Collection, the Alliance College Polish Collection, Archives of Scientific Philosophy, the Curtis Theater Collection, the East Asian Library, the Gertrude and Philip Hoffman Judaic Collection, the Japan Information Center, the Eduardo Lozano Latin American Collection, and the Nesbitt Collection of Children's Literature. The Hillman Library also features a rotating selection of John James Audubon prints from the University of Pittsburgh's copy of The Birds of America, one of only 120 complete collections in existence. The library also features other graphic and sculptural works, some on loan from the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Suggested Activities

The Mattress Factory
500 Sampsonia Way

The Mattress Factory was founded in 1977 by artists to support artists working in residence to create site-specific installations. Since then, the museum has presented and commissioned new installations and performance works by more than 750 artists. The museum supports established and emerging artists through a residency program that provides leadership, guidance, resources, and opportunities to create artwork that is unconventional, challenging, and thought-provoking. The museum’s flexibility and inventiveness allows artists to respond to developments in technology, explore audience interaction, and challenge traditional artistic ideals and practice.

Andy Warhol Museum
117 Sandusky Street

Copyright: Daderot, via Wikimedia Commons

The largest museum in the North America dedicated to a single artist, this seven-floor museum houses an extensive collection of art and the archives of Pittsburgh-born pop art icon Andy Warhol. The museum has 17 galleries, 900 paintings, 2,000 works on paper, 1,000 published unique prints, 77 sculptures, 4,000 photographs, and 4,350 Warhol films and videotaped works. Group tours are available.

Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh
4200 Fifth Avenue

Credit: Crazypaco [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Nationality Rooms are located on the first and third floors of the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning. The rooms were designed to represent the culture of various ethnic groups that settled in Allegheny County and are supported by these cultural groups and governments. Tours are conducted year round. The public is invited to experience their ethnic identity and ancestral roots. The rooms are also in use as University classrooms.

Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Ave

Credit: Moira Burke [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1895, this museum holds a distinguished collection of contemporary art, including film and video works. The museum presents 15 changing exhibitions and 1,800 works annually, and its permanent collection includes 35,000 works in European and American decorative arts dating as far back as the late seventeenth century, works on paper, paintings, prints, sculptures, and installations. The museum has notably strong collections of both aluminum artifacts and chairs. The museum also features the Heinz Architectural Center and the Hillman Photography Initiative.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Ave

Credit: James St. John [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1896, the museum maintains an international reputation for research and is ranked among the top five natural history museums in the United States. The museum holds 22 million specimens, of which about 10,000 are on view at any given time and about 1 million are cataloged in online databases. Its dinosaur collection includes the world's largest collection of Jurassic dinosaurs and its "Dinosaurs in Their Time" exhibition offers the third largest collection of mounted, displayed dinosaurs in the United States. Notable specimens include one of the world's only fossils of a juvenile Apatosaurus, the world's first specimen of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and a recently identified species of oviraptorosaur named Anzu wyliei. Other major exhibits include Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems, Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians, Polar World: Wyckoff Hall of Arctic Life, Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt, Benedum Hall of Geology, Dinosaurs in Their Time, and Powdermill Nature Reserve, established by the museum in 1956 to serve as a field station for long-term studies of natural populations.

Plays and Live Performances

Uncle Vanya
Written by Anton Chekhov, translated by Elisaveta Fen, directed by Philip Winters
April 6-15

Rauh Theater at Pittsburgh Playhouse
222 Craft Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

Professor Serebryakov and his young, beautiful, second wife arrive at their country estate with news of their plan to sell it to subsidize their lifestyle. The complex inner workings of family and unrequited love serve as backdrop for the drama that unfolds within the estate. Uncle Vanya is one of Anton Chekhov’s greatest works, powerfully staged by Point Park’s extraordinary Conservatory students.

The Midtown Men
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Heinz Hall
600 Penn Avenue
April 13-15, Afternoon and Evening Performances

From Boys to Men. The Midtown Men reunites stars from the original cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys, making them the first vocal group ever formed by the principal cast of a high-profile Broadway show. After sharing the stage for more than one thousand performances, Tony® Award winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and Tony® Award nominee J. Robert Spencer now take their signature sound and chemistry to audiences everywhere, bringing to life their favorite 1960s hits.

The New York Times says, “Sidling up to the microphone, the singers had the air of the Rat Pack, Motown and a nightclub act rolled into one,” while the New York Daily News proclaims, “The Midtown Men sound as crisp as their Rat Pack-inspired suits. Their voices blend together so flawlessly on stage.” After a recent performance with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, The Oklahoman praised The Midtown Men for “a joyous and nostalgic trip through the music of the 1960s with terrific orchestral charts,” adding, “this high-spirited evening kicked the audience’s adrenaline into overdrive.”

Byham Theater
101 6th Street

Named “the company of the future” by the Joyce Theater Foundation, BodyTraffic is already internationally recognized for their flawless talent. Working with the best choreographers in the world, the repertory company of seven dancers offers incredible range through an evening of three vastly contrasting pieces.

Dust, with choreography and music by Hofesh Shechter, takes a dark look at the power and commercialism that steer today’s society and asks us to question what is important. After all, eventually we all turn to dust.

o2Joy is an expression of sheer exuberance through great American jazz and playful, contemporary dance. Choreographer Richard Siegal’s work is peppered with syncopated hip-hop and drenched in light-hearted humor.

Finally, the company’s newest work, Private Games by Anton Lackey, uses dynamic movement and penetrating imagery to bring the audience into a mysterious and explosive world.

Local Interest and Informal Activities

Frick Art & Historical Center
7227 Reynolds Street

Credit: Daderot [CC BY-SA 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Experience art and history in a distinctive, memorable way with a docent-led tour of Clayton, the historic home of the Henry Clay Frick family, and The Frick Art Museum. These tours provide opportunities to view fine, decorative arts from the Renaissance to the present, as well as to learn how the Frick family lived during the turn of the 20th century.

Carnegie Science Center
1 Allegheny Avenue

Credit: Allie_Caulfield [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

With four floors of interactive exhibits, the Carnegie Science Center is Pittsburgh's most visited museum. Attractions include the Buhl Planetarium (with the latest in digital projection technology), the Rangos Omnimax Theater (the biggest screen in Pittsburgh), SportsWorks, the Miniature Railroad & Village, the USS Requin (a World War II submarine), and Roboworld, the world's largest permanent robotics exhibition, containing 30 interactive displays featuring "all things robotic" and home to Carnegie Mellon University’s Robot Hall of Fame.

The National Aviary
700 Arch Street

Credit: Christopher "Rice" [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The National Aviary is the United States' only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in Allegheny Commons Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises 500 birds representing 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. 

The National Aviary’s large walk-through exhibits create an experience unlike any other: an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to hand-feed and meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
1 Schenley Drive

Credit: Dllu [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A green oasis in the middle of Pittsburgh’s vibrant Oakland neighborhood, Phipps has provided a world-class garden experience to its visitors since 1893. Discover breathtaking seasonal flower shows, stunning outdoor botanical gardens, free-with-admission activities for all ages, an award-winning on-site café, and some of the greenest buildings in the world.