KST Blog

Welcome to 1839!

1839 is inspired by the life, work, and legacy of Pittsburgh native, playwright August Wilson. The magazine serves as a nexus for the Greater Pittsburgh area’s writers and artists, providing a space to create, collaborate, cultivate and publish our thoughts, opinions, histories, and work.

  1. KST Global Stream: Checking In, Artists Around the World featuring Ishmael Houston-Jones

    On Thursday, May 28, Pryor was joined by choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator, Ishmael Houston-Jones.

    Ishmael Houston-Jones (Guest – Thursday, May 28) is choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York, across the US, and in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Latin America. Drawn to collaboration as a way to move beyond boundaries and the known, Houston-Jones celebrates the political aspect of cooperation. He and Fred Holland shared a 1984 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders, which reintroduced the erased narrative of the Black cowboy back into the mythology of the American west. He was awarded his second “Bessie” Award for the 2010 revival of THEM, his 1985/86 collaboration with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane. In 2017 he received a third “Bessie” for Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other Works by John Bernd. As an author Houston-Jones’ essays, fiction, interviews, and performance texts have been published in several anthologies. His work has also appeared in the magazines: PAJ, Movement Research Performance Journal, Bomb, and Contact Quarterly. His first book, Fat and Other Stories was published in 2018 by Yonkers International Press. Houston-Jones curated Platform 2012: Parallels which focused on choreographers from the African diaspora and postmodernism and co-curated with Will Rawls Platform 2016: Lost & Found, dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, then and now. He has received a 2016 Herb Alpert, a 2015 Doris Duke Impact and a 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Artists Awards.

     

  2. 19 Minutes with Joseph Hall featuring Tiffany Wilhelm

    Every Tuesday at 12:30pm, KST Executive Director Joseph Hall takes to Instagram Live for conversations with arts leaders in Pittsburgh, across the USA, and internationally. Tune in, get to know Joseph, and find out how he and fellow arts leaders around the world are adapting to the challenges brought on by COVID-19.

    On Tuesday, May 26th, Hall was joined by Program Officer at the Opportunity Fund in Pittsburgh, Tiffany Wilhelm.

    For more information about Tiffany Wilhelm and the Opportunity Fund visit: theopportunityfund.org

    Tiffany Wilhelm (Guest – Tuesday, May 26) (she/they) is a Program Officer at the Opportunity Fund in Pittsburgh, a foundation that supports the arts and social & economic justice. Previously, she was Deputy Director of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council where she raised funds, oversaw programming, and co-led initiatives on accessibility for people with disabilities and racial equity.

    Tiffany has been involved with several collectives focused on educating and organizing for racial justice, both in Pittsburgh and in the national arts field. Prior to Pittsburgh, she was Executive Director of the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum and taught in an undergraduate arts management program. Tiffany is part of the core facilitator team with artEquity and has facilitated with Keryl McCord’s group Equity Quotient.

  3. Fries, Hold the Salad.

    Melodic Excellence through and through, these voices will take you on a ride and drop you in your feelings. Enjoy this KST curated playlist of all local artists.

  4. Checking In, Artists Around the World featuring Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

    Every Thursday at 2:00pm, KST Senior Producer Ben Pryor takes to Instagram Live for conversations with artists in Pittsburgh, throughout the US and around the world. They will connect on the impact of COVID-19 and adapting to working in the arts through a pandemic.

    For Thursday, May 21, Ben checks in with Nigerian American performance artist, poet, and curator, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko.

    Check out more on Jaamil Olawale Kosoko at the link below: jaamil.com

    Jaamil Olawale Kosoko (Guest – Thursday, May 21) is a Nigerian American performance artist, poet, and curator originally from Detroit, MI. His creative practice draws from Black study and queer theories of the body, weaving together visual performance, lecture, ritual, and spiritual practice. Recent awards include a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Choreography, 2019 NPN Development Fund Award, 2019-21 Movement Research Artist in Residence, 2018-20 Live Feed Artist at New York Live Arts, 2017-19 Princeton Arts Fellow, 2019 Red Bull Writing Fellow, 2017 MAP Fund recipient, and a 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Fellow. His works have toured internationally to South Africa, Europe, Canada, and throughout the US appearing in festivals and venues such as The Centre for the Less Good Idea (Johannesburg), Fusebox Festival (Austin), PICA | Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Tanz im August (Berlin), Moving in November (Finland), Within Practice (Sweden),TakeMeSomewhere (UK), Brighton Festival (UK), Oslo Teaterfestival (Norway), and Zürich MOVES! (Switzerland) among others.

    He is the author of two chapbooks: Animal in Cyberspace and Notes on An Urban Killfloor. His poems and essays have been included in The American Poetry Review, The Dunes Review, The Broad Street Review, among others. Season 1 of his interview-based podcast, American Chameleon can be found on all podcast platforms. Visit jaamil.com or follow @jaamilkosoko on Instagram for more information.

  5. Down with ODD featuring Yvette Royal

    Every Wednesday at 2:00pm, KST Deputy Director Orlana Darkins Drewery takes to Instagram Live for conversations with the KST community in Pittsburgh, and across the USA. Join us to see how folks are managing the impact of COVID-19. On Wednesday, May 20th, Darkins Drewery was joined by founder of Anastasia’s Crown Esthetic services, a boutique spa and salon, Yvette Royal. For more information on Yvette and Anastasia’s Crown Esthetic services, go to: https://www.anastasiascrown.com/crm/

    For 20 years, Yvette Royal (Guest, Wednesday, May 20) represented such brands as Clinique, MAC, and Sephora receiving top sales honors. Yvette then packaged her expertise in the makeup and skin care industry and in 2016 founded Anastasia’s Crown Esthetic services a boutique spa and salon. While there are a plethora of services, the signature service is FDA approved endermologie for body contouring and full body waxing. She is the first African American to have an Endermologie business in the state of Pennsylvania. Yvette Royal also serves Beauty professionals and cosmetology students, conducting waxing certification classes at the salon.


     

  6. Mixed KST Sounds Playlist

    For the Spring 2020 season, KST Presents invited musician, composer, and music director Dwayne Fulton to curate a series of concerts between March – May 2020. All of the concerts have been postponed for the future, but we are pleased to bring you playlists featuring the artists curated by Fulton for the series.

    The final playlist in our program is a mix of all KST Sounds Artists. From the Brydge, to Anita Levels to Prince, we hope you enjoy this group of songs curated to represent our KST Sounds series.

  7. Checking In, Artists Around the World featuring Adil Mansoor

    Every Thursday at 2:00pm, KST Senior Producer Ben Pryor takes to Instagram Live for conversations with artists in Pittsburgh, throughout the US and around the world. They will connect on the impact of COVID-19 and adapting to working in the arts through a pandemic.

     For Thursday, May 14, stream, Ben checks in with Pittsburgh-based theatre director and educator, Adil Mansoor Check out more on Adil Mansoor at the link below: www. adilmansoor.com

    Adil Mansoor (Guest – Thursday, May 14) is a theatre director and educator based in Pittsburgh, PA. He is recovering from the Western Canon. He reads the Canon as an archive of white, patriarchal power and fear. He is working on original projects deconstructing Tennesse Williams’ The Glass Menagerie as a manifesto on gay male misogyny and unpacking the Cyclops story in The Odyssey as colonial justification for invading and erasing entire civilizations. His upcoming solo lecture-performance, Amm(i)gone, adapts Sophocles’s Antigone as an apology to and from his mother. As a queer-identifying, Muslim-raised, immigrant in America, understanding and disrupting the Canon provides a survival tactic. In relationship to the Canon, Adil explores theater as a symptom of, and an antidote to, legacies of oppression. Adil also directs new and contemporary plays, primarily by queer folks and people of color, to disrupt dominant narratives. As a founding member of Pittsburgh’s Hatch Arts Collective, he has directed all their projects including Chickens in the Yard by Paul Kruse and Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Other directing projects include The River by Jez Butterworth (Quantum Theatre), Desdemona’s Child by Caridad Svich (Carnegie Mellon), and Popularity Coach by Brian Guehring (The Rose in Omaha). Adil has developed and directed new work through NYU, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and Kelly Strayhorn Theater. As an educator, Adil has worked with Middlebury College in Vermont, The Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Mozilla Fest in London, and many others. He was the Artistic Director for Dreams of Hope, an LGBTQA+ youth arts organization in Pittsburgh for over 5 years. He is an alumnus of DirectorsLabChicago and was the inaugural director with Quantum Theatre’s Gerri Kay New Voices program. Adil received his MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.

  8. Down with ODD featuring Robyn Greer

    Every Wednesday at 2:00pm, KST Deputy Director Orlana Darkins Drewery takes to Instagram Live for conversations with the KST community in Pittsburgh, and across the USA. Join us to see how folks are managing the impact of COVID-19. On Wednesday, May 13th, Darkins Drewery was joined by Hair Artist & Entrepreneur, Robyn Greer. For more information on Robyn Greer go to: https://www.bloomhairskinbody.com 

    Robyn Greer (Guest – Wednesday, May 13) is a Hair Artist & Entrepreneur who has been in the industry for more than 25 years. She recently launched “Bloom All Natural and Organic Hair & Skin Care Products.” The Bloom Brand was created by Greer in 2017 and has grown into a healing business that heals from the inside out. The Bloom Line also provides homemade and handcrafted tea. Robyn believes that you definitely are what you eat. “What you put in your body comes out in your skin and hair. If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin or in your hair.”

  9. 19 Minutes with Joseph Hall featuring Duane Binion

    Every Tuesday at 12:30pm, KST Executive Director Joseph Hall takes to Instagram Live for conversations with arts leaders in Pittsburgh, across the USA, and internationally. Tune in, get to know Joseph, and find out how he and fellow arts leaders around the world are adapting to the challenges brought on by COVID-19. On Tuesday, May 12th, Hall was joined by the Co-Creator of True T Pittsburgh (PGH), Duane Binion. For more information about Duane and True T Pittsburgh go to: https://truetpgh.com

     Duane Binion (Guest – Tuesday, May 19) is the Co-Creator of True T Pittsburgh (PGH), a Pittsburgh-based 501-c3 organization that serves the LGBTQIA+ Community of Color through Creative Art & Entertainment, Social Activism, and meaningful Resource Sharing. He is a social change-maker, producer of art, and community leader working to build social awareness for LGBT+ POC and community members of the iconic underground Ballroom scene for over 10+ years. Duane is a 2013-2014 Pittsburgh Public Ally Alum, and former Producer at Pittsburgh’s historic Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Through his 5 year tenure with the theater, Duane has adapted a diverse background in arts management, program development, community engagement, marketing, media, and performance art. Under the curatorial leadership of then-Executive Director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater; janera solomon, he has managed projects for an exciting mix of artists including; Carmen de’ Lavellade, David Rousseve, Bill Shannon, Thaddeus Phillips, Staycee Pearl Dance Project, slowdanger, and More! Duane has a passion for creating platforms that aid in dismantling the negative stereotypes and portrayals of black and brown queer people. In 2019 he was awarded his first Advancing Black Arts grant by the Pittsburgh Heinz Foundation to create a new project highlighting the rich creativity of the underground ballroom scene. He has served on a number of panels and committees, and most recently was recognized by Coro Pittsburgh with the 2019 “Distinguished Coro Alumni Leadership” Award.

  10. 19 Minutes with Joseph Hall featuring Harold Steward

    Every Tuesday at 12:30pm, KST Executive Director Joseph Hall takes to Instagram Live for conversations with arts leaders in Pittsburgh, across the USA, and internationally. Tune in, get to know Joseph, and find out how he and fellow arts leaders around the world are adapting to the challenges brought on by COVID-19. On Tuesday, May 12th, Hall was joined by cultural organizer and arts administrator from Dallas, TX, Harold Steward. For more information about Harold Steward go to: https://thetheateroffensive.org 

    Harold Steward (Guest – Tuesday, May 12) (They/He) is a cultural organizer and arts administrator from Dallas, TX. They joined The Theater Offensive in Boston as the Managing Director in June of 2017 and currently serves as Co-Producing Executive Director and oversees fund development/revenue enhancement, communications, and artistic programs throughout the organization. Harold most recently served as Manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center, a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, which provides instruction and enrichment in the arts with an emphasis on the African contribution to world culture. Harold also founded Fahari Arts Institute in Dallas in 2009 after recognizing a gap in the landscape for local LGBTQ artists of color in Dallas. Fahari Arts Institute celebrated, displayed, and produced the work of queer artists from the African Diaspora. Harold is a proud member of Alternate ROOTS, Board of Directors & Program Committee Chair for the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network, Board of Directors & Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair for Theater Communications Group and Steering Committee of the Black Theater Commons. In 2013 Harold co-founded NextGen National Arts Network, a network of arts leaders under the age of 40 that offers support through professional development and peer networking opportunities. Harold is also a Founding Partner of Steward Cultural Development Group, currently leading the strategic program design for ArtsBoston’s Network of Arts Administrators of Color. Steward is a National Cultural Equity Facilitator with Equity Quotient and Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Theater Studies at Emerson College.