KST Blog

Welcome to the KST Blog!

The KST Blog serves as an alternative view of the KST programming, showcasing our artist talk series, KST curated weekly playlists, and more!

  1. 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.


     

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.”

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. KST Sounds Playlist: Prince

    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 series we present as a tribute to the life and musical genius of the legendary artist Prince.

     

     

  8. Checking In, Artists Around the World featuring Bekezela Mguni

    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 7th stream, Ben checks in with queer Trinidadian artist, librarian, and educator, Bekezela Mguni. Check out more on Bekezela Mguni here: https://www.bekezelamguni.com 

    Bekezela Mguni (Guest – Thursday, May 7) is a queer Trinidadian artist, librarian, and educator. She has over 15 years of community organizing experience in the Reproductive Justice movement and holds an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. Bekezela participated in the first Librarians and Archivists with Palestine delegation in June of 2013. She completed her first micro-residency at the Pittsburgh creative hub Boom Concepts and was featured in the 2015 Open Engagement Conference. She was a 2015-2016 member of the Penn Ave Creative Accelerator Program with the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and launched the Black Unicorn Library and Archive Project. The Black Unicorn Project is a Black feminist community library and archive. She also served as the 2016 Sophia Smith Archive Activist-in-Residence at Smith College. Bekezela was selected as an Emerging Artist in the 2016 Three Rivers Arts Festival and won the Juror’s Choice award for her visual artwork. She was a featured artist of the 2017 Activist Print Project, a partnership between, Artist Image Resource, BOOM concepts, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Bekezela is a Boom Concepts studio member, a community space and gallery dedicated to the development of artists and creative entrepreneurs. She is currently an artist in residence at Artist Image Resource and the Librarian in residence at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Bekezela also serves as the Education Program Director at Dreams of Hope which affirms the voices and leadership of LGBTQ youth through the arts.

  9. Down with ODD: featuring Chef Kevin Watson

    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 6, Darkins Drewery was joined by Chef Kevin Watson. For more information on Kiya Tomlin and her clothing line go to: https://chefstablepgh.com/story/chef-… 

    Chef Kevin Watson (Guest – Wednesday, May 6) is an Erie, Pennsylvania native who now calls Pittsburgh home. Watson graduated from the former Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in 1994 and went on to teach at Le Cordon Bleu Institute for 11 years. His work experience includes the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island and more locally at the Top of the Triangle and Sunnyledge Hotel. He has served as Executive Chef at both at Savoy and The Cafe at the Frick, and established and executed kitchen operations for Pittsburgh Premier Catering, a catering company he founded in 2008. Chef Kevin Watson has had the privilege of providing chef services to notable clients including President George W. Bush and has served as personal chef to Pittsburgh Steelers players who include Jerome Bettis, Alan Faneca and more. The Chef’s Table “Buy a Meal, Give a Meal” program is not the beginning of his commitment to the community. His past work in the community includes assisting Allegheny Youth Development (AYD) with their after-school program for inner-city middle and high-school students. His certifications include Certified Executive Chef (C.E.C), Personal Certified Chef (P.C.C.), Certified Dietary Manager (C.M.D.), Certified Food Protection Professional (C.F.P.P.) and Certified Healthcare Coach (C.H.C.) Chef Watson is passionate about providing healthy, fresh and affordable food to the Pittsburgh community at Chef’s Table.

  10. 19 Minutes with Joseph Hall: Featuring Tara Aisha Willis

     

    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 5, Hall was joined by dancer, a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at New York University, and Associate Curator in Performance & Public Practice at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Tara Aisha Willis. For more information about Alejandra Duque Cifuentes and Dance/NYC go to: https://www.mcachicago.org & https://tisch.nyu.edu/performance-stu…

    Tara Aisha Willis (Guest – Tuesday, May 5) is a dancer and a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at New York University. She is Associate Curator in Performance & Public Practice at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and recently held a Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellowship in the Dance Theater Workshop archives. Willis has held editorial positions for Women & Performance and TDR/The Drama Review, and co-edited with Thomas F. DeFrantz a special issue of The Black Scholar. Other writings appear in Movement Research Performance Journal, the Brooklyn Rail, Magazin im August, Voices from the Bush, Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance, Performance Research, and Performa Magazine. Willis performed in a collaboration between Will Rawls and Claudia Rankine, and recently in works by Kim Brandt, Megan Byrne, and Yanira Castro. She danced in the 2016 “Bessie” award-winning performance by The Skeleton Architecture.