💻 A laptop shortage has led Pittsburgh Public Schools to postpone the start of its school year. The district made the announcement Saturday, little more than a day before online classes were set to begin, blaming “continued technology supply chain shortages across the country.” Classes are now set to start on Sept. 8. (Pittsburgh Current)
📣 Hundreds of protesters occupied the intersection of Forbes and Murray avenues in Squirrel Hill for the 14th “Civil Saturday” demonstration of the summer. (90.5 WESA)
💡 A moratorium on utility shutoffs has been extended for three more weeks. But a statewide pause on evictions and foreclosures is set to expire today, leaving scores of Pennsylvanians in the lurch. (Spotlight PA)
⚠️ This is the most common COVID-19 violation at area eateries, as recorded by Allegheny County inspectors. (Pittsburgh Magazine)
💀 Dabble in the macabre with these new Mattress Factory exhibits. (Pittsburgh City Paper)
🥚 We also don’t understand why none of these eggs are labeled “dippy.” (Pittsburgh Reddit)
🍳 Speaking of … Nothing beats a good breakfast sandwich. Writer David Neimanis went in search of Pittsburgh’s best. (Very Local PGH)
🌹 It looks like Bachelor Nation may be coming to Fayette County. (Good Food Pittsburgh)
💧 Dawson has nothing on these Pittsburgh-area creeks. (NEXTpittsburgh)
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You’ve never seen an International Jazz Poetry Month like this. And that’s because City of Asylum has never done an International Jazz Poetry Month like this.
For the first time in its 16-year history, the month-long festival is going virtual this year, for exactly the reasons you’d expect.
City of Asylum is a North Side nonprofit that houses writers who’ve been exiled from their countries for controversial writing. The annual festival brings artists from around the world to Pittsburgh, and it’s doing that this year, too, just without the travel.
“We wanted to keep that international spirit alive,” Abby Lembersky, City of Asylum’s director of programming, told us by phone.
“We have musicians from Poland, Estonia, Slovenia, and Hungary this year. They all picked a poet in their own language that they wanted to collaborate with, they picked a venue that was interesting to them, and they worked with videographers to create these really beautiful concerts — not just, you know, Zooms from their living room.”
Those concert videos will be premiered at this year’s virtual festival. There will also be live-streamed concerts with local bands and more than a few virtual collaborations. Find the lineup of free events here.
The online-only format presented some new challenges for organizers, but Abby said time spent putting on other virtual events this year is paying off.
“We’ve learned a lot in the past four months about how to produce virtual programs and how to produce them well,” Abby added. “We’re just taking that and applying it to this festival, which is at the core of our mission.”
The annual month-long event started with a one-night concert in 2005. City of Asylum’s first exiled writer-in-residence, Chinese poet and author Huang Xiang, was looking to connect with Pittsburgh audiences but spoke only Mandarin. City of Asylum co-founders realized that by pairing his poetry with the music of American saxophonist Oliver Lake, that language barrier became less relevant.
“It made it easier for the community to connect and easier to understand what he was doing and what he was saying … his spirit,” Abby said.
The event has grown from there, and this year’s virtual format means it’s everywhere and anywhere.
“This year, the reach of the festival is actually sort of bigger than ever,” Abby added.
The Incline is a proud media partner for this event.
Advertisement from The Incline
🧀 Nibble on cheese and sip cider during this virtual tasting event (Online)
🎨 Explore CoronaCrafted: Dormont’s Visual & Digital Arts Show — through Sept. 19 (Dormont and Online)
🌬 Chill out at this Mindfulness Monday Meditation (Online)
✏️ Find out what Black Pittsburgh needs to know about educating children in a pandemic — multiple dates (Online)
💃 Learn about Pittsburgher Martha Graham, who reshaped modern dance, in this family program from Heinz History Center and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (Online)
🖥 Get your pesky tech questions answered with this virtual tech clinic from Whitehall Public Library — multiple dates (Online)
🎟 Watch "John Lewis: Good Trouble" with the Harris Theater at Home — multiple dates (Online)
🎤 Don't curb your enthusiasm for this Pittsburgh Virtual StorySLAM event celebrating the "high-energy, can-do spirit" (Online)
🎞 Watch a new documentary about Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe for Shanghai — and explore the Pittsburgh connections (Online)
🍺 Grab a beer and enjoy some poetry with a virtual version of Poetry & Pints (Online)
✍️ Explore how one of Ireland’s most influential writers straddled two worlds, one rural and one urban, while writing beloved and controversial plays (Online)
🗳 Explore the strange tale of the “suffragette cocktail” and rally in a “suffrage sing-a-long” with this virtual happy hour from Heinz History Center and Wigle Whiskey (Online)
If you’re new to the social media app TikTok and looking for some local flavor, the good folks at City Paper have you covered. Here are five local accounts to follow for everything from making your own pasta to LOL’ing at snail jokes. Enjoy them, at least until Sept. 15.
Thanks for checking in with us today. We’ll see you back here tomorrow.