Founded in 1970, the Mattress Factory is an acclaimed exhibitory art museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that supports the work of local, national, and international artists through a working-residency program. Beginning on June seventeenth, the Mattress Factory partnered with Sibyls Shrine and began exhibiting a six-site installation named SHRINE.
In 2002, Mike Speranzo and Liz Berlin transformed a church Mr. Smalls Theatre. The venue includes a concert hall that can hold 800 people for concerts or other events, a smaller stage, and a restaurant. In the basement there is a small café. Mr. Smalls Theatre has hosted performances by both local and national artists. President Bill Clinton even visited once for a political rally. The building itself was also once a Catholic Church called St. Ann’s.
The sound of church bells is part of the landscape of sound in Pittsburgh just like car horns honking and helicopters flying overhead to the hospital. But they are also much more than that. Bells can carry meaningful and sometimes secretive histories of the churches where they hang. And for Christians who attend these churches, the sound of church bells ringing creates time and space for prayer outside of the secular world. By doing this, church bells make themselves a vital part of religious expression in Pittsburgh.
Dressed in vibrant West African clothing and sitting at a pair of djembe drums, it’s easy to tell Anthony Mitchell, Jr. and his brother Dante are ibeji, twins.
The powerful emotions invoked in the music were a staple of the revivalists attempts to galvanize the latent Christian population, strengthen Protestant Christianity’s authority, and bolster church membership.
The Syria Mosque and its members played a powerful role in shaping Oakland as a neighborhood and Pittsburgh as a city. Though fraught with cultural exploitation, its presence had a lasting impact.