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A Film Anthology About the LGBTQ Experience in Kenya

City of Asylum (2017)

ReelQ & Pittsburgh Black Pride Present

Stories of Our Lives

Friday, July 14th
7:00 pm

In 2013, The Nest Collective (a Nairobi-based arts collective) began interviewing people identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex in Kenya. After collecting hundreds of stories, they wrote scripts for 5 of the most compelling and transformed them into Stories of Our Lives, an anthology of short films.

Stories of Our Lives

“Stories of Our Lives is both a labor of love and a bold act of militancy, defying the enforced silence of intolerance with tales rooted in the soil of lived experience.”

– Toronto International Film Festival

Stories of Our Lives was an Official Selection of the Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals, and was a winner of the Special Jury Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, among other notable accolades.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Pultizer Prize Winner and Author of Negroland Margo Jefferson Speaks June 27

City of Asylum (2017)

Margo Jefferson

Thursday, June 27th
8:00 pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic and author Margo Jefferson will be reading from her multi-award winning autobiography Negroland, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Heartland Prize.

Margo Jefferson

Margo places a critical lens to her childhood growing up among the Chicago’s upper-crust, elite black social sphere – a world she dubs “Negroland.” Widely regarded as one of 2016’s Best Books of the Year (as noted by such publications as The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Time, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Time Out New York and others), Negroland is a provocative work on privilege, discrimination, and the fallacy of post-racial America.

Jefferson is a national treasure and her memoir should be required reading across the country. – Vanity Fair

Margo is a professor at Columbia University and has been a staff writer for The New York Times and Newsweek, and has published in New York Magazine, The Nation, The Washington Post, The Believer, Guernica, Bookforum, O, the Oprah Magazine, Vogue and Grand Street. Not shy about tackling potentially controversial subject matter, Jefferson’s essays have weighed in on such topics as Ebonics, “race ennui” and black feminism. She also wrote and performed a theater piece, Sixty Minutes in Negroland, at The Cherry Lane Theater and The Culture Project.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Family Fun with Renowned Storyteller Marc Spiegel

City of Asylum (2017)

A Program for Kids and Families

Marc Spiegel

Saturday, June 17th
11:00 am

Adults and children alike will be spellbound during this unique Saturday-morning program. While entertaining with multi-cultural stories, folklore, poetry, and even a few songs, Marc Spiegel also teaches the mechanics of storytelling. Audiences become part of the story itself in his interactive program that is sure to inspire the storyteller in your family.

Marc Spiegel

Marc has performed his original stories offering a multicultural repertoire of traditional folktales for more than fourteen years. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, The International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap Farm Park, as well as off-Broadway at the Douglas Fairbanks Theater. He was a featured storyteller at the White House “Millennium on the Mall” celebration held at The Smithsonian Institute.

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The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Comes to Alphabet City

City of Asylum (2017)

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Presents

Play N’at

Wednesday, June 7th
8:00 pm

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s popular chamber music series, Play N’at, comes to Alphabet City!

PlayN'at

Comprised of chamber groups formed by musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, this series showcases these ensembles in alternative venues around Pittsburgh. The Play N’at series provides opportunities for audiences to enjoy music selected by the musicians themselves in more intimate environments around the ‘Burgh.

City of Asylum @ Alphabet City’s concert will feature the Pittsburgh Cello Quartet and the Trapeze Ensemble, a wind and strings quintet. The repertoire is eclectic, featuring selections ranging from the Baroque to the Beatles. Come meet and mingle with musicians in a casual atmosphere.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

One of 10 Best Reviewed Films of 2017 at City of Asylum

City of Asylum (2017)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Moolaadé

Thursday, June 1st
7:00 pm

Moolaadé – the final film of Ousmane Sembène, after whom this film festival is named – is at once a passionately critical look at an African practice of female genital mutilation (practiced in more than 38 countries) and a tribute to everyday heroism of African women and men against the tremendous internal problems facing modern day, post-colonial Africa.

Mooladé

In a small village, four young girls facing ritual ‘purification’ flee to the household of Collé Ardo Gallo Sy, a strong-willed woman who has managed to shield her own teenage daughter from mutilation by invoking the time-honored custom of moolaadé (sanctuary). Though the subject matter may seem weighty, the film maintains a buoyant hopefulness through its depiction of vibrant village life laden with mythic overtones and spirited song.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

When making your reservation,
please add that you wish to see the film under special notes.

Nigerian Author Unoma Azuah: The Body as Politics

City of Asylum (2017)

Unoma Azuah

Tuesday, May 23rd
8:00 pm

Award-winning writer and LGBT activist Unoma Azuah (Nigeria) will be reading from her collection Blessed Body: Secret lives of LGBT Nigerians.

Unoma Azuah

Forced to live invisible lives because of Nigerian’s harsh anti-LGBT laws, the courageous narrators in Unoma’s collection give voice to those Nigerians faced with the challenge of discovering and exploring their sexuality in the midst of hate and imprisonment. In spite of the political and social persecution they encounter and haunted by the specter of AIDS, they continue to endure, love and thrive.

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Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

Two City of Asylum Writers – and the Novels that Led to their Exile

City of Asylum (2017)

Israel Centeno & Yaghoub Yadali

Sunday, May 16th
8:00 pm

City of Asylum exiled writers-in-residence Israel Centeno (Venezuela) & Yaghoub Yadali (Iran) will be reading excerpts from the novels that led to their exiles. City of Asylum commissioned translations, and they have been published by Phoneme Media. They will be available in the City of Asylum Bookstore and soon bookstores everywhere.

Following the bilingual readings by the authors, Phoneme founder David Shook will lead a conversation with the authors about their personal experiences of exile, their sources of continuing inspiration, and what it’s like to hear their work in English.

Rituals of Restlessness
The Conspiracy

City of Asylum is honored to partner with Phoneme Media – a nonprofit media company dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding, connecting people and ideas through translated books and films – to bring these writers’ voices to new audiences.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

May 9th: Pittsburgh’s Legendary Chanteuse, Etta Cox

City of Asylum (2017)

Etta Cox

Sunday, May 9th
8:00 pm

Etta CoxPowerhouse jazz/cabaret singer Etta Cox has been voted “Best Jazz Vocalist” in Pittsburgh for 8 consecutive years – and if you have ever seen her in concert, this should come as no surprise! Etta thrills audiences with her intoxicating, smooth vocals reminiscent of a bygone era.

Etta has opened for such legends as Ray Charles, Doc Severinson, and Debbie Reynolds. She has appeared on Broadway, on television and in films, co-hosted the television talk show Citylife and performed in many local theater productions at the City Theater and Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Etta is one of Pittsburgh’s “living treasures”. Don’t miss this chance to be at her City of Asylum @ Alphabet City debut!

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio comes to Alphabet City May 7th

City of Asylum (2017)

Stephen Crump Quartet

Sunday, May 7th
8:00 pm

You may recognize the name “Stephan Crump”. He has played here twice before, with different musicians: in Henry and Diane’s living room with Mary Halvorson and in our 2015 Jazz Poetry Concert with Vijay Iyer.

Rosetta Trio has been playing together since 2005. It is a most unusual jazz group – with no drums or percussion. In addition to Stephan on bass, it includes guitarists Liberty Ellman and Jamie Fox. The group is widely praised for its profound, sometimes playful and always honest music.

The trio will explore pieces drawn from their three ground-breaking albums, in addition to several new works in development.

Not to be missed!

Steven Crump Jazz Trio

“Some groups just have chemistry… Something about them just works. Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio is one such group. Comprised of two guitarists–one electric and one acoustic–plus Crump’s own resonant acoustic bass, the Rosetta Trio straddles the worlds of jazz, avant garde, and modern folk music with consummate ease and some seriously deep virtuosity.”
– All About Jazz

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Did you know that there is a restaurant in City of Asylum @ Alphabet City? During these events, Alphabet City will be set up so that you can have dinner during the event (or simply order drinks).

Reserve a Table for Your Visit

Independent Bookstore Day Festivities at Alphabet City

Independent Bookstore Day

11:30 am

All-ages children’s puppet show, The Girl Who Swallowed the Sun, with Felicia Cooper and story hour with Bookseller Jen.

1:00 – 3:00 pm

Book signing with City of Asylum exiled-writer-in-residence, Osama Alomar. Alomar has recently published his new poetry collection, Teeth of the Comb. Copies will be available for purchase.

1:00 & 2:00 pm

Tours of the Alphabet City building (and optional apartment tour).

4:00 pm

Raffle drawing

5:00 pm

Casellula @ Alphabet City opens for dinner

Throughout the Day

Surprise discounts, scavenger hunt for kids, free coffee, and half-price espresso, lattes, and pastries.

City of Asylum Bookstore will also offer exclusive merchandise created especially for Independent Bookstore Day by major publishers and authors. Of note are the exclusive, limited edition chapbook by Michael Chabon and signed artwork by Oliver Jeffers and Jenny Lawson.