KST Blog

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: My People Festival celebrates Queer & Trans Artists of Color, centering work of Pittsburgh native, choreographer Kyle Abraham

EAST LIBERTY, PA, NOVEMBER 1, 2021Kelly Strayhorn Theater is proud to announce the lineup for My People: A QTPOC Festival of the Arts, taking place Wednesday, November 10 – Saturday, November 13, 2021 at KST’s Alloy Studios, 5530 Penn Avenue, and  Byham Theater, 101 6th Street. 

Created in honor of KST’s namesake Billy Strayhorn, My People is Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s annual multi-disciplinary festival featuring Queer and Trans Artists of Color. This year, the program is co-presented with Pittsburgh Dance Council, a division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and will center the work of Black, Queer, Pittsburgh native and MacArthur Genius Award Winning Choreographer, Kyle Abraham.  

“Billy Strayhorn was a revolutionary because he was living as an out queer Black artist in a time when it was challenging enough to live freely as a Black person in segregationist United States, let alone be open about one’s sexuality and identity. We celebrate his life and legacy by boldly celebrating the art and stories of Queer and Transgender People of Color here in his hometown of Pittsburgh,” stated Joseph Hall, Executive Director of Kelly Strayhorn Theater. 

Kyle Abraham sees this engagement as a homecoming and a chance to share art that reflects the city. “So much of the work I have made over the years is, in a lot of ways, rooted in a street or many streets in Pittsburgh. And this is one of those works,” he says. “This is Pittsburgh.”

In addition to performances, the company will be teaching classes throughout the city and region at institutions including Point Park University, Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12 , Slippery Rock University, and more! Abraham himself will teach a Community Class at KST’s Alloy Studios presented by PearlArts on Friday, November 12, from 10:00am – 12:00pm. 

My People 2021 additionally features Abraham in conversation about self love, Black love and the multiplicity of ways love is exchanged between queer folx and across race with Brian Broome, Staycee Pearl, and sarah huny young, on Wedneaday, November 10 at 7:00pm. And don’t miss the evening of Pittsburgh based queer artists curated by sarah huny young and performing at KST’s Alloy Studios on Friday, November 12 at 7:00pm. The four day festival, culminates with A.I.M by Kyle Abraham’s newest work, An Untitled Love, on Saturday, November 13 at the Byham Theater. 

Tickets for My People are now on sale at kst.imagebox.dev or can be purchased in person at the events. For An Untitled Love tickets, information, and venue safety and health protocol entry requirements, visit: www.TrustArts.org or call 412-456-6666.

For full season details, COVID policy updates, and tickets, go to kst.imagebox.dev.



The Pittsburgh Dance Council joined the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as a programming division in 2002. The mission of Pittsburgh Dance Council is to bring the best contemporary dance companies from around the world to the Cultural District. Each season, Pittsburgh Dance Council presents diverse, world-class contemporary works, including U.S. and world premieres.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners.  Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District.  The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization.  A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity.  Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life.  Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.


Kelly Strayhorn Theater is a non-profit community performing arts center in East Liberty,  advancing live art through strategic vision and community collaboration with two venues running along Penn Avenue. KST’s Alloy Studios is a cultural hub in the heart of East  Liberty, and the historic Kelly Strayhorn Theater is located in the thriving business district. More than 20 years after its founding, KST continues to use its broad reach to impact the contemporary arts and the community.