RADical Days free programming says ‘thanks for your support’ |
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RADical Days free programming says ‘thanks for your support’

Opening night of 2018 RADical Days will include a gallery crawl in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. This photos shows an interactive Cell Phone Disco that was part of a 2017 gallery crawl.
The National Aviary in Pittsburgh’s North Side will participate in 2018 RADical Days, with free activities set for Sept. 21-Oct. 14. Here, the Craig family of Plum views the Penguin Point exhibit during a 2009 visit to the aviary.
Newly acquired Pirates pitcher Chris Archer makes his debut Aug. 3 at PNC Park.

It’s not necessarily a radical idea for a venue to offer free admission under certain circumstances to a certain event.

But when libraries, parks and trails, sports and civic facilities, arts and culture organizations and others across a county offer free admissions, events and activities, now that’s radical.

No wonder the program is called RADical Days.

Funded through the Allegheny Regional Asset District from one-half of the proceeds of the 1-percent Allegheny County Sales and Use Tax, RADical Days returns on Sept. 21 with a record 71 events, both new and returning.

Since 2002, regional assets have provided free happenings through RADical Days as a “thank you” for public support of those entities.

This year’s RADical Days programming runs through Oct. 14.

What’s old, what’s new

Venues with returning events include the National Aviary, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, all four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, PNC Park, Heinz Field and Pittsburgh Public Theater.

New this year are an Arcade Comedy Theater showcase; Pop Up concerts at regional libraries with Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras and Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra; Calliope Songwriters Circle concerts; a Stroll Under the Stars at Wingfield Pines Conservation Area; Western Pennsylvania Conservancy volunteer garden day; a look behind the scenes at a Quantum Theatre production; architectural tours at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Main; gallery and art exhibits with Associated Artists and Film Pittsburgh; and an interactive art mural at Northland Public Library.

“RADical Days showcases the region’s diverse offerings, the places and experiences that show who we are and what we care about,” said RAD Board Chair Daniel J. Griffin, in a release. “The free admissions and performances are diverse, accessible and open to all. With more events than ever before, we hope that more people than ever before come out and get to know their regional assets.”

Schedule for the first weekend includes:

Friday, Sept. 21

David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown Pittsburgh: Tours at 10 and 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Reserve at 412-565-6000.

Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 106th Annual Exhibition, Southside Works, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.

• Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, arts and culture events including a gallery crawl at various downtown venues, 5:30-10 p.m.

Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, North Side: Interactive exhibit, gallery talk and jazz music, 6-8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 22

Contemporary Craft, Strip District: art activities, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Hartwood Acres, Hay Day and Family Green Fest, noon-4 p.m.

Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras Pop-Up Concerts, check website for times and locations

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Lawrenceville, Calliope Songwriters Circle, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Quantum Theatre, East Liberty: tours at 3:30 and
5 p.m.

KST Alloy Studios, East Liberty: all-ages morning of movement, 10 a.m.-noon

Wingfield Pines Conservation Area: Stroll Under the Stars, 7-8 p.m. Reservations requested at

Sunday, Sept. 23

• Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Carnegie: All ages activities, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; gardening with Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Pittsburgh Festival Opera family concert, 1:30 p.m.

• Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Oakland: tours at 1 and 3 p.m. Reserve at

• Braddock Carnegie Library: Attack Theatre performance, 2 p.m.

All participating assets do not offer free admission every day. Check website for each asset’s free day or performances, times and limitations. Admissions are first-come, first-served, and there are no rain checks.

Some events require advance reservations, or have space or age limitations. Parking fees might apply at venue lots.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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