Episode 27: Pete Spynda
Pete Spynda might be a “Pittsburgh famous” events producer, with a CV that includes long-standing gigs such as Pandemic dance parties at Brillobox (15 years), the family-friendly concert series Weather Permitting (8 years), the May Day music festival Pittonkatonk (7 years). He was one of the 2016 class of 40 Under 40 by Pittsburgh Magazine, and a Luminary to Meet in 2020 by the Post-Gazette.
But what happens when COVID-19 comes to town and everything is closed? If you are Pete, you pivot to virtual events. Alone Together Pittsburgh is an online variety show produced by Pete as well as Patrick Jordan of barebones productions, and Dave Mansueto. They go live four evenings a week, with guests that range from councilwoman Deb Gross, to Drinking Partners’ Day Bracey, to Scott Mervis of the Post-Gazette, to Celeste Smith of the Pittsburgh Foundation, to state representative Sara Innamorato, to local rocker Joe Grushecky. They strike a balance between educational and entertaining segments. Alone Together Pittsburgh “is a platform for creatives, service industry workers, and the community of Pittsburgh to stay connected via livestream.”
The show came together quickly, and they started streaming on March 18, with a plan to continue indefinitely. Alone Together continues to evolve, and currently includes recurring segments by Day Bracey and Natalie Bencivenga. There’s a daily poll that pits two quintessentially Pittsburgh things against each other to see who will win (e.g., Isaly’s chipped ham sandwiches vs. the turkey devonshire, or Mario’s the bar vs. Mario Lemieux)
Alone Together Pittsburgh information:
Facebook (this is where episodes are streaming)
To donate: venmo.com/togetherpgh
More info on Pete Spynda & Pittonkatonk
For more info on all the other projects mentioned in this episode, you can check out Pete’s website.
Get some streaming DJ sets: pandemicpgh.com
And to learn more about Pittonkatonk: pittonkatonk.org
Or better yet, watch this great video.
Oh yeah, and we covered it last year, too.
Burghundy: Learn about wine in your sweatpants
If you’ve stocked up on wine and want to learn more about the bottles you scored, check out Burghundy. These online classes by local wine educator Adam Knoerzer are inexpensive (as in: only $10), so they are an accessible way to learn more about the bottles bought (if you ever got through to the Fine Wine & Good Spirits website). The Burghundy calendar currently offers classes in a wine range of wine styles, and the classes are listed for the next few months, so it’s a perfect plan for a future date night.
Make + Matter moves online
Lawrenceville shop Make + Matter launched their online shopping platform last week. The collaborative store, owned by three Pittsburgh designers: Flux Bene, Otto Finn, and Kelly Lane, focuses on ethically made clothing, accessories, and home decor. In addition to their own work, the women of Make + Matter curate a rotating group of both established and emerging designers. The online shop offers the opportunity to continue to support local artisans while safely practicing social distancing.
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