A TRC Thank You!

Hello all!

Well, we’ve emptied our truck and put away our stage and tents and rolled up our banners. This must mark the end of the 2011 Tree River Circus. What a circus it was! The day was full of fantastic entertainment, information and food.

I want to thank everyone who came to the Tree River Circus, as an artist, performer, volunteer or simply as an audience member. This festival, or baby circus, as some of my friends have called it, would have been much less without your participation. 

If you enjoyed the show, you might be interested to know that some of our performers have shows coming up in Pittsburgh. We certainly enjoyed listening to them all, so we’re going to keep you all updated on Facebook and Twitter when they’ll be appearing again! For now, we can tell you that at least two of our performers have upcoming shows:

The Woo Hoo Band will be celebrating their record contract signing July 30th at 9pm at Bella Luna Trattoria (5060 William Penn Highway, Monroeville, PA). Join the fun and celebrate with this awesome Pittsburgh Band.
Socially-conscious pianist Benjamin Saalbach-Walsh of For Greater Consciousness (forgreaterconsciousness.org) will be performing a free show on Saturday, July 30th at the Gypsy CafĂ© on the South Side from 9 to 11pm.  His diverse music is a combination of humor, beauty, and uplifting social commentary, and addresses topics including environmental healing, peace, procrastination, OCD, and zombies.  1330 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203.  412.381.GYPSY.

Because of time limitation, we were unable to draw names for prizes. Let me assure you that we have done so, and winners will be contacted within the next day. 

We are currently collecting some straggling donations for the Emergency Tree Fund. As soon as it is all collected, we will be releasing the numbers!

Again, thanks to everyone who joined us at this event. We had a rocking fun time, and we hope you did too.

May the Circus be with you,
Athena KitchenFlint


Tree River Circus is excited to announce some of our special guests joining us Sunday!!

The Tree River Circus is pretty excited to announce that we have some special guests joining us on Sunday!

Aside from our fantastic line-up of musicians, poets and writers, we have a few people who will be on site during the circus to entertain you all on the sly. Here's a preview of who to keep an eye out for!

Self-proclaimed the shortest bearded magician in Pittsburgh, Sam Wise provides magical entertainment of all kinds! He's performed at many events, including the Pittsburgh Open Market, Circus on the Mount and the International Children's Festival. Sam Wise will be wandering the crowd with lots of fun magic tricks up his sleeve, so if someone approaches you and pulls some leaves from out of your ears, don't worry, it's just a fantastic magician. 

Around noon, we'll have a special guest appearance from Franktuary's roaming truck. They will be selling some fantastic hot dogs and foods of joy. Be sure work up a nice appetite so that you can fully appreciate the goodness of Franktuary. And when you're gorging yourself on delicious food, you can feel extra wonderful about yourself. Franktuary donates a percentage of all their sales right back to charity. Oh, and they also offer a vegetarian and grass-fed beef option. Sweet. 

Event Airbrushing specializes in custom airbrushing for local events, tournaments, cheer / dance competitions. They will be on site to make you your own personalized t-shirt on the spot! Event Airbrushing has generously agreed to donate 10% to the Emergency Tree Fund, so the more t-shirts you buy, the more trees you save.

Michelle Andreko, purveyor of fine carnival food
Michelle Andreko, a true carnie at heart, will be selling freshly popped popcorn and nice fluffy cotton candy all day at the circus! She has generously agreed to donate 10% to the Emergency Tree Fund, so don’t feel guilty when you go back for seconds. Besides, we hear she’s offering discounts for people who reuse their cotton candy bags! How green! (Speaking of green, guess what color the cotton candy is!)

Luke Bruehlman
Local filmmaker, musician and actor, Luke Bruehlman will be the Circus' very own wandering Troubadour. To remind us all of Pittsburgh's steelworks history, Bruehlman will be singing old union songs. The songs of the Pittsburgh working man. The songs of strength, hope and lots of dirt.  

William Laszlo Holman
William Laszlo Holman will be joining the Tree River Circus as the Ring Master, extraordinaire.  For a preview of his fantastic face, look at our facebook album for the Circus!

Keep checking back for new special guests!

Circus Gallery Artists!

We're excited to introduce you to the artists who will be featured in the 2011 Circus Gallery!

Artists with a (tree-friend) next to their name have agreed to donate 10% to the Emergency Tree fund if they sell their artwork! Keep checking back as the artist list is updated.

Drea Bolen
Drea Bolen is a Pittsburgh self-taught emerging artist, originally from southern Ohio, and has been drawing and writing for a little over a decade. It's only been recently that she has dabbled in photography. Her subjects matter varies, from nature, to monsters, cartoons, and pin-up. She believes that Pittsburgh draws a lot of great inspiration to create, from the rumble of houses to the street musicians.

Barbara Dahlberg (tree-friend)
Barbara Dahlberg has been an artist for as long as she can remember. Her father was a geologist and a mining engineer and her mother was a biology teacher who wanted to fly.
She spent her childhood in northern Minnesota catching bugs and frogs, and playing in dirt. She moved to Pittsburgh when she was 11 and has lived here ever since. She is a 2001 Teacher Consultant with the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project and taught art at Pace School for 9 years and in the Pittsburgh Public Schools for 11 years. She has recently retired. She has two pieces featured in the Circus Gallery.

Mary Dunn (tree-friend)
Mary Dunn, born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 1952, and has been living all her life around the suburb of West Mifflin, not far from the big city.  As with many artists, she was drawing and oil painting at an early age.  Her love for art never ceases and through the years, it has become a way of expression and relaxation. She has one featured piece in the Circus Gallery.

Jennifer Edgerton (tree-friend)
Jennifer Lee Edgerton was born in Connecticut, raised in Ohio, and currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA. She is a self-taught photographer who holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Wright State University.  She has a love for obscure vintage cameras and film, but is most often found taking photos with her digital camera. Although not native to Pittsburgh, she feels very inspired by the city, the landscape, and it's people. Her other sources of inspiration include spending time with her two young daughters, travel, and music of all kinds. You can visit her fine art photography website at: Http://www.JenniferEdgerton.com She has one featured piece in the circus gallery.

Roy M. Fischer Sr (tree-friend)
Roy M. Fischer Sr., a self-described “Working Class Hero”, has not only worked in the city for 28 years, but he has also lived there all his life. A third generation native of the West End, Pittsburgh is an integral part of his life. He is husband and a father and is the product of his city: he loves its sports teams, its bike trails, and its spirit. He loves Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Pittsburgh’s own, Donnie Iris. He has one featured piece in the Circus Gallery.

Christina Frasher (tree-friend)
Christina Frasher has been studying and engaging in the creative process, dreams and unseen symbolism for over 15 years. Her graduate degree is from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California where she studied under internationally renowned scholars in the fields of dreamwork, archetypal theory, active imagination, body-centered awareness and creativity. She also has graduate and undergraduate studies in Mythology and World Religions and is currently making a local documentary on artists in the Pittsburgh region. She is a published fiction and nonfiction writer, filmmaker and mother. She has three pieces featured in the Circus Gallery.

Matthew Gatto (tree-friend)
Matthew Gatto is a native Pittsburgh artist who has a diverse range of work including sculpture, furniture, and lighting. He received a degree in technical theatre and design from Slippery Rock University in 2005. He has used that degree to enhance his artwork greatly through the mood altering addition of lighting elements. He works in many materials including metal, plastics, and wood. Recently he has focused on functional works because they are meaningful, useful, and engaging. He aims to further his career by pursuing a masters degree in studio arts. He has five featured pieces in the Circus Gallery. 

Lindsay Handshue (tree-friend)
Lindsay Handshue was born, raised, and still lives in the Lincoln Place neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  She graduated in 2009 from Carlow University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education.  When she is not teaching or working at a local after-school program, she enjoys photography, dancing, and reading.  She has thirteen featured pieces in the Circus Gallery.

Ranga Kamaladasa
Currently reading for his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Ranga is a rather recent transplant to Pittsburgh from Colombo, Sri Lanka. While he has played around with film cameras during his childhood, he has only taken up Digital Photography after coming to Pittsburgh – roughly two years ago. Ranga’s submitted work are pictures of Pittsburgh as seen through the eyes of a traveler. Coming from a tropical island that has never seen the colors of the four seasons, he enjoyed the winter snow, the autumn leaves and flowers of spring with a childlike awe and fascination. He has eight featured pieces in the Circus Gallery.

Jessica Orlidge (tree-friend)
Jessica Orlidge is a student at Carlow University. There, she studies English, Fine Art, and Creative Writing. Currently, she is the president of the new creative writing club, ‘Low Writers, a member of Sigma Tau Delta, and open mic emcee for the Hungry Sphinx Reading Series. She plans to go to graduate school and continue finding ways to connect her interests in creative writing, art, and music. She has three featured pieces in the Circus Gallery.

Jeremy Raymer (tree-friend)
Jeremy Raymer is an amateur artist, mostly self-taught and has been painting for the last six years. He is a Pitt alumnus with a degree in BioEngineering and he is currently finishing a second degree in Electrical Engineering. Having lived in San Franscisco from 2005 to 2010, he’s returned to Pittsburgh this past year. Jeremy Raymer will also be vending with Sundae Market during the Circus, so be sure to visit his booth.  He has one featured piece in the Circus Gallery.

John Shook (tree-friend)
John Shook is a visual artist who focuses on being diversified in his work, in subject and media. As an artist, he feels that knowledge obtained from an entirely different media of practice can be applied to many different facets of his art. John Shook will be on site at his booth Event Airbrush, where he will make you a personalized t-shirt on the spot.  He has two featured pieces in the Circus Gallery.

Ringa Sunn (tree-friend)
Ringa Sunn is a Pittsburgh native with a degree in writing who spends her spare time stage managing, crafting, and collecting celebrities.  Her writing has been published in The Pittsburgh City Paper, The Critical Point, Weave Magazine, Debris Magazine, and several online poetry galleries.  She is currently finishing her first chapbook and outlining a creative nonfiction project. Ringa Sunn is a crafting wonder and will have a vendor booth with her friend, Althea Kirsch. Ringa has two featured pieces in the Circus Gallery.


Press Release for Tree River Circus

Thank you to Drew Wilson of Carlow University for putting together this Press Release for this year's Circus. 

Tree River Circus, Celebrating Pittsburgh and Environment, To Take Place on July 24
Festival the Brainchild of Carlow University Alumna, Athena KitchenFlint

Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Tree River Circus, a festival which brings together local artists, musicians, poets, and environmentalists celebrating Pittsburgh and the environment, will take place on Sunday, July 24, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Allegheny Commons on the North Side.  The festival is free and open to the public.

The Tree River Circus, which seeks to celebrate Pittsburgh’s unique history, culture and environmental struggle, will be filled with poetry, live music, short plays, information booths, and an art gallery. The festival is partnered with the Sundae Market, which also means Circus-goers have the opportunity to support local vendors and artists through their urban flea and artist market that will be sharing space with our event.

“Through the Tree River Circus, we hope to give the city a voice, allowing her to speak through artists’ creativity,” said Athena KitchenFlint, the founder of the festival and a Carlow University alumna from the class of 2009 who is currently pursuing a master’s degree at St. Mary of the Woods College. “Admission is free for all, however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring your wallet.  There will be plenty of fun and unique items to buy and plenty of ways to support Pittsburgh’s environment with your contributions.”

The Tree River Circus is not just about having fun, as the festival has chosen to support Pittsburgh Park Conservancy’s Emergency Tree fund with any donations received.

“One of Pittsburgh’s greatest features is its parks and greenery,” said KitchenFlint.  “Unfortunately, many of Pittsburgh’s trees are currently in danger. We believe that the health of this city’s trees is an important issue, and we want to use the Circus to do whatever we can to help.”

Select vendors and artists have also agreed to donate ten percent of their profit to this worthy cause.  To find out more about The Emergency Tree Fund, please visit the Pittsburgh Park Conservancy’s Website: http://www.pittsburghparks.org/trees

There is still an opportunity to participate in the festival. If you are interested in vending, submitting artwork and performances or setting up an informational booth about your environmental organization, please contact Athena KitchenFlint at aakitchenflint@gmail.com


When, Where, but more importantly, Who?!

This summer, we are kicking off the first ever Tree River Circus!
The Tree River Circus is an event that is meant to pull together local artists, writers and activists to celebrate Pittsburgh's unique history, culture and environmental struggle.
It will be happening in the Allegheny Commons in the North Side on Sunday, July 24th.

At this time, we are looking for a variety of people to join us:

Artists: The Circus is putting together a gallery of local artwork depicting Pittsburgh in her various forms and the environment she calls home. For information on how to submit artwork to our gallery, visit the 'Submitting Artwork' page.

Vendors: Tree River Circus has partnered with Sundae Market, an urban flea market. They offer local crafters, artists, and anyone looking to sell things a space to set up booths. While any vendor is welcome to join Sundae Market, we at the Circus are looking for local crafters and businesses that have an environmental or Pittsburgh theme to their merchandise. These vendors will be specially listed as Circus Vendors on the website and in the Circus' event brochure.
To learn how to set up a vendor booth, visit the 'Becoming a Vendor' page.

Environmental know-hows:
Because this event is about Pittsburgh and the environment, we want to make sure that we offer space for learning about our local environment. It is our hope to include information booths about the environment that Pittsburgh is surrounded by. This is not meant to be a place for protest or advocacy, but rather a place where knowledge can be shared others. We want to inspire love and a sense of wonder for this fantastic city, and we are looking for people to help us do just that.
If you, or someone you know, would like to set up an environmental information booth, please e-mail Athena KitchenFlint. 

Clowns and Circus Acts:
Environmental issues often become hot topics that can be quite overwhelming and emotionally exhausting. We at the Circus want to ensure that our event is in no way a doom and gloom occasion, but rather a celebration. We want to be a circus, and what is a circus without a few clowns and fun for all? We are looking for fun clowns, balloon artists, jugglers, etc to join our circus. If you are interested in showing off your skills at clowning around, e-mail Athena KitchenFlint

Are you looking for a fun project this summer, but don't feel like you have any of the skills listed so far to offer? Well, we'd like you to join us anyway! The Circus is going to need plenty of helping hands to get off the ground this year. We will need help with a multitude of tasks: anything from hanging up posters around town to setting up and tearing down tents the day of the circus. If you are interested in joining our team of volunteers, please e-mail Athena KitchenFlint.

If you would like to know more about the Circus, please keep up with us via Facebook or Twitter!
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steel-City-Presents-The-Tree-River-Circus/114744615274181
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/TreeRiverCircus


Sundae Market Partnership

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with the Sundae Market!

The Sundae Market is a contemporary flea market that was founded with the intention of giving local artists and creators a space to sell their work. In previous years, it has taken place in the center of Oakland, pulling in hundreds of local artists and crafters to sell their wares. This year, the Market will be taking place in the North Side, in the Allegheny Commons.  

We at the Circus are very excited about this partnership. Not only is the Sundae Market a cool and hip way for people to come together and show off their creativity, but it is clear that the founders of the Market are just as concerned about the need for community as we are. They have been working to bring people together and to revitalize the North Side and its park. While they have a different way of showing it then we do in the Circus, it is clear that this event embodies a love of the city of Pittsburgh, and a call to bring people together.

On July 24th, Sundae Market and The Tree River Circus will be sharing space in the Allegheny Commons Park. Make sure to mark your calendars, bring your wallets and come enjoy the fun for all.

The Sundae Market is looking for people who are interested in selling their artwork and crafts to others.  If you are interested in setting up a vendor table, please visit the Sundae Market website and sign up.


Our Dreams for the Circus

Over the past few weeks, we have been rallying together local artists, writers, musicians and actors who want to take part in this event. They have offered us poems, music, monologues, artwork and all kinds of creativity inspired by the Steel City.

However, we want to make sure that our event also explores local environmental issues. We are looking for local scientists and environmental activists to join us. They would be given the opportunity to set up booths and learning stations about the local ecosystems and the challenges they may be facing. This would be the perfect opportunity for people passionate about the environment to share their knowledge with others, and to spread awareness about issues such as fracking, river pollution, park restoration, invasive species, and so much more.

We are also looking bring together local environmentally conscious vendors. The crowd drawn to the circus will be full of people who are interested in exploring new ways to buy environmentally friendly products and foods. This would be the perfect opportunity for businesses to spread the word about themselves and their missions.

Of course, no circus would be complete without a few clowns. We are looking for variety acts to join us: clowns, jugglers, balloons, face painting and so much more! We want to make sure that this event is fun for all.  Talking about environmental issues can sometimes be overwhelming, and we know that it is important to emphasize joy and wonder, rather then the doom and gloom that so often goes hand in hand with this topic.

All together, we want this event will be full of people who are passionate about their love for this city and all it holds. It is meant to be a celebration, as well as an opportunity for learning. It is our hope that everyone attending this event would feel their love for this city grow ever deeper, and that would be instilled with a sense of wonder about this fantastic city and all of the nature within it.


Guidelines for Submissions

Submissions should be e-mailed to Athena KitchenFlint at aakitchenflint@gmail.com 

Steel City Presents: The Tree River Circus is meant to be a festival celebrating Pittsburgh’s unique history, culture and environmental struggle. We want to give the city a voice, allowing her to speak through your creativity.  In order to achieve this, we want to hear what you have to say about the city of Pittsburgh, about local history and communities, and about the trees, parks, rivers and all nature within the city.  Your work could be part of a new and upcoming festival right in the heart of Pittsburgh!

-Select entries will be showcased in the July event.
-A board of local theater professionals will choose a first, second and third place winner in each category. Winners will be awarded prizes of merit. (More details to come!)

Please keep in mind:
-Submissions must be your own original work.
-Each entry must include a brief bio with a cover page that includes your full name, phone number, e-mail address and mailing address.
-You will retain copyright power for your submissions
-There is no limit on the number of submission that each individual sends. 
-All submissions will be reviewed by a board of local theater professionals, and chosen on their content, length and connection to the theme. Selected entries will be part of the event in early July.
-Submissions should be sent via e-mail to Athena KitchenFlint at aakitchenflint@gmail.com

What to Submit:
All submissions should be accompanied by a brief bio, including a cover page with the person's name, phone number, e-mail address and mailing address.

Creative Writing: Submit your short stories, poetry or creative essays. Maximum length is three pages for each entry. All files should be sent in .doc or .docx form.

Monologues or plays: Submit your written monologues or short one act plays. Plays should be no longer than 10 minutes. Files should be in .doc or .docx format.

Art:  Submit images of your paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, photography or cartoons. Include a brief description of the piece. The description should include the materials used, if applicable.  Send .jpg, .png, .gif, or .bmp files.

Music Submissions: Submit your music videos or songs. Include written lyrics, if applicable. Send .avi, .mp3, .aiff .aif or .wav files no more than 40MB each. Lyrics should be in .doc or .docx form.

Other Submissions: Do you have something else you think might be perfect for the Tree River Circus? Contact Athena KitchenFlint to discuss requirements.

There is NO LIMIT on the number of submissions per person. 

Submissions should be e-mailed to Athena KitchenFlint at aakitchenflint@gmail.com

Interested in Finding out more?
Find us on Facebook or on Twitter!

While the official deadline is over, we will still accept submissions of art, performance, music and short creative writing. Please e-mail Athena for more information.


About the Circus

Our Mission:
To bring awareness to local environmental issues by building a community voice through the use of Theater and festivity.

Environmental injustice comes in a variety of forms. No matter what shape it takes, it causes isolation among victims. Victims initially find themselves without a voice and powerless to stop the degradation of the environment around them. They not only feel isolated, but their health is often compromised, further stripping them of their dignity as a human being, further isolating them, and making them feel even more helpless.

One of the most effective ways to combat and prevent suffering is to create community. Community allows each individual to be supported by others that are experiencing the same feelings of helplessness and anger. Through a process of sharing their angers and frustrations with others who feel similarly, they can begin to build a community voice, which is crucial in the process of beginning to fight for their rights.

In this day and age of private lives, the need for community has increased greatly.
Just as a public garden can bring people together, we believe a festival for Pittsburgh and the environment will be very effective at building community and giving a voice to beings, human and non, that are often unable to speak out about the issues they are facing. It is our hope that The Tree River Circus will gather together a community of people who love this city and want to celebrate it in whatever way they are able.

Pittsburgh is a city with a very dirty history. These skies were once full of endless smog, and the night sky glowed red. Over the past few generations, we've managed to make this city into a great green giant.

Now that this city is has regained much of her green, it's easy to forget about the dirty history behind us. We often take our parks for granted, and we've forgotten our past.

The Tree River Circus is meant to be a tribute to the past, present and future of Pittsburgh and her relationship to the environment. It is a celebration for the parks, rivers, animals and humans that call this city home.