With Friends at Culture / by Alex Young

 With Friends photographed by  Keep Pittsburgh Dope

With Friends photographed by Keep Pittsburgh Dope

The meeting place was Culture, there, people With Friends enjoyed a new bar and restaurant in Downtown, Pittsburgh while they detailed their efforts that advocate for arts, creativity, and culture in Pittsburgh.

Their mission was and continues to be offering minorities the opportunity to showcase and enjoy the arts.

Amidst the fanfare and the heavy foot traffic from the Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, Sean Beauford assembled Thomas Agnew, Alysia Beauford, Amani Davis, Tara Fay, Lauren Goshinski, Steve Gurysh, Hannibal Hopson, Lexi Jones, Darrell Kinsel, Ivan Rodriguez, Anqwenique Wingfield, and Alex Young at the restaurant with tasty American comfort food.

African Americans in working attire and casual wear frequented the restaurant with a retro, white and black tiled floor. Drinks stacked the wall behind the wooden bar.

Chef Claude Pierre, the owner of Culture, personally showed our group hospitality. He talked about the establishment's one-year history and gave us a tour of the Seventh Street building.

Briefly, Chancelor Humphrey of lifestyle platform Keep Pittsburgh Dope popped in to mingle With Friends seated at the reserved table. He broke from his photographic coverage of the Jazz Festival to document our group at Katz Plaza next to Culture and on the bar's rooftop, which has close views of the EQT, K&L Gates, and PPG Place skyscrapers.

Together, curators, gallery owners, artists, business owners, managers, students, journalists, and singers' work speak to hardships, icons, and triumphs of black life.

Sean explained the purpose of our gathering, "start a culture club to experience new things in the city."

The motivation is to get people of different cultures to explore new arts and have new experiences with their friends. People are less partial to do or attend something if their friends do not go or the atmosphere is unfamiliar. "Think of it like this, you are not going to the ballet by yourself," Sean told me. "But, if there is a whole group of us that go, you can find some appreciation in that."

Essentially, our meeting at Culture demoed the idea for Sean's club, With Friends, a warm group of art-interested people who want to share, advance, and understand various creativity in Pittsburgh.