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New & Notable August 2023

Aquinas Academy’s Mock Trial Team Placed 6th at States

In its third season, the Aquinas Academy Mock Trial Team had a very successful season. Aquinas finished the Allegheny County competition as undefeated co-champion and was one of 14 district champions to advance to the state competition in Harrisburg on March 25. Aquinas Academy finished 6th in its quest to advance to the National finals in Little Rock, Arkansas. The eight performing team members were, Elizabeth Swift, John Ortiz, Clara Yuo, Chase Harrison, Lucy Fowler, Enzo Flati, Isabel Giancola, and Luke Crawford. The team is coached by Mr. Timothy Waxenfelter. For more information, visit

AWAACC Strengthens Leadership Team with New Appointments

On June 29, 2023, the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) announced three new professionals joining their institution. Amanda Brandes joins as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Sheila Rawlings steps into the role of Senior Director of Institutional Advancement and Kimberly Jacobs assumes the positions of Exhibitions Manager and Assistant Curator. With over two decades of expertise, Amanda Brandes brings experience in arts and nonprofit leadership to her role as Vice President of Institutional Advancement. Her notable accomplishments include expanding education and community engagement programs at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where she served as Senior Director, Foundation and Corporate Partnerships. Sheila Edwell Rawlings is bringing her passion for the arts and proven success as a fundraiser into her role as Senior Director of Institutional Advancement. Sheila’s diverse background in healthcare, research, and the law provides a unique perspective and skill set to drive AWAACC’s fundraising efforts. Kimberly Diana Jacobs joins AWAACC as Exhibitions Manager and Assistant Curator, bringing over ten years of expertise in arts administration, curation, and public programming. Her strong academic background in art history, museum studies, and contemporary art by African descent artists will enhance AWAACC’s exhibitions and engage audiences with compelling artistic narratives. These accomplished individuals bring a wealth of experience and a shared commitment to African American arts and culture, further solidifying AWAACC’s position as a leading cultural institution.

Elliott Acres Celebrates 20 years of Helping Individuals with Special Needs with Annual Horse Show

Elliott Acres is a certified therapeutic riding center for those with physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities, serving Western Pennsylvania. They teach basic horsemanship principals that aid in improving riders’ movement, concentration, and communication. Elliott Acres will be holding its annual summer horse show on Saturday, August 12th from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. This show will be celebrating 20 years of helping individuals with special needs. Classes will start at 9 a.m. where riders will show what they learned throughout the summer. They will be holding a basket auction, and the winners will be drawn at the end of the show. Refreshments and T-shirts, water bottles and tote bags will also be sold throughout the day. Location: 168 Headland Road, Butler, PA 16002.

98th Annual San Rocco Festa

The San Rocco Cultural Committee proudly announces that the 98th Annual San Rocco Festa will take place on August 11th, 12th, and 13th. The San Rocco Festa returns to the field adjacent to the Beaver Valley Auto Mall (750 Beaver Valley Mall Boulevard) . The San Rocco Festa is a regional Italian festival rooted in faith, love and community. Patrons return annually from all over the USA to enjoy Italian food, music and dance, including performances by our very own San Rocco Festa Band. Entertainment headliner Easy Street seamlessly blends Classic Rock, R&B, Soul, Funk, Country, Jazz and Blues, evoking the original artists and making music come alive. Local band Mojo Dia also returns as does the traditional Baby Doll Dance accompanied by the fabulous Ballabe Band. Food booths include Italian specialties such as ravioli, gnocchi, stuffed shells, cavatelli, greens and beans, eggplant parmesan, and desserts such as cannoli, ciambelle, and sfogliatelle. Other attractions include sand art, inflatables and face painting for the kids. For more information, including a schedule of events, visit the official San Rocco Festa website at

Mattress Factory’s Upcoming TRASH BASH COMMUNITY FEST

Mattress Factory is excited to announce its free community festival, TRASH BASH COMMUNITY FEST, celebrating the incredible talent of regional artists, musicians, designers, and vendors. The festival is free for all ages and will take place on Sunday, August 6 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Mattress Factory. This year, they are highlighting creatives focused on re-use, DIY and sustainability as part of their practice. Always seeking to engage and foster the next generation of creatives, COMMUNITY FEST provides mentorship and entrepreneurial opportunities for emerging youth artists. They have three outstanding teen fellows working closely with Mattress Factory’s Education and Community Engagement department to plan and execute the event. Bands – Merce Lemon Band, Natural Rat, Rex Tycoon, Trip Lotus (teens). Solo Performers – Henry Bard (teen), Jesse Crownover, Brenna Dugan, Craig Philip, SpeciàlK. Makers and Vendors – Edge Life, Flux Bene, Forage Vintage & Goods, Gay Racoon Art, Kathy Vo Art (teen), Katie Bullock Art, LeatherTrash, Loose Threads, Megalons Stained Glass, Pittsburgher Highland Farm, Steph Neary Art, The Government Center, The Refillery. Food and Beverage – Allegheny City Brewing, Badamo’s Pizza, Commonplace Coffee, Goodlander Cocktail Brewery and Lo Bar Cocktail Services, Gari Shoyu Sando Co. To learn more about the event, visit

Third Annual Race to Beat Women’s Cancer

On Sunday, September 3 at North Park join UPMC for their 3rd Annual Race to Beat Women’s Cancers 5K Run/Walk. The Race to Beat Women’s Cancers recognizes the importance of patient care initiatives and funding laboratory research while supporting women currently facing a breast or gynecologic cancer diagnosis. For more than two decades, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation, and A Glimmer of Hope Foundation have worked together as leaders in the fight against women’s cancers. Participation plays a major role in their efforts to advance women’s cancer research and patient care. For more information, visit

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