Check out RealTime Presents… content only on City of Asylum’s The Show Must Go On(line)!

RealTime Presents…

RealTime Presents is a new genre-defying series of shows like ASSOCIATE (watch Episode 1 here) and INSPIRE (watch here) presented through City of Asylum’s virtual channel The Show Must Go On(line). These shows have all been developed in response to public feedback, using our shared need to connect as a creative aesthetic.

ASSOCIATE, Episode 1

Where do your ideas come from?—the age-old question asked of artists. Real/Time Interventions presents “ASSOCIATE,” a real-time, crowd-shared creative experience featuring artists Ben Barson, Christine Bethea, and James Simon and a Mystery Artist to bring it all together.

Take a swim in the subconscious with three award-winning Pittsburgh-based artists: musician Ben Barson, multidisciplinary artist Christine Bethea, and sculptor James Simon. As RealTime pelts them with prompts, and they shoot back their own “associations”—in words, pictures, sketches, musical notes, stories…you name it. At the same time, through live chat, the audience joins the “association,” adding their responses to the mix. Together they create a whole pile of flotsam and jetsam from our collective subconscious, in Real Time…

After chatting with Ben, Christine and James about how they use free association in their work, they introduce the Mystery Artist, who’s been lurking unseen, creating a brand-new piece in Real Time using the collective pile of associations. They unveil their completely original work at the end of the hour, created for and with the audience!


How does one artfully feed the spirit in times of uncertainty?
How can connection with art and the spirit inspire our communities to take a healing moment together?

“Spir” is the root word in SPIRit, inSPIRation, reSPIRation (breath). INSPIRE explore all of these in dialogue between Black spiritual leaders Michelle King (Buddhist) and Leeann Younger (Christian, Pastor of Cityview Church), facilitated by Kahmeela Adams, photographer and founder of RuggedAngel Productions (home to four interview and pop-culture podcasts).

These leaders discuss works of art that inspire them in challenging times, exploring the link between the creative and the spiritual; and share creative/spiritual responses to struggle that are meaningful to them in this complex cultural moment. Together, Younger and King also share a co-created “secular blessing” for the audience.

ASSOCIATE, Episode 2 (Premiering August 5, 2020)

Be part of the ASSOCIATION as RealTime hosts another swim in the subconscious with Episode 2 of the new crowd-sourced creative experience, ASSOCIATE. Once again they bring together four award-winning artists, three of whom start the show by using free association to mine their subconscious in real time, with help from the online audience. Collectively they create a vibrant pile of imagery and new connections. The show also spends some time showcasing a work from each artist, exploring the role that the subconscious had in its creation.

And finally, the last of the four appears: they have been creating a brand-new piece in real time using the collective associations from early in the show. At the end of the hour, this Prime Associator unveils his original work, created for and with the audience!

ASSOCIATE Episode 2’s artist “associators” include Pittsburgh’s TJ Young, playwright; jazz musician and Pitt professor Dr. Aaron Johnson; artist/ illustrator Marcel L. Walker; and interdisciplinary theater artist Zell Miller, III, live from Austin, TX!

Equal parts talk show, game show, happening and salon, ASSOCIATE brings artists and audience together in the process of creation, in real time.