Arts & Culture

Weekend Watch
11:48 am
Fri August 2, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 8/3 & 8/4

Enjoy a little Sunday diversion while supporting local artisans and businesses at the Rivers of Steel Heritage Market. The market is open to the public and offers a chance to explore the historic Pump House. Live music and entertainment will be offered alongside food trucks and locally made crafts. Vendors include Oh My Grill, Missy Steele Pottery and Satorious Designs. The Rivers of Steel Heritage Market opens this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:51 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Say Nice Things About Detroit

There's still plenty of things happening in Detroit, including both great art and plenty of sports teams.
Credit Flickr

It might be troubled, but the Motor City still has a sort of beauty all its own, reports travel contributor Elaine Labalme. Citing the amazing parks, sports teams and art galleries, Labalme tells us that the Big D has some serious offerings for Pittsburghers interested in taking a short trip.

While the Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park is “an absolutely fantastic facility” to see a game, one of the most impressive locations in the city, says Labalme, is “The Joe,” or the Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings currently play. It’s a historic arena with stories in every wall and seat. And if you’re looking to grab a bite after the game, try Cliff Bells, where, according to Labalme, “You’re always made to feel welcome.”

Essential Pittsburgh
3:32 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Local Jazz Pioneer is Living Legacy

Saxophonist and educator established, in 1969, one of only a few curriculum-based jazz studies programs at a major university.
Credit University of Pittsburgh School of Music

Multi-instrumental jazz musician Dr. Nathan Davis is the founder of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert.  He recently announced his retirement from Pitt and reflected back on his career in the United States and in Europe, and his legacy in the world of jazz.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:19 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Speaking Volumes on Essential Pittsburgh: Leah Samuel

Investigative reporter Leah Samuel says journalists would do well to emulate the curiosity of children.
Credit PublicSource

Freelance reporter Leah Samuel writes about social and environmental issues for PublicSource and others. As a journalist, and as a reader, she finds the lessons of history are best learned from the margins.

Arts & Culture
5:12 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Exhibit Highlights the Role of Food in American Slavery

Two Pittsburgh institutions are teaming up to show the importance of food in African American slavery.

The Heinz History Center, along with Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, is hosting “Beyond the Big House Kitchen: A Culinary History of American Slavery,” a demonstration showcasing how African American slaves were able to cook and eat on the run.

Sarah Rooney, community programs manager for the Heinz History Center, said the exhibit will show the everyday struggles of freedom seekers.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:51 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Fruitvale Station and Typical Conjurings

Bringing the good and the bad news from the film reel, City Paper Film Critic Al Hoff presents her opinions on several upcoming movies and documentaries coming to a theater near you.

With a release date that could not be more timely, Fruitvale Station documents the final days of Oscar Grant, an African American man from San Francisco who was shot and killed by police while unarmed at a subway station. The film comes after the controversial George Zimmerman verdict  in which many believe race played a crucial role.

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Weekend Watch
12:28 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 7/27 & 7/28

This Sunday, the aptly-named weekly concert series Weather Permitting presents a day of music and fun. Featuring a wide range of styles and genres, this family friendly event will include food trucks, poetry, hula hooping, squirt guns, and, of course, live music. Featured performers include Moldies and Monsters, Vertigo Go, and Arlo Aldo. Round 8 of Weather Permitting will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday night at Shadyside Nursery.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:06 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

The New Girl Goes to the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks, N.C.
Credit James Willamor / Flickr

For travel contributor Elaine Lebalme, a trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina, is a nearly perfect summer getaway. It’s the land of windswept beaches, wild horses, lighthouses and quaint seaside towns.

If this sounds like something out of a romantic novel, that’s because it is. The region’s become famous thanks to Nicholas Sparks’ novels, and according to Lebalme the reputation it’s gotten is well deserved. Plus, there are plenty of beach homes to rent throughout the summer, so “you’re bound to find a house either on the beach or close to the beach,” Lebalme says.

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Art From the Ground Up
3:30 am
Thu July 25, 2013

For the Black Orchid String Trio, Performance Also Means Engagement

The Black Orchid String Trio is comprised of Amber Rogers, Rachel Smith, and Jennifer Sternick.

“We’re new musicians,” said Smith, the group’s cellist. “We do play classical music now and again, but part of a contemporary performance, especially, is to present it in a way that classical music isn’t standardly presented.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:20 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Speaking Volumes on Essential Pittsburgh: Andrea Laurion

Credit Josh Raulerson/ 90.5 WESA

Writer, improviser, and performer Andrea Laurion lives in Bloomfield. She talks with 90.5 WESA Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson about the inspiration she receives from reading non-fiction narratives.

Arts & Culture
4:19 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

'Made in America Movie' Documentary Reaching Pittsburgh

  Film crews are arriving in Pittsburgh Tuesday to explore American manufacturing. The feature-length documentary, titled “American Made Movie,” highlights 32 United States cities 32 days.

Co-directors Vincent Vittorio and Nathan Thomas McGill are traveling by bus across the nation to stress the importance of supporting small and large companies that contribute to the national economy and manufacturing sector. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:47 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

American Made Movie Reminds Country of Manufacturing Roots

Credit Daniel Horowitz / Life is My Movie Entertainment Co.

In a country with a great history of manufacturing and exporting goods, many believe that the best way to support the American economy is to buy locally.  Filmmakers Vincent Vittorio and Nathaniel Thomas McGill are on a 32-day tour with their documentary American Made Movie, in which they highlight companies that produce goods in the United States.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:17 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Rolling Stone Cover Controversy

The August issue of Rolling Stone magazine
Credit Rolling Stone Magazine / Wikipedia

One of this week’s leading media stories is the controversy surrounding the August issue of Rolling Stone magazine. The publication, known for featuring in-depth profiles of rock musicians, actors and politicians, is courting controversy with its decision to feature Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover. The decision has sparked outrage across the country and started a backlash against Rolling Stone.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:09 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

City Paper Critic Says "Pacific Rim is So Much Better Than the Trailer"

Did Pacific Rim live up to your expectations?
Credit Pacific Rim / Facebook

A diverse array of films are hitting screens around town. One film of note for the average Pittsburgher is A New York Heartbeat. Pittsburgh City Paper film critic, Al Hoff says movie makers attempted to make Pittsburgh look like Brooklyn in the 1950s. When Hoff asked the film creator why the film was shot in Pittsburgh, she was told it's because of the city’s “gritty alleys, rusty bridges and lack of contemporary graffiti.” Hoff describes the film as a small-scale movie, with a low budget feel, but not bad if you’re looking for an off-beat love story and views of Pittsburgh.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:30 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Rare Cars & High Speeds at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

Vintage cars are back to race in Schenley Park this weekend
Credit PghVintageGP / Flickr

In the last week you may have noticed classic cars rolling through the East End or parked with their hoods propped up and on display. This Saturday some of those vintage cars will race a 2.3 mile street course through Schenley Park’s many twists and turns, at speeds of more than 100mph in the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Board member and racer Mike Zappa says he’s prepped his 1962 MGB roadster by checking safety wires, bolts, tires and anyplace fluids could leak. Overall, for the vintage race car owner, Zappa says it takes two things to really prepare a 50 year old roadster to race, a lot of patience and a lot of time.

Zappa says while he’s able to dedicate the time, “the patience runs short because you want things to get done sooner instead of later.”

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Weekend Watch
12:54 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 7/20 & 7/21

One of the area’s largest and most unique car shows returns for another weekend of fun this Saturday and Sunday. The International Car Show at Schenley Park puts more than 2,000 vehicles on display, showcasing all makes, years and countries. Alongside the various show, vintage races will run throughout the streets of Schenley Park. Dozens of sponsor tents will also be present at the event, providing plenty of food and refreshments.

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Music
2:08 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Through Donations, Pittsburgh Blues Fest to Help Combat Hunger

With names like Los Lonely Boys and Tab Benoit the 19th annual Pittsburgh Blues Festival is bound to be good, but the true measurement of the event's success is what it does for the community. The three-day music festival serves as the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s largest fundraiser of the year.

“My mantra is no child hungry,” said festival chairman Ron Esser. “One in seven children in this area goes to bed hungry every night; we can’t have that.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:33 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Traditional Gender Roles Playing Smaller Role in Modern Matrimony

The distribution of chores in the home are shifting away from traditional gender role expectations to ability and interest in tasks.
Credit Shelley Panzarella / flickr

Watch out June and Ward, traditional marriage is rapidly evolving and research indicates that typical gender-based expectations in the household are becoming obsolete for couples as they make the decision to marry or cohabitate.

Dr. Connie Lappa, psychotherapist and adjunct professor at Robert Morris University and The University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Christine Whelan, visiting Assistant Professor in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Sociology share their findings on modern matrimony and the most successful relationships.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:23 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Sports Talk with Bob: Baseball's All Star Game Turns 80

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a member of the National League and have hosted the All Star Game five times since its inception in 1933.
Credit Alan English / flickr

Tomorrow night at Citi Field in New York, the American League will play the National League in the 80th annual All Star Game. Pittsburgh Post Gazette Sports Writer Emeritus Bob Dvorchak explains the origins of the game in Chicago, Pittsburgh’s experience hosting the All Stars and the modern character of the game.

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Arts & Culture
4:02 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Czech Folk Ensemble Taps Into Pittsburgh's Past

Members of Muzicka, sporting Terrible Towels, prepare to play in Squirrel Hill.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Making music is to Czechs what barbecueing is to Americans, a means of coming together.

This week a traditional Czech folk ensemble is performing throughout Pittsburgh and tapping into the region’s past.

If your idea of folk music is a particularly soulful rendition of “Oh, Susanna,” or perhaps the “Wabash Cannonball,” prepare yourself for a paradigm shift.

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Weekend Watch
3:36 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 7/13 & 7/14

The art festival season continues with this weekend’s Southside Works Exposed. Running all weekend long from Friday to Sunday, the event features live music from two stages, sidewalk sales and special deals from retail venues. Featured Saturday performers include Lava Game, Mercedez and Green Eggs. Sunday will feature a family fun day, with Wild World of Animals, Zumbatonic and Kelsey Friday and the Rest of the Week Band.

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Opera
3:20 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

It's an Opera Night (And Weekend) in Pittsburgh

Summer Fest includes some well-known works such as Jacques Offenbach’s "The Tales of Hoffmann."
Photo by Patti Brahim, via the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh

It will be a weekend full of opera performances in Pittsburgh, but they will be far from the grand Eurocentric affairs you might imagine.

The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh began its second annual Summer Fest last weekend, but it hits its peak over the four days that began Thursday. In all, there will be eight different operas performed along with several concerts of Mozart’s works and free cabaret performances.

“Opera Theater has a little mantra, which is ‘up close and personal and we do everything in English,’” said Theater director Jonathan Eaton.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:18 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Steelers Former Offensive Linemen Speaks Out About Stigma of Epilepsy

Alan Faneca was an All-Pro Guard for the Steelers
Credit Steel City Hobbies / Wikipedia


Former Steelers offensive lineman and all-pro guard, Alan Faneca returns to Pittsburgh this week, as honorary chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation of Central and Western Pennsylvania’s 25th Family Fun Run and Walk, taking place Saturday.

Faneca was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager in Texas. And despite the condition, he played 13 seasons in the NFL, 10 of which with the Steelers, including a victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XL.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:17 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Central New York State of Mind

Keuka Lake is one of the many bodies of water that makes up the Finger Lakes region of New York State
Credit Darren McGee / Finger Lakes Region

Upstate New York covers a lot of territory. From the Adirondacks to the Thousand Islands there's a lot to see in the Empire State. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme scopes out the central New York region, from Cooperstown to the Finger Lakes.

“The Finger Lakes region is fairly close to western Pennsylvania and there’s lots of arts and recreation you’ll want to access there and it’s an easy trip from Pittsburgh,” says Labalme.

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Arts & Culture
10:55 am
Thu July 11, 2013

8th Annual Trail Fest Coming to a Park Near You

The Pittsburgh Trail Advocacy Group (PTAG) is trying to attract more bikers, hikers and visitors to Allegheny County’s trails by broadening this year's celebration.  

The eighth annual Trail Fest, formerly the Mountain Bike Fest, will feature a wider variety of events than in years past. Trail running and hiking have been added to the list of activities,  with the mainstay — mountain bike riding returning.

Peter Greninger, president of PTAG, said the festival is for any nature lover.

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