Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
1:15 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Columbia County Gallery to Auction Unsigned Print Said to be Warhol's

A previously unknown silkscreen believed to be printed by Andy Warhol will go up for auction on Monday at Col. Kirk’s Auction Gallery in Columbia County.

The piece, entitled “Of Thee I Sing—Nico,” isn’t signed by the pop art icon, but auction gallery General Manager Josh Williams said the silkscreen can be identified as an original Warhol because of the unique paper it was printed on.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:23 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

End of Summer Getaways

Shopping area in Cape May, NJ
Credit Rick Scully / flickr

With the arrival of Labor Day weekend, summer will soon be coming to an end. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme says forecasts call for good weather over the next few days, and families should take full advantage.

Luckily for Pittsburghers, there are a variety of activities nearby for families to check out this holiday weekend.

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Art From the Ground Up
10:51 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Creating a 'Weave of Culture' with the Kente Arts Alliance

Mensah Wali and Gail Austin of the Kente Arts Alliance.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Kente Arts Alliance is an organization whose mission is to present art from the African diaspora. TV and radio personality Chris Moore says they are “a great civic resource” and believes that if they weren’t here, “there would be a void.”

Brooklyn native Mensah Wali and Pittsburgher Gail Austin founded the organization in 2007 and have presented a wide variety of artists to Pittsburgh audiences. 

Wali terms it a “weave of culture.” The word Kente is West African in origin and describes a type of cloth common in Ghana.

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Arts & Culture
3:30 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Wilkinsburg Students Produce Film Calling for Redevelopment

Wilkinsburg once had a popular business district with a large, upwardly mobile population, according to the Borough of Wilkinsburg website.

But the borough has struggled ever since the steel mill closures in the 1970s and '80s resulted in layoffs and a depleted tax base.

But Wilkinsburg students are looking towards the future.

The students, as part of an after-school program called FUSE, produced a short documentary called "Wilkinsburg: The Way We See It," which highlights efforts made by the community to redevelop.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:29 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

A Wide Variety of Authentic Mexican Restaurants for Pittsburghers

Nic DiCio at Casa Reyna in the Strip District, built a mini tortilla factory in the back of his Mexican restaurant, because he says authentic tortillas should be made fresh each day.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA


Even though the Steel City is hundreds of miles away from the southern border, Pittsburgh has recently seen a rise in restaurants offering authentic Mexican cuisine. The new establishments are finding Pittsburghers to be eager customers.

One such customer is food critic Melissa McCart. A fan of Mexican food, McCart says these authentic restaurants have brought an increased variety of regional flavors.  McCart points to how Pittsburgh has begun to approach a Tex-Mex favorite: the taco.

“Six years ago you might not have seen a tongue taco or a chorizo taco, but now you can find them at four or five different places,” says McCart.

Although the number of restaurants has been rising, McCart says the important trend is the variety of styles and approaches within the cuisine.

Weekend Watch
2:17 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 8/24 & 8/25

This Sunday, come out and honor the work of over 1,500 makers at the Knit the Bridge Art Party. Under the direction of artist Amanda Gross, families, friends, and volunteers came together from across Allegheny County to organize the yarn bombing of the Andy Warhol Bridge. Pittsburghers can come to experience the art project firsthand at the event.

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Arts & Culture
11:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Hidden Treasures Event Returns to Pittsburgh

Treasures aren’t always strings of pearls or gold doubloons — sometimes, they’re toilets.

1,500 people are expected to attend the sixth annual “Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures” event at the Heinz History Center Sunday.

Visitors can bring up to two items and to be examined by a team of more than 40 appraisers, including experts from Christie’s, the world’s largest fine art auction house. The appraisers will evaluate the historical importance and possible monetary worth of the items.

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Arts & Culture
10:56 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

VisitPITTSBURGH Promotes City with Photo Contest

Travel and tourism generates $28.6 billion a year in Pennsylvania, but Allegheny County’s official promotion agency thinks Pittsburgh is not living up to its potential because of its smoky history.

VisitPITTSBURGH hosted a photo contest with the goal of attracting tourists to Pittsburgh by showing it as a “vibrant” city.

Spokeswoman Connie George said the agency wanted to break the stereotype associated with the city.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:07 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Elaine Labalme's Midwest Adventure Continues

The Gateway Arch is just one of the many treasures of the Midwest.
Credit Steven Martin / Flickr

As great as the ballparks of the midwest may be, Essential Pittsburgh travel contributor Elaine Labalme found that there was much more to the cities that housed them than just baseball.

From the amazing Nelson-Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City to Milwaukee’s historic third ward, to the “photographer’s dream” that is the Gateway arch in St. Louis, Labalme quickly learned that the cultural happenings of the midwest were manifold.

As an added bonus, much of this art and culture is paired up with some of the tastiest eateries these cities have to offer. As Labalme puts it, “I would say food meets art is all over the midwest.”

Essential Pittsburgh
2:32 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

An Update on the Blooming Corpse Flower

Spectators flocked to the Phipps Conservatory this week.
Credit Casey Premoshis / The Allegheny Front

The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has been swarming with visitors over the last few days. And thankfully, not flies.

The rare and odoriferous corpse flower has been in bloom for the last 48 hours.  Casey Premoshis visited the giant plant named "Romero" for the Allegheny Front and WESA:

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:52 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

The Moth Mainstage: How to Tell a Compelling Story

The Moth is described as, true stories, told live, without notes.
Credit The Moth

The Moth Mainstage returns to Pittsburgh tomorrow at the Byham Theater. Participants share a ten-minute story onstage centered on the theme “balancing acts.”

Producer Kate Tellers says The Moth StorySlams, Radio Hour and Mainstage have experienced huge success in Pittsburgh over the past few years.

She coaches storytellers before they perform and worked with Justin Strong, owner of Shadow Lounge and AVA, in crafting a story. Tellers says truly effective stories are able to reach to the lowest point in someone’s life and illustrate a turning point that defines them.

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Arts & Culture
1:28 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Romeo and Juliet Meet In Pittsburgh Parks

Romeo or Juliet: which would you choose?

One Pittsburgh theater group is adding a new spin to arguably the most famous love story of all time by asking the audience pick a side.

Jennifer Tober, founder and artistic director of Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, said their production this year puts a twist on "Romeo and Juliet."

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Museums
3:30 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Lawmakers Propose Dedicated State Funding for Museums

Two Pennsylvania senators, one Democrat and one Republican, are trying to dig up some new funding for local museums across the commonwealth.

Over the last eight years, state aid to the museums has dropped from $29 million to $2 million for fiscal year 2013-14.

Senators Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) have authored legislation to dedicate 3 percent of the state’s Realty Transfer Tax, about $8 million to $9 million.   

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:24 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Driving a Banger from the Big Apple to the Big Easy

Shauna Yorty and Eli Mailey with their Uber Banger car
Credit Slyorty

From the Big Apple to the Big Easy, known by the acronym BABE, decorated “bangers” or junk cars, drive  from New York to New Orleans. The concept originated from similar rallies driven by junkie cars in Europe.

Shauna Yorty and Eli Mailey's banger is a 1982 VW Quantum that runs on vegetable oil. The Harrisburg couple can recall goofy stories and quirks about the rally over the past four years. Mailey converted his diesel car to run on vegetable oil with the help of a home conversion kit.

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Arts & Culture
3:30 am
Sun August 18, 2013

Public Art Program To Liven Up Market Square

One Pittsburgh group is trying to bring a little more life to the downtown area during the winter months.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, in conjunction with the city of Pittsburgh, will begin a three-year project to bring temporary public art to the city’s Market Square.

Artists are being asked to submit proposals for existing works of art to be displayed in the public plaza, or submit their qualifications to create new works.

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Weekend Watch
12:03 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 8/17 & 8/18

Fancy yourself to be a wizard with words? The Pittsburgh Crossword Puzzle Tournament this Saturday might be the place to prove yourself. Competitors will be provided three puzzles of increasing difficulty to be solved in a timed fashion, and points will be awarded for accuracy and speed of solving. If you feel like you might need a hand, you can sign up for the Pairs Tournament with a friend or loved one. All proceeds will benefit the Western PA Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphona Society.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:39 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Late Summer Fairs and Festivals with Local Goodness

Garlic lovers rejoice! Several upcoming food festivals showcase hundreds of varieties of the popular vegetable
Credit Rhonda Schuldt / Local Goodness

Summer is beginning to draw to a close, and for most there are only a few chances left to get out there and enjoy all of its offerings -- especially the area’s lovely fresh produce.

According to Rhonda Schuldt of Local Goodness, there are a dearth of food festivals and fairs that are sure to satisfy anyone still eager to explore the local food scene. Chief among these events are the amazing array of food festivals, including the Laurel Highlands Garlic Festival this weekend, which she calls “a nice day trip away from Pittsburgh.” the festival boasts hundreds of varieties of garlic which will intrigue any foodie with an affinity for the pungent plant.

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Arts & Culture
3:30 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Public Art Pedal Along Pittsburgh's North Side to Coincide with BikeFest

To coincide with Bike Pittsburgh’s BikeFest, the Office of Public Art is hosting the Public Art Pedal along the North Side.

This 10-mile roundtrip bicycle outing will go from Pittsburgh’s North Shore to Millvale along the Allegheny Riverfront Trail.

Renee Piechocki, director of the Office of Public Art, said the scenery adds to the artistic experience of the tour.

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Community
2:43 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Now Open to the Public, Knit the Bridge Attracts Admirers

Pedestrians examine the handiwork of scores of artists Monday as the walk along the Andy Warhol Bridge, currently the site of the massive Knit the Bridge yarn bomb project.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

Dennis and Marilyn Funtal inched their way along the Andy Warhol Bridge Monday morning, stopping with every step to admire the 580 hand-stitched afghan panels that currently envelop the structure.

“Quite unusual,” Dennis Funtal said, “just like the City of Pittsburgh’s always been — unusual.”

The retired Brookline couple made a point to venture downtown Monday to see what's been called the largest “yarn bomb” in the United States. “Yarn bombing” is a form of street art, which unlike graffiti can be easily removed and doesn’t damage public property.

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HEArt
3:30 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Online Journal Gets to the 'HEArt' of Social Reform

Poems, visual art, stories and music are much more than forms of entertainment to two Pittsburghers, they are ways to promote social reform.

Co-founders Leslie Anne Mcilroy and Daniel Morrow will launch Human Equity through Art (HEArt) Online on Aug. 15.

The online journal will publish various forms of art submitted to them that challenge the status quo and fight discrimination.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:52 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

As Knit the Bridge Gets Underway, A Community Effort Is Revealed

The Knit the Bridge project got underway at the Andy Warhol Bridge Saturday morning.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

After participating in the successful yarn bombing of an area downtown, Amanda Gross had the idea to do something larger. As a result, Gross and the Fiber Arts Guild of Pittsburgh are graduating from trees and telephone poles to knitting the Andy Warhol bridge this weekend.

“It was just a really positive experience,” observes Gross. “So I thought, why not do a bridge?”

Yarn bombing is part of the guerilla art movement, and the process amounts to a temporary, impermanent form of graffiti.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:51 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

The Uncanny Corpse Flower

A rare, interesting specimen, the corpse flower will only bloom and share its unique scent for approximately 48 hours before decaying.
Credit US Botanic Garden / Wikipedia

Phipps Conservatory will be getting a rare, rancid treat in the coming weeks. The corpse flower, a flower from the jungles of Indonesia, is best known for its distinctive smell of rotting flesh. Ben Dunigan, Curator of Horticulture at Phipps, says that the corpse flower models itself after the scent of a decaying corpse to convince flies to come and lay their eggs.

“You really do have to smell it to believe it,” Dunigan says.

Phipps’s flower—affectionately named “Romero” after Night of the Living Dead director and Pittsburgh native George A. Romero—will only spend 48 hours in full bloom, with 12 peak hours during which the flower will be at its most putrid.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:49 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Sci-Fi Marathons, Indie Films and Classic Flicks Coming in the Next Week

Credit Pop City Media

Pittsburgh theaters offer a wide range of films in a number of unique theaters. Dormont’s Hollywood Theater houses niche film festivals, indie movie one-night previews and classic flicks while other theaters around the city will show big screen blockbusters and new documentaries. Pittsburgh City Paper film critic Al Hoff helps parse out the good from the bad.

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Weekend Watch
1:16 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

90.5 WESA Weekend Watch 8/10 & 8/11

Lawrenceville is set to take a heavy dose of rock and roll with the second annual Rock All Night Tour. Dubbed R.A.N.T., this expansive music festival is taking over 20 indoor and outdoor venues while presenting a wide assortment of musical stylings. Featuring everything from classic American bluegrass to modern heavy metal, 50 bands and 20 solo artists will play throughout the day on Saturday and pushing into the early hours on Sunday. The event begins with the Morning Breakfast Tour from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Arts & Culture
12:01 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Vibrant Pittsburgh Launches Diversity Fest

The first Global Diversity Festival begins in Pittsburgh Friday night.

The festival looks to celebrate the “vibrancy” and diversity of the Pittsburgh region through music, food and entertainment.

About 30 community organizations, including Latino and LGBT groups, will be represented at the celebration to hand out information, crafts and food.

The festival was organized by the group Vibrant Pittsburgh, which looks to ensure the city’s growth by attracting a “diversity of talent” to promote the region.

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