Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
4:06 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Pittsburgh Kicks Off Summer With Two Weeks of Festivities

Two weeks of arts, culture and sporting events will kick off with the rededication of the Point State Park fountain on June 7.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Look alive, Pittsburgh — two of the year's busiest weeks are upon us.

On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Wow! Partnership, a collaboration between some the city’s most prominent cultural, business and civic entities, announced a two-week bonanza of events meant to highlight and contribute to the city’s vibrancy.

Taking place from June 7 to June 16, events include rededicating the Point State Park fountain, playing host to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, commemorating the completion of the Great Allegheny Passage and cheering on the Pirates at a string of home games.

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Arts & Culture
12:59 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Lancaster Man Adds Disney Magic to Fireworks Festival

It’s not likely that you’ll ever get to swim under the sea with Ariel and Sebastian or fight dastardly ghosts and ghouls with Captain Jack Sparrow alongside the other Pirates of the Caribbean, but with his explosive sights and sounds, Jon Loreto is trying to get you one step closer.

The Lancaster County resident is the inaugural winner of the “Fantasy in the Sky” Fireworks Challenge, a contest with more than 50 pyro-enthused applicants.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:26 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Drawing a Crowd At The Pittsburgh Comic Arts Festival

Joe Wos, Executive Director and Founder of the Toonseum curates the Reuben Awards Exhibit
Credit Joe Wos

In the world of comic strip art, The Reuben Awards, are on par with the Oscars. Named after Rube Goldberg, the Reuben has been awarded by the National Cartoonists Society to artists such as Charles Schulz, Chester Gould and Bill Watterson.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:51 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

The New Girl in Town is Hitting the Beach

It's Memorial Day, time to hit kick off your shoes and get some sand between your toes.
Credit Heather McClain / WESA

Memorial Day is the official start to the summer season and many people will be headed to the beach. One shore town you may want to visit is Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. You'll find something for nature lovers at Prime Hook, something for sports adventurers, and for those who just want to stroll along the Boardwalk.

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Speaking Volumes
3:30 am
Mon May 20, 2013

A history lesson with Prof. Patrick Dowd

Book recommendations from Councilman Patrick Dowd
Credit Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd started out as a historian, and while he's no longer in academia, his reading still reflects that background. These days Dowd reads historical nonfiction mixed with fiction "with a serious historical bent." 

Edwin Coddington, The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:56 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Sports Talk With Bob Dvorchak

Bob Dvorchak is an author and blogger for the website Sports 'n'at
Credit Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak discusses the death of Uniontown native and NFL great Chuck Muncie of heart failure at age 60, concussions in the NFL and the strange case of hockey player Derek Boogaard

Essential Pittsburgh
12:28 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

The Host with the Most Comes to Pittsburgh

Rico Gagliano uses his B.A. in Film Studies from Pitt, and M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute to offer up unique culture, food, and conversation for your next dinner party
Credit Rico Gagliano / Twitter

Rico Gagliano, arts and culture journalist, producer, and host is best known for his work in public radio. He spent several years reporting for the business show Marketplace, filing stories from all over the world and across the U.S. 

Rico currently co-hosts and co-produces The Dinner Party Download for American Public Media.  The Pittsburgh native talks about his show and his favorite hometown haunts, past and present.

Essential Pittsburgh
11:30 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Pittsburgh Artist Finds Inspiration in a Century-Old Timepiece

The Kaufmann's Clock has served as a meeting place for Pittsburghers for a century
Katie Blackley 90.5 WESA

After a century in downtown Pittsburgh, residents of the city can still recall telling friends and family to “meet me under the Kaufmann’s Clock.” The bronze ornamental clock, which still hangs at the corner of Smithfield Street and Fifth Avenue, has served as a meeting place for Pittsburghers for years. Macy's celebrates the clock's 100th anniversary with a city proclamation of May 17th as "Meet Me Under the Clock Day" as well as events surrounding this cherished Kaufmann's tradition.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:27 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

City Spree: Adults Running Amuck in the Steel City

The more you explore the more points you gain. City Spree encourages adults to get out and play
Credit Amanda Westmont / Flickr

   

The City Spree is a citywide race with no course and no boundaries. Find your own path, explore, and check in, the further you are from the starting point the better. The unique event encourages Pittsburghers to race beyond their comfort zone and explore new neighborhoods. Remember the carefree days of youth and playing outdoors with kids in your neighborhood? Now you have an excuse to run amuck again.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:26 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

The New Girl in Town Talks Travel, With A Pet

Don't we all love fresh hotel linens?
Credit Matt DeTurck / Flickr

If you own a pet chances are you consider them a member of the family. So why wouldn’t you take them on the family vacation? This week contributor Elaine Labalme offers tips on traveling with your pet.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:20 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Pittsburgh's Second Bicycling Boom

BikePGH

At the turn of the 20th century, bicycling enthusiast and Pittsburgh native, Frank Lenz was an American celebrity. His two wheeled global journey, and eventual disappearance in Turkey, are chronicled in David V. Herlihy's book The Lost Cyclist. Last year Herlihy came to Pittsburgh and Essential Pittsburgh to celebrate Frank Lenz Day. This year, in observation of Lenz's world tour departure, we look at Pittsburgh's place in cycling history with WESA reporter Margaret Krauss.

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Arts
5:43 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Film Festival Taps Directors to Build Cultural Ties

One of Pittsburgh’s most popular film festivals opened this weekend and continues through Sunday with the goal of not only entertaining viewers, but also opening the door to a better understanding of Asian cultures.  

The Silk Screen Film Festival defines Asia as stretching from Israel to Japan. Executive Director Harish Saluja said the goal of the organization and all of its events throughout the year is to build cultural bridges between Pittsburgh and that region of the world.

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Art Education
3:30 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Mattress Factory Receives Grant for Educational Outreach

The Mattress Factory, known for its installation art, has received a $100,000 grant from the Benedum Foundation to continue its educational outreach in western Pennsylvania and extend it into West Virginia.  

Felice Cleveland, the museum's director of education, said artists create educational tools called "The Space I'm In" to be used in K-12 classrooms by pairs of teachers: one art teacher paired with a teacher from another subject. Together, they develop a series of inter-disciplinary lessons to present core curriculum to their students.

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Speaking Volumes
3:30 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Jayne Adair Brings the Ruckus

Jayne Adair of Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures recommends books by recent and upcoming speakers.
Credit Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures executive director Jayne Adair's reading list is as rich and varied as her schedule of speakers.

Nathaniel Philbrick, Bunker Hill

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:37 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Sports Talk with Bob Dvorchak

Sidney Crosby on the current cover of Sports Illustrated
Credit Sports Illustrated

According to urban legend, athletes and teams that appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated have been known to experience a streak of bad luck. So what's in the stars for Penguins Center, Sidney Crosby now that he's on the cover of SI

And the lasting legacy of late Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer Jack Butler is definitely felt by Pittsburgh Post Gazette Sports Writer emeritus, Bob Dvorchak.

"He played in an era when the Steelers did not have a great team. But he helped define that team."

Butler passed away last weekend and was a guest on Essential Pittsburgh before being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:48 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

A Rare Painting Highlights the Value of Art in Public Schools

The painting, Interieur, Lumiere De La Fenetre was hanging in a Pittsburgh Public School building for years, unpreserved.
Credit Sotheby's

For the Pittsburgh public school district, the value of art can not be over stated. Earlier this week a rare painting called "Interior, Light from the Window" by Henri Le Sidaner, donated to the district by a group called Friends of Art, was sold in auction for more than $750,000. The money will benefit the financially strapped Pittsburgh Public Schools.

For nearly a century, Friends of Art has donated more than 300 works of art to the district. Most were created by local artists and like the Sidaner painting, many are displayed in school offices and other buildings throughout the district.

Guest Louise Lippincott, head of the department of fine arts at the Carnegie Museum of Art, has followed the history of the Sidaner painting

Essential Pittsburgh
7:00 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Black Filmmakers Changing the Game

Cheo Tyehimba Taylor is the founder of the Game Changers Project
Credit Game Changers Project

 

"Black Men on a Hero's Journey."

Armed with cameras as weapons, 10 black men are chosen each year for the Game Changers Project, a fellowship which highlights positive black male images in the media by promoting some of America's emerging documentary film leaders.  And many of those leaders come from Pittsburgh.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:43 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Maya Angelou on Mom & Me & Mom

Maya Angelou talks about her mother Vivian, known affectionately as "Lady."
Credit MayaAngelou.com

My Mother asked me, “Do you know who the Father is?”

I said “Of course, I only had sex with him once”

She said “And do you love him?”

I said “No”

She asked “Does he love you?”

I said “No.”

So she said “Then we’re not going to ruin three lives. We’re going to have a fine baby. That’s all there is to it.”

And she never once made me feel I had brought shame on the family.

Dr. Maya Angelou, has an impressive body of work. From singing in the opera Porgy and Bess, and dancing with the Alvin Ailey dance troupe, to the iconic 1993 Inauguration Day poem On the Pulse of Morning, and her years of activism, Angelou typifies a renaissance woman.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:42 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Out There with Paul McCartney's Rare Performances

Paul McCartney on tour in 2009
Credit Anna's Farm / Wikipedia

Paul McCartney has just started a world tour called Out There!, which features songs never performed live, including "All Together Now," "Lovely Rita," and "Your Mother Should Know." The songs came out years before the band broke up, but by 1966 the Beatles had already stopped touring.

In talking about Paul McCartney's current selection of unperformed songs, WYEP Midday host Mike Sauter says "There are certain live songs McCartney is expected to perform at every show, songs he can't not perform...this is a chance for him to add depth to his performances."

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:40 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

The New Girl in Town on Planning a Boys Night Out

Local white water rafting with the guys, in the Laurel Highlands
Credit Nick Knouse / Flickr

Travel writer and contributor Elaine Labalme has many bits of advice for traveling alone, and for the ladies, "traveling with the girls." Now she's got some advice for the gents. 

For even the most laid back guys, planning the perfect weekend bachelor party or reunion of college buddies can be both fun and daunting. Consider some different angles when plotting out your next trip with the guys.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:15 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Sports Talk with Bob Dvorchak

Bob Dvorchak writes for the blog Sports n'at
Credit Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak looks at how the running of the Pittsburgh Marathon came off, Sidney Crosby's return to the ice and whether the NHL should look at making face shields mandatory. Also, the impact of Jason Collins coming out.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:01 am
Mon May 6, 2013

A Sportswriter's Inspiration

Sportswriter Tony Jovenitti reads his essay about what Jason Collins coming out means to him.
Credit Susan Quigley-Jovenitti / Outsports

The news of NBA player Jason Collins has garnered a lot of attention. As the first player in one of the four major sports to come out, he's being seen as a trailblazer. His story inspired sportswriter,  Pitt graduate and our guest, Tony Jovenitti, to come out in an essay for the website Outsports.

Speaking Volumes
4:46 am
Mon May 6, 2013

All For One, One For All

The Three Musketeers books are as much fun as you remember, says Matthias Sundberg
Credit Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

Matthias Sundberg, from Point Breeze, likes action and adventure stories tinged with social realism. 

Dan Baum, Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:44 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Pondering a Life with Robots

Robot Parts at Fraley's Robot Repair Shop/Art Instillation
Heather McClain 90.5 WESA

Through recent artistic conceptions, we explore a world of advanced robotics and consider the philosophical questions one might ponder if robots were a part of everyday life. Essential Pittsburgh Production Assistant Rebekah Zook  and WESA reporter Margaret Krauss visited Fraley's Robot Repair Shop in its final week Downtown and we spoke with Japanese contemporary theater Director Oriza Hirata at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Essential Pittsburgh
11:03 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Coming Out in the NBA

Washington Wizards player Jason Collins came out earlier this week.
Credit Washington Wizards / NBA.com

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman shares his thoughts on NBA player Jason Collins becoming the first active athlete in any of America's four major professional sports leagues to acknowledge his homosexuality. He'll discuss what it means for the LGBT community as well as the African American community.

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