Arts & Culture

Arts and culture reporting from 90.5 WESA.

Jazz Live International Preview and Anniversary

Jun 3, 2013
OZinOH / Flickr

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's summer long Jazz concert series in Katz Plaza. This year also marks the third annual Jazz Live International Festival.

Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

Gary Terner of Mt. Lebanon was blown away by the new short story collection from George Saunders.

George Saunders, Tenth of December

The 2-Minute Film Festival returns to the Carnegie Museum of Art this summer with a child-like image.

This year’s theme, “At Play,” encourages applicants to test boundaries, take risks and bring out their childhood creativity.

The 2-Minute Film Festival showcases more than 30 of the best two-minute movies submitted by people from around the country. Judges are looking for the briefest films that best capture the idea of play. Each movie shown at the festival is eligible for the People’s Choice and Juror’s Choice awards.

What About Bob? Sports Talk with Bob Dvorchak

May 31, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

With the Penguins extended playoff run, Pittsburgh businesses are getting an extra influx of cash. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak talks about the business perks of chasing the cup and some interesting rule changes in store for golfers who use the long putter aka belly putter.

Grab the blankets, picnic baskets and lawn chairs because the free outdoor music and movie season is back in Pittsburgh.

This weekend marks the beginning of both the 2013 Allegheny County and Pittsburgh Citiparks summer music and movies series.

Bob Studebaker / 90.5 WESA

Vocal coach Daniel Teadt discovered his love of music when he was a student at the University of Illinois.

The early days of his career required traveling to many different cities, including a stop here as an artist in residence with Pittsburgh Opera.

Teadt, who met his wife in Pittsburgh, didn’t initially stay in the city. But now they’ve returned, and he’s feeling quite comfortable in his wife's hometown.

“We now have a family here and a great network here,” he said.

Matthew Paulson / Flickr

Now that summer’s here, one of the best places to go and explore the great outdoors is a national park. With so many parks in the U.S. we begin a two part look, focusing on the eastern half of the country including The Everglades, The Great Smoky Mountains, Acadia, Shenandoah, and 
 Cuyahoga Valley

A local arts group hopes to use a grant to turn Pittsburgh into a canvas promoting freedom of expression.

ArtPlace America awarded a grant to the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh to launch its newest project, the “Garden to Garden” Artway.

City of Asylum/Pittsburgh spokeswoman Elizabeth Baisley said the artway will create spaces where literature and art are visible to the public as they walk along the streets of Pittsburgh.

Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

Lori Jakiela is a poet, a memoirist and a devotee of sparse, unsentimental prose.  

A few of the books you might encounter in her writing class at Chatham or Pitt-Greensburg:

World Affairs: Peter Bergen From 9/11 to Abbottabad

May 23, 2013
Peter Bergen / PeterBergen.com

Peter Bergen is a National Security Analyst for CNN, and a journalist who has reported for publications such as Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post. He's authored three New York Times best-sellers, won multiple awards for his non-fiction writing, produced the first ever television interview with Osama Bin Laden, and much more.

Bergen's most recent book is Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad. He comes to Pittsburgh to be the keynote speaker for the World Affairs Council's 82nd annual meeting and leads a discussion titled Learning from Abbottabad: Combating Global Terrorism in a Post-9/11 World.

Mike Sears and the Warrior Foundation

May 23, 2013
Mike Sears

  

Mike Sears put his life on the line to save a wounded soldier in the heat of battle in Afghanistan. For his bravery, he received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. We'll begin the Memorial Day weekend with a conversation with Mike Sears covering his war experiences and his involvement with the Warrior Foundation.

Local Goodness: Farmers Market Season

May 23, 2013
Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Does this week's summer-like weather put you in the mood for some fresh corn or warm, sun rippened tomatoes? How about a tote bag full of cukes and zukes? While these foods aren't quite ready at the local farm, we are definitely headed into outdoor farmers market season.

Food contributor Rhonda Schuldt stops in to talk about what to expect from Pittsburgh's many farmers markets.

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.

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.

Drawing a Crowd At The Pittsburgh Comic Arts Festival

May 22, 2013
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.

The New Girl in Town is Hitting the Beach

May 22, 2013
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.

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

Sports Talk With Bob Dvorchak

May 19, 2013
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

The Host with the Most Comes to Pittsburgh

May 19, 2013
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.

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.

City Spree: Adults Running Amuck in the Steel City

May 15, 2013
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.

The New Girl in Town Talks Travel, With A Pet

May 15, 2013
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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Sports Talk with Bob Dvorchak

May 12, 2013
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.

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

Black Filmmakers Changing the Game

May 9, 2013
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.

Maya Angelou on Mom & Me & Mom

May 8, 2013
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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