Arts & Culture

Arts and culture reporting from 90.5 WESA.

Pondering a Life with Robots

May 2, 2013
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.

Coming Out in the NBA

May 2, 2013
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.

Images From the Silk Road

May 1, 2013
Christopher Rolinson / Point Park University

In 1972, Alban and Virginia Curtze of Erie, PA traveled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and India in an area known as the Silk Road. Little did they know their vacation photos would become artifacts of world history. Thirty nine of the Curtze's images have been transferred from slides to 11-by-14-inch prints and are on display at an exhibition on the Point Park University campus. The exhibition curator and associate professor of photojournalism and photography, Christopher Rolinson gives us a tour of the Silk Road images.

Girlfriend Getaways with the New Girl in Town

May 1, 2013
Chris Breeze / Flickr

Bachelorette weekends, reunions spa retreats or the need to simply get out of town. Those are some of the reasons you and your best girlfriends may want to plan a weekend away. This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme offers up some suggestions for girlfriend getaways.

Start planning your own getaway with these recommendations from Elaine Labalme:

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me Hits the Big Screen

Apr 30, 2013
Kyle Cassidy / Wikipedia

  NPR's weekly news quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me has been entertaining public radio listeners for more than 15 years. Now the show hits the big screen with a nationwide cinecast. We'll talk with host Peter Sagal about the radio show, it's failed TV pilot and his experience at the recent Boston Marathon.

The 2013 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival kicks off in early June with a splash.

On June 7, after years of reconstruction, the fountain at the Point will be turned back on permanently.

“Point State Park has been rebuilt from top to bottom over the last five years thanks to the efforts of one of the most extensive public-private partnerships in our history,” said Riverlife President and CEO Lisa Schroeder. “Planning for this massive project began in 2001 and is the largest park project ever undertaken in the commonwealth.”

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Writer and Mt. Lebanon resident Mary Frailey Calland does intensive research for her Civil War era novels. In between deep dives in the archives, she reads contemporary fiction.

James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom

Sports N' @: Discrimination Within the NFL?

Apr 26, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  Every major business in the U.S. has an anti-distrimination policy when it comes to hiring. That includes the National Football League. But what about reports of loaded personal questions for players trying out for the draft? Sports Contributor Bob Dvorchak talks about how athletes are tested at the NFL scouting combine and where the league stands on the discrimination claims.

Pittsburghers venturing downtown on Friday night have at least two opportunities to experience the arts.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Spring Gallery Crawl takes place from 5:30 to 9 p.m., while the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's Night Market IV runs from 6 to 11 p.m.

The "Community Supported Agriculture" or CSA model is taking on more and more iterations.

Traditionally, a CSA offers subscriptions to locally grown produce, but it was recently announced that a visual art CSA would be available April 30. Now a theater CSA is in the offing as well.

The New Hazlett Theater on the north side is selling CSA shares that include six performances every other month, from August to June.

Bob Studebaker / 90.5 WESA

Ryan Neitznick and John Fischer comprise the production team known as La Harrier.

Their studio in Lawrenceville is also known as La Harrier, and it’s part of  a growing aspect of Pittsburgh’s arts community — nontraditional, independent music producers.

They each grew up and began their musical careers in Pittsburgh but actually met and formed their partnership about six years ago in Philadelphia.

It's that time of year again when artists of all skill and experience levels descend on an empty warehouse in Lawrenceville to celebrate what has become one of the largest art events in the region. 

Art All Night will hold its 16th annual event starting at 4 p.m. Saturday at 4001 Willow St. in Lawrenceville.

Anyone can submit a work from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday. The art will then be put on display in the non-juried event. Artists will be asked if they want to offer their works for sale.

Sandra Bernhard is Off the Wall

Apr 23, 2013
Andy Warhol Museum

Actor, comedienne, singer, and author Sandra Bernhard is coming to Pittsburgh as part of the Warhol Museum's Off the Wall Series. She talks about how her entertainment career has evolved through the years, her affinity for Andy Warhol and the 30th anniversary of the King of Comedy, a film that greatly impacted her acting career.

Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

Dr. Mario Fischetti is a clinical psychologist with the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, and the moderator of its ongoing "Reading Fiction with Freud" discussion series. 


Sports Talk with Bob Dvorchak

Apr 20, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  After last week's bombing at the Boston Marathon and the passionate singing of the national anthem at Wednesday's Bruins game, sports contributor Bob Dvorchak talks about how sporting events can galvanize a city and a nation. Also, what concerns does the bombing raise about security at sporting events?

Professional Ballerinas Speaking On Pointe

Apr 18, 2013
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Instead of the traditional glass slipper, this weekend’s Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre production of Cinderella involves a glass ballet shoe. This notion made us wonder--how important is the perfect fit for a professional ballerina? Pittsburgh Ballet Principal dancers Alexandra Kochis and Julia Erickson give us a peek at the world of a dancer and her toe shoes.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, has become common in many cities.

CSA typically refers to a subscription service for fresh produce from local farmers, but a new initiative in Pittsburgh is putting a twist on the concept and replacing “agriculture” with “art.”

A Community Supported Agriculture package might include lettuce, apples, and peppers. But with Community Supported Art, subscribers will unpack a box of sculptures, photographs, drawings or paintings.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed an agreement Tuesday making Chile and Pennsylvania "Sister Chambers" by fostering job growth and business development opportunities between the two governments. The agreement came at the end of the governor's trade mission to Brazil and Chile.

The state's First Lady, Susan Corbett, is reaching out to the Chileans in a different way, announcing a cultural exchange program based in Pittsburgh and Santiago. 

Anything Goes Revamping a Classic

Apr 16, 2013
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

  This week, the 200th performance of the touring broadway show Anything Goes will be performed in Pittsburgh. The current incarnation of this Cole Porter classic won a Tony in 2011 for best musical revival and choreography.We'll talk with Pittsburgh native Kathleen Marshall, the Director and Choreographer of Anything Goes.

Pittsburgher Karen Harr finished the Boston Marathon Monday well before the explosions that killed three and injured more than 170 people.

She could have been back at the hospitality suite in the hotel where she was staying, but a decision to head back to the medical tent to get a dose of asthma medicine put her just yards away from the blast.

Harr wasn't hurt, but she said the experience will not prompt her to hang up her running shoes. 

For Students, Pens Hockey is Worth the Wait

Apr 15, 2013
Rachel R. Grozanick / 90.5 WESA

High school and college students have the opportunity to buy discounted tickets online for every Pittsburgh Penguins home game.

Giggles the Kookaburra Stays True to His Name

Apr 15, 2013
90.5 WESA

Giggles the Kookaburra lives at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Native to Australia, Laughing Kookaburras have the nickname of the “bushman’s alarm clock” due to their tendency to make their raucous laughing call early in the morning.

Once a year, the Lawrenceville Corporation organizes the Joy of Cookies shopping tour. This year, 26 businesses set out plates of treats along the Butler Street route, giving neighbors a chance to meet in a very merry setting.

One of the three crystal chandeliers in the William Penn Hotel is lowered to the lobby floor for hand cleaning. Dusting and buffing the 1,754 individual pieces takes a three-person team eight hours to complete.

Take a ride on the Duquesne Incline. Its cars have carted Pittsburghers up and down Mount Washington since 1877. And it sounds like it.

Co-owner of Lawrenceville’s House of the Dead, Chuck Cramer believes Pittsburgh stands little chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Adam Nelson plays games and thinks you should, too. Nelson ruminates on how games can change a city’s landscape and its citizens for the better.

Chelsea Banks

Winner of the 2012 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award, Adam Paul Causgrove ruminates on the past, present and future of the mustache.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

When Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb isn't busy minding the city's books, he's reading history and genre fiction. 

What About Bob? Sports Talk with Bob Dvorchak

Apr 14, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak gives us a recap of the Frozen Four weekend in Pittsburgh and talks about Pitt's new women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio.   

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