Arts & Culture

Arts and culture reporting from 90.5 WESA.

Capitol Steps

  The political performers known as The Capitol Steps, are a singing troupe that began with a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the government that employed them. Collectively, they’re said to represent 18 Congressional offices and 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. This week, members of the Capitol Steps are coming to town to perform for the Traffic Club of Pittsburgh. We'll talk with Elaina Newport, a founding member and writer who worked in the Senate as a legislative aid.

Watch the Capitol Steps' 30 Years of Satire video

Vantagen

As President of the Forbes Funds, Kate Dewey is interested in how nonprofits can adapt along with changing technology. 

Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us for his regular Monday segment. This week he'll preview Pitt's appearance in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, discuss NHL realignment and how free agency is draining the Steelers' star players.  

Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Each weekend Wigle Whiskey, located in the Strip District, offers distillery tours connecting whiskey lovers to Pittsburgh history. On the tour, Meredith Grelli tells 2 stories. The first is a story about turning organic rye grains into whiskey. The other is about the distillery’s namesake, the rebellious Philip Wigle; who almost died for the sake of whiskey. Here’s a taste of the Wigle tour.

This segment of Essential Pittsburgh originally aired on August 23, 2012

Bonnie Cousins / Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade

Award Winning Bagpiper, E.A. Channon, author of "Ballad of a Bagpiper: Whatever Blows Up Your Kilt" has performed for royals like Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana and icons like Bill Gates and President Reagan. He tells us everything we could possibly want to know about bagpipes.

Then, Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee Chairman Pat O'Brien joins us to talk about how the Steel City's St. Patty's Day parade has become the second biggest in the country.

Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Whether it’s an exotic locale or a local day spa, a massage, facial and aromatherapy could be just what the doctor ordered. Travel contibutor Elaine Labalme offers some tempting spa suggestions.

Jeff Meade/Flickr

On Saturday Pittsburgh's annual family-friendly St. Patrick's Day parade and festivities will begin at 10 a.m. The Pittsburgh parade is held March 17 or the Saturday immediately preceding that date.

Leave the green beer at home though, because city code prohibits drinking alcohol in public. The ordinance is more commonly known as the "Open Container Law."

Heinz History Center

1968 was a notable year in American history, the Vietnam War was raging, Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated, and the Women’s movement was gaining national attention.

Pittsburgh was among the hotbeds of change with civil unrest in the hill district, war protests on campuses and through all of that, the women’s rights movement was charging forward.

Scott Beale / Flickr

One of the best known music events in the country is the South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival. We'll take a look at the growing relationship between music and innovation at the festival, and how Pittsburgh innovation fits in. This year marked the first time Pittsburgh has had an official presence at SXSW. The Pittsburgh Innovation Party was hosted by Heinz College at CMU and the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Ari Lightman, Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the CIO institute at Heinz College and Brad Stephenson, senior web media and marketing manager at Heinz College have just returned from SXSW and talk about Pittsburgh's interactive presence.

And Pittsburgh-based electronic music Producer and DJ, Buku talks about his future plans, including a performance at SXSW, and the challenges of getting noticed in the music business. Sample his music at Soundcloud.

Christopher Kennedy Lawford

New York Times Best selling Author, Activist, and Actor Christopher Kennedy Lawford  chronicled his battle with near-fatal drug and alcohol addiction in the memoir Symptoms of Withdrawal. We'll talk with him about his latest book RECOVER TO LIVE: Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction and his journey back to sobriety.

Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

It may not be Hogwarts, but Community College of Allegheny County president and Harry Potter fan Alex Johnson is passionate about his school. He shares his reading recommendations with 90.5 WESA Morning Edition Host Josh Raulerson.

What About Bob? Sports Talk with Bob Dvorchak

Mar 11, 2013

 

   The Penguins are at the halfway mark of their lockout abbreviated season, Pitt basketball is going into the last Big East tournament and will James Harrison remain a Steeler? Our sports guy Bob Dvorchak weighs in.

Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

It may not be Hogwarts, but CCAC president and Potter fan Alex Johnson is passionate about his school. 

He recommends:

Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach

Wikipedia

When one thinks of pure maple syrup, Vermont often comes to mind. However, Pennsylvania's maple season is also highly anticipated for those with a sweet tooth. Our local food contributor Rhonda Schuldt shares some maple syrup cooking tips and talks about the abundance of local festivals.

Celebrate Maple Season at a local festival:

March 16 & 17 - 10th Annual NW Pennsylvania Maple Association Taste & Tour Weekend in the Erie area 

March 16, 17, 20-24 - 66th Annual PA Maple Festival in Somerset, PA 

April 6 & 7 - The Beaver County Maple Syrup Festival at Brady's Run Park in Beaver, PA

The Pillow Project

It began nearly ten years ago as “an evolving experiment for improvisational free jazz movement, performance-happenings and new ideas in dance,” and The Pillow Project has never wandered far from its roots. 

Pearlann Porter heads the group that sees the word “jazz” as a verb. The group gathers the second Saturday of every month at “The Space Upstairs” in Pittsburgh's East End to perform.  Project members call the studio in a repurposed warehouse a “4,000 square foot canvas where audiences and artists interact.”

Cinedigm / Documrama Films

On Friday, March 8, in observance of International Women’s Day, the Thomas Merton Center will screen The Invisible War, a documentary about abuse of women in the American military.

The Academy Award-nominated film addresses sexual assault against women in the armed forces. According to the military’s official statistics, 20 percent of women have experienced sexual assault. An estimated 80 percent of those cases go unreported.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

With a grand goal of restoring the Allegheny County Courthouse but few details and even less funding, an effort to rehabilitate the 125 year old building was launched Wednesday by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.  The executive has named a committee chock full of current and former elected officials to spearhead the effort.

Cordelia / Flickr

One of the must see events of the season is the blooming of the cherry blossoms in our nation’s capital. However, if you plan to see them you’d better act fast. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme tells us what you need to know in order to see the blossoms at their peak.

Yoichi Robert / Wikipedia

In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African-American Supreme Court Justice of the United States. Before that Marshall was known for his successful arguments before the Supreme Court as an attorney, in particular for his victory in Brown v. Board of Education. The one-man play Thurgood, comes to the Pittsburgh Public Theater this month. It tells his life story: from humble beginnings in Baltimore, to landmark civil rights legislation, and his rise to the highest court in the land. We’re joined by Montae Russell, a Pittsburgh native, playing the role of Thurgood Marshall.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Don Block runs the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, and practices what he preaches. He talk's with 90.5 WESA Morning Edition Host Josh Raulerson about his personal reading selections.

What About Bob?

Mar 4, 2013

Our sports guy Bob Dvorchak discusses the Pitt Panthers newly released football schedule, the Penguins slump and the opening of the Pirates exhibition season.

Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

Don Block runs the Greater Pittsburgh Literary Council, and practices what he preaches...

Mkonikkara / Wikipedia

In 1973, five American fashion designers and five French designers came together for a Paris runway fundraiser. That fundraiser turned into a competition, and an industry changing event in fashion history. The documentary film, Versailles '73 looks at how that Paris show brought African Americans to the forefront of fashion.  Filmmaker Debra Riley Draper comes to the August Wilson Center this weekend for a screening of the award-winning documentary.

Everyone looks forward to packing a bag and getting away. However, vacations are not the time to let your guard down. In fact you may need to be even more vigilant. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme offers travel safety tips for your next vacation.

Paula Poundstone / Flickr

Paula Poundstone talks about her career as a stand up comedian, being a part of Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me…, life on the road, and her 16 cats.

Andy Warhol Museum

Warhol Museum director Eric Shiner’s reading interests are eclectic in a way that Andy would surely appreciate. Catch his discussion with 90.5 WESA Morning Edition host, Josh Raulerson.

ART/DESIGNPGH Updates Council

Feb 27, 2013
Tim Camerato / 90.5 WESA

Officials working with ARTPGH and DESIGNPGH presented City Council Tuesday with an update on their progress in creating guidelines to how city officials and artists can best plan urban art projects.

Maggie Connor, a Principal at Urban Design Associates and DESIGNPGH consultant, said to create their “urban design manual” they’ve made two management committees, had 13 public meetings, and put together a survey for the public. She said they’ve received a total of 2,500 comments.

Carnegie Museum Art / Twitter

A "Lozziwurm" play sculpture among the trees will be ready near the Carnegie Museum of Art's main entrance in Oakland.  The "Lozziwurm" is a colorful, twisting, tubular play structure designed by Swiss artist Yvan Pestalozzi in 1972. This is the first US installation of a "Lozziwurm" and it will be open to the public.

The "Lozziwurm" is one of several projects leading up to the 2013 Carnegie International, which opens October 5. It reflects the International’s explicit engagement with the city of Pittsburgh, the museum’s patrons, and conceptions of play.

Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

Pittsburgh Post Gazette sports writer emeritus a.k.a. our Sports Guy, Bob Dvorchak comments on the 2024 Olympics coming to Pittsburgh, the Steelers' locker room blow up and how about an NBA team for Pittsburgh?

If you’ve been looking to visit Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens but hesitate because of the $15 admission fee, you’re chance to visit free of charge is here.

Phipps is dropping its admission charge for February 25th and extending the Garden Railroad, Orchid, and Tropical Bonsai Show so people will be able to take in the flowers.

Margie Radebaugh, Director of Horticulture and Education at Phipps, said, in addition to the current shows, people are also able to enjoy their year round plants.

Pages