Arts & Culture http://wesa.fm en Presidential Treatment: How This Pittsburgh Band Met Obama http://wesa.fm/post/presidential-treatment-how-pittsburgh-band-met-obama <p>In a matter of minutes, a Pittsburgh rock ‘n’ roll band went from jamming in a driveway to meeting the leader of the free world.</p><p>The four members of Comfort Tech will remember those few moments for the rest of their lives.</p><p>“It was completely unexpected,” guitarist and vocalist Eric DiFiore said.</p><p>It started with a simple idea Wednesday afternoon to set up and play outside while the motorcade carrying President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made its way to the Community College of Allegheny County’s West Hills Center, where the two would be speaking.</p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:37:04 +0000 Julian Routh 27809 at http://wesa.fm A 17th Century Emoticon? CMU Professor Who Originated The 'Smiley' Responds http://wesa.fm/post/17th-century-emoticon-cmu-professor-who-originated-smiley-responds <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">An online debate broke out earlier this week over two otherwise unremarkable lines in a 1648 poem by the English poet Robert Herrick:</span></p><p><a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=c2wiAAAAMAAJ&amp;pg=PA210&amp;dq=herrick+%22to+fortune%22&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=mA1QU9mNLcKyyASIpYHgBA&amp;ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&amp;q=herrick%20%22to%20fortune%22&amp;f=false"><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Tumble me down, and I will sit / Upon my ruins, (smiling yet :)</em></a></p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:06:38 +0000 Josh Raulerson 27729 at http://wesa.fm A 17th Century Emoticon? CMU Professor Who Originated The 'Smiley' Responds Like Black Friday For Vinyl, Local Shops Gear Up For Record Store Day http://wesa.fm/post/black-friday-vinyl-local-shops-gear-record-store-day <p>What started eight years ago as a gathering of store owners and employees celebrating the culture of independent record stores has evolved to include major music industry events, limited edition album releases and people camped out in front of record stores.</p><p>Saturday is <a href="http://www.recordstoreday.com/">National Record Store Day</a>, and it’s <a href="http://www.popcitymedia.com/features/recordstoredayyeareight041614.aspx">one of the biggest days of the year for record stores</a> and collectors alike.</p><p>“I like that it was started to bring back the whole record store experience,” said James “Selecta” Scoglietti, part owner of <a href="http://720records.com/">720 Records</a> in Lawrenceville. “People used to go every weekend to their local record store, and it was a social event. It was like a barbershop, where guys and gals would come in and discuss the latest hot tracks of the week. So I love that it’s bringing that back to the mainstream.” Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:42:21 +0000 Heather McClain 27755 at http://wesa.fm Like Black Friday For Vinyl, Local Shops Gear Up For Record Store Day Spring Break With The New Girl http://wesa.fm/post/spring-break-new-girl <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">A little madness in the spring is wholesome …even for the King, wrote Emily Dickinson. What better way to quell the madness caused by Spring fever than with a getaway? Travel contributor Elaine </span>Labalme<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;"> joined us this week with suggestions for Spring Break excursions.</span></p><p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:57:29 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27730 at http://wesa.fm Spring Break With The New Girl PDP Hopes Springtime in Paris Has Nothing on Pittsburgh http://wesa.fm/post/pdp-hopes-springtime-paris-has-nothing-pittsburgh <p>There comes a time in Pittsburgh each year when storefronts look more vibrant, the Pirates open their ballpark and the city breathes a collective sigh of relief.</p><p>It’s spring, and the Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership wants Pittsburghers to celebrate by dusting off their cameras for a contest.</p><p>The PDP’s “Share Your Spring” contest, which opened Wednesday, encourages people to submit photos that capture their excitement for spring in downtown Pittsburgh.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:11:47 +0000 Julian Routh 27719 at http://wesa.fm Roger Humphries: Uplifting Pittsburgh Through the Generations http://wesa.fm/post/roger-humphries-uplifting-pittsburgh-through-generations <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Roger </span>Humphries<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is one of Pittsburgh’s most notable jazz musicians. He’s performed professionally since the age of 14 with artists such as Horace Silvers and Ray Charles. But his contributions to the Pittsburgh community go beyond music, he’s uplifted generations of young people.</span></p><p>Humphries is the focus of the award-winning documentary <a href="http://www.rhpassiton.com/">Roger Humphries: Pass it On</a> made by Billy Jackson.</p><p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:37:29 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27412 at http://wesa.fm Roger Humphries: Uplifting Pittsburgh Through the Generations The Beatles and Their Historic High Five Anniversary http://wesa.fm/post/beatles-and-their-historic-high-five-anniversary <p></p><p>The Beatles have sold more than 2.3 billion albums through the years, a remarkable sales record by any measure. But the group's most historic chart-making moment was the first week of April, 1964 when the band held the top five positions on the Billboard charts.</p><p>Penn State Laureate <a href="http://kennethwomack.com/">Kenneth Womack</a> is an English professor at Penn State as well as an expert on the Beatles.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">He explained how this record came about, “This great moment with these top five songs, in addition to drawing from these different periods in The Beatles' career, also are the culmination of what happened back in February when the&nbsp;Beatles came to America, had the wonderful series of appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. This first week of April is when it all came together and just&nbsp;exploded in this kind of frankly, commercial moment for the Beatles."</span></p><p></p><p><strong>The historic high-five refers to the top five positions on the Billboard charts all held by the Beatles in 1964:</strong></p><p>5. “Please Please Me”</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/he0B0VMxCsw?rel=0" width="420"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:36:13 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27413 at http://wesa.fm The Beatles and Their Historic High Five Anniversary Balancing Business and Fun with Pop-Up Canada http://wesa.fm/post/balancing-business-and-fun-pop-canada <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For one week, </span>Pittsburghers<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> can experience the culture of Canada in a temporary installment downtown called </span><a href="http://www.canadapgh.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Pop-Up Canada</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The concept, according to Canadian Consul General John </span>Prato<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, is to encourage a conversation between Pittsburgh and Canada about different urban issues including energy, innovation and civic life. </span></p><p>Prato<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says the week is designed so that Canadian representatives can meet and learn from local political, business and community leaders.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:39:19 +0000 Katherine Blackley 27344 at http://wesa.fm Balancing Business and Fun with Pop-Up Canada What Does It Take To Be A Canadian Mountie? http://wesa.fm/post/what-does-it-take-be-canadian-mountie <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">What would a visit from a Canadian delegation be without the presence of one of the country's most recognizable symbols - a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman? </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We spoke with Constable Eric </span>Hymander<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, a former banker, about what it takes to become a Mountie. &nbsp;</span></p><p>Every year there are anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 applicants that want to join the RCMP and only the top 1 percent of applicants are accepted.</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:32:44 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27348 at http://wesa.fm What Does It Take To Be A Canadian Mountie? After Checking out Pop Up Canada, Pop on Up to Niagara Falls http://wesa.fm/post/after-checking-out-pop-canada-pop-niagara-falls <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">With the celebration of Canada taking place this week in the Steel City, Niagara Falls offers something for visitors on both the American and Canadian sides.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Long regarded as a honeymoon destination, Niagara Falls is close enough for a long weekend getaway.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Travel contributor Elaine </span>Labalme<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> offered suggestions for a trip to the falls.</span></p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:28:20 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27355 at http://wesa.fm After Checking out Pop Up Canada, Pop on Up to Niagara Falls Conscious Uncoupling and Finding A Way to Divorce Without Courts http://wesa.fm/post/conscious-uncoupling-and-finding-way-divorce-without-courts <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If you follow celebrity news, one story which made news last week was&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/25/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/gwyneth-paltrow-chris-martin-split/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Gwyneth Paltrow’s divorce from Coldplay musician Chris Martin</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> The news was especially notable because of a term they used to describe the breakup - “</span><a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441304579479461454199396" style="line-height: 1.5;">conscious uncoupling</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.” The phrase raised eyebrows in the relationship counseling and divorce industries.</span></p><p>Paula Hopkins, a divorce attorney who specializes in <a href="http://www.collaborativelaw.com/art/4-2_divorce-without-courts.cfm">collaborative law </a>in the Pittsburgh area had never heard of conscious uncoupling until Paltrow’s announcement. But following the announcement, Hopkins found quite a bit of information about the term. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 19:57:20 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 27276 at http://wesa.fm Conscious Uncoupling and Finding A Way to Divorce Without Courts Foundations Offer To 'Save August Wilson Center' http://wesa.fm/post/foundations-offer-save-august-wilson-center <p>The <a href="http://wesa.fm/post/fate-august-wilson-center-open-question">debt-ridden August Wilson Center</a> might have a buyer.</p><p>A group of local foundations, including the Pittsburgh Foundation, submitted a bid last week to acquire the downtown Pittsburgh African American cultural center which is delinquent on its $7 million mortgage.</p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:52:01 +0000 Kevin Gavin 27197 at http://wesa.fm Forum Aims to Re-Energize Darfur Movement http://wesa.fm/post/forum-aims-re-energize-darfur-movement <p>When South Sudan separated from the North to form an independent country in 2011, the fight didn’t end.</p><p>In fact, it may be stronger than ever.</p><p>In an effort to promote advocacy, the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition (PDEC) is hosting a forum on South Sudan and Sudan on Sunday.</p><p>The event will bring together members of the Sudanese diaspora in Pittsburgh and speakers, including Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Forest Hills) and Jacqueline Burns of the U.S. State Department, to discuss developments in Sudan and how to reenergize the Save Darfur movement.</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 19:20:13 +0000 Julian Routh 27026 at http://wesa.fm Heroes Behind the Badge: Documentary Sheds Light on the Life of a Pittsburgh Police Officer http://wesa.fm/post/heroes-behind-badge-documentary-sheds-light-life-pittsburgh-police-officer <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Saturday night </span>Drusky<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Entertainment is presenting the Pittsburgh premiere of </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://heroesbehindthebadge.com">Heroes Behind the Badge</a></em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, a documentary that tells the stories of two officers who paid the ultimate price, as well as the stories of three severely injured officers.</span></p><p>One of those officers is patrolman James Kuzak, who was shot five times after responding to a home invasion call in the city of Clairton.</p><p>Brian Drusky of <a href="http://www.druskyentertainment.com/">Drusky Entertainment </a>has timed the showing such that it arrives three years after Officer Kuzak’s incident and five after the death of three Pittsburgh police officers.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 18:15:47 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 26966 at http://wesa.fm Heroes Behind the Badge: Documentary Sheds Light on the Life of a Pittsburgh Police Officer Blumenthal: The Story of Harold Blumenthal http://wesa.fm/post/blumenthal-story-harold-blumenthal <p>The film <a href="http://www.blumenthalmovie.com/">Blumenthal</a> is a comedy that follows the relatives of Harold Blumenthal, a legendary playwright who made his career parodying his family in his work, and died laughing at his own joke.</p><p>The film was developed and produced by Carnegie Mellon University graduate <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1778235/">Alexander Cendese</a> who also co-stars in the movie. It was written and directed by fellow Carnegie Mellon University graduate <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2424899/">Seth Fisher</a>. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 21:10:30 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 26895 at http://wesa.fm Blumenthal: The Story of Harold Blumenthal Brave Miss World Confronts Rape Culture and Encourages Victims to Speak Up http://wesa.fm/post/brave-miss-world-confronts-rape-culture-and-encourages-victims-speak <p></p><p>Weeks before Linor Abargil was crowned Miss World 1998, she was brutally raped while modeling in Italy.</p><p>Years later, in the <a href="http://www.bravemissworld.com/">documentary Brave Miss World</a>, director Cecilia Peck followed Abargil as she confronted her rapist and encouraged other women to speak out about their own stories of rape.</p><p>The film highlights Abargil’s journey from her Miss World crowning to her global advocacy efforts against rape.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:59:03 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 26848 at http://wesa.fm Brave Miss World Confronts Rape Culture and Encourages Victims to Speak Up 4 Spring Festivals Worth Traveling To http://wesa.fm/post/4-spring-festivals-worth-traveling <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s officially spring, even if the weather may want to tell us otherwise. We’re going to remain optimistic and look forward to sunny and warm days spent outdoors. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week travel contributor&nbsp;Elaine Labalme&nbsp;suggested spring festivals you might enjoy.</span> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 19:25:08 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 26588 at http://wesa.fm 4 Spring Festivals Worth Traveling To At Conflict Kitchen, Food's Not The Only Thing On The Menu http://wesa.fm/post/conflict-kitchen-foods-not-only-thing-menu <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">NPR once referred to the Conflict Kitchen in </span>Schenley<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Plaza as “an experimental public art project, and the medium is the sandwich wrap.”</span></p><p>It’s take-out food where you take away more than just something to eat. Conflict Kitchen only serves food from countries with which the U.S. is in conflict.</p><p>Co-directors Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski schedule events, performances and discussions that seek to expand public engagement with culture, politics and issues at stake within the focus country.</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Bob Studebaker 26448 at http://wesa.fm At Conflict Kitchen, Food's Not The Only Thing On The Menu Race Tackled in New Exhibit at Carnegie Museum of Natural History http://wesa.fm/post/race-tackled-new-exhibit-carnegie-museum-natural-history <p>A new exhibit opening at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History takes on the vast subject of race. The “Race: Are We So Different” exhibit examines the subject from several different angles.</p><p>“From the scientific angle: What is the science? What is the science involved in race? What is race? Is race real? The history of the idea of race and finally the contemporary lived experience of race.” said Cecile Shellman with the Carnegie Museum. “How is race played out, particularly in the United States of America?”</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Deanna Garcia 26531 at http://wesa.fm Race Tackled in New Exhibit at Carnegie Museum of Natural History Pittsburgh Symphony Postpones Plan To Visit Iran http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-symphony-postpones-plan-visit-iran <p>The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra says it has postponed plans to perform in Iran this August, but still hopes to reschedule for next season.</p><p>The Pittsburgh Symphony was the last American orchestra to perform in Iran, in 1964. Officials had hoped to return for a 50th anniversary tour. James Wilkinson, president of the symphony, says in a statement that they need to devote more time to planning.</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 19:31:53 +0000 The Associated Press 26528 at http://wesa.fm How Pittsburgh Organizations Are Bringing Hollywood To The Steel City http://wesa.fm/post/how-pittsburgh-organizations-are-bringing-hollywood-steel-city <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">From film festivals, to movies and TV shows, Pittsburgh has become one of Hollywood's leading locations for motion picture and television production. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week contributor&nbsp;Rebecca Harris&nbsp;looked at the business of filmmaking in the Steel City.</span></p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 18:33:45 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 26445 at http://wesa.fm How Pittsburgh Organizations Are Bringing Hollywood To The Steel City The Arts Turn Political on National Arts Advocacy Day http://wesa.fm/post/arts-turn-political-national-arts-advocacy-day <p>Art is more than decoration; it is an industry that supports the economy and education system in the United States.</p><p>That is the message arts leaders from Pittsburgh and across the nation are delivering to Capitol Hill today for the 27<sup>th</sup> National Arts Advocacy Day.</p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:10:56 +0000 Jessica Nath 26436 at http://wesa.fm Art Exhibit to Open at Duquesne http://wesa.fm/post/art-exhibit-open-duquesne-0 <p>Duquesne University will open an art exhibit by Andrew Hairstans called <em>A Model for Asylum</em> Tuesday at the Les Idees Gallery on Duquesne’s campus.</p><p>Hairstans said the exhibit focuses on a housing project in Glasgow, Scotland. He said the project has to do with modernist British housing and how it is used by asylum seekers.</p><p>“I became interested in the area because originally they were at one point the tallest housing complexes in Europe and they were also used to house at one point they were used to house asylum seekers from all over the world really."</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 18:03:41 +0000 Jess Lasky 26405 at http://wesa.fm A History of America in 101 Objects and Pittsburgh's Contributions http://wesa.fm/post/history-america-101-objects-and-pittsburghs-contributions <p>The Smithsonian Institution has been referred to as "America's attic." It is home to many iconic objects that have shaped the history of our nation, from industry to culture. In his book, <a href="http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/events.aspx?EventID=384"><em>History of America in 101 Objects</em></a>, author and Smithsonian curator <a href="http://newsdesk.si.edu/about/bios/richard-kurin">Dr. Richard Kurin</a> chronicles and pinpoints these national treasures by focusing on key objects in the vast collection.&nbsp;</p><p>Here are some of Kurin’s favorite objects related to the Pittsburgh region: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:51:24 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 26241 at http://wesa.fm A History of America in 101 Objects and Pittsburgh's Contributions Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo: Where Artists have Full Control http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-indy-comics-expo-where-artists-have-full-control <p>PIX, <a href="http://pixcomics.blogspot.com/">the Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo</a>, takes place this weekend. The event is a way to nurture and encourage the city’s independent comic scene.</p><p><a href="http://jimrugg.com/">Jim Rugg</a>, a local indy cartoonist, and Bill Boichel, owner of <a href="http://www.copaceticcomics.com/">The Copacetic Comics Company</a> in Polish Hill, expect this weekend will be a bigger success than ever.</p><p>Boichel says Pix is different Comicon for one simple reason. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:42:03 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 26248 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo: Where Artists have Full Control