90.5 WESA's Essential Pittsburgh

Essential Pittsburgh airs weekdays from noon to 1 p.m. and is repeated at 8 p.m.
Paul Guggenheimer

Essential Pittsburgh is a locally produced program from 90.5 WESA dedicated to developing a deep, ongoing exploration of critical issues affecting Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, as well as featuring community leaders and newsmakers in the arts, sciences, technology, business, healthcare, government and education.

  • Call (412) 246-2002 from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays to participate in the discussion.
  • Dial (412) 256-8783 to leave a question or comment before or after the show.
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  • What stories are we missing? Send your thoughts to esspgh@wesa.fm 
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Essential Pittsburgh
2:28 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Is Medical Marijuana Coming to PA?

Credit Dank Depot / Flickr

Efforts to pass a medical marijuana bill in Pennsylvania have received a boost with the election of a new governor.

But how can marijuana advocates sway skeptical House members who sat on the legislation last year?

Patrick Nightingale of the Pittsburgh office of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws talks about his work as part of a years-long public education program on marijuana decriminalization.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:16 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

On the Job: Procrastination as a Positive Habit

The Now-Habit Schedule allows for daily tasks to be planned out in time increments.
Credit Kristy Arnold / Flickr

"Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today" is an apt quote, warning against procrastination. However, in this month’s On the Job segment, independent career consultant Sasha King addresses why procrastination might not be such a bad thing.

King says procrastination has increased since 1978 due to information overload with the examples of technological advancements and distractions. But she also tells us how procrastination can be positive in today's society.

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:42 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

The New Girl's Favorite Places to Visit in Phoenix, Arizona

A view of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona as taken from the Wrigley Mansion.
Credit Ted Eytan / Flickr

 

This year’s Super Bowl will be played in Phoenix. If you can’t make it to the big game travel contributor Elaine Labalme still recommends a visit to the Valley of the Sun.

She tells us her food and travel recommendations for Arizona’s capital city:

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:52 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Thursday Rundown: A Public Education Campaign for Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana from a California dispensary.
Credit David Trawin / Flickr

These topics air Thursday January 29, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Medical Marijuana in PA

Efforts to pass a medical marijuana bill in Pennsylvania have received a boost with the election of a new governor. But how can marijuana advocates sway skeptical House members who sat on the legislation last year? We'll talk with Patrick Nightingale of the Pittsburgh office of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws who says he's been engaged in a years long public education program.

On the Job - Procrastination

"Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today" is an apt quote, warning against procrastination. However, in this month’s On the Job segment, independent career consultant Sasha King addresses why procrastination might not be such a bad thing.

Travel Segment - Phoenix

This year’s Super Bowl will be played in Phoenix. If you can’t make it to the big game travel contributor Elaine Labalme still recommends a visit to the Valley of the Sun. She’ll fill us in on her food and travel recommendations for Arizona’s capital city. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:45 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

"The Power of One Voice" Uses the Voices of Friends and Family to Tell the Story of Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson, environmentalist and author of "Silent Spring."
Credit National Digital Library of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Wikipedia

In 2012 a symposium was held in Pittsburgh, at Chatham University and the National Aviary, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s ground breaking book "Silent Spring."

Out of that symposium came the idea to develop a documentary about the late environmentalist-author’s life and humanitarian efforts, in a film called "The Power of One Voice." 

Producer/director Mark Dixon and Patricia DeMarco, former executive director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University teamed up with the Steeltown Entertainment Project, Carson's biographer Linda Lear and Carson's adopted son Roger Christie. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:51 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Heroin Addiction: The Complex Epidemic Touches All Communities

The opiate overdose reversal drug Naloxone, also known as Narcan has saved many lives since it became more readily available for emergency use.
Credit Punchy Judy / Flickr

In 2014, heroin addiction and overdose deaths became an epidemic across the country, across the state of Pennsylvania and especially in Allegheny County.

Dr. Neil Capretto, Medical Director of Gateway Rehabilitation Center says the high rate of overdoses in southwest PA can be tied to use of prescription medicines, along with a blue collar and aging demographic.

"There was a need for pain medicines and doctor's started prescribing it and pharmaceutical companies started marketing to doctors heavily. And they were giving the message, 'This is safe, not addicting. Less than one percent of people who ever use Oxicodon ever have a problem.' That was the message from the companies. So there was a lot of prescription medicines, very heavy in our community. Then thousands of people in every town from Kittanning, to Downtown Pittsburgh, to Clarion, to Washington PA got hooked onto prescription medicines, and that led to the heroine problem."

Capretto explains that as an addiction to legal prescription opiates develops, heroin emerges as a cheaper alternative, once refills run out. But addiction is not simply about the relief of physical pain.

Capretto says he considers addiction to be a biological, psychological, social, and even spiritual disease. 

"Opioids are very good at stopping and blocking pain; physical pain, emotional pain, psychic pain... I've talked with thousands of people with addiction over the years and I never met one who started using any drug because they wanted to intentionally add more problems to their life on purpose. They're trying to solve some problem, block some pain." 

A Coordinated Effort to Cover the Complexities of Heroin Addiction

As news of the increasing number of heroin overdoses has made headlines throughout Pennsylvania, newsrooms are making a coordinated effort to cover the most important angles of this public health crisis.

Sharon Walsh, editor of the investigative journalism organization PublicSource, has been compiling the work of PA media outlets that have been reporting on the heroin problem.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:27 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Wednesday Rundown: Statewide Coverage of the Heroin Epidemic

Use of the opiate overdose reversal drug Naloxone, also known as Narcan has saved many lives since it became more readily available for emergency use.
Credit M / Flickr

These topics air Wednesday January 28, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Riding the Rush: Reporting on a Heroin Crisis in Pennsylvania 

The statement, “2014 was the year heroin became an epidemic” is prominent in a journalism project curated by our content partner, PublicSource. As news of an increasing number of heroin overdoses have made headlines across the state, newsrooms are making a coordinated effort to cover important angles of this public health crisis. Sharon Walsh is the editor of PublicSource, she joins us along with Dr. Neil Capretto, Medical Director of Gateway Rehabilitation Center, to talk about the compilation of media coverage and how PA communities are addressing the heroin problem.

WESA Celebrates Inventing Pittsburgh

Foxhunting came west over the Alleghenies with the region's earliest European settlers and took root in the Pittsburgh area. It built community and preserved land. Margaret J. Krauss reports that this piece of history is alive and well--sort of--at the Sewickley Hunt Club.

The Power of One Voice

In 2012 a symposium was held in Pittsburgh, at Chatham University and the National Aviary, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring. The documentary "the Power of One Voice" chronicles the environmentalist author’s life and humanitarian efforts. We’ll speak with producer/director Mark Dixon and Patricia DeMarco, former director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University--and a Rachel Carson expert.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:32 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Repurposing: It's Good for Business

A Record Bowl made by Shannon Ward, records sourced from Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.
Credit Rebecca Harris / CWE Chatham

Repurposing refers to finding new uses for items. Some enterprising entrepreneurs have even turned this into a profitable moneymaking venture.

This week business contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of repurposing.

Harris emphasizes that repurposing doesn’t just change the use of old goods; it also changes their value.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:25 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Minority Report: Racial Disparities Persist in the ‘Burgh

A view of the Hill District framed by Downtown buildings
Credit Jon Dawson / Flickr

A recent report by the University of Pittsburgh suggests that Pittsburgh, often touted as one of America’s most livable cities, might not be so livable for African Americans.

The report highlights the racial disparities affecting the quality of life for Pittsburgh’s black residents.

Larry Davis, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work and director of its Center on Race and Social Problems, discusses the report’s findings and their implications for those invested in racial equity in Pittsburgh.

Compared to white Pittsburghers, black and hispanic people have larger employment problems, are more likely to live in poverty and experience higher rates of death resulting from chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease.

Davis says the study shows how little has changed since 2007, when the initial study upon which this latest report is based, was undertaken. The story that’s told by the report, Davis explains, is that Pittsburgh suffers from many of the same racial disparities as other American cities.

In trying to assess why not much has changed in eight years, Davis suggests that when it comes to employment and so on, people typically have vested interests in the status quo, and sticking to “business as usual” serves to frustrate change.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:30 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Tuesday Rundown: Persisting Racial Disparities and Quality of Life in Pittsburgh

Credit Andy / Wikipedia Commons

These topics air Tuesday January 27, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Minority Report

Once touted as one of America’s most livable cities, a recent report by the University of Pittsburgh suggests otherwise when it comes to African Americans. The report highlights the racial disparities affecting the quality of life for Pittsburgh’s black community. We’ll address the report’s findings with Larry Davis, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work and director of its Center on Race and Social Problems.

Business Segment - Repurposing

Repurposing refers to finding new uses for items. Some enterprising entrepreneurs have even turned this into a profitable moneymaking venture. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of repurposing. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:52 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

A Local Imam Confronts Misinterpretations of Islam

Sun shines through the windows at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh in Oakland.
Credit Islamic Center of Pittsburgh

 

Pittsburgh area Muslims are challenging the message of extremists involved in the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris. We spoke with Sheikh Atef Mahgoub, from the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh in Oakland.

He says the killers were not defending the honor of Islam, and that they have done nothing but destroy the reputation of the Muslim religion. Mahgoub says he thinks it is fair to criticize any idea, including religion, but to do it in a civilized manner. 

He explains how exhausting it is to try to convince people that these violent actions are not the religion and wants to have Muslims educate the world in what the religion stands for.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:24 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

Monday Rundown: Local Muslims Challenge the Message of Extremists

Friday morning at Oakland's Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.
Credit Islamic Center of Pittsburgh

These topics air Monday January 26, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Pittsburgh Muslims Speak Out

Pittsburgh area Muslims are challenging the message of the extremists involved in the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris. We'll talk with Sheikh Atef Mahgoub, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh in Oakland. He says the killers in France were not defending the honor of Islam. He joins us in Studio A.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:13 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Great Scott! Remembering Robert Burns in Pittsburgh

Credit SummondByFellas / Flickr

When you hear someone exclaim, “Great Scott,” chances are they could be referring to Scotland’s favorite son, poet Robert Burns.

This weekend marks the 256th anniversary of his birth. We’ll preview dinners set to take place in his honor and discover why his legacy endures with Paul Thompson, president of the St. Andrews Society of Pittsburgh and Tim Wolfson, co-owner of Music Night on Jupiter, a grassroots local music event promotion company.

Paul and Tim tell us about Robert Burns and his importance to not only Scotland, but the world.

Take a look at the poems of Robert Burns below, more can be found at Robertburns.org

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:59 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Film Censorship in Pittsburgh: A History

Mae Marsh in a publicity still for the 1915 silent film "The Birth of a Nation."
Credit Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research / Wikipedia

Last month the motion picture "The Interview," garnered headlines due to terroristic threats. This led Sony pictures to withhold the movie's release. The saga of "The Interview" is the latest story in the history of film censorship. A legacy with ties to Pittsburgh as pop culture contributor Joe Wos explains.

"The Interview" might be a recent example of self-censorship, but the film industry has a long history of both bowing to government pressures and constructing its own rules and standards. According to Wos, this can be traced back to the premiere of the controversial film "The Birth of a Nation" in 1915. Wos says Pennsylvania was on the forefront of the film censorship movement.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:14 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Friday Rundown: The "Great Scott" and Poet, Robert Burns

Robert Burns statue in Kilmarnock, Scotland
Credit SummondByFellas / Flickr

These topics air Friday January 23, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Great Scott! 

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:02 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

The New Girl's Fab Five List for Museum Hopping

The Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Credit Mrs. Gemstone / Flickr

While the overcast days of winter may tempt you to stay inside and binge watch your favorite programs, it’s a good time to get out and see some great museum exhibits. From major metropolitan areas to smaller cities there are some interesting museums to be found.

This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests museums with great exhibits to enjoy on a winter’s day.

When considering a museum visit, Labalme explains, it’s worth considering its size: smaller museums might have a tendency to be less busy than bigger ones, she says.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:44 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Plans for the Civic Arena Site Taking Shape

Credit Mr.T77 / Flickr

Negotiations between the city, the Penguins and the Hill District Community Development Corporation have resulted in plans to move forward with the development of the former Civic Arena Site. We’ll discover what could be next for the site with Hill District CDC President and CEO Marimba Milliones.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:33 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Staying Fit While You Sit, New Reasons Not to Slouch at Your Desk

Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/1264424156/ / Flickr

 

Headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome and joint pain are some work related injuries sending people to the chiropractor. What can be done to create a healthier work environment and reduce sick days?

Chiropractor Dr. Justin Foltz of Pittsburgh Physical Medicine tells us about the newly developed Fit While You Sit program.

Foltz explains that many people are missing work due to a variety of different pains which is affecting their mind set while they work. As humans, we are not meant to sit for long periods of time and need to minimize this down time to prevent stress on the body which, can lead to pain.

Sitting properly and standing more frequently during the workday will make a huge difference on the stress of your body, says Foltz. Some businesses are incorporate standing workstations to minimize the amount of time the body is in one certain position. If you give your muscles a break, they will reward you.

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Essential Pittsburgh
12:02 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Thursday Rundown: Next Steps for the Site of the Civic Arena and the Hill District

Credit Jarrett Stewart / Flickr

These topics air Thursday January 22, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

The Future of the Civic Arena Site

Negotiations between the city, the Penguins and the Hill District Community Development Corporation have resulted in plans to move forward with the development of the former Civic Arena Site. We’ll discover what could be next for the site with Hill District CDC President and CEO Marimba Milliones. 

Fit While You Sit

Headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome and joint pain are some work related injuries sending people to the chiropractor. What can be done to create a healthier work environment and reduce sick days? We’ll pose that question to Dr. Justin Foltz who will explain how we can be fit while we sit.

Travel Segment - Museums

From major metropolitan areas to smaller cities there are some interesting museums to be found. This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests museums with great exhibits to enjoy on a winter’s day. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Ph.D. Graduates Face a Difficult Job Market

Credit Jens Schott Knudsen / Flickr

The Steel City is justifiably proud of its many universities, but with more education can come more problems.

People graduating with Ph.D.s and other advanced degrees face an employment crisis in today’s university and the larger economy.

Joining us to talk about their efforts in expanding the options for Pittsburghers with advanced degrees are Alexandra Oliver and anupama jain. They're local representatives for Versatile PhD, a business that fosters networking and professional development for people with graduate degrees who may want to explore non-academic work.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:08 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Inventing Pittsburgh Series Connects the Dots in Pittsburgh's History

Mayor William McNair, who finished Kline's term, poses with the city's marble champions on the infamous rug.
Credit Detre Library and Archives Heinz History Center

"90.5 WESA Celebrates Inventing Pittsburgh" is a new historically focused series which airs during "Morning Edition" and on "Essential Pittsburgh." Over the next year, producer Margaret J. Krauss will capture stories from Pittsburgh’s more than 250-year history, connecting the steel city's past to its present.

Krauss previews the new project for us, first by explaining how an expensive rug led to the political downfall of Charles H. Kline, the last elected Republican mayor of Pittsburgh.

By illegally purchasing an item for the city that was over $500 during the Great Depression, he and his rug became a symbol of corrupt city government. 

Krauss says it is small stories like this that illuminate Pittsburgh's roots, and the series is meant to connect the dots:

If you look hard enough, there is a Pittsburgh connection everywhere, but more importantly, Pittsburgh leads everywhere in the sense that it is connected to all these world trends. You can find our [Pittsburgh] DNA across the United States.”

Essential Pittsburgh
8:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Wednesday Rundown: Making That Advanced Degree Useful Outside Academia

Credit Wrote / Flickr

These topics air Wednesday January 21, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Versatile Ph.D.

The Steel City is justifiably proud of its many universities, but with more education can come more problems. People graduating with Ph.D.s and other advanced degrees face an employment crisis in today’s university and the larger economy. Joining us to talk about their efforts in expanding the options for Pittsburghers with advanced degrees are Alexandra Oliver and anupama jain. They are local representatives for Versatile PhD, a business that fosters networking and professional development for people with graduate degrees who may want to explore non-academic work.

WESA Celebrates - Charles Kline

Textiles aren’t generally known for their career-ending power, but an expensive rug led to the downfall of the last elected Republican mayor of Pittsburgh and ushered in a new era of city government. Margaret J. Krauss has the story.

Inventing Pittsburgh

"90.5 WESA Celebrates Inventing Pittsburgh" is a new historically focused series which airs during "Morning Edition" and on "Essential Pittsburgh." Over the next year, producer Margaret J. Krauss will capture stories from Pittsburgh’s more than 250-year history, exploring how the city and region came to be what it is today. She joins us for a preview and an explainer of the project. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:20 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Why the Low Gas Prices?

Credit Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Flickr

The word “staycation” seemed to enter the lexicon when gas prices were continually on the rise a few years back. Now, to the delight of consumers, gas prices are on the decline, and genuine vacations may be back in vogue.

Joining us for a look at how this is impacting the nation is Robert Morris University Economics Professor Brian O’Roark.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:55 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

The Business of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District

Credit lady_lbrty / Flickr

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has helped to transform a downtrodden section of Downtown into a world-class Cultural District. This revitalization through the arts has served as a national model for other cities.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, explains the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Cultural District.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:49 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

What’s the Right Rhetoric for the State of the Union?

President Obama during the 2010 SOTU
Credit Blatant World / Flickr

Tonight at 9 p.m., President Barack Obama will deliver the State of the Union address to Congress, the Senate and the rest of the country. But his office has already put forth many plans for the year.

Before the president gives his address, we'll get some perspective on what he'll propose, from University of Pittsburgh presidential rhetoric and political communication professor Jerry Shuster.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:47 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Tuesday Rundown: The State of the Union and an Eye on Gas Prices

President Obama addressing Congress, the Senate and members of the Supreme Court at the 2014 State of the Union address
Credit Chuck Kennedy / Official White House Photo Gallery

These topics air Tuesday January 20, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

The State of the Union

Tonight at 9pm, President Barack Obama will deliver the State of the Union address to Congress, the Senate and the rest of the country. But his office has already put forth many plans for the year. Before the president gives his address, we'll get some perspective on what he'll propose, from University of Pittsburgh presidential rhetoric and political communication professor Jerry Shuster.

Gas Prices

The word “staycation” seemed to enter the lexicon when gas prices were continually on the rise a few years back. Now, to the delight of consumers, gas prices are on the decline. Joining us for a look at how this is impacting the nation is Robert Morris University Economics Professor Brian O’Roark.

Business of the Arts

Whether it’s the theater, symphony or museums, the arts contribute a great deal to the city. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of the arts in Pittsburgh. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:17 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Programming for Noon & 8pm

Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

This program airs Monday January 19, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA.

Two leading scholars comment on three key speeches of the American civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

Dr. Clayborne Carson has been directing the King Papers Project since 1985, after being specially requested by Coretta Scott King. He also established the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University in 2005.

Dr. Vincent Harding is Professor of Religion and Social Transformation at Illif School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. He was also a friend and speech writing partner of King. 

Find out what they have to say about the following speeches written and delivered by King; "Selma to Montgomery," "Beyond Vietnam" and "I've Been to the Mountaintop."

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:40 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Making Pittsburgh More Accessible in the Arts

Improving accessibility in Pittsburgh's cultural arts.
Credit DJK1 / Flickr

  For the second year in a row the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts called the Art Works grant. The support provided by the NEA is helping to fund an increasing accessibility initiative for Pittsburgh arts.

This initiative is designed to serve specific portions of the city‘s population. Anne Mulgrave, manager of grants and accessibility for the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council describes the initiative, its goals and who it benefits.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:00 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Evolving Standards for Wheel Chairs and Accessibility Worldwide

Credit Mark Grapengater / flickr

There are 70 million wheel chair users worldwide. Our guests Dr. Rory Cooper and Dr. Jon Pearlman are helping to create new standards for as many of them as possible.

The doctors are co-directors of Pitt’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and this month they’re launching the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals and they discuss how their work will impact wheel chair users around the world.

“The whole goal of this society is to provide opportunities to everyone around the world who needs access to a wheelchair,” says Dr. Cooper, who uses a wheel chair for mobility.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:08 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh Resolves to End White Silence

Police Chief Cameron McLay holding the #EndWhiteSilence message in Downtown Pittsburgh on First Night.
Credit WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh

Throughout the last 6 months of demonstrations and protests of police violence, activists all over the world have adopted the phrase, “Black Lives Matter.” In addition to that message, you may have seen the phrases, “I resolve to challenge racism” and “End White Silence.” 

In many cases, the people holding up signs with those phrases have been white.

Recognizing that discussions of race and racism can be different when people of color are not present, WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh is a local group focused on promoting anti-racist action, and knowledge.

Members such as etta cetera and Rose Lynd who identify as white, look at ways to challenge racism in their communities, among family and friends, even within themselves. They discuss the ongoing work of WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh and the many ways they confront racial injustice.

Recently, Police Chief Cameron McLay came under fire for appearing in a photograph with the hashtag "End White Silence," a social media campaign initiated by WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh. Critics of McLay's photo say he was inferring that the police were racist. etta and Rose, however, say their message is more about helping white people to become active when considering racial issues.

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