Arts, Sports & Culture

We seek to cover our region's vibrant art and culture scene, as well as our iconic teams and the fans that follow them.

Pittsburgh City Planning Department website

A map of Pittsburgh on the official city website is smattered with colorful, numbered dots, some of which cluster together in hot spots like Oakland and the North Side. Click the dots, and they reveal photos of public art--statues, plaques and pillars-- all with rich back stories, deep community ties. 

John Bazemore / AP

NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests sparked by Colin Kaepernick and polarized by President Trump, permitting players to stay in the locker room during the "The Star-Spangled Banner" but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

This fall will be a good time to be an arts patron in Pittsburgh. 

Kristi Jan Hoover

Nomad Motel is a new play that might challenge your concept of homelessness, and especially of homeless kids.

Courtesy of City of Play

For runners, exploring the city is usually the byproduct of a footrace, not its purpose.

Then there's City Spree.

Googlemaps

A director's decision to include a fictional gay couple in a local production of the play "Big Fish" -- roles that were not specifically LGBTQ in the script -- has led to the show's cancellation.

It was announced in a Facebook statement from the theater. 

Photo by Handerson Gomes / Courtesy of Bricolage Productions

For years, arts organizations have offered “sensory-friendly” versions of their concerts, plays and recitals, primarily to benefit audiences on the autism spectrum. These productions are generally the same event, but with sound and lighting modified to avoid aggravating audiences unusually sensitive to such stimuli.

Buzzy Prentiss

"Concentration camps for prostitutes."

That was the phrase Scott Stern heard a history professor utter in 2011, when Stern was a freshman at Yale University. The professor was lecturing about how difficult it was to treat sexually transmitted infections in the era of World War I, and the lengths to which the government went to prevent their spread.

Courtesy of Bill Shannon

Maybe you know how Bill Shannon feels: addicted to your newsfeed, feeling constantly pressured to keep up, all day long.

“You wake up in the morning and you check your Twitter feed and then you look at your Facebook and your Instagram, and you're literally like feeling crushed, you know,” he said.

No Major Changes For Penguins After 3-Peat Bid Falls Short

May 10, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Pittsburgh Penguins don't expect the sting from their second-round playoff exit to fade anytime soon.

They also don't expect it to compel general manager Jim Rutherford to give the roster a thorough makeover after the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions' bid for a three-peat ended at the hands of Washington.

If anything, the setback has given Sidney Crosby and company a chance to put their remarkable run atop the league in perspective.

Folk tales and fairy tales are conventionally viewed as repositories of traditional culture. But they can also be dark, anarchic, and downright weird, full of violence, shape-shifting and magic.

Allison Turrell / Flickr

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh said it will close its Downtown location next month after filing for bankruptcy this week.

Carmen Gentile

Carmen Gentile backed into conflict journalism. The New Kensington native and graduate of Shadyside Academy left Temple University with dreams of writing his way around the world. A job at an English-language newspaper in Cairo, Egypt, led to a stint covering the 2004 military coup in Haiti; the year after that, Gentile was reporting on the war in Afghanistan.

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

Disparities persist in the number of arts grants, total amounts of funds and average amount of grant dollars received by organizations of color, compared to white, non-Hispanic groups.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

On a bright, breezy day in downtown Pittsburgh, the sound of church bells echoed up and down several blocks following a ceremony at Trinity Cathedral Episcopal to celebrate the rededication of their 10 church bells.

Courtesy of Jerry Agin

Six decades separate the Pittsburgh Marathon's oldest competitor from one of its youngest. 

Andy Schultz / flickr

The Pittsburgh Marathon is celebrating the tenth anniversary since its 2009 reboot. Events begin Friday with a health and fitness expo until 8 p.m. 

Jae Ruberto

If you’ve ever visited the Pittonkatonk May Day Brass BBQ Potluck Picnic, the fifth annual incarnation will be broadly familiar: Bands playing outdoors for free in Schenley Park, with plenty of food and a family-friendly atmosphere. It remains volunteer-run (though musicians are paid), and free of corporate advertising and of anything for sale – all rarities for a long-running music festival.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The play and words are heating up between the Penguins and the Washington Capitals in their Stanley Cup playoff series after the Caps' Tom Wilson broke the jaw of Penguin Zach Aston-Reese with a hit to the head in Tuesday's 4-3 Washington victory. Penguin players were furious because moments after the hit, Wilson could be seen laughing on the bench while Aston-Reese was sprawled on the ice. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

An $800,000 conservation project is underway to keep one of Pittsburgh's oldest and most recognizable East End homes from sinking.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The Mattress Factory Museum was never meant to be a museum, says Barbara Luderowski. She should know; the artist and designer launched the venture herself in 1977, in a literal former mattress factory on Pittsburgh’s North Side. It began as a multi-story community center that hosted a dance studio, art exhibits, theater performances, film screenings and more, including a vegetarian co-op café where you could get dinner for $2.

Home Is Where The ‘L’ Is? Home Teams Struggling In Playoffs

May 1, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Having home ice is supposed to be an advantage in the NHL. So far in the 2018 playoffs, the only guarantee to playing at home is a monochrome backdrop provided by fans in team-specific T-shirts.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Mason Rudolph and James Washington spent four years lighting up defenses across the Big 12, setting records and winning game after game for Oklahoma State.

Now, the big-armed quarterback and rugged wide receiver are headed to Pittsburgh. Where they will listen. They will learn. And they will wait. For now anyway. When the guys in front of you on the depth chart include Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, there's no other choice.

That's fine for both Washington — taken in the second round — and Rudolph — selected with the first of Pittsburgh's two third-round picks.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

August Wilson's plays have sold out theaters across the world, earned Pulitzer Prizes and Tony Awards, and most recently transitioned to the silver screen with the Oscar-nominated "Fences."

Allegra Battle / 90.5 WESA

Writer Vivian Lee Croft wanted to help teen girls navigate the challenges of peer pressure, school work and stress at home, so she started the creative writing collective Girls Write Pittsburgh.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The burden of history got about 800 pounds lighter on Thursday as the City of Pittsburgh removed a statue critics had called racist for decades.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Downtown Pittsburgh today is known, in part, for the entertainment it hosts. It's a place one can see Broadway shows, art galleries and music festivals, sometimes all in the same night. But in the not-so-distant past, a section of the city was home to a different type of entertainment.

Screenshot / Contextual Camouflage

Even as Jason McKoy struggled with mental illness, he understood that the disease was invisible, and that he shouldn’t talk about it. He called this phenomenon “contextual camouflage.”

“I felt like I was camouflaging my true feelings,” he said. “That’s what a lot of people with mental-health disorders have to do. … We have to walk around camouflaging.”

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Pittsburgh Penguins  have advanced to the second round of the NHL playoffs in their bid to win a third straight Stanley Cup. 

Thursday, the Pens visit Washington, a team the Pens have defeated in nine of 10 playoff series through the years.

Do the Penguins have the Capitals' number or are the Caps due to beat the Pens?


One Man’ Passion For Pinball Turns Into A Business, Place For Local Enthusiasts

Apr 25, 2018
Ted S. Warren / AP

Eric Thomas has an addiction.

There's no rhyme or reason to it, he said, but he's chasing the euphoria. It can hit all of a sudden, and just about anyone can get hooked.

"That's pinball," he said. "It only takes one ball."

During the last six months, Thomas' addiction has turned into a passion — and now, a business, Retro Arcade, which is located inside Vaporosity at 138 W. State St. in downtown Sharon.

Pages