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 Symphony Orchestra

Renowned composer Kathryn Bostic first worked with Pittsburgh-born playwright August Wilson in 2003, scoring the Broadway production of “Gem of the Ocean.”

“Being a part of that process and being in rehearsals and hearing his words, the cadence in his words and his writing is to me are very musical and symphonic,” said Bostic, who lives and works in Los Angeles. “That’s when I began to first get this idea to try to create a symphonic piece.”

Pirates Make ‘Emotionally Challenging’ Call To Trade McCutchen

4 hours ago
Nick Wass / AP

Andrew McCutchen didn't run from the challenge in Pittsburgh, he embraced it. A rising star on a franchise mired in two decades of losing, McCutchen bet on the Pirates in the spring of 2012 by signing a six-year contract, gambling that he could become one of the game's best while helping the city reconnect with a team it had long since abandoned.

It paid off for all involved.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Steelers ended the season earlier than many fans were hoping for, with a 45-42 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, and one person who was definitely paying attention was NPR Morning Edition host David Greene.  

Greene spent just six years of his childhood in Pittsburgh, but still considers Pittsburgh to be his home and the Steelers to be his team. He spoke to 90.5 WESA's biggest sports fan, Kevin Gavin, about how his time in Pittsburgh shaped parts of his life.

 

Jaguars Stun Steelers 45-42 To Earn Trip To AFC Title Game

Jan 15, 2018
Keith Srakocic / AP

The Jacksonville Jaguars heard the chatter, read the tweets and Instagram posts. And they got a little confused.

Why were the Pittsburgh Steelers talking about the New England Patriots? Didn't they have to face the Jaguars first before reaching a rematch with the Super Bowl champions?

"I don't know if they misread the schedule or didn't play us this week, but they didn't acknowledge us at all," Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack said. "And we didn't take that too kindly."

Not at all. That shouldn't be a problem going forward.

OFF 84, Detre Library and Archives / Heinz History Center

The steep drive up P.J. McArdle Roadway takes drivers from the Liberty Bridge to the top of Mt. Washington's scenic overlook. It reveals a stunning view of Pittsburgh’s skyline and three rivers, from the Point State Park Fountain to the Birmingham Bridge. 

Jaguars Surging, Steelers Wary In High-Stakes Rematch

Jan 14, 2018
Pittsburgh Steelers

At the time the score looked like a misprint.

Jacksonville 30. Pittsburgh 9.

On the road.

A result so stunningly one-sided Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stood in the locker room on that gray October afternoon only half-jokingly wondered if he still had "it."

Throwing five interceptions, two of which the Jaguars returned for momentum-swinging, confidence-sapping touchdowns, will do that.

Not White Collective

For nearly two years, a diverse group of 11 women have been meeting to ask a lot of questions. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

A mix of journalists, artists and academics will take part in this year's Pittsburgh Humanities Festival. The 3rd annual event will take place Feb. 24 through March 4 in the Cultural District. 

Speakers include NPR's Guy Raz, paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi. A full schedule is available here.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

On the last Friday in 2017, about two dozen young children are gathered at the Hatch Art Studio in Point Breeze. School is out for the holidays and 7-year old Rachel Collura is spending the day here at a day camp.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

"Broadcasting from Pittsburgh’s historic South Side, this is 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh’s NPR news station."

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum has an annual operating budget of around $5 million, and a newly created position "director of advancement" will be tasked with increasing revenue and diversifying where those dollars come from.

Melissa Majchrzak / US Speedskating

Two Pittsburgh short track speed skaters are on the national Team USA training team, with one qualifying to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Courtesy of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Pigeon, Piggie, Elephant and Knuffle Bunny will soon make their way to the Steel City. Popular children’s author Mo Willems is collaborating with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on a new installation called The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh: A Mo Willems Exhibit.

Kelly Colgan Azar / Flickr

Every winter, a group of avian enthusiasts collect data on local bird populations for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. The Christmas Bird Count is the oldest citizen science project in the world, and it is returning to Pittsburgh on Dec. 30.

The information gives experts some insight into how climate change and habitat loss affect some bird species.

"We can go back from a year-to-year basis and make some observations on what's happening with various bird populations," said Chris Kubiak, education director or the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

For the last two minutes of 2017, thousands of Pittsburghers will watch the glowing New Year’s Eve countdown ball at the top of Penn Avenue Place downtown.

The ball’s symbolic rise only lasts from 11:58 p.m. to midnight, but it takes about six weeks to prepare for the show.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Andy Warhol museum is the recipient of a new multi-year grant to encourage more diversity in art institutions.

The Warhol is among 20 organizations nationwide to receive funding from the Ford Foundation and Walton Family Foundation. The North Side museum will get $265,000 over three years to support education outreach, professional development and mentoring, and paid internships and fellowships.

Midnightdreary / Wikimedia Commons

The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Office is undertaking a study of buildings and spaces that are significant to African American history in the state.

John Bender / Rhode Island Public Radio

For thousands of Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria, this will be a difficult Christmas.

Au Kirk / Flickr

James Harrison's long tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers is over.

Matt Rourke / AP

George Washington and his troops' annual Christmas Day trip across the Delaware River has been saved by boats made by children.

Kerry Weber

When Kerry Weber moved back to Pennsylvania to open Switch and Signal Skate Park in Swissvale, he knew he wanted it to be an inclusive space.

“These spaces should be open to everyone, and I definitely feel that it has been a boys club,” said Weber. “Where you’re a young typical male, it’s a place that’s easy to fit in, but it does lock a lot of people out.”

Skating gave him a creative outlet and helped build confidence, he said, and he hopes the park will get more people, especially girls, to enjoy those benefits, too.

Resonance Works / Facebook

At a small campground somewhere in Appalachia lives a young boy and his mother. They’re poor, with barely enough to eat, a tent as a home and the boy, Amahl, has the use of only one leg.

Bob Studebaker / 90.5 WESA

After struggling to make a living in Portland, Ore., artists Drew and Alyssa Kail moved back to Pittsburgh and found the area to be friendly to creators like themselves. 


Allicia Leaper / Crush Photography via AP

A beloved Santa with "naughty" tattooed on one arm and "nice" tattooed on the other has been asked to tone down his typically goofy poses at a suburban Philadelphia mall, leaving some fans miffed.

Scott Diethorne is known for silly poses like hanging kids upside down and flashing his "naughty" or "nice" forearms.

Customers tell Philly.com that when they arrived at the Oxford Valley Mall in Bucks County for their annual photos recently, they learned Santa Scott could only take "traditional" Christmas pictures — no tattoos or upside-down poses.

Frank Victores / AP

 

In Monday night’s contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was taken off field during the first quarter with a back injury that reportedly caused him to momentarily lose feeling below the waist. The game was called “vicious” by many, but others, including Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, say that violence is normal for AFC North football.

Frank Victores / 1988

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been a busy investor this season, thanks to a presumed Steel City fan making changes to Google results.

This Age Of Humans That We're Living In? It Has A Name: Anthropocene

Dec 7, 2017
Kara Holsopple / Allegheny Front

As visitors enter a new exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, they’re asked for their opinion.

Dr. Robert Kromos / Attack Theatre

Jimmy Cvetic’s poetry is rough, dark and punchy.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A Focus Features documentary dubbed “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” about the life and work of Fred Rogers is coming to the the big screen in June, officials announced Monday.

According to a release, the film will examine how Rogers navigated cultural and social issues in a forward-thinking way.

President and CEO of the Fred Rogers Company Paul Siefken said Rogers was a fascinating man on and off screen.

Fort Carson / Flickr

Pennsylvania's Game Commission estimates about 550,000 hunters with rifles are expected to take to the woods in search of white-tailed deer.

The rifle season opened just before sunrise on Monday and continues through Dec. 9.

Hunters are allowed to harvest one buck, as well as an antlerless deer for each antlerless permit they hold.

Experts believe the deer population is up due to last year's milder temperatures. As a result, there has been more food for the deer. However, it also means the deer are not moving as much so hunters are being asked to be patient.

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