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.

Associated Press

Pittsburgh sports fans are familiar with local celebrities like “Mean” Joe Greene, Roberto Clemente and Mario Lemieux, but what about Harry Greb, Billy Conn, and Fritzie Zivic? Although it’s not as popular as football, hockey and baseball, Pittsburgh has a storied boxing history. 

pens-at-wh
Susan Walsh / AP

The Penguins will visit the White House on Tuesday to commemorate last season's Stanley Cup Championship win, becoming the first professional sports team to attend a White House ceremony since President Donald Trump criticized NFL players last month.

Trump said first at a political rally in Alabama, and later via Twitter, that professional athletes who protest police violence by kneeling during the national anthem should be fired. 

90.5 WESA

Jimmy Beaumont, then an 18 year old from Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood, took some lyrics written by his friend Joe Rock, and set them to music in 1958. He had no idea that what he was creating would become to many music historians the iconic ballad of that era. 

"I really hadn’t gone through any heartbreak at that time, but it was Joe’s lyrics that brought it out," Beaumont told 90.5 WESA's Essential Pittsburgh in 2016.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Cathy Schlott’s fingers are covered in blood, but she doesn’t seem concerned or put off by it. She’s feeding Anne, a 4-pound adult barred owl, which are common in Pennsylvania.

“She gets lots of treats for this,” said Schlott, curator of animal behavioral management at the aviary, while holding Anne, who’s perched on her arm.

She’s feeding her “meeces pieces,” or chunks of raw meat.

Keith Srakocic / AP

After threats of its cancellation, the annual Bloomfield Halloween Parade is back on for its 49th consecutive year.

Three's Company: Pens Eye 1st NHL Three-Peat In 35 Years

Oct 3, 2017
Mark Humphrey / AP

The parade celebrating the Pittsburgh Penguins' second straight Stanley Cup was still raging on that hot afternoon in mid-June when Mike Sullivan decided it was time to up the ante.

Sure, becoming the first back-to-back Cup winners in nearly two decades is historic. Still, it's just two. Three straight? Well, that's something else entirely. And the man whose arrival in December 2015 coincided with Pittsburgh's ascendance back to the top of the NHL knew it.

Kiichiro Sato / AP

Most players stood for the national anthem before early Games of Week 4. Last week more than 200 players knelt in response to several tweets by President Donald Trump. 

Goodell Met With Owners And Players On Anthem On This Week

Oct 1, 2017
Kiichiro Sato / AP

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a round-table meeting with roughly 25 owners, league executives and players on Tuesday night to discuss the national anthem demonstrations.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A park celebrating the legacies of Pittsburgh's greatest Negro League baseball players will soon come alive in the city.

Pittsburgh's Station Square will be the site of the new Josh Gibson Heritage Park. The Josh Gibson Foundation held a groundbreaking on Wednesday.

Exhibit Brings The Hard Lessons Of The Petrochemical Industry Home

Sep 28, 2017
Kara Holsopple / Allegheny Front

What do Louisiana and western Pennsylvania have in common? For one, an industry that for better or for worse inspires art.

Petrochemical America: From Cancer Alley to Toxic Valley is a new exhibit at SPACE gallery in Pittsburgh that takes a closer look at the petrochemical industry, which turns natural gas into the building blocks of plastic.

 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The famous, or perhaps infamous, Pittsburgh accent is as central to the Steel City’s identity as Terrible Towels and yellow bridges.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's arts and culture community spends nearly double what most other similarly sized cities do to encourage a robust artistic community around the Steel City, according to a report released this week by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

The group's research estimated local organizations and audiences spent more than $1 billion fueling an annual economic impact of almost $2.4 billion, more than 32,000 full-time jobs and as much as $641 million toward those employees' household incomes. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says he's skipping the Pittsburgh Penguins' Oct. 10 White House visit because of recent tweets by President Donald Trump.

The Democratic mayor accompanied the NHL team when they met with President Barack Obama following last year's Stanley Cup championship.

But Peduto says he's not going this year because of Trump's tweets criticizing NFL players for kneeling or otherwise protesting during the national anthem.

Peduto says the visit could bring negative attention to the city so he'll "take a knee on this one and stay home."

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Friday the 13th will be a little spookier this year in Lawrenceville with the start of a tribute to the late George Romero. Row House Cinema’s week-long celebration will feature five Romero films including Creepshow, Night of the Living Dead and a restoration of Season of the Witch. 

The iconic horror filmmaker made most of his movies in Western Pennsylvania; he died this summer at age 77. Row House Spokeswoman Casey Taylor said Romero loved working in the city and was an avid supporter.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

Jersey sales for Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva peaked Monday on at least two fan websites after he alone opted to stand on field during the national anthem in Chicago on Sunday.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

There are more than a few Egyptian-themed tombs sprinkled amid the sprawling expanse of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Cemetery, but among the looming obelisks, pyramidal headstones and even its fellow mausoleums, there is one imposing white granite structure that stands out.

AP

 

The sports world is reacting to President Donald Trump's remarks about pro football, including the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

The Steelers chose to stay in their locker room for the national anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears, coach Mike Tomlin told CBS.

Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race / Facebook

An estimated 10,000 runners will converge on Pittsburgh Sunday for the city's popular Great Race which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The 6.2-mile course begins at Frick Park and makes its way through Squirrel Hill, Oakland and Uptown before ending in Point State Park.

To celebrate this year's milestone anniversary, organizers are giving runners T-shirts bearing the artwork of famous Pittsburgh pop artist Burton Morris.

Christopher Lopes

A new Pittsburgh stage production is rooted in the exploration of Parkinson's disease. In the Company of Ghosts looks at how challenges like disease affect the way people view each other and themselves.

Jayson Cassidy / Kennywood

Kennywood Park near Pittsburgh is scrapping its Log Jammer ride after 42 years.

The ride, which features log-looking boats that float down a watery channel before plunging down a large hill into a pool, opened in 1975 as the park's first million-dollar attraction.

The park says Thursday that it has no "final decision" about what will replace the ride.

General Manager Jerome Gibas says, "It is a bittersweet decision, but one that in time will create some exciting opportunities for our guests."

Richard Drew / AP

Hello, Bluetiful.

Crayola announced the name of its new blue crayon Thursday. Bluetiful was the top pick of fans during two months of online voting, beating out Dreams Come Blue, Blue Moon Bliss, Reach for the Stars and Star Spangled Blue.

Courtesy Grow Pittsburgh

Sure, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow and other music greats are a big draw for Farm Aid 2017, but organizers are also touting the food and displays which will highlight agriculture in Pennsylvania at Key Bank Pavilion.

Ed Riecker / AP Images for Dairy Queen

Pittsburgh Steelers' running back Le'Veon Bell jokingly tweeted during his preseason contract holdout that he might have to apply for a job at Dairy Queen.

On Tuesday, Dairy Queen obliged.

Bell spent some time at the chain's New Kensington store — about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh — learning how to make Blizzards and other treats.

Bell says his one-day gig was "harder than I thought it was going to be" and that he doesn't think "this job is any easier than my job, and I don't think my job is any easier than their job."

Don Wright / AP

Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown is ready to bust a move.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

From the aroma of the food court to back-to-school shopping, everyone has memories of the shopping mall. But for Pittsburgh author Matthew Newton, the mall says much more about our society.

Courtesy of Ted Zellers

Ted Zellers has knocked on doors from the West End to the North Side to Polish Hill and beyond, all to ask people if he can have a look in their basements.

“I’ve been surprised about how positive the reactions of people have been,” he said. “I was really worried when I started this that a lot of people would think I was a weirdo for wanting to do this.”

The Lawrenceville resident and amateur photographer is compiling photographs of those lone basement toilets. He said he’s hoping to one day share them in some kind of coffee table book, or eventually a gallery show.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

A regional bank is paying $720,000 for naming rights to a Pennsylvania hockey rink made famous in the cult hockey comedy "Slap Shot."

The deal means the building will now be known as 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.

The 67-year-old arena was home to the defunct Johnstown Jets, a minor-league team whose fictionalized exploits were the focus of the 1977 Paul Newman film. The team was called the Charlestown Chiefs in the movie.

The Johnstown Tomahawks play in the junior league North American Hockey League.

Piotrus / Wikimedia Commons

An online petition to remove a controversial statue of one of Pittsburgh's native sons in Oakland has gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

Bruno Mars Meets His Namesake: Bruno Sammartino

Aug 23, 2017
Shaun Hoffman / AP

Bruno Mars has met the man he's nicknamed after: former pro wrestling champion Bruno Sammartino.

The two met Tuesday night when the pop singing sensation's 24K Magic World Tour stopped in Pittsburgh.

Sammartino heard through friends that Mars, born Peter Gene Hernandez, was nicknamed "Bruno" by his father because he was a "chunky" baby. The wrestling legend — now 81 — was about 275 pounds in his prime and the favorite wrestler of Mars' father.

Roberto Clemente Museum

Fans of former Pittsburgh Pirate Roberto Clemente want the right-fielder’s jersey number 21 to become the second retired number in Major League Baseball history.

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