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.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

In the midst of construction on the new Pittsburgh Playhouse downtown, Point Park University discovered a 114-year-old, hidden stained glass ceiling. But it wasn’t in great shape. A small, South Hills company has been working over the last year, restoring the large, colorful panels.

Bill Gardner / 90.5 WESA

With his hands raised above his head and wrapped around a small, hatchet-sized wooden ax, Corey Deasy flicked his wrists to send it hurling toward a target about 14 feet away.

It hit square in the middle – not a surprise since Deasy’s the owner of Lumberjaxes, a new ax-throwing facility in Millvale which is scheduled to open next week. Think darts, with larger, sharper objects.  

Sylvia Frances Films / Via ReelQ

An East L.A. bicycle brigade mixing feminist ideals with a self-described “urban/hood mentality” will be the subject of the first film in this weekend’s Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival, or PUFF.

The festival, in its first year, is organized by the Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society. Kevin Lovelace, the society’s executive director, said the festival stemmed from a need to serve a younger, politically-conscious audience.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

At this time last year, artist Baron Batch was facing backlash and $30,000 in fines and legal fees for illegal graffiti he left on several public areas.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On the corner of Bartlett Street and Panther Hollow Road in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park, there’s a colorful, decorated bench. Depending on the season, it could be painted like an American flag, covered in shamrocks or decked out for the Buccos.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Shortly after Connor Sites-Bowen moved to Pittsburgh in 2004, he got a little lost trying to get to Greenfield.

“I stopped and asked someone, I said, ‘I’m trying to get over here, which way do I go?’” Sites-Bowen said. “He said, ‘Oh, you go across the Greenfield Bridge right here and you go left where the Bruster’s used to be.’”

It was the “used to be” that stuck with Sites-Bowen. He said just like in any city, people rely on landmarks to get from one place to another, but in Pittsburgh, it doesn’t matter if the landmark exists anymore.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh International Airport is seeking an artist-in-residence for a year-long program to culminate with a new piece of art for the airport.

The chosen artist will spend between 8 and 16 hours, or more, at the airport each week. He or she will be tasked with getting to know the layout, the facility, the employees and the travelers. The piece is intended to shine a light on the Steel City, said airport spokeswoman Alyson Walls.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

From alligator heads to zombie figurines, a half-hidden museum in Pittsburgh has amassed a unique collection of the macabre.  

Nothing seems unusual on the way to Trundle Manor in Swissvale. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Players arrived at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe this week for the start of Steelers training camp, but running back Le'Veon Bell did not. He's in the middle of negotiating a franchise contract with the team, but is feeling pressure from his teammates.

Row House Cinema

Organizers for Pittsburgh's International Children’s Film Festival say they want to expand the worldview of children through film and other programs.

The five-day event kicks off Friday morning at Row House Cinema with Drag Queen Storytime followed by a screening of the 1984 movie "Muppets Take Manhattan." The schedule includes other films and activities to promote acceptance and inclusion - all taking place at Row House Cinema and some take place during morning hours or mid-day.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

After 42 years selling used vinyl records, Jerry Weber will walk away from his namesake record store in Squirrel Hill for the last time this Sunday.

Turning Trash Into Art To Save Urban Wildlife

Jul 27, 2017
Kara Holsopple / Allegheny Front

Rebecca  Reid knew it was a long shot, but she emailed Portuguese street artist Bordalo II anyway. She’d seen his large murals depicting wildlife on Facebook.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

On Thursday evening, more than 60 people gathered at the Union Project in Highland Park to learn how to safely intervene in incidents of bullying or harassment. The event was organized by the local chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and Jewish social justice group Bend the Arc.

Carnegie Museum of Art

Selections from two sweeping collections are coming together for a new exhibit opening Saturday at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

20/20 melds work from 40 artists usually featured half at CMOA and half at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Their collected work spans nearly 100 years.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Five local football players have been chosen for the All-American National Team, which is playing against the American Team this weekend as part of the Women’s Football Alliance Championship.

All the players are members of the Pittsburgh Passion football team, which is celebrating 15 years as a league. The All-American players were voted on as the best of the WFA’s 65 teams.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

After a three-year search, the board of the August Wilson Center For African American Culture named its new president and CEO Thursday. Janis Burley Wilson, who is not related to the center’s namesake, has overseen programming at the center since the Cultural Trust took over temporary operation two years ago.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said Burley Wilson’s hire means the conversation is no longer about saving the center, named after Pittsburgh Playwright August Wilson. 

PNME

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble performs works that are hard to describe, like an amalgam of Mozart and Frank Zappa.

And at City Theater, on the South Side, the group is pairing its music with an art gallery showcasing large colorful canvases and sculptures carefully chosen to be displayed on stage during this summer’s performances.

It’s a multi-sensory experience. After one recent concert, Harry Hockheiser, of Squirrel Hill, explained how he enjoyed the combination of mediums.

For most of the history of Pittsburgh, elected officials have been white men. But in 1956, then-Mayor David L. Lawrence did something unheard of: he appointed a woman to City Council.

That woman was Irma D’Ascenzo, an Italian-American Hazelwood resident who was working as secretary and chief examiner for the city's Civil Service Commission. Throughout World War II, and in the years following, she’d been volunteering and was active in her community.

D’Ascenzo’s great-granddaughter, Jeanne Persuit, said Lawrence recognized that rising to council was a natural step for her.

Heiko DeWees

Andrew Carnegie had a personal bagpipe player on his payroll and the university that bears his name shows its Scottish roots through its signature green and red tartan plaid and mascot, Scotty

Those are not the only ways Carnegie Mellon University upholds its Scottish heritage. Tucked deep in the halls of CMU’s University Center is a small room packed with bagpipes and drums. It’s where Andrew Carlisle has had his office for the last seven years.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

George Romero, whose classic "Night of the Living Dead" and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and who saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages, has died. He was 77.

Pittsburgh Grand Prix / Facebook

Drivers will take to the streets of Pittsburgh this weekend for the city’s 35th annual vintage grand prix races, which will start on Saturday in Schenley Park. The 10-day event includes car shows, parades and the main event, vintage car races through the park.

Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation

Take a walk through downtown or  the North Shore and it seems everything, from Pirates caps to government buildings to Heinz Field, radiates black and gold. The colors are synonymous with Pittsburgh sports and culture.

Hilary Harp & Suzie Silver / Courtesy of the Artists

A chandelier full of high heels and beads hangs above a cheetah print rug and gold wallpaper, which now adorn the window of Future Tenant on Penn Avenue. Throughout the gallery hang various mirrored balls and pictures. It’s all part of an exhibition opening examining the influence of disco on modern culture.

New York-based curator and Hampton Township native Emily Colucci said disco is generally seen as superficial, but she contends there is value to exploring disco’s aesthetic and cultural impact.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

It’s easy to keep track of time from most streets downtown: the Allegheny County Courthouse chimes play every 15 minutes, as well as strike the hour; twice a day they sing.

“Noon and five,” said Jim Reardon, the county’s director of facilities management. “It counts off whatever hour it has to be ... and then we play a particular song, whichever song is picked for that day.”

Oscar Winner Rylance Co-Writing Battle Of Homestead Play

Jul 5, 2017
Matty Sayles/Invision / AP

As an Oscar- and Tony Award-winner and one of the leading Shakespearean actors of his day, Mark Rylance knows a great story when he hears one.

He's captivated these days by the story of the historic 1892 Homestead Strike, when thousands of steel workers and townspeople clashed with Pinkerton guards hired by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and industrialist Henry Clay Frick to end a labor dispute that turned deadly.

Daveynin / Flickr

Penn State University is suing former assistant football coach Bob Shoop for breach of contract, alleging he owes the university nearly $900,000.

According to the lawsuit filed in June, Shoop was required by contract to pay the university half his base salary for any remaining term if he decided to leave early. He was contracted through February 2018, but Shoop resigned in January 2016 to become defensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee.

Penn State is seeking $891,000 with additional interest and court costs.

Emma Lee / WHYY

"Wild," the first solo exhibition of photography by Michael "Nick" Nichols features photographs of gorillas, tigers, lions and elephants in their natural habitat - serenity, ferocity, and curiosity.

For decades, Nichols has been on the run as a National Geographic photographer, traveling to remote parts of the world hauling robots, infrared gear, computer monitors, drones - whatever it took to get as close as possible to an animal on its own turf.

Michael Virtanen / AP

Law enforcement responded to a fire this weekend at one of West Virginia’s most recognizable landmarks.

Officials said guests at the Seneca Rocks area of the Monongahela National Forest set off fireworks that sparked a blaze around the Lower Slabs climbing area at around 10 p.m. Saturday. The fire and its plume were still visible through the wee hours Monday morning.

Massive and intimidating, the craggy, knife-edge landscape of Seneca Rocks draws serious rock climbers from southwestern Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, to its fiercely vertical routes.

James Benney III / General Photograph Collection, Detre Library & Archives Heinz History Center

Even before Pittsburgh was topping “most livable” listicles and getting attention as the “next Brooklyn,” it attracted travelers from around the country.

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Jane Lynch is, perhaps, best known for her role as the mouthy coach Sue Sylvester on the television show Glee. Now she is going live - performing a new show that, so far, has only been heard once. 

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