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 Ballet Theatre

Ballet is often praised for its precision, strong dancers and hypnotic music. But one thing that’s often overlooked is the costume department.

“Well, when you’re dancing, you have a certain structure about your dancing,” said Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal dancer Amanda Cochrane. “But when you put on those costumes, it really helps to bring out the artistry in your dancing. It makes you – puts your into character.”

Those costumes help bring the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s productions to life.

How Safe Is Artifical Turf For Pittsburgh-Area Athletes?

Oct 3, 2016
Sarah Collins / PublicSource

Dominic Kimmerle dives and slides across the field. Anything to prevent the other team from scoring against his Golden Eagles. He stops the soccer ball. He kicks it back to his teammates. Black pellets spray from the goalie’s cleats.

The pellets stick to his skin and clothes. When he changes from his Keystone Oaks uniform, they scatter to the floor.

Lately, those tiny rubber bits are getting big attention.

Daveynln / Flickr

Unleash your curious side this weekend and explore some of Pittsburgh’s buildings and churches not usually open to the public.

Doors Open Pittsburgh, taking place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, will give locals access to 39 locations through Downtown and the Strip District.

Michael Sahaida / Wikipedia

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians are on strike after unanimously rejecting calls for a 15 percent pay cut, changes to their pension plan and staffing cuts they say management is proposing.

Management says the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is more than $20 million in debt, leading them to ask musicians to take the pay cut that prompted a strike. Union members also are balking at pension changes and unspecified staffing cuts they say management proposed.

Happy Birthday Josh! It’s Josh’s birthday weekend and Social Club is ready to celebrate. WESA’s Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel have put together a weekend filled with beer, brunch and tacos for Josh. Care to join?

How One Composer's Hearing Damage Inspired A Concert Series

Sep 29, 2016
Ben Tran

  In 2008, composer Daniel Fishkin's ears started ringing, and they never stopped. Doctors offered no solace besides, "You get used to it." In the absence of a medical cure, Fishkin vowed to find a creative solution. 

"I do not want to get used to my hearing damage — I want to use it."

Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Composer Julia Wolfe, a Pennsylvania native, is among the 23 recipients of the 2016 MacArthur awards.

Wolfe has been a fixture on New York's downtown contemporary music scene since her days as a co-founder of the Bang on a Can collective. Last year she won the Pulitzer Prize for music for "Anthracite Fields," commissioned by Philadelphia's Mendelssohn Club.

Wolfe spoke with NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller.

 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Over the last half-century, there have been few pop culture phenomenons that have exceeded the popularity of Star Trek. The original TV series starring William Shatner as Captain Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, made its network television debut on NBC 50 years ago this month.

Let’s face it. Winter is coming and these next few weekends could be your last chance to go outside. It’s just like Stanley Tucci said; fall is only good for about two weeks.  WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to make sure you are able to thoroughly enjoy the last few good-weather weekends we have.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

It took some wrangling to fit nearly 30 Catholic school eighth-graders into the basement space of Most Wanted Fine Art gallery in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood where St. Bede English teacher Becky Baverso took her comic book club to see artist Marcel Walker’s exhibit.

“So this show here, ‘To Tell The Troof,’ this is my first solo gallery show,” Walker told the class, pointing. “I’ve had work in gallery shows before, but this is the first time it’s all mine.”  

So, how does one move a large ship across land? That question has WESA’s Josh Raulerson, Sarah Kovash and Rachel Carlson of Yelp Pittsburgh stumped. Luckily, there’s plenty of stuff happening in the ‘Burgh this weekend, so you don’t have to spend all week on the couch googling the answer to that one.

Shipla / Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

The Drap-Art International Festival of Recycled Art arrives in North America for the first time this month as part of Pittsburgh’s Re:NEW Festival.

The month-long event celebrates creative reuse and sustainability through art with more than 100 exhibitions throughout Downtown. It’s centered around the Drap-Art Festival, which is based out of Barcelona, Spain, but has been structured to include art with local environmentally-relevant themes.

WESA/Matt Nemeth

A wide pot made of red, earthy clay is decorated with geometric details. Maybe it's an ancient artifact, a tool from the past in a glass case. But then you spot the silver cursive letters.

This piece is clearly contemporary.

Let’s take a trip around the world. A food trip that is! This weekend is a foodie-lovers dream here in the ‘burgh and WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to guide you through it.

Keith Srakocic / AP

University of Pittsburgh Athletic Director Scott Barnes said traditional rivalries like the one between Pitt and Penn State University are an essential part of college football. On the eve of the first gridiron clash between the Panthers and Nittany Lions in 16 years, Barnes sat down with 90.5 WESA’s Paul Guggenheimer to discuss Saturday's sold out game at Heinz Field and what the future holds for a rivalry that dates back to 1893.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity

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doctyer / Flickr

 

Local entrepreneurs are planning to celebrate Pittsburgh's alcohol heritage with two proposed museums.

    It is Labor Day weekend! Are you lucky enough to have a three-day weekend? If so, WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to fill you in on the weekend’s fun activities, here in Pittsburgh and just around the (three) riverbend!

Matt Rourke / AP

 

Look around any Rust Belt city and you can see the effects of urban decay. There's aging infrastructure, blighted buildings and abandoned homes. Even as cities begin to see a resurgence, it can be hard to shake the physical legacy of decades of decline.

But if you think post-industrial decay is hard to overcome, try something even more traumatic, like a dictatorship or, say, World War II. Some European cities have found a way to revive public spaces and re-engage the community in civic life, all while remediating the physical toll left by history.

    The truth is out there and WESA’s Josh and Sarah are putting on their Mulder and Scully hats to let you know all the weird things happening in Pittsburgh. They want you to join them in their investigations of the weird and paranormal. Do you choose to join them? They are without the help of Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel this week but no fears, WESA’s Megan Harris is here to join you in tracking down the strange and odd this weekend.

Cue the X-Files theme music and let’s begin.

Bob Studebaker (L), Sidewall Project (R)

A Pittsburgh artist, who prefers to be known simply as “Brick,” has been displaying art on an exterior wall of her house in Bloomfield for more than two years.

She refers to it as “The Sidewall Project,” and it began as an opportunity for artists to have their work displayed in a public space.

The current exhibit was created by Richard Pell and is a familiar sight to many Pittsburghers.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

If you tell Christian Morris a story, he’ll give you an ear. Literally.

“It’s kind of weird to hold a 2-inch ear in your hand… I made them as a gift to people that I interview, because it’s like, you give me your story I’ll give you this,” he said.  

The ceramic ears, which come in an array of blues, greens and purples, are tokens Morris gives to people he speaks with as part of a public art project called Practices of Listening.

    “Oh this is the night, it’s a beautiful night”…to explore Pittsburgh eateries. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to break down where to take your loved one this weekend. Side note, we can’t guarantee it will be as romantic as Lady and the Tramp. That’s on you.

Hannah Altman

Since she was two, Alexandra Bodnarchuk wanted to dance.  

Daveynln / Flickr

 

Pennsylvania's auditor general has announced a review of Penn State University's performance, focusing on governance, safety and tuition across its 24 campuses.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Tuesday that his audit will revisit former auditor general Jack Wagner's recommendations to the university following the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case, as well as compliance with state and federal guidelines. He says it won't rehash the university-commissioned 2012 report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Westmoreland Museum of American Art / Courtesy of the Barbara L. Gordon Collection

From life-sized "cigar store Indians" to antique portraits and even a few hand-carved merry-go-round animals, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art is putting 19th century American folk art in the spotlight this summer and fall.

90.5 WESA’s Noah Brode spoke with chief curator Barbara Jones about the significance of the "Shared Legacy" exhibit.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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Gene J. Puskar / AP

  A judge has ruled that a foul ball lawsuit can continue against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Major League Baseball and a municipal authority that owns public sports and entertainment venues in the area.

An usher at PNC Park in April helped Wendy Camlin to her seat when a foul ball hit the netting behind home plate and struck her in the head.

The game was delayed more than 20 minutes while she was taken away on a stretcher.

 It’s an exciting week for Sarah, with her birthday coming up – even though she hates when her mom puts fresh strawberries in her favorite, fake-tasting Duncan Hines box cake mix! But what’s even more exciting is … Restaurant week!

There are so many options for Restaurant Week, how do you choose one? Good news, WESA’s Josh and Sarah, as well Rachel of Yelp Pittsburgh have lots of experience eating out and break it down for you.

Justin Wier / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is known for many things, including its bridges, historic inclines and three rivers.

But few likely realize the Steel City is also home to the highest concentration of internationally-ranked pinball players in the world. That’s right, pinball.

Pittsburgh is home to nine of the top 100 players ranked by the International Flipper Pinball Association. Next in line is New York City, which hosts eight players. 

1Hood Media / Facebook

Celeste Smith wants people to know hip-hop has always been alive in Pittsburgh, whether people have seen it or not.

No Place But Home / Youtube

Examine the life and storied career of Braddock-based filmmaker Tony Buba in a new documentary short produced in partnership between 90.5 WESA and Carnegie Museum of Art. The film, No Place but Home, was produced by Ryan Loew and Matthew Newton. It premiered last week at a CMOA event.

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