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.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A group of 10 local sixth graders helped two Allegheny Health Network doctors perform surgery in the lobby of Fifth Avenue Place downtown Thursday – sort of.

They were actually playing a life-sized game of “Operation,” the iconic board game where players tried to remove little plastic bones from Cavity Sam. (As a reminder: If you touched your tweezers to the metal openings, you lit up his red nose and lost your turn.)

Lorin May / Flickr

Nearly two months after initially going on strike, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has cancelled events into next month.

In a blog post, the PSO announced Monday that more shows have been cancelled through Dec. 5The strike started Sept. 30.

PSO officials said they are “hopeful to reach an agreement soon.”

 Election Day is over and you deserve a fun weekend. How about some chocolate, drinks and shopping? WESA’s Sarah Kovash, Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel and Josh Raulerson are here to fill you in on the weekend activities you need to know!

Candy time may be over but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are battling their post-Halloween sugar highs and are here to let you know about all the fun events going on this weekend, with a side of magic.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is home to many sports firsts: the Pittsburgh Pirates participated in the first Major League World Series, the city was the first to have a retractable dome stadium and the Steelers were the first to win six Super Bowls.

  BOO! Halloween is finally here. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here with all the spooky details for this weekend! We’ll tell you where to go to celebrate Halloween, plus read on for a creepy story about the Pittsburgh Community Broadcast Center.

Lawrenceville Art

As Pittsburgh neighborhoods, like Lawrenceville, undergo revitalization, art can often reflect changes.

Furniture designer Joe Kelly has been there since the beginning. Kelly spent a lot of time investing in the changes that helped make Lawrenceville one of the city’s most popular – and valuable – neighborhoods.

“Well, this was post-steel industry decline,” Kelly said. “This was a distressed area at that time.”

Kelly said he and other industrial artists in the neighborhood joined forces to boost neighborhood appeal.

Library of Congress

It seemed like a typical low-budget horror flick, the kind being churned out by aspiring directors in the 1960s. The cost of production was only $150,000, shot on black and white film and crew members used Bosco chocolate syrup for blood.

And yet “Night of the Living Dead,” a movie made entirely in Pittsburgh with Pittsburgh-based actors, defied the odds and the critics to become a cult classic that has brought an entire zombie culture to life and made a profit well into the millions -- all that despite a rocky start.

AP

The World Series gets underway in Cleveland Tuesday night. Forty-five years ago though, it was Pittsburgh in the Fall Classic. The Pirates were not expected to win that year, until a moment of extreme on-field confusion turned the series in their favor.         

The 1971 World Series, a best of seven game affair, pitted the Pirates against the defending champions, the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore had four pitchers who each won 20 games that year, which was only the second time to happen in Major League baseball.

Keith Srakocic / AP

 

 

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's management and musicians union have agreed to let an independent expert assess the organization's finances in hopes of ending a musician's strike that began Sept. 30.

Management is seeking a 15-percent wage cut, plus pension concessions saying that's necessary to keep the symphony solvent in the face of more than $20 million in debt over the next five years.

The musicians' union says management is overstating the orchestra's financial problems.

  We have all been there before. You are about to bob for apples when you start wondering how sanitary that water actually is. But you know what is even scarier than that water? Bad beer. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to let you know where you can get some good drinks this weekend and where you can bob for apples…if you dare!  

Steven Senne / AP

 

Elvis Costello is canceling his upcoming show in Pittsburgh in solidarity with striking Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians

In a statement, he says his Nov. 1 show at the Heinz Hall cannot go on because he is unwilling to cross the picket line. 

He asks his fans for their understanding and to "support live music wherever it is heard.'' 

Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / Facebook

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has canceled all concerts through Nov. 18, including the Light Up Night Community Concert that evening that is part of the city's traditional holiday shopping season kickoff.

The orchestra had previously canceled concerts through Oct. 27 after the musicians went on strike Sept. 30. Both parties ended mediation when the musicians called the strike.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Along the Allegheny River in an unassuming former car garage sits the 112-year-old Natrona Bottling Company. Established in 1904, the business has distributed thousands of glass bottles with their signature Red Ribbon Cherry Supreme, spicy ginger beer and mint julep.

Greta, Josh’s daughter, joined WESA’s Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel for Social Club. Hear about the fun events going on in Pittsburgh this weekend and learn some words of wisdom from Greta.  

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Most Pittsburghers are familiar with the narrative of mid 20th century urban renewal in neighborhoods like East Liberty and the Hill District: displacement of longtime residents to make room for large publicly funded projects or revitalization efforts. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

It has been one week since the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra laid down their instruments and took up picket signs.

  How is your transition to fall going? Have you fully submersed yourself in everything pumpkin? Don’t panic, but if you don’t have a costume by now (Rachel), you are running out of time! Luckily, WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to tell you all the events that will distract you from your lack of costume and get you into the fall spirit!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Urban Pathways College Charter School elementary students and teachers gathered in their cafeteria Wednesday morning to send off two of their own selected to participate in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Garden Party.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

They arrived just after dawn in flannel and backwards baseball caps, spilling out into Sarah Street clutching notebooks and fall handbags. They spoke fast, and with snark. They had very, very strong opinions about Jess, Dean and Logan.

About 200 small coffee shops and cafes across the country donned the iconic Luke Danes' persona at Gilmore Girls-inspired coffee shop pop-ups as a promotion for the nostalgia-clad Netflix reboot slated for November.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced their arena naming rights are shifting from Consol Energy Center to PPG Paints Arena.

PPG and the team say the new deal covers 20 years, although they didn't disclose financial terms. Though, the previous naming rights agreement with Consol was reportedly worth $2 million per year

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.

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