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.

betaylor.com

 

B.E. Taylor, a musician whose annual Christmas concerts and recordings made him well known in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, is dead of complications from brain cancer at age 65.

The general manager of a funeral home where Taylor lived in Wheeling, West Virginia, confirmed that he died Sunday. Funeral arrangements will be private.

The Aliquippa native's series of popular Christmas recordings began in 1991 and led to seasonal shows that drew thousands.

A family spokesman says he was working on "B.E. Taylor Christmas 4" at the time of his death.

    

    Nothing divides us more than the debate over if cargo shorts are acceptable apparel or not. We here at Social Club are ready to put a stop to that debate and say once and for all that, fine, you can wear cargo shorts. No more judgment. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to let you know all the places you can wear your cargo shorts this weekend.

Rachellynn Schoen / Heinz History Center

Ever wonder how much Grandma’s pearl necklace is worth? What about that antique Westinghouse sewing machine from your distant cousin? Maybe you've got an old menu from the William Penn.

This weekend, you've got a chance to find out.

Monobloco

Street band Monobloco will bring the samba-rock funk rhythms of their native Brazil to the Kelly Strayhorn Theater at 8 p.m. Friday. The 24-person crew takes the stage the same night Olympic opening ceremonies kick off in Rio de Janeiro.

Founding member Celso Alvim said their adaptations of classic songs make them famous in their home country, and when they tour, audiences vibe the energy of their set.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Preschooler Marleny Roasario sat cross-legged on a multi-colored carpet Wednesday, scrunching her face at a blue and purple snaggle-toothed troll. 

Performing artist Amber Ramsey Fantini laughed, bobbing her puppets at the class. "Turn around," she told the girl. "Show your teacher and all the other kids."

Abby Warhola
The Andy Warhol Museum

Photos and paintings at The Andy Warhol Museum are set up chronologically by decade, starting at the top.

From the seventh floor, School Programs Coordinator Leah Morelli explains, “This is the floor in which his early life starts and the story begins.”

But even without a human guide, all visitors -- including those with visual impairments -- will soon have a tool to let them know where they are and what’s around them in the space thanks to the organization’s first audio guide.

Glenn Koehler / NMIH

 

Visitors to the new National Museum of Industrial History, open today in Bethlehem, will be engaging with history before they even set foot inside the museum. It's built on the nation's largest privately-owned brownfield site, in what was Bethlehem Steel's electric repair shop.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Open Streets Pittsburgh’s second season ends Sunday with a new route.

This weekend’s territory spans 3.5 miles through Downtown, the North Side and West End, closing vehicle traffic along part of Penn Avenue, the Roberto Clemente Bridge, Western Avenue and the West End Bridge between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“The idea is really catching on here in Pittsburgh, and it’s quickly being adopted as kind of a tradition,” said Ngani Ndimbie, communications manager for Bike Pittsburgh, which hosts the event. 

Did you know nearly 42 percent of Americans don’t use their vacation days? We are constantly working and it’s hard to fit in some “me” time.  If you're feeling stressed at the office and need to wind down a bit, this week’s Social Club is for you. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to fill you in on all the weekend’s relaxing activities.

Cafe Con Leche

For more than two years, Café Con Leche has promoted Latino artists and culture in Pittsburgh.

It also hosts an artist-in-residency program.

“Art is a language and I think that it doesn’t necessarily function in the same way that our spoken language does,” said multimedia artist Hoesy Corona. “Which means that it can really enter us in a different way.”

David Dermer / AP Images

In 2012, Pine-Richland graduate Meghan Klingenberg served as an alternate for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer team. This year in Rio de Janeiro, Klingenberg will have the opportunity to be on the medal stand.

    It’s great going home to your parents for the holidays. You get your laundry done, hot meals are cooked every night and you get free Wi-Fi. But what do you do when they come to visit you? WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to help you out with a “plethora” of ideas. This is your parents' weekend to go crazy.

Mike Vale / Facebook

In early 1966,  a rock n' roll song called "Hanky Panky" went to the top of the charts in Pittsburgh after a Steel City dance promoter and DJ named Bob Mack gave it a spin. What Mack didn't know is that the song, recorded by Tommy James and The Shondells in 1964, had languished for two years prompting the band members to go their separate ways and get day jobs. When Mack finally tracked down Tommy James in Niles, Michigan where the song was recorded, James told him The Shondells were no more.

Robb D. Cohen / AP Images

Fifty years ago, the Beach Boys released the influential pop album “Pet Sounds,” which many consider one of the first concept albums. Written and produced primarily by Brian Wilson, the album includes hits like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” and “God Only Knows.” We caught up with Al Jardine, who is coming to Pittsburgh next month as part of a 50th anniversary tour during which they perform “Pet Sounds” in its entirety.

Steve Brodner / Toonseum Facebook

While this election season may be stressful for voters across the U.S., it has served as the fodder of political cartoonists’ dreams. Pittsburgh’s Toonseum is showcasing some of the best political cartoons of the season with their exhibit This Campaign is Yuuuge!: Cartoonists Tackle the 2016 Presidential Race.

Howard Kernats / KWSA

Seven wrestling matches with titles on the line. A strong-arming visitor from Moscow. An "ambulance match" in which two wrestlers will go head-to-head until someone leaves in ambulance.

It sounds like the recipe for a WWE pay-per-view event, but it’s actually a local independent wrestling showcase.

Pittsburgh Maker Faire

It’s Burning Man meets craft fair meets science fair meets art, said Pittsburgh Maker Faire Director Kayce Dewey.

Alistair Ross / flickr

Herb Douglas is 94 years old and a graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School, as well as the University of Pittsburgh. He’s also a 1948 bronze medalist and the oldest living black Olympian.

Douglas’ passion for the Olympics and sports ignited when he met Jesse Owens.

Office of Public Art

Four resident artists will pair with local organizations that work with immigrant populations to create public art installations. 

It’s part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” initiative, which supports programs where artists engage with the community. The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Office of Public Art received a $200,000 grant from the NEA for the resident artists program.

Welcoming Pittsburgh and the Department of City Planning will help place the artists with the host organizations.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

In its second year running, Picklesburgh attracted new visitors and vendors to its celebration on the Rachel Carson Bridge on Friday, July 15, 2016.

Facebook

Writers, musicians and artists in Wilkinsburg are coming together to celebrate creativity at Wilkinsburg Dream City Art this weekend. The event provides a space for artists to get together and share their work with the community.

Joey Behrens, a Wilkinsburg artist, said the event began last year when two artists wondered who else was doing work in the city. She said the initial idea was for Wilkinsburg artists to get to know one another.

    We hate to inform you but we are halfway through July. How did that happen? Have we been spending THAT much time playing “Pokemon Go?” We refuse to believe that summer is halfway over so we plan to do it up big this weekend. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to “do the darn thing” and fill you in on everything “summer” here in the 'burgh.

Kevin Bowman / flickr

Bonne Fête Nationale!  July 14th marks the celebration of the French National Day, commonly known as Bastille Day, to commemorate the storming of the Bastille fortress during the French Revolution in 1789.  

Mitch Pa / flickr

Pittsburgh's Derek Davies is embarking on a journey to Tanzania, Africa to climb Mt.Kilimanjaro. Part of his mission is to raise awareness and money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Derek Davies joins us to discuss his adventure along with Pat Joseph, Executive Director of the Western PA Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

University of Virginia Swimming and Diving / Facebook

A Pittsburgh native is traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to compete in this summer’s Olympic games. Leah Smith was a standout swimmer at Oakland Catholic High School, and has become a four-time NCAA champion at the University of Virginia.  

Megan Fair / 90.5 WESA

For the first time, roller derby will be included in the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games. Four junior derby athletes who skate locally for the Pittsburgh Derby Brats will participate in this historic inclusion.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is making Market Square more engaging through super-sized games. All ages gather to play with the giant Jenga, Connect Four, ping pong, and corn hole sets. PDP CEO Jeremy Waldrup says incorporating games and other activities, such as yoga and farmer’s markets, are all part of the partnership’s goal of making downtown a fun place to visit.

    I scream, you scream, Pittsburghers scream for ice cream. Summer is prime time for everybody’s favorite treat. WESA’s Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel have taken on the daunting task of exploring, researching and taste-testing Pittsburgh’s favorite ice cream joints for your eating needs. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Andrea Koerner

Know a fictional language? Here’s your chance to show off your skills.

Pittsburgh's Office of Public Art took to Craigslist and Facebook this week seeking translators proficient in Klingon, Elvish and Dothraki to translate a specialty art tour to coincide with the Wizard World conference visiting in November.

Director Renee Piechocki said the office is always looking to broaden its engagement with regional public art by offering an experience passionate fans will find exciting. It’s important to consider different perspectives, she said.

The Pittsburgh Kid Could Have Been A Contender

Jul 1, 2016
BillyConn.net

Known as “The Pittsburgh Kid,” heavyweight boxer Billy Conn fought Joe Louis 75 years ago almost beating the heavyweight champion. However, after 13 rounds of boxing and a swift change of speed by Louis, who outweighed Conn by 30 pounds, Conn was knocked out.

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