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.

Benjamin Tice Smith

Author Michael Chabon’s literary career began here in Pittsburgh. It’s the place where he spent part of his childhood and college years, and it was the setting for his first two novels, "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" and "Wonder Boys."

Now, Chabon returns to the city Dec. 9 to discuss his new novel "Moonglow" at an event hosted by the University of Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

Moonglow’s narrator shares a name with the book’s author, and he has a comparable life story.

Markus Spiske / Flickr

We’re back from the holiday! WESA’s Sarah Kovash, Rachel Carlson of Yelp Pittsburgh and Josh Raulerson of the PA Environmental Council took a two-week hiatus to stuff their faces, find the best pizza costumes and relax. So now, we’ve got all the local happenings to get you ready for the holidays … or holidaze, as Rachel puts it.

PA Game Commission via YouTube

The Pennsylvania Game Commission expects about 550,000 hunters to take to the woods as the state's 12-day deer rifle season opens.

The game commission has previously estimated that about 750,000 hunters — or roughly 75 percent of those with licenses — hunt on the opening day of rifle season.

But commission spokesman Travis Lau says that estimate is dropping because more hunters are taking deer during archery season.

The game commission says archery license sales have increased every year since 2007.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Though more than 400 people gathered at Bud Harris Cycling Oval in Highland Park on Saturday morning, one person’s conspicuous absence loomed large.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

    

Danny Chew loves numbers, and one of his most important numbers is 1 million. That’s how many miles he plans to ride his bicycle in his lifetime.

“I’ve kept track of my miles going all way back to 1978, in high school,” he said. “I have a book for every year. That’s almost 40 years’ worth of books now.”

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Doug Terranova's two droopy-eyed, tan bloodhounds love to bumble into the kitchen, slap their paws on the table and eat off other people's plates.

They've had lots of practice.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra ended their strike Wednesday.

After months of tense negotiations, musicians and management agreed to a new five-year contract, which calls for a 10.5 percent salary cut in the first year. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

 

Southwestern Pennsylvania's two major ski resorts are making snow and planning to open for the season on Friday.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Resort both plan to open Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and remain open for the weekend.

Seven Springs says on its website that "a blast of cold temperatures allowed our time to aggressively make snow."

The resorts are located several miles apart, both about 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

The yellow brick road has taken a turn into Downtown Pittsburgh.

Last December, a live television adaptation of The Wiz was viewed by more than 11 million people. One element of the production’s success was the strikingly colorful costumes, which are now on display at the August Wilson Center. 

“I love Eveline, and this was the costume that was worn by Mary J. Blige,” said Demeatria Boccella, co-founder of Pittsburgh’s FashionAFRICANA, which works to expand society’s standards of beauty.

Satya Murthy / Flickr

It's Thursday. Mom's been chopping, whipping, beating ingredients for days, but you aren't technically allowed to eat any of it. You're hungry. Dad is hungry. You're splayed on the couch with your younger brother, who yawns into your shoulder over the cacophony from Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The dog hasn't budged from his hours-long, not-so-silent protest in front of the oven. He knows there's food up there. He's not wrong. Fido is never wrong.

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.

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