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.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum has an annual operating budget of around $5 million, and a newly created position "director of advancement" will be tasked with increasing revenue and diversifying where those dollars come from.

Melissa Majchrzak / US Speedskating

Two Pittsburgh short track speed skaters are on the national Team USA training team, with one qualifying to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Courtesy of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Pigeon, Piggie, Elephant and Knuffle Bunny will soon make their way to the Steel City. Popular children’s author Mo Willems is collaborating with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on a new installation called The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh: A Mo Willems Exhibit.

Kelly Colgan Azar / Flickr

Every winter, a group of avian enthusiasts collect data on local bird populations for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. The Christmas Bird Count is the oldest citizen science project in the world, and it is returning to Pittsburgh on Dec. 30.

The information gives experts some insight into how climate change and habitat loss affect some bird species.

"We can go back from a year-to-year basis and make some observations on what's happening with various bird populations," said Chris Kubiak, education director or the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

For the last two minutes of 2017, thousands of Pittsburghers will watch the glowing New Year’s Eve countdown ball at the top of Penn Avenue Place downtown.

The ball’s symbolic rise only lasts from 11:58 p.m. to midnight, but it takes about six weeks to prepare for the show.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Andy Warhol museum is the recipient of a new multi-year grant to encourage more diversity in art institutions.

The Warhol is among 20 organizations nationwide to receive funding from the Ford Foundation and Walton Family Foundation. The North Side museum will get $265,000 over three years to support education outreach, professional development and mentoring, and paid internships and fellowships.

Midnightdreary / Wikimedia Commons

The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Office is undertaking a study of buildings and spaces that are significant to African American history in the state.

John Bender / Rhode Island Public Radio

For thousands of Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria, this will be a difficult Christmas.

Au Kirk / Flickr

James Harrison's long tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers is over.

Matt Rourke / AP

George Washington and his troops' annual Christmas Day trip across the Delaware River has been saved by boats made by children.

Kerry Weber

When Kerry Weber moved back to Pennsylvania to open Switch and Signal Skate Park in Swissvale, he knew he wanted it to be an inclusive space.

“These spaces should be open to everyone, and I definitely feel that it has been a boys club,” said Weber. “Where you’re a young typical male, it’s a place that’s easy to fit in, but it does lock a lot of people out.”

Skating gave him a creative outlet and helped build confidence, he said, and he hopes the park will get more people, especially girls, to enjoy those benefits, too.

Resonance Works / Facebook

At a small campground somewhere in Appalachia lives a young boy and his mother. They’re poor, with barely enough to eat, a tent as a home and the boy, Amahl, has the use of only one leg.

Bob Studebaker / 90.5 WESA

After struggling to make a living in Portland, Ore., artists Drew and Alyssa Kail moved back to Pittsburgh and found the area to be friendly to creators like themselves. 


Allicia Leaper / Crush Photography via AP

A beloved Santa with "naughty" tattooed on one arm and "nice" tattooed on the other has been asked to tone down his typically goofy poses at a suburban Philadelphia mall, leaving some fans miffed.

Scott Diethorne is known for silly poses like hanging kids upside down and flashing his "naughty" or "nice" forearms.

Customers tell Philly.com that when they arrived at the Oxford Valley Mall in Bucks County for their annual photos recently, they learned Santa Scott could only take "traditional" Christmas pictures — no tattoos or upside-down poses.

Frank Victores / AP

 

In Monday night’s contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was taken off field during the first quarter with a back injury that reportedly caused him to momentarily lose feeling below the waist. The game was called “vicious” by many, but others, including Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, say that violence is normal for AFC North football.

Frank Victores / 1988

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been a busy investor this season, thanks to a presumed Steel City fan making changes to Google results.

This Age Of Humans That We're Living In? It Has A Name: Anthropocene

Dec 7, 2017
Kara Holsopple / Allegheny Front

As visitors enter a new exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, they’re asked for their opinion.

Dr. Robert Kromos / Attack Theatre

Jimmy Cvetic’s poetry is rough, dark and punchy.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A Focus Features documentary dubbed “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” about the life and work of Fred Rogers is coming to the the big screen in June, officials announced Monday.

According to a release, the film will examine how Rogers navigated cultural and social issues in a forward-thinking way.

President and CEO of the Fred Rogers Company Paul Siefken said Rogers was a fascinating man on and off screen.

Fort Carson / Flickr

Pennsylvania's Game Commission estimates about 550,000 hunters with rifles are expected to take to the woods in search of white-tailed deer.

The rifle season opened just before sunrise on Monday and continues through Dec. 9.

Hunters are allowed to harvest one buck, as well as an antlerless deer for each antlerless permit they hold.

Experts believe the deer population is up due to last year's milder temperatures. As a result, there has been more food for the deer. However, it also means the deer are not moving as much so hunters are being asked to be patient.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Bike share bicycles, like Pittsburgh’s Healthy Ride, are not, by any stretch of the imagination, performance vehicles.

They’re rugged and designed for the masses to use and abuse. And at 37 pounds, they’re heavy.

RMU application for Green Star Awards.
Robert Morris University

Robert Morris University in Moon Township is being recognized for its beautiful and meticulous landscaping. In its first year submitting for the prize, RMU was awarded one of 23 Green Star Awards by the Professional Grounds Management Society.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Two green-winged macaws fly over the audience in the National Aviary's free-flight theater, then land on separate agility courses. A race ensues between the feathered siblings, Ben and Betsy, to see who can complete the system of ropes and pulleys first. Betsy wins this time, and the crowd goes wild.

This is one of a number of bird intelligence tests featured in "Bird Brains," the current interactive show at the Aviary.

This Thanksgiving, Put Everything On The Table

Nov 23, 2017
Loren Kerns / Flickr

Sometimes what’s on the holiday table isn’t nearly as exciting as the conversation, especially when it comes to hot topics like climate change. 

Tyler Polk / 90.5 WESA

When Averill “Ace” Pippens received a call about becoming a head coach and general manager of a semi-professional basketball team, he had no hesitation.

“It was a no-brainer,” said Pippens.

Pippens, a coach of local basketball teams for 14 years, said the call came from a former player, about a new team called the Steel City Yellow Jackets.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Friday marks the start of Pittsburgh's Christmas season as thousands flock Downtown for Light Up Night, the city's annual Yuletide celebration marked by lights left on in buildings, plus entertainment, shopping and shows.

Chris Ayers / 90.5 WESA

With a chill in the air and the holidays fast approaching, many people make plans to visit downtown Pittsburgh for Light up Night and other holiday festivities.

One of the highlights of the season is the traditional lighting of the official city Christmas tree outside the City County Building on Grant Street, downtown. But selecting the perfect tree is a long process that begins months earlier, during the warm days of summer.

T. Charles Erickson / PigPen Theatre Company/City Theatre

Each night, an old man that lives on a cliff fills up the moon with liquid light. He and his wife have been doing the same routine for so long, they’ve forgotten who they are and why they started filling up the moon in the first place.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Downtown Pittsburgh’s holiday traditions have changed over the years. But starting Saturday, a new exhibit at the Heinz History Center takes visitors back in time.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Holiday traditions from around the globe converge at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning inside its Nationality Rooms, a collection of 30 classrooms representing the cultures of various groups that settled in Allegheny County. 

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