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.

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.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Just in time for the July 4th holiday the Toonseum is honoring a true American hero. We spoke with Stu Neft, curator of the current exhibit Captain America: 75 Years of the Sentinel of Liberty.

  Happy Fourth of July weekend! Time to celebrate all things red, white and blue. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to fill you in on your holiday weekend plans. Hint, hint, they involve fireworks.

The Tamburitzans

Friday is a monumental day for one of Pittsburgh's longest running coed dance and music ensembles as Duquesne University's Tamburitzans officially split from the school to become their own nonprofit organization.  

Executive Director and former “Tammie” Robert Vukic said the move will secure the group’s financial future and preserve the Tamburitzan legacy as both an educational and cultural institution.

It was an economic choice, Vukic said, adding, “We’re the first 80-year-old start-up.”

Emily Stock / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh comedian Annie Claffey is searching for America’s favorite adjective. She’ll be driving a green-and-blue car decked out with Mad Libs logos across the country over the next six weeks.

Don Schuetze / flickr

Weeds are often viewed as pests to be met with weed whackers and herbicides, but certified herbalist Lindsey Praksti of Compass Rose Herbals has other suggestions. While weeds may be a pest to a garden or yard, some have nutritious qualities and are worthy of joining your salad or stir fry.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Bright bursts of color splattered concrete floors, canvas-covered walls and the gray sweatpants of former Pittsburgh Steeler Baron Batch at his Point Breeze art studio on Monday.

Library of Congress Archives

The Democratic National Convention is set to take place next month in Philadelphia. Hillary Clinton is the presumptive democratic presidential nominee. However she won’t be the first woman to receive a nomination at a major political presidential convention. Pop culture contributor Joe Wos will tell us about the Pittsburgher who earned this honor.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Children have encountered a curious pair of miniature doors in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Birds for decades.

“People were constantly turning those doorknobs,” said Becca Shreckengast, the museum’s director of exhibition experience. “They are very attractive doors. They are small, hobbit-sized doors, child-sized doors, so there was already this built-in mystery, like, ‘Why is there this little door?’”

Eddie Palmieri

Pittsburgh Jazz Live International, the city’s annual summer jazz festival begins this Friday with international artists scheduled to perform. For members of the region's fast growing Hispanic community, the chance to see their musical culture represented can be a powerful experience.

Ron Alvarado, chairman of the Pittsburgh Metro Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said, “it galvanizes us as a community.”

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