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.

Courtesy Brandon Blache-Cohen via the Heinz History Center

Next week marks the anniversary of a major event leading up to the Holocaust: Kristallnacht.

Brandon Blache-Cohen's grandfather, Werner Josef Cohen, lived through it. Blache-Cohen never met his grandfather, who died in 1977, but he became interested in the elder Cohen’s history – and now shares his family’s story with as many people as possible.

    While we can always hope for an artisanal water party, we will live in reality and enjoy some of these amazing events going on in Pittsburgh this weekend! Josh from WESA and Rachel from Yelp Pittsburgh tell you everything you need to know post-Halloween. Let’s celebrate Christmas! Just kidding…not yet.

Pittsburgh Record Fest # 14 is this Friday at Spirit. Buy and sell vinyl and enjoy a night-time record swap! Join for music, booze and more!

November Food Truck Roundup is happening this Saturday at Brew Gentlemen Beer Co in Braddock. Enjoy some of the best food trucks Pittsburgh has to offer including Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

  Ceramic sculptor, printmaker and mosaic artist Laura Jean McLaughlin has welcomed patrons to her Penn Avenue studio for 14 years.

She was an early investor in Garfield, a newly re-imagined Pittsburgh neighborhood. But that wasn’t always the plan.

The build-up of anticipation of Halloween finally comes to a peak this weekend! Pittsburgh has a spider web of events to choose from for you holiday celebration.

Friday, October 30th is the Chills, Thrills, and Gills party at the Pittsburgh Zoo at 8 PM. The Pittsburgh Zoo is partnering with the Scare House, so guests can get VIP RIP admission to the haunted house and its horrifying basement (if you dare). The zoo’s aquarium will host a DJ, and there will be snacks and a costume contest. The event is 21+.

Propeller Group/CMOA

The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music is a new video exhibit opening at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art on Friday. Created by the artist collective The Propeller Group, the lush film both documents and stages funeral traditions and public wake ceremonies in South Vietnam.

   What’s on the agenda this weekend? Whiskey, beer, zombies, and of course, Halloween! But first, coffee.

It’s Specialty Coffee Week in Pittsburgh, and the events wrap up this weekend, starting with An Evening of Curated Espresso Beverages on Friday, October 23rd from 5-8 PM at Commonplace Voluto in the East End. You can try signature espresso beverages, espresso-based specialty cocktails, and hopefully avoid correction of pronunciation of espresso as “expresso.” Saturday, October 24th features a “Worst Coffee Competition” at 21st Street Coffee from 5-7 PM. You can get in one last coffee run at Sunday, October 25th’s Taste of KLVN at the Melwood Screening Room from 3-5 PM, providing samples from Pittsburgh’s newest roasting additions.

AdamL212 / Flickr

On October 21, Marty McFly will arrive from 1985 and witness hover boards and flying cars, purchase a sports almanac, and experience the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series for the first time since 1908.

In honor of the date, Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville will be hosting “Back to the Future Day Celebration.”

    Have you picked your Halloween costume? Rachel is going to be “Pizza Rat” or “Sexy Pizza Rat” for Halloween. Rachel threw it out there, but Josh, maybe you could be Sexy Donald Trump?  …let’s move on….

This Friday is 21+ night at Carnegie Science Center with the theme Back to the Future. Fun fact, did you know October 2015 was the time Marty goes to the future in the second movie? Come for food, drinks and learn some science. Also, WHY DON'T WE HAVE HOVERBOARDS YET?

Brew Cinema at the Hollywood Theater benefits American Heart Association and Hollywood Theater. Come down Friday night and enjoy brews and the show. Grist House will be there and you can get all of this with a $10 ticket price

The century-old Kaufmann’s building closed at the end of this summer, but fortunately, many of its most iconic artifacts will be preserved. Those who remember the Kaufmann building will be able to enjoy its most famous features at a different location.

    First off, Rachel has never seen the Big Lebowski. Let’s all just take a moment and let that sink in.

Also, Josh had a birthday recently. Happy Birthday! Let’s party with some great events brought to you by Social Club.

Carnegie Museum of Art is bringing you Hops and Hopper event celebrating the great American artist Edward Hopper! Lots of different breweries will be on tap, including Grist House Brewing, Hitchhiker Brewing and more! Come on down Saturday night!

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Pennsylvania’s wine industry accounts for some $5.5 million in sales at the state’s wine and spirit stores. To shine a light on the growing industry, state lawmakers have designated October as Pennsylvania Wine Month.

Francis Southwick

Frances Southwick wanted to be a doctor for as long as she could remember.

As a kid, she collected old popsicle sticks to use as tongue depressors, volunteered in medical facilities and eventually ended up in medical school in West Virginia. Southwick did her residency at UPMC Shadyside including stints at a number of Pittsburgh hospitals.

Ball 'Hawking' On The Allegheny River

Oct 7, 2015
Lou Blouin / The Allegheny Front

Ball "hawks"—the obsessed, not-afraid-to-run-you-or-your-mother-over fans that shag and collect baseballs from Major League ballparks—are a special breed. But Pittsburgh's Pete Schell is a unique gamer within that subculture. Typically, the competitive ball shagging is done inside the park during pre-game batting practice. But Pete Schell has found his own version of the hawks' life outside PNC Park on the banks of the Allegheny River.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The Pirates will take on the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on Wednesday with the winner advancing to the best-of-five National League Division series against St. Louis. A large crowd of cheering fans gathered in Downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday to support the Bucs.

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco Speaks Friday at Carlow

Oct 2, 2015
U.S. Department of Agriculture

When Richard Blanco delivered the traditional poetry reading at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2013, he made history in several categories. 

Blanco is the youngest, and the first out gay man to hold that honor. Born into a family of Cuban exiles, he’s also the first Latino, and the first immigrant to serve as inaugural poet.


   The truth about cats and dogs, scotch whiskey and chocolate, and meats delivered to your doorstep.

Have you posted a picture of a dog today? Josh reveals that people get more social media followers if they post photos of dogs rather than cats. But enough about puppies; let's get to the events. 

Nanograms premiered last week at Thrival. Be sure to check it out!

    This weekend is going to be amazing.

Josh has been so busy with Thrival and the launch of his new podcast, Nanograms. It launches today and you can find out more about it here.

Tracksploitation / Instagram

An event Thursday at Boom Concepts on Penn Avenue in Garfield combines a contemporary approach to music with a style that has been performed, pretty much unchanged, for centuries.

Cotholic Diocese of Pittsburgh

Thousands of Pittsburghers will travel to Philadelphia this week to see Pope Francis including Pittsburgh Catholic Dioceses Bishop David Zubik. 

The papal visit will likely occur surprise-free, Zubik said. Unlike Pope Paul II -- known as a philosopher -- and Pope Benedict XVI, who was a theologian, Pope Francis has built his reign on the pastoral relationship between the Vatican and the common men and women it serves.

    Even with the fire alarm going, Josh and Rachel are DETERMINED to bring you all things social going on in Pittsburgh. They are so brave.

Carnegie Science Center 21+ Night- Robots is happening Friday, September 18th.  Learn about all things robotic, check out some of the most famous robots around, see the Omnimax theater, listen to live music and enjoy some great food. The Omnimax will be showing the film ROBOTS. It’s only $10!

Spend your weekends watching Bulgarian dancers perform at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, zebras grazing at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and resident artists singing at the Pittsburgh Opera -- all for free.

From Sept. 18 through Oct. 11, several of the region’s “cultural assets” will be participating in an annual free admissions program to  thank the community for its continued support of the arts and led by the Regional Asset District, or RAD.

City of Asylum Pittsburgh will present its 11th annual Jazz Poetry Concert at 7:45 p.m. Saturday near the National Aviary in West Park.

The event will be free to the public, and critically acclaimed Pakistani poet and human rights activist Harris Khalique will read poetry to jazz music.

Khalique will read in the Urdu language, a language spoken in Pakistan, and English translations will be available.

Other artists will be reading their poetry during the concert as well.

Larkin Page-Jacobs

 

Pennsylvania’s terrain might not look much like France or California, but it’s home to more than 200 wineries brimming with grapes grown both here and out of state. A number of those wineries want to expand, and that means working with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

 

    The British are coming! Fun fact about Josh. He has an amazing British accent. It’s so good that he can’t show it off. It will just put you all to shame.

Josh is off to Presque Isle to enjoy some vacation time. Rachel definitely suggests it.  While Rachel loves talking about Erie and some of its amazing restaurants and locations, it’s time to talk PITTSBURGH!

Steve McLanahan / Flickr

  The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council was selected to participate in a “virtual cultural think tank” with four other non-profit arts organizations.

David Bernabo

Pittsburgh's restaurant scene has evolved dramatically over the past 40 years, and the documentary Food Systems, Chapter 1: A Night Out, explores the transformation. Director and Pittsburgh native David Bernabo said the films touch on different parts of the restaurant industry.

Labor Day Weekend: Social Club September 4

Sep 3, 2015

    Happy Labor Day Weekend from WESA’s Josh and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel! You have one job this weekend and that is to sit back, relax and enjoy. Go to a bbq, drink something refreshing and don’t go to work.

Josh and Rachel are taking their own advice and taking a little break this week. But don’t worry. They will be back next week with all your weekend plans.

Hope you have a great weekend! 

A Second Act For Pittsburgh's August Wilson Center

Aug 27, 2015
Erika Beras / 90.5 WESA

The beleaguered August Wilson Center announced new funding, programming and board members in the latest effort to bring the African-American arts institution into financial viability and to fulfill its mission as a cultural institution.

Baby showers go on forever. “Diaper Parties” (what?) are boring. So let’s go out this weekend.

Pittsburgh Comedy Festival starts August 27th and runs through the 29th.  Laughter is good for the soul so come on down to the Henry Heymann Theater in Oakland to enjoy comedy from local comics and national comics. Todd Glass, who has appeared on “Last Comic Standing” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”will be there (27th and 28th), Bombardo, Audrey Plaza’s (“Parks and Recreation”) female improve group will perform Friday night.

Courtesy Alloy Pittsburgh

Alloy Pittsburgh was conceived as a biennial laboratory where emerging artists in the Pittsburgh region would create temporary, site-based artwork that explore the creative reuse of the Carrie Furnace national historic landmark. Chris McGinnis and Sean Derry are the co-founders.

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