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.

  Did you make a new year’s resolution to go out more? Explore new parts of the city? Try something new? Well, you have come to the right place. Social Club lets you know all the fun happenings going on every week in Pittsburgh. This week, WESA’s Josh and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are joined by WESA’s Sarah Kovash.

Chancelor Humphrey

The rapper Mars Jackson grew up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. He’s been performing for about six years and said he wants people to know about the dynamic artists who make up Pittsburgh’s rap and hip hop scene.

Jackson says many wrongly believe that Pittsburgh’s pool of talent begins and ends with superstars Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller. Jackson stopped by the station to talk to Larkin Page-Jacobs about the music he creates to address real life issues.

 

 As 2015 comes to a close, we take a look back at some of our favorite eats and new restaurant and bar openings over the past year.

WESA Digital Editor Sarah Kovash hosts this week while Josh Raulerson is out.

Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh's Rachel Carlson recall some of their favorite culinary treats and adventures over the past year, including finding space at the bar at Tako and stuffing their faces with mushroom tacos (so good you'll forget how much you love meat!). 

    We are fast approaching the holidays. Just seven days away and only 368 days until next year’s Christmas. You should probably start shopping now…

This week, Digital Editor/Producer Sarah joins WESA’s Josh and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel in discussing all the many events leading up to the holidays! 

Appalasia

AppalAsia is one of those artistic ventures which, seemingly, could only happen in Pittsburgh. The musical blend of Appalachian and ancient Chinese folk music stems from three artists with very different musical backgrounds. 

Mimi Jong plays the erhu, a two-stringed, bowed instrument that has been a part of Chinese folk music for a millennium.

Warhol Museum Project Highlights Political Art

Dec 14, 2015
courtesy Andy Warhol Museum

Pittsbugh's Andy Warhol Museum is raising funds to commission a series of print-based exhibits with a political bent.

  

90.5 WESA’s Josh Raulerson spoke about the project with Curator of Education Tresa Varner.

 

As the holidays quickly approach, Social Club has all the events to get you into the holiday spirit and all the places to buy your last minute gifts this weekend. 

Phipps Winter Flower Show is in full swing. Enjoy indoor and outdoor displays “decked” out for the holidays. The event runs from 5-11 pm all weekend.

The Office of Public Art

The Office of Public Art is aiming to make Pittsburgh more welcoming to newcomers in immigrant neighborhoods with public art installations. 

The Peduto Administration, OPA and the Department of Public Planning are teaming up to seek grant money from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for public art projects that will improve the quality of life in immigrant communities.

   We are back! WESA’s Josh and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to tell you everything you need to know about fun things going on in the city. It was a week of relaxation and binge-watching TV, but now it's time to tell you about these cool holiday events. Let the insanity of the season begin.

Let’s start with The Joy of Cookies Tour. It’s cookies, do you really need to know anything else? OK, fine, we will give you a few more details. The shops in the business district of Butler Street are going to feature some homemade cookies! Come down Thursday through Sunday and get your holiday shopping done while enjoying some yummy treats.

Bryan Orr / For 90.5 WESA

The Office of Public Art, is looking for community organizations to help develop new public art installations in six city neighborhoods through the “placemaking” process.

The office, a partnership between the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and the Pittsburgh Department of Public Planning, is collaborating with Neighborhood Allies, a community development organization that matches growing neighborhoods with resources.

Courtesy of Josh Wigod

If you are out and about in Pittsburgh, be on the lookout for discarded books which read, “This Is A Lost Book”—it just might be your ticket to a prize.

    Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? 2015 is slipping away until it’s gone forever, the winter onslaught arrives and the dark night feels like it arrives earlier and earlier…so HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

WESA’s Josh and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to cheer you up and get you ready for that festive time of year with some amazing events around town.

Let’s kick it off with Light Up Night. There are two celebrations going on- Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s 55th Annual Light Up Night and Duquesne Light Santa Spectacular. Come down to Market Square for the grand opening of the European Market. There is also a bigger and more spectacular ice rink this year at PPG Place. You’ll be able to catch Santa and his reindeer and get your #SelfiewithSanta in Santa’s custom workshop. Pittsburgh Symphony is doing a free concert, Friday November 20th at Heinz Hall as well. Basically if you go downtown you will be immersed in Christmas everywhere.

100.7 WXXP

Only on the air from 1986 until 1988, radio station WXXP fostered unexpected cultural changes in western Pennsylvania and left a lasting impact on thousands of fans. Stacy Zavala, who grew up in Mt. Pleasant, recalls FM 100.7 “was the start of everything.”

JazzWorks host Bob Studebaker revisits the rock and roll station that "Dared to be Different." Join its cast of characters for a “Double X” reunion show Saturday, Nov. 28 at Stage A.E.

Allen Dieterich-Ward is an associate professor of history at Shippensburg University and the author of Beyond Rust: Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Fate of Industrial America. The book comes out this month and looks at how industry built the Pittsburgh region; how the rethinking and large-scale redevelopment of the city after World War II remade the city; and how post-industrial Pittsburgh is shaping up.  

Erika Beras / 90.5 WESA

The newly-dubbed UPMC Rooney Sports Complex will house the Pittsburgh Steelers practice facility for 15 more years as it undergoes an additional $10 million expansion this summer, UPMC and Steelers officials announced Tuesday.

“And of course the major piece of the puzzle will be the expansion of the training facility on the first floor, which will include an expanded weight room and conditioning room,” said current franchise President Art Rooney II.

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

Steubenville, Ohio made headlines in 2012 when a high school girl was raped by a group of boys after she passed out following a night of partying. The assault was captured on cell phones and shared on social media, forcing the town and the country into a conversation about sexual violence against female students.

That night, what lead up to it and its aftermath are the subject of the play ‘Good Kids’ being performed through Sunday by University of Pittsburgh students at the Stephen Foster Memorial. 

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

  The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council is launching a website they hope will be the go-to source to find all arts and cultural events in the city.

Arts organizations can post gallery openings, theater and dance performances and other cultural events to the new site – Artsburgh. Users can scroll through the calendar or create a profile to distinguish what types of events are most important to them.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The governing boards of two of the region’s public radio stations, 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP, are merging into a single 501(c) 3.

Flickr

Pittsburgh has been referred to as “the city of champions” by many, but a new index by Pittsburgh Today places the city’s professional sports scene behind Boston, Detroit and Philadelphia.

Doug Heuck, director of Pittsburgh Today, which measured Pittsburgh against 15 “benchmark" U.S. cities, said the Steel City came in fourth in their recent Pittsburgh Sports Town Index.

It’s Friday the 13th, oh no!

Josh from WESA and Rachel from Yelp Pittsburgh are here to help you get through the weekend without bringing yourself seven years bad luck. So remember, don’t walk under that ladder, don’t open your umbrella indoors, and for the love of all that is good in the world, DON’T BREAK ANY GLASS!

Speaking of glass, Pittsburgh Glass Center will be at the Carnegie Science Center’s 21+ Night, this Friday. Explore the science of melting glass with artists from the Pittsburgh Glass Center and make your own colorful fused-glass tile as well! Enjoy music, snacks, and a cash bar!

CMU Maps The Social Network Of Elizabethan England

Nov 11, 2015

If you’ve ever played the party game ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,’ you’ll get the gist of Carnegie Mellon University’s latest digital humanities project pretty quickly. 

Six Degrees of Francis Bacon is a web tool that maps the complex social network of Britain during the early modern period. It’s based on analysis of biographical records for more than 13,000 contemporaries of the philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon.

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.

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