Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

These aren’t your typical theater-goers. They call out during the play. They try to join into the performance.

And some are sucking on pacifiers.

This is entertainment for the very young — baby theater.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Spring Gallery Crawl will look a little more like a pub crawl this season.

The Trust has partnered with Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week to bring 11 taste-testing stations to the Cultural District’s quarterly arts festival.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, the free 10-day music and arts festival that occurs in downtown Pittsburgh every June, will take place June 5-14 this year with the theme "Unseen-Unheard."

Headliners include singers such as Neko Case, Benjamin Booker and Rhiannon Giddens. There are dozens of other musicians performing at the stage set up at Point State Park, as well as visual arts projects. There will also be an artists’ fair and food for sale.

The Cultural Trust announced their line-up for the EQT Children’s Theater Festival.

Pamela Komar, manager of Children’s Theater Programming at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, said they select the participating theatrical groups critically.

“We look at the ages of children in Pittsburgh, we look at their current interests and we try to balance and bring in art forms that will be of interest to all kinds of people from all different backgrounds and all different abilities in Pittsburgh,” she said.

PNC has donated the Lantern Building to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

The building at 600 Liberty Avenue currently houses the PNC Legacy Project exhibit, which highlights Pittsburgh’s history and PNC’s role in it. That will be moved to the Tower at PNC Plaza. As for the Lantern Building, the Trust said it will continue to use the gallery to showcase and enhance artistic programming, though exact plans are still unknown.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Carnegie Mellon University are joining forces to celebrate the humanities in March.

Smart Talk about Stuff that Matters is a humanities festival with a broad definition of humanities—knowledge of humankind and its works. The event will include speakers presenting ideas on everything from art, literature, and music, to science, and politics. 

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is celebrating ten years of gallery crawls with an Afropean R&B music performance, numerous art exhibits ranging from a billboard display to a cell phone disco and even salsa dancing.

Darcy Kucenic, Manager of Education and Operations for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, said the first gallery crawl was in 2004 and only featured four venues.

One Pittsburgh summer tradition, the Three Rivers Arts Festival, is behind us and another one is ahead – the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival.

The fourth annual celebration of jazz has grown since it started and has attracted a wide audience that benefits the region.

The Smithereens Rock the Arts Festival

Jun 12, 2014
M. Jeremy Goldman / Flickr

The Smithereens perform tonight as part of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. In the 80s and 90s, the group was churning out hit songs like “Only a Memory,” “Blood and Roses” and a “Girl Like You.” Pat DiNizio is the lead singer of the rock group, and joined us in studio to talk about the history of the group, and what he’s been up to since the group’s heyday.

DiNizio describes fame as “anticlimactic.” He says he finally realized the band had “made it” when he heard “Girl Like You," broadcasted on a radio station in New York, after six years. DiNizio says it was emotionally for him, because the band never expected to sell more than 3,000 records. They sold millions.

Three Rivers Arts Festival Goes Green

Jun 9, 2014
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust / Twitter

The Three Rivers Arts Festival got underway over the weekend. This year, the annual celebration made up of concerts, art exhibits and food has a decidedly green component.

Three River Arts Festival director Veronica Corpuz explained the importance of this component.

“It’s one of the few green arts festivals of its kind in the country. We say it’s a green festival, it means that our operations, everything from how we sort our waste and try to divert as much waste from landfills by recycling and composting materials… to create a zero waste event at the Arts Festival. Given that behind the scenes operations, we’ve tried to bring that more to the forefront, through the art.” 

Those attending the 55th annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival will find portraits of air, a 4 story figure named Lady Pneumatica and a tribute to the Fort Pitt Block House.

The festival that runs today through June 15 has a theme of aesthetic creativity and environmental sustainability.

“Many of our art installations explore either the built environment and architecture or the natural environment and how our actions can impact and affect the natural world around us,” Veronica Corpuz, Director of Festival Management, said.

Gene Kelly Fans / Wordpress

The life of Gene Kelly, legendary dancer, director, choreographer and Pittsburgh native, will be celebrated Wednesday evening in a show presented at the Byham Theater called Gene Kelly: The Legacy, An Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly. As his widow and biographer, Ward Kelly discusses both Gene Kelly’s career and personal life.

She explained that no matter which direction her husband took his career, where he came from was always a huge influence.

“Gene was very distinct among the Hollywood elite. He was kind of the outcast. He wasn’t in the upper crust, and in fact, he used to say he wasn’t even invited to the Basil Rathbone house. He was the lower, middle income guy. It started, obviously, with the Pittsburgh roots, which were very important for him. But, very distinct from [Fred] Astaire who hung out with the Vanderbilts and the Whitneys. That was not Gene Kelly.”

Flickr user Via Tsuji

With high temperatures in the 90s this week, it’s hard to believe Pittsburgh saw snow less than two months ago.

Thankfully, the Steel City has finally shrugged off winter just in time for a slew of outdoor events in and around downtown Pittsburgh.

Venture Outdoors Festival

Point State Park is the location for the 14th annual Venture Outdoors Festival, which takes place at Point State Park and runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Jessica Lasky / 90.5 WESA

The 55th annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival kicks off in Pittsburgh the first weekend in June. This year’s event will feature the signature Artist Market, live musical performances, and numerous art installations and performances throughout the cultural district. Festival organizers said this event, along with next week’s International Children’s Festival, the Jazz Live International Festival, and New Year’s First Night are huge economic drivers in the region.

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

The Cultural Trust’s Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival is making a “leap” from Oakland to Downtown May 14-18.

The 28th annual frog-themed festival is moving to help fulfill the Trust’s mission to make Downtown a “vibrant and inviting place.”

90.5 WESA Giveaway-Experience Pittsburgh

Feb 6, 2014

When you give now you will be automatically entered to win our Experience Pittsburgh Package - a night for two on the town including a $50 gift certificate for dinner at Braddock’s American Brasserie, a weekend night’s stay at The Renaissance Hotel, and a $150 gift certificate for the tickets purchased through Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Become a member today and get entered by calling 412-697-2955 or give here.

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

The Cultural Trust is inviting Pittsburghers to spend the last few hours of 2013 getting lost in a 90,000-pound ice labyrinth.

“In honor of the 20th anniversary, we are building this fantastic ice labyrinth,” Darcy Kucenic, Director of First Night Pittsburgh, said.  “It is a 30 by 40 maze made of blocks of ice, it is five feet tall and the walls will eventually be lit up with LED lights.”

Rich Bubin of Ice Creations in Churchill and his 12-person team are carving and assembling the labyrinth’s 300 blocks.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Despite an online petition with more than 4,636 signatures (as of this story being published), the Rubber Duck Project will leave Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

“From the beginning we always said October 20th is its date,” said Paul Organisak, vice president for programming at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The work of art has always been, was meant to be, a temporary installation. The power of it is the concentrated period of time to bring people together knowing that they must get down to see it.”

Just How Big is that Giant Floating Rubber Duck?

Sep 27, 2013
Photo courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman

Artist Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck Project will float down the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers Friday, kicking off Pittsburgh’s Festival of Firsts.

The duck has been on display all over the world, with stops in Amsterdam, Lommel (Belgium), Osaka, Sydney Harbour, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong. It's also spawned some counterfeit quackers.

Now the real deal is set to make its American debut.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

A giant, floating rubber duck will temporarily change the Pittsburgh skyline this weekend as the American debut of the Rubber Duck Project kicks off the Pittsburgh Festival of Firsts.

In the meantime, one is reminded of the question asked by Arthur Weasley in the movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:" "What exactly is the function of a rubber duck?”

Many would say its function is a child’s bath toy, but to others, it’s art.

A Wide World of Art Coming to Pittsburgh This Fall

Sep 18, 2013
Jennifer Szweda Jordan / 90.5WESA

There are many exciting arts events coming to Pittsburgh this fall. From the 35th anniversary of the Mattress Factory to feminist punk rock and of course, a big ‘ol rubber ducky.

Bill O'Driscoll, Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Pittsburgh City Paper says installations from the Mattress Factory's Detroit in Residence exhibit use found objects to their advantage.

"It was opportunity rather than devastation."

He found the basement exhibit from Scott Hocking especially notable. It utilizes the imagery of the Carrie Furnace in Rankin and salvaged figures from a bible theme park for "a mediation on post-industrial society."

Adults and children on the autism spectrum will soon be able to enjoy a special performance of the musical version of Disney’s "The Lion King." It’s is the highest grossing Broadway show in history, but with bright lights and loud noises, the performance is not ideal for theater-lovers with autism.

The Moth Mainstage: How to Tell a Compelling Story

Aug 21, 2013
The Moth

The Moth Mainstage returns to Pittsburgh tomorrow at the Byham Theater. Participants share a ten-minute story onstage centered on the theme “balancing acts.”

Producer Kate Tellers says The Moth StorySlams, Radio Hour and Mainstage have experienced huge success in Pittsburgh over the past few years.

She coaches storytellers before they perform and worked with Justin Strong, owner of Shadow Lounge and AVA, in crafting a story. Tellers says truly effective stories are able to reach to the lowest point in someone’s life and illustrate a turning point that defines them.

Photo courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman

The task of making Pittsburgh stand out as an international city has fallen on the shoulders of a floating rubber duck.

The four-story duck is part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s International Festival of Firsts.

Cultural Trust CEO and President Kevin McMahon said the purpose of this festival is not solely to bring money to Pittsburgh.

The 2013 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival kicks off in early June with a splash.

On June 7, after years of reconstruction, the fountain at the Point will be turned back on permanently.

“Point State Park has been rebuilt from top to bottom over the last five years thanks to the efforts of one of the most extensive public-private partnerships in our history,” said Riverlife President and CEO Lisa Schroeder. “Planning for this massive project began in 2001 and is the largest park project ever undertaken in the commonwealth.”

Pittsburghers venturing downtown on Friday night have at least two opportunities to experience the arts.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Spring Gallery Crawl takes place from 5:30 to 9 p.m., while the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's Night Market IV runs from 6 to 11 p.m.