Bill O'Driscoll

Arts & Culture Reporter

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Most recently, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

The 2018 Carnegie International, which opens Saturday, at the Carnegie Museum of Art, will spotlight work by dozens of artists and artist teams from around the world. But only one of those artists, it’s safe to say, traces his relationship with the museum back to 1968.

Photo by Renee Rosensteel / Image courtesy of the New Hazlett Theater

Each year, millions of people around the world become refugees due to extreme weather like storms, flooding, and drought. As climate change worsens, their numbers are expected to rise. Climate change has been implicated even in refugee crises that most people think are entirely political in nature, like the horrific civil war in Syria.

Sereny Welsby, a 30-year-old aspiring filmmaker, was thrilled back in April when she got a job with the Silk Screen Asian-American Film Festival.

The feeling, she says, didn’t last long.


Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Michael Olijnyk, the executive director of the Mattress Factory, is being placed on paid leave immediately.

Image courtesy of Daliborka Films

In Command and Control, Eric Schlosser’s 2013 book about the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the episode warranted just a paragraph: in 1954 a Japanese fishing boat was showered with fallout from atomic testing in the Pacific Ocean.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

A portion of  a local art museum’s Regional Asset District funding might be in jeopardy following charges that management retaliated against employees there.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes / Image courtesy of Cynthia Oliver

The range of behavior our culture acknowledges as masculine might include both good and bad, but it’s still not very wide. So says Cynthia Oliver, a nationally-known choreographer based in Illinois

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

It began, simply enough, with young women telling each other their stories.

Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts – an arts showcase dedicated to premieres – is itself no longer new. But after previous iterations in 2004, 2008 and 2013, the fourth Festival of Firsts does promise to be the largest ever.

Photo courtesy of Associated Artists of Pittsburgh

Arts groups are known for managing with limited resources, and then making something special out of them. The 2018 Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Annual Exhibition, for instance, is being staged not in an art gallery, but in a former clothing store in the South Side Works shopping district.

Photo by Jason Snyder

In 1856, British artist Henry Wallis completed “The Death of Chatterton.” The oil painting was Romantic with a capital “R”: a loving depiction of 18th-century poet Thomas Chatterton, who’d just committed suicide by ingesting arsenic. Chatterton, age 17, lays draped on a bed, washed in dawn light. 

Turkish author Asli Erdoğan is acclaimed around the world. She’s written four works of fiction, and her writings have been translated into 20 languages, including two in English. In 2017, the French government awarded her the Légion d’Honneur.

Photo by Frank Walsh / corningworks/ frank walsh c.2018

Beth Corning says we don’t talk enough about death.

The choreographer and performer calls life’s cessation the ubiquitous “elephant in the room.”

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

Many first-time visitors to Pittsburgh know of its history of steelmaking. A few are familiar with its legacy in jazz. But probably only Postcommodity would blend the two like the art collective is doing for the 2018 Carnegie International.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

The Woodland Hills School Board on Thursday voted unanimously to renew two controversial security contracts.

Photo by Anthony Bookhammer / Courtesy of Rivers of Steel Arts

Neglected for decades, in the past several years the Carrie Blast Furnaces, in Rankin, have been reborn.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

Pittsburgh's beer tourism industry hopes to get a boost this week with the release of city's first comprehensive craft brewery guide. 

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

The fallout continues over a popular Lawrenceville bowling alley’s firing Sunday of a DJ who posted on social media his photo of a sign there banning rap and hip hop music.

Franklin photo by Dan Dion

JC Coccoli grew up Catholic in McKees Rocks – and while she hasn’t lived in Pennsylvania for years, she too is kind of upset about the grand jury report that alleged sex abuse in the church.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

In 2009, Nick Nolte came to Pittsburgh to shoot Warrior, a drama set in the world of mixed martial arts. It wasn’t the Hollywood star’s first time here; he’d visited a few years earlier for his role in The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. But Nolte and Warrior director Gavin O’Connor agreed that Nolte, an inveterate partier, could use a minder.

Courtesy of Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village

It’s said that among the major American sports, baseball has changed the least.

Courtesy of Bob Rumba

If the phrase “puppetry for adults” sounds either oxymoronic or potentially salacious, the Puppetry Guild of Pittsburgh has a show to prove otherwise.

The group’s third annual Puppet Slam and picnic is the local manifestation of a national subculture of puppetry that’s not just for kids, says Cheryl Capezutti, perhaps Pittsburgh’s best-known puppet artist and an organizer of the Slam.

Photo by Jeff Zoet / Courtesy of Day Bracey

To tell how the nation’s first black beer festival came to be held in Pittsburgh, you might start with a beer. 

Courtesy of Idia'Dega

If you’re trying to save the planet from home, you’re more likely to look at your thermostat than your wardrobe. But Tereneh Idia says the latter counts, too.

Gabrianna Dacko

Zoje Stage isn’t a parent. But the Pittsburgh-based author’s debut novel describes a deeply disturbing mother-daughter relationship rooted largely in the mind of a sociopathic 7-year-old girl.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh VegFest

This Saturday, fans of vegan food and animal advocacy can taste the latest meat-free cuisine, purchase organic health products and hang out with shelter cats at the fourth annual Pittsburgh VegFest.

Courtesy of the Office of Public Art

A new public artwork in Larimer draws directly on the stories of longtime residents of the Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Larimer Stories follows a two-year collaboration between local artists and the community’s senior citizens. The work is a large aluminum frame, like a billboard, with racks for movable metal letters that spell out short statements from the participants about life in Larimer over the past century.

Photo by Tom Altany

American Samoa sits in the South Pacific, a group of small islands six hours’ flight from Hawai’i. Yet it’s a place that even football fans who aren’t versed in geography know well: A disproportionate number of college and pro stars trace their origins to this culturally unique U.S. territory, including retired Pittsburgh Steelers star Troy Polamalu.

Carnegie Museum of Art, © Conner Family Trust

The Carnegie Museum of Art is revising its take on contemporary art.

Courtesy of the Mattress Factory

It was the first time Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson had visited South Africa, but the coastal city of Cape Town looked strangely familiar.

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