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.

Expanded Arts and Culture reporting in western Pennsylvania is generously supported by the Jack Buncher Foundation.

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council / Jason Cohn

The historic architecture of 25 churches, mosques and other buildings will be highlighted this weekend at the Wilkinsburg Sacred Spaces Tour.

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.

Courtesy of the artist and Peter Freeman, Inc., New York

One of the oldest collections of contemporary art, the Carnegie International, debuts its 57th edition to the public on Saturday. 

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.

Pittsburgh City Photographer / University of Pittsburgh

Some people find billboards disruptive and unattractive. They cover up scenery and distract drivers. But billboards are one of the oldest forms of advertising and are still a popular way for companies to get their message across.

Courtesy of the Westmoreland Cultural Trust

The Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra opens its “Celebrate 50” season next Saturday, marking 50 years in Greensburgh, Pa. 

Kathy Willens / AP

 


In 1968, journalist Joan Didion wrote, “we tell ourselves stories in order to live.”

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.


George Romero / Wikimedia Commons


Fifty years ago this week, American moviegoers wandered into a low-budget horror flick filmed outside Pittsburgh. What they saw would change the genre forever.

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

“Apocalypse Punch,” “Penicillin” and “W.H.O. Let the Virus Out?” will be on the menu of the pop-up zombie-themed bar at the Original Oyster House in Market Square opening Wednesday.

Eric Long / National Air and Space Museum / Smithsonian Institution via Heinz History Center

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Apollo 11 team landed the lunar module, Eagle, in 1969. Now Pittsburgh can get close to a defining moment in American history thanks to a new exhibit at the Heinz History Center, Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. Heinz is one of four museums nationwide to host more than 100 mission artifacts, including the original spacecraft transported from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Julie Kahlbaugh

Pittsburgh-based photographer and filmmaker Njaimeh Njie has been named Pittsburgh Center for the Arts' 2018 Emerging Artist of the Year. Njie’s experience has spanned genres and borders, from documenting black Muslim life in Paris to earning degrees in film studies and secondary education. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The undead made a rare daytime appearance Monday morning to celebrate the filmmaker considered to be the godfather of satirical horror. Fifty years after George Romeo’s "Night of the Living Dead" premiered in Pittsburgh, more than 30 organizations have created programming around its anniversary.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

At age 92, Joe Negri can still glide up and down the fretboard of his guitar as well as someone half his age. Negri has been playing the instrument since he was 8 years old. 

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.

Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center

Native American culture will be celebrated this weekend at the 40th annual Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center Pow Wow. The event includes more than 150 dancers and drummers from multiple Native American tribes.

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

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh City Paper has a new Editor-in-Chief. On Wednesday, it was announced that Managing Editor Lisa Cunningham will be taking over the role.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Steve Kelley spends his nights working more than twenty stories up. It can be scary sometimes—all alone, high off the ground in Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center—especially when he can see lightning flash through the huge windows. But most often it’s peaceful, says the union janitor with SEIU 32BJ: “Just the work and me.” Night work is essential to the economy, but it can often be invisible, even hazardous. 

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

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

Sarah Bader

 

Garfield art space BOOM Concepts has aligned itself with some of the city’s biggest cultural institutions and well-known artists, including Mac Miller and Jimmy Wopo.

Courtesy of Redbull Media

Technical rock climbing jumped on the U.S. scene as early as the late 1800s, but it took nearly a century before advances in ropes and climbing aids helped bring it into the mainstream. In recent years, sport climbing -- and sport climbing gyms -- have exploded in popularity, and starting in 2020, three climbing disciplines will be represented for the first time at the Olympic games.

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.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

 


According to the Department of Defense, total enlistment in the U.S. military is 2,869,822. Recruiters are struggling more every year to enlist young people, and only 29 percent of people aged 17 to 24 would qualify if they tried to enlist.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Baseball is full of disappointments: strikeouts, fielding errors, hitting into double plays. And in the minors, those moments carry extra weight; every guy has his sights set on getting called up to the big leagues. For Jonathan Schwind, there was only one way to stay positive through a long season: take it one day at a time.

Jim Judkis / Focus Features via AP

The first biography of Pittsburgh icon Fred Rogers was released last week. “The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers” traces Rogers' early days through the all-important launch and subsequent generations of fandom created by “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” broadcast through the Pittsburgh public television station WQED.

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. 

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