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.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and its recently hired editorial director, Keith Burris, may be on the verge of another controversy over the direction of its editorial page. Over the past week, the paper has not published five cartoons by its editorial cartoonist, Rob Rogers.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

If you're headed to the South Side from Downtown on the 10th Street Bridge, it's easy to spy four black geese painted onto the arch of one of the tall towers. The artwork, created by Tim Kaulen more than 20 years ago, is at risk as the bridge goes through a major rehabilitation.

Mark Perrott

Barbara Luderowski fell in love with Pittsburgh in the early 1970s, when most outsiders – and not a few locals – were having the opposite reaction. It was still an old mill town whose population was gradually leaking away.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration


Stanton Heights is filled with brick houses, families walking dogs, and lots of trees. It's also home to a 150-year-old piece of history.

Photo courtesy of Violoncheloops

Among the many things remade by digital technology, don’t forget the one-person band.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

Two pillars at the North Highland Avenue entrance to Highland Park feature classical Greek columns, 56 feet tall. Female figures up top stand draped in laurel wreathes, children clinging to their robes. At the bottom, women hold incandescent torches. Bronze eagles on "ornamental balustrades" flank the piers. 

Courtesy of the artist

When people think of Appalachia, they might be more likely to think of West Virginia or Kentucky than of Hawley, a tiny town in northeastern Pennsylvania.

But Appalachia is an extensive region known as much for its natural beauty as for the poverty of many of its people, and its legacy of extractive industries.

Felicia Cooper was upset when natural-gas companies starting tearing up the land in her hometown to build new pipelines.

Christian Shaknaitis

Brush and Pounce is the name of a modern business steeped in the aesthetics of another century. One local artist is embracing traditional methods to achieve the "vintage look" that has gained popularity with the artisanal movement of the last few years

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Whenever she picks up a mic, Melanie Carter performs as Blak Rapp Madusa. But to call that handle her “stage name” is to sell it a bit short.

Pittsburgh City Planning Department website

A map of Pittsburgh on the official city website is smattered with colorful, numbered dots, some of which cluster together in hot spots like Oakland and the North Side. Click the dots, and they reveal photos of public art--statues, plaques and pillars-- all with rich back stories, deep community ties. 

John Bazemore / AP

NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests sparked by Colin Kaepernick and polarized by President Trump, permitting players to stay in the locker room during the "The Star-Spangled Banner" but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

This fall will be a good time to be an arts patron in Pittsburgh. 

Kristi Jan Hoover

Nomad Motel is a new play that might challenge your concept of homelessness, and especially of homeless kids.

Courtesy of City of Play

For runners, exploring the city is usually the byproduct of a footrace, not its purpose.

Then there's City Spree.

Googlemaps

A director's decision to include a fictional gay couple in a local production of the play "Big Fish" -- roles that were not specifically LGBTQ in the script -- has led to the show's cancellation.

It was announced in a Facebook statement from the theater. 

Photo by Handerson Gomes / Courtesy of Bricolage Productions

For years, arts organizations have offered “sensory-friendly” versions of their concerts, plays and recitals, primarily to benefit audiences on the autism spectrum. These productions are generally the same event, but with sound and lighting modified to avoid aggravating audiences unusually sensitive to such stimuli.

Buzzy Prentiss

"Concentration camps for prostitutes."

That was the phrase Scott Stern heard a history professor utter in 2011, when Stern was a freshman at Yale University. The professor was lecturing about how difficult it was to treat sexually transmitted infections in the era of World War I, and the lengths to which the government went to prevent their spread.

Courtesy of Bill Shannon

Maybe you know how Bill Shannon feels: addicted to your newsfeed, feeling constantly pressured to keep up, all day long.

“You wake up in the morning and you check your Twitter feed and then you look at your Facebook and your Instagram, and you're literally like feeling crushed, you know,” he said.

No Major Changes For Penguins After 3-Peat Bid Falls Short

May 10, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Pittsburgh Penguins don't expect the sting from their second-round playoff exit to fade anytime soon.

They also don't expect it to compel general manager Jim Rutherford to give the roster a thorough makeover after the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions' bid for a three-peat ended at the hands of Washington.

If anything, the setback has given Sidney Crosby and company a chance to put their remarkable run atop the league in perspective.

Folk tales and fairy tales are conventionally viewed as repositories of traditional culture. But they can also be dark, anarchic, and downright weird, full of violence, shape-shifting and magic.

Allison Turrell / Flickr

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh said it will close its Downtown location next month after filing for bankruptcy this week.

Carmen Gentile

Carmen Gentile backed into conflict journalism. The New Kensington native and graduate of Shadyside Academy left Temple University with dreams of writing his way around the world. A job at an English-language newspaper in Cairo, Egypt, led to a stint covering the 2004 military coup in Haiti; the year after that, Gentile was reporting on the war in Afghanistan.

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

Disparities persist in the number of arts grants, total amounts of funds and average amount of grant dollars received by organizations of color, compared to white, non-Hispanic groups.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

On a bright, breezy day in downtown Pittsburgh, the sound of church bells echoed up and down several blocks following a ceremony at Trinity Cathedral Episcopal to celebrate the rededication of their 10 church bells.

Courtesy of Jerry Agin

Six decades separate the Pittsburgh Marathon's oldest competitor from one of its youngest. 

Andy Schultz / flickr

The Pittsburgh Marathon is celebrating the tenth anniversary since its 2009 reboot. Events begin Friday with a health and fitness expo until 8 p.m. 

Jae Ruberto

If you’ve ever visited the Pittonkatonk May Day Brass BBQ Potluck Picnic, the fifth annual incarnation will be broadly familiar: Bands playing outdoors for free in Schenley Park, with plenty of food and a family-friendly atmosphere. It remains volunteer-run (though musicians are paid), and free of corporate advertising and of anything for sale – all rarities for a long-running music festival.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The play and words are heating up between the Penguins and the Washington Capitals in their Stanley Cup playoff series after the Caps' Tom Wilson broke the jaw of Penguin Zach Aston-Reese with a hit to the head in Tuesday's 4-3 Washington victory. Penguin players were furious because moments after the hit, Wilson could be seen laughing on the bench while Aston-Reese was sprawled on the ice. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

An $800,000 conservation project is underway to keep one of Pittsburgh's oldest and most recognizable East End homes from sinking.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The Mattress Factory Museum was never meant to be a museum, says Barbara Luderowski. She should know; the artist and designer launched the venture herself in 1977, in a literal former mattress factory on Pittsburgh’s North Side. It began as a multi-story community center that hosted a dance studio, art exhibits, theater performances, film screenings and more, including a vegetarian co-op café where you could get dinner for $2.

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