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.

Penn State To Collect $733K From Sandusky's Defunct Charity

Mar 20, 2019
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Penn State will collect hundreds of thousands of dollars left over from the defunct charity for youth founded by convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, settling claims from a threatened civil lawsuit.

The university and the state attorney general's office both confirmed this week that an agreement was reached recently.

The university said it also will receive additional payments from entities that ensured The Second Mile, although the terms are confidential.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The “humanities” are anything concerned with human culture, and so the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival ranges wide.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Industrial hemp is making a comeback in Pennsylvania after nearly a century of being illegal. The crop can be used to manufacture rope and clothing. Back when Pittsburgh was a young city, a woman defied tradition to run the largest rope-making business in the region.

Amy Sisk / WESA

Kristal Bodenschatz stands tall on the balance beam before she launches into a front tuck.

Photo by Derek Minto

Standup comedy can involve more than just standing up to tell jokes or stories. 

Courtesy of Jewish Family & Community Services

Jewish Family and Community Services in Squirrel Hill  is working to foster community for immigrants and refugees alike in Pittsburgh, according to its director of Refugee and Immigrant Services Leslie Aizenman. To achieve that, the JFCS is leading a collaboration among Casa San Jose, Literacy Pittsburgh, Latino Family Center of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, and South Hills Interfaith Movement.  

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A veteran of social activism since the 1960s is coming to Pittsburgh to help organizers of the future.

Allegheny Conference on Community Development Photographs / Detre Library & Archives at the History Center

A harsh winter with nearly 63 inches of snow, a sudden spring thaw and little to no water regulation combined to cause the worst flooding in Pittsburgh history: the St. Patrick’s Day flood of 1936.

Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art

The 57th Carnegie International ends March 25, so it’s time for a last look at the sprawling exhibit featuring cutting-edge work by 32 artists from around the world.

Three local arts leaders responded to a request to discuss one of their favorite works in the show.

Courtesy of Melissa Block

Journalism has changed dramatically since NPR's Melissa Block started her career, but she says one thing remains the same: people still care about in-depth and long-form reporting. 

Ashton Applewhite wrote what she calls her “first serious book” in 1997. It was titled "Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well," and it was inspired by what she saw as the prevailing perception of divorced women as depressed and pathetic. 

Whitney Garrison

Pittsburgh native Bria Thomas, who goes by the stage name DJ Femi, has been mixing music for the city’s nightlife for nearly a decade. After attending Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School for cello and piano, she started learning about music production and fell in love with entertaining.

During the first half of the 20th century – back when most people still got their news on newsprint – Pittsburgh’s best-known journalist was likely Ray Sprigle. 


Sally Stapleton, managing editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, said she will leave her position at the end of March, according to sources at the paper. She did not say why she was leaving and under what circumstances, in a brief announcement to the newsroom Tuesday.

Photo by Bill Gardner / 90.5 WESA News

A national nonprofit group that promotes scenic beauty is tightening ties with its local affiliate. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Thousands of films, novels and songs entered the public domain at the start of the new year. It’s the first time in decades that titles like Charlie Chaplin’s silent movie “The Pilgrim” and Virginia Woolf’s “Jacob’s Room,” were made available for anyone to reproduce or use for their own creative purposes.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

Not every self-taught artist gets a solo exhibit. Fewer still earn the privilege at age 89. 

C Savinell / Courtesy of Pittsburgh Symphony

African-American women in music, dance, fashion and more are honored in Celebrating Phenomenal Women, a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra program for Women’s History Month.

Highlights include tributes to famed jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams, who grew up in Pittsburgh, and the late Aretha Franklin, sung by Broadway star Capathia Jenkins.


André Previn, the multi-talented musician and composer who served as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s musical director from 1976 to 1984, has died. He was 89.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The 38th annual Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show kicks off Friday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. John DeSantis, the event’s executive director, says that this year's 10-day event will have more than 1,800 vendors and include a farm-to-table, buy-local conference. 

Image courtesy of Alexis Gideon

“2028: Proclaiming Earth to be a misogynistic dystopia, the art-pop super duo Princess prepares a rocket ship to find a better world. As only two white men could.”

Courtesy of the artist

Cartoonist Rob Rogers’s new book is titled “Enemy of the People: A Cartoonist’s Journey.” On its cover, a caricature of Rogers himself stands in a police lineup while holding a large mug shot of President Donald Trump.  

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to secure funds for a wall on the southern border. You can draw a line from that decision straight back to 225 years ago, when President George Washington set a precedent for executive authority by calling up a militia to put down the Whiskey Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania.

Randall Coleman / Redd Vision


Benji. holds little, if anything, back on his latest album, "Smile, You’re Alive!" The Pittsburgh native spoke with WYEP’s Joey Spehar for the Live & Direct series about the inspiration behind his music, his career trajectory and how he almost lost his entire album before its release. Benji. was recently named one of NPR's top artists to watch in 2019.

Photo by David Bachman Photography

In December 1963, an Army captain named Floyd James Thompson shipped out from Fort Bragg, N.C. to Vietnam. 

Photo by Nick Schapiro / Courtesy of Phipps Conservatory

February often means slushy streets and freezing temperatures. But it also means spring planting season is just weeks away. Another harbinger is the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s seventh annual seed-and-plant swap, A Celebration of Seeds.

Charles "Teenie" Harris / Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles "Teenie" Harris Archive

In 1960, the same year the Pittsburgh Pirates won their third World Series title, another athletic league was making a name for itself in the city. That’s when a Hill District native named Mildred Allen helped create one of the largest community athletic associations in Pittsburgh: the Triboro Softball League.

Josef Rabara

An estimated 2,400 lectures and 1,000 concerts were given at Terezín Concentration Camp during World War II, including Requiem, a Catholic funeral march composed by Giuseppe Verdi in 1874.


Keith Burris will lead the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as executive editor, “effective immediately,” according to a notice posted in the newsroom on Monday evening.

Renee Rosensteel

Jimmy Cvetic, a singular Pittsburgh character, has died.