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.

"Golden Dragon" Will Be A Production Marvel

Jul 30, 2012

With an interesting plot and unconventional performance, "The Golden Dragon" will keep audience members engaged, to say the least. Presented by the Quantum Theater, the production will open on August 3 on Carnegie Lake in Highland Park.

The stories of the kitchen staff at an Asian cuisine restaurant and tenants from the apartment above intertwine and are acted out on a raft-like stage on the water.

Judge Allows for Demolition of St. Nick's Church

Jul 23, 2012

An Allegheny County judge has allowed for St. Nicholas Parish to demolish its historic church on Route 28 in the North Side.

On Monday, Common Pleas Judge Robert Colville ordered the Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission to grant the parish a "certificate of economic hardship" within 30 days. That document would allow the parish to bypass the deteriorating church's historic status and proceed with plans for demolition.

However, the city still has the option to appeal Judge Colville's decision.

Bill Bodine

Jul 17, 2012

The Frick Art & Historical Center's Director says in a good museum, as in a good book, "each object has a story to tell."

Bill Bodine recommends:

Edmund DeWaal, The Hare With Amber Eyes

An additional 2,200 senior citizens in the Pittsburgh region will be served as part of a long term development plan for the Meals on Wheels program. A $60,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation will assist the senior nutrition group in helping nearly twice as many people as it currently does.

Bill Fuller

Jul 10, 2012

Restauranteuer Bill Fuller, Corporate Chef of the Big Burrito group, has his plate full this summer with Wallace Stegner's 600 page, Pulitzer Prize-winning Angle of Repose.

Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

Andrew Masich

Jul 9, 2012

On the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War, Heinz History Center President and CEO Andy Masich's mind is on the role of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania in those historic events.

Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels

Presbyterians Will Boycott, But Not Divest

Jul 6, 2012

The Presbyterian Church (USA), meeting at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, voted yesterday by a 2-vote margin not to divest pension funds from three U.S. companies whose products are said to be used in non-peaceful pursuits in the occupied Palestinian territories: Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Motorola Solutions.

Summer Reads at the WYEP Summer Music Festival

Jul 2, 2012

Oakland's Schenley Plaza, just across from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh main branch, is one of the city's best places to relax with a book on a warm summer evening. It's also a great spot to enjoy live outdoor music. Josh Raulerson found plenty of people doing both on a recent Friday night, during the 2012 WYEP Summer Music Festival.

Some recommended titles for summer reading:

Fans of the Bard will have the opportunity to view and then judge short theater productions this week during "Bard Wars" at the Community College of Allegheny County. The school launches its first Shakespeare Creative Competition Festival June 28 with performances beginning at 8:00 PM each evening through June 30th.

Henry Reese

Jun 25, 2012

City of Asylum Pittsburgh brings international writers facing persecution in their home countries to Pittsburgh, where they're provided with the security and support they need to continue their work. In return, through readings and other public events, Pittsburghers get an opportunity to see the world through the eyes of others whose lives may be very different from their own.

To celebrate Pittsburgh's rich history of rich foods, visitors to the first Hometown-Homegrown event will be treated to a taste of the city's culinary passion. Presented by the Heinz History Center and GoodTaste! Pittsburgh, the food expo will serve up samples from the best of the best in western Pennsylvania.

Natalia Rudiak

Jun 18, 2012

Pittsburgh District 4 City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak (D-South Hills) is a world traveler and a self-described "voracious reader." She sates her wanderlust on a steady diet of travel writing and fiction set in faraway places.

Councilwoman Rudiak recommends:

Kira Salak, Four Corners: A Journey Into the Heart of Papua New Guinea

Tim Murphy

Jun 11, 2012

Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA 18) represents the South Hills in the U.S. House of Representatives. He's also a practicing psychologist whose work with veterans is informed by accounts of heroism on the battlefield.

Murphy recommends:

Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor

Carnegie Library Summer Reading Extravaganza Sunday

Jun 8, 2012

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is kicking off its 12th annual Summer Reading Extravaganza this Sunday in Oakland from noon to 5:00 PM.

There will be a giant slide, puppet shows, music, plays, belly dancing, story times and wild animals, all to encourage children, teens, and adults to keep reading and learning during the summer months.

Dennis Yablonsky

Jun 4, 2012

Allegheny Conference on Community Development CEO Dennis Yablonsky draws inspiration from stories of leadership and perseverance.

He recommends:

Sean Parnell, Outlaw Platoon

In combat, men measure up. Or don't. There are no second chances.

Many of Pittsburgh's most notable historic landmarks, like the Fort Pitt Blockhouse and the Cathedral of Learning, are already protected by the Historic Review Commission of Pittsburgh. The city has also designated twelve neighborhoods as historic districts, in which the area's aesthetics are strictly controlled.

However, a new plan from the Department of City Planning aims to expand the city's protection of its historic assets. Under the PRESERVEPGH outline, Pittsburgh would coordinate citywide historic preservation for the first time in its history.

Speaking Volumes: Linda Lane

May 28, 2012

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane tells Josh Raulerson reading has made all the difference in her life.

Recently, she's been reading:

Isabelle Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns

Dialogue, an exhibition featuring paintings and sculptures of two artists, will be shown at this year's annual ART WORKS Art Show in Johnstown. The inaugural showing will start at 4:00 PM on Saturday, June 2nd.

Norman Ed, the exhibit's sculptor and Johnstown native, said he will be working on the pieces up until the day of the show.

"The majority of the work is all buttoned up," Ed said, "but I love the energy and the certain kind of tension and frustration about trying to pull something off."

The city is now accepting public comments for PRESERVEPGH, the cultural heritage planning effort. Members of the community are encouraged to leave comments and concerns regarding the draft plan containing preliminary recommendations. The plan will be available online until June 19.

Kevin McMahon

May 21, 2012

Josh Raulerson covers the highbrow-lowbrow split with Pittsburgh Cultural Trust President & CEO Kevin McMahon.

McMahon recommends:

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Gideon's Corpse

On a clear, sunny, and warm Friday morning, Buhl Community Park, outside of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, was cloudy, misty, and cool. That's thanks to a new sculpture currently under construction, which uses mist to create an ever-evolving cloud-like sphere.

International Art Museum Day In Pittsburgh

May 16, 2012

The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History in Pittsburgh are joining more than 100 museums in the U.S., Canada and Mexico Thursday to celebrate "Art Museum Day."

The annual event is sponsored by the Association of Art Museum Directors and features reduced or free admission along with special events and programming.

A structure that looks much like a playful moon bounce set up in Mazeroski Field on Oakland's Schenley Drive is actually an art sculpture.

James Gibson

May 10, 2012

Rabbi James Gibson puts in long hours in his book-lined study at Temple Sinai, poring over scripture and theological texts. But, as he tells Josh Raulerson, he's also an avid reader of spy novels and contemporary history.

Lately, Rabbi Gibson has been reading:

Benny Morris, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War

Walls are Bad, Outside is Good

May 10, 2012

Friday marks the start of Sustainable Pittsburgh's 11th annual Great Outdoors Week, or as organizers like to call it, the "ten day weekend." The event running from May 11th to May 20th is a compilation of more than 60 outdoor recreational activities over a week and a half period.

Sustainable Pittsburgh Communications Manager Ginette Vinski said people of all ages and all skill levels can participate.

Mary Frances Cooper

May 7, 2012

Mary Frances Cooper, President and Director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, loves the heft and texture of a good book. But, as she tells Speaking Volumes, Cooper also sees a bright future for libraries and readers through digital publishing.

Her recent reads include:

Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Cultural Trust Gives Sneak Peek At 2012 Arts Festival

Apr 30, 2012

People who were passing through Point State Park on Monday morning may have been tapping their feet a little more than usual, as they got a preview of things to come at this year's annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.

One of the new attractions at this year's festival will include a day entirely devoted to Bluegrass music.

Marguerite Jarrett Marks, who oversees the programming for the Three Rivers Arts Festival, previewed all the unique festivities, art and entertainment that will be at this year's festival; which runs from June 1-10.

Pennsylvania Allows Vintage Plates for Vintage Cars

Apr 30, 2012

Owners of antique and classic cars are now allowed to place time period-correct vintage license plates on their vehicles. In other words, House Bill 1203, signed into law on Thursday, allows the car owner to use the license plate from the era in which their car was made.

State Representative John Lawrence (R-Chester) explains that the legislation does not change anything about the registration or use of antique or classic cars.

Recognizing The Youth Artists Of Pittsburgh

Apr 30, 2012

For more than 25 years, the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild has been a champion for youth, art and education in Pittsburgh. In the past, MCG has hosted an annual juried arts exhibition where talented students from the Pittsburgh Public School system competed for accolades and awards. Now, MCG is expanding the competition so more students can compete.

GMO Debate Should be Case-By-Case

Apr 23, 2012

The fight over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food began the moment scientists first learned how to splice a gene, but a University of Pittsburgh researcher thinks she has some new advice for those engaged in the debate.