Friday, September 23, 2016

Final weekend for the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 10:30 AM

It happens every year around Labor Day. You start getting that itch to dress like a knight, eat giant hunks of meat, and take in a joust or two. There's time, you think, the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival goes on all month. Well, the time has cometh, as they say down in West Newton every weekend from late August until the end of September. The final weekend of the fest is nigh 'n'at

This weekend will feature an Oktoberfest theme with German food and dancing, as well as the normal events and the Artisan Marketplace. The festival — located at 112 Renaissance Lane in
West Newton — is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available at a discount in advance and at the box office. 


Tags: ,

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publisher hangs on Donald Trump’s jet in a ‘more than memorable’ experience

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 5:13 PM

Donald Trump and Post-Gazette Publisher/Editor-in-Chief John Robinson Block
  • Donald Trump and Post-Gazette Publisher/Editor-in-Chief John Robinson Block
Earlier this year, an online news site reported on a possible primary-election endorsement of Donald Trump by the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

In that report, Philadelphia-based Billy Penn talked to sources in the P-G newsroom who were unhappy about any possible endorsement. The website wrote: “Some Post-Gazette reporters are worried about their paper’s credibility should it support the billionaire candidate who’s campaigned on a platform that includes deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, building a wall between the United States and Mexico and banning Muslims from entering the country.”

If staffers were worried then, they couldn’t have been happy to learn that John Robinson Block, the paper’s publisher and editor-in-chief, spent a little time in Toledo Wednesday hanging out on Donald Trump’s private plane and getting his picture taken with the Republican presidential nominee. The visit was even documented in the Toledo Blade, the P-G’s sister publication in Ohio.

According to the paper: “After the campaign rally, Mr. Trump met with Blade Publisher and Editor-in-Chief John Robinson Block and Blade Editorial Page Editor Keith Burris on his plane at Toledo Express Airport.”

Sources tell City Paper that the photo was posted on Block’s Facebook page under the caption: “In 39 years of full time journalism I’ve met many interesting people. This one was more than memorable.” Both men are smiling and Trump is giving a thumbs up.

Asked via email for comment about the photo, and whether it could suggest that the P-G might be slanted toward Mr. Trump, an email from the Post-Gazette’s Deb Sacco read: "Mr. Deitch, Over the course of his career, Mr. Block has been photographed with many people. Attached, is another ..."
Post-Gazette Publisher John Robinson Block getting a photo with Hillary Clinton, although not on a private plane
  • Post-Gazette Publisher John Robinson Block getting a photo with Hillary Clinton, although not on a private plane
However, despite also shaking hands with Hillary Clinton, there are obvious differences between the two photos, not the least of which is that only one was taken on a private plane. Judging from the appearances of its two subjects, the Clinton photo also appears to have been taken some years ago, rather than during a hotly contested presidential campaign.

CP also contacted Michael A. Fuoco, president of The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, which represents the paper’s union employees, to get his take about the photo.

“I don’t feel the guild can make a comment on the actions of the publisher and editor in chief,” Fuoco said. “But, regardless of what happens in the fall, if we do endorse for president, we will have no opinion about that. We are completely separate from that and we stay away from it.”

Tags: , , , , ,

Clarion University helps business grads transition to workforce

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 4:01 PM

With an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent and underemployment at 14.9 percent among recent college graduates, according to a 2015 study by the Economic Policy Institute, a college degree is not the guarantee of employment it once was.

To ease the transition from college to the workforce, students at Clarion University have a new program available to them — CUmentor, started by the Center for Career and Professional Development and the College of Business Administration and Information Sciences.

Started in fall 2015, the program matches up interested business students with Clarion graduates to help guide the fresh-faced job-seekers through the ropes of professional development.

Josh Domitrovich, Clarion’s coordinator for career mentoring and internships — and also a two-time Clarion graduate himself — has been in charge of the program since its inception.

“It’s a great way [for alumni] to give back in a meaningful way,” Domitrovich says of CUmentor, especially in light of the sometimes difficult financial circumstances that many recent college graduates find themselves in.

Clarion alums can give their time and experience to students — currently limited to the business school — as a “professional out in the field.” Participating students have engaged in mock interviews with mentors, asked for advice on internships and even inquired on managing work-life balance, according to Domitrovich.

Matching students with alums requires some ingenuity on the part of the university. To deal with the number of students seeking help — 70 for the first year — and set them up with a meaningful mentor, Clarion looked into using software. The cost, however, seemed prohibitively high.

“A majority of these softwares range [near] $10,000,” Domitrovich says. “[And] budgets from the state are tight.”

So, Clarion decided to source the software in-house. Led by Clarion professor Jon O’Donnell, who has taught computer science for 21 years and at Clarion for 18, students put together the software themselves. The match-making starts with a test.

“Mentors and mentees to fill out an application form with a lot of questions on it,” O’Donnell says. Each applicant gets questions about majors, industries and personal information such as gender, sexuality and athletic experience. Participants also rank the importance of these answers, and the data is fed into the algorithm.

The algorithm matches participants based on the answers, and gives a list of best matches to Domitrovich.

While O’Donnell has found professional success without an opportunity like the mentor program, he recognizes the importance of the program in a new job market.

“I wish I had it now looking back,” O’Donnell says. “Having faculty and advisers telling students you have to be on this stuff from the first day, that’s new and that [is] valuable.”

While initial returns have been favorable, the program’s still too new to have concrete data on CUmentor’s effect on participant’s eventual employment.

Domitrovich did note jobs and internships have come directly from mentors, and that Clarion hopes to “track employment rates”  for participants. And the goal for next two years is to expand the program to the rest of Clarion’s students.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Rare Shakespeare book at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Shakespeare's First Folio, on display in Carnegie Mellon's Posner Center - PHOTO COURTESY OF JUDITH PEARSON
  • Photo courtesy of Judith Pearson
  • Shakespeare's First Folio, on display in Carnegie Mellon's Posner Center

In honor of the 400th anniversary of the most famous playwright's death, Carnegie Mellon University is exhibiting its rare copy of the First Folio — the original compilation of William Shakespeare’s works and one of the most valuable published books in the world. 

The university got its hands on a copy through the bequest of local art collector and patron Charles J. Rosenbloom, in 1974. The Folio will be available for viewing by the public at the Posner Center Monday through Friday, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., through Nov. 30.

In 1623, the First Folio was made possible by publishers and actors who had collected 36 of Shakespeare’s plays and printed them together. Only about 750 copies were printed. Three additional editions of the folio were made over time due to their popularity. 

During the exhibition, CMU will also host social and educational events. On Nov. 4, there's "Teaching Shakespeare at Carnegie Mellon," a conversation between professor Peggy Knapp, a member of the school's English Department, and professor Michael Witmore, the former Carnegie Mellon faculty member who now directs the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Nov. 5 brings a calligraphy workshop on Shakespeare’s “secretary hand” handwriting style.

All events are at the Posner Center, located on CMU's campus, in Oakland.

Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pittsburgh's SPACE gallery hosts Spotify event to discuss correlation between art and economic inequality

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 3:12 PM

In Downtown’s SPACE gallery, infographic banners hang with titles like “Youth Unemployment versus Song Energy,” and printed song titles with the word “money” in them are scattered across the walls. This new exhibit, WeShouldDoItAll, was hosted on Sept. 20 in conjunction with a panel discussion on the correlation between the arts and income inequality, as well as a new Spotify video detailing the 2016 presidential nominees’ plans to address income inequality.

Cindy Croot (center) and Josh Berman (right) - CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • CP photo by Ryan Deto
  • Cindy Croot (center) and Josh Berman (right)
About 20 people attended the panel discussion, which centered around art’s role in helping and hindering income inequality. Josh Berman, of food-access advocacy group Just Harvest, participated in the discussion and said art and music are “ways to tell stories about issues that are important to my generation.”

University of Pittsburgh professor of theater arts Cindy Croot agreed, but added that access to working in the arts needs to be equitable. “Since many arts internships are unpaid, they are usually only given to people who can afford to work for free,” said Croot. “We need to ask ‘who have the opportunity and who has access?’”

Berman added that in order to get projects funded that address inequality, artist can play a role by using their form to effectively tell stories of economic inequality’s impact. Bernamn said that it’s important to let the residents directly impacted tell their own stories.

The panel also discussed the negative effect art can have on a community, as artist moving into a blighted neighborhood tends to be followed by gentrification. Croot said this is a consistent problem in many cities, but said that having community members “empowered” to make art themselves could bring vibrancy to a neighborhood with less threat of gentrification.

Tags: , , , , ,

ModCloth pop-up shop makes final stop in Pittsburgh

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 11:46 AM

  • Photo courtesy of Electric Lime Studios
Polka-dot lovers unite! Have you heard? Women in Pittsburgh are singing swoony praises right now because the ModCloth IRL ("in real life") pop-up shop has made its way to Pittsburgh, ModCloth’s birthplace. Located at 625 Smithfield St. Downtown, this is the last stop on the Modcloth’s IRL tour. The IRL pop-ups have visited cities such as Austin, Denver and Portland.

  • Photo courtesy of Electric Lime Studios
At this pop-up shop,  you have the chance to feel, inspect and try on some of ModCloth’s signature quirky attire in an array of sizes from XS to 4X. The store has on-site ModStylists to help you achieve that retro look, pair together coordinating pieces for your body type, and even to take your measurements. The best part is: free shipping to your door within 1-2 days.

  • Photo courtesy of Electric Lime Studios
The shop also offers in-stock merchandise you can take home with you including a one-of-a-kind custom Pittsburgh graphic tee only available at the store. The shop also features products from local Pittsburgh brands such as No Sleep Boutique, Moon Pine, Steel City tees and more. Certain days will even feature in-store musical performances and temporary tattoo stations.
  • Photo courtesy of Electric Lime Studios
A fun array of vintage items are also available in-store that aren’t online, making this shop a pretty unique shopping experience.

Head on down soon because the pop-up shop closes on Tue.,  Sept. 27. It is worth the visit, if for nothing else than to buy a taco-shaped clutch and a gold "yinz" necklace.

Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pittsburgh’s Retooled Day of Giving is Tomorrow

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 11:20 AM

Back in May, technical problems forced the shutdown of the Day of Giving in Pittsburgh and dozens of other cities across the country. Tomorrow, the Pittsburgh Foundation is offering a stand-alone, Pittsburgh-only online Day of Giving, a chance for people to support their favorite local nonprofits.

The incentive to give tomorrow is that the Pittsburgh Foundation is providing nearly $200,000 in matching funds — for Allegheny County-based nonprofits, that’s $94,000 left over from May’s incentive pool plus another $100,000, according to a statement released Monday by the Foundation. (There are also matching funds available in Westmoreland County and Butler County.)

Nearly 1,000 nonprofits are listed on the site as eligible for gifts, in categories ranging from the arts to human services and science, health and technology. Many of the groups have raised their own matching funds as well, which will take your dollars further still.

Over the past six years, the Day of Giving has raised $41 million for nonprofits in the three counties.

This year, donors can also pre-schedule gifts. (As of this past Monday, more than $100,000 in donations had already been logged.)

The Day of Giving will be managed by Denver-based firm CiviCore replacing Kimbia, the Austin, Texas-based crowdfunding outfit the Pittsburgh Foundation said it used in the abortive Day of Giving in May.

The Day of Giving runs 8 a.m. to midnight tomorrow. For more info, see here.

Tags: , ,

Monday, September 19, 2016

New Beatles Doc Gets Extra Week at Dormont’s Hollywood

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 3:56 PM

Editor's Note: Since yesterday's posting, the film's run at the Hollywood was extended through Thu., Sept. 29.

I stopped by last night to catch Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years at the Hollywood Theater, and much to my surprise I walked into a sellout: The single-screen theater, which seats 285, was the venue for a WYEP-promoted evening, and those of us without a YEP membership or advance-purchased tickets had to line up and wait for no-shows to be confirmed.

Despite the minor inconvenience, I’m glad I stuck it out, rather than just streaming Ron Howard’s film on Hulu: This documentary, with its limited theatrical run, is a good one to see with a crowd, naturally one stuffed with Beatles enthusiasts (many of whom last night violated the rule of not wearing a band’s T-shirts to that band’s concert/movie).

The film covers the Beatles from their formative residencies in the nightclubs of Hamburg, Germany, to their final live show, 50 years ago, in San Francisco. Not only was the Hollywood’s partisan audience rapt, but you don’t see many movies these days where people applaud at the end. Hell, unprompted, the crowd even supplied the original recording’s handclaps to the title song as played in the film.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bernie Sanders stumps for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty in Pittsburgh speech at CMU

Posted By on Sat, Sep 17, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Young Pittsburgh voters, meet Katie McGinty. Polls have shown that young people are the least familiar age group with the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, but when the Millennial-adored Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke at the Wiegand gym on the Carnegie Mellon University campus today, about 400 college-aged people were in attendance to hear McGinty speak.

"I need you to deliver some big victories in 53 days," said McGinty to the crowd. "Can I count on you?"

McGinty spoke about her support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and how that contrasts with her opponent Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who said he would like to see it dismantled. "We should not defund the financial watchdog, we should dethrone Pat Toomey," she said.

Attention in the crowd seem to wane a bit during McGinty's speech, but picked back up again when McGinty spoke about dignity in the workforce. "People don't want much, maybe a vacation at the beach once a year, and people deserve that," said McGinty. "They deserve dignity and we should go to bat for them."

But the biggest cheers occurred when Sanders took the stage. "The control of the U.S. Senate and our progressive agenda may rest on the result of this vote," said Sanders. "We need to vote for Katie McGinty."

Sanders outlined a similar agenda to what he had laid out during his campaign for president, including raising the minimum wage, advocating for women's rights, and focusing on the environment. (However fracking was not mentioned, which Sanders opposes and McGinty supports, with regulation.)

Sanders also encouraged the young people in the crowd to get involved in the political system. "Many are throwing up their hands towards the political system, but my suggestion is to get involved," said Sanders. "We are talking about the future of the United States of America."

Toomey derided the McGinty-Sanders collaboration, and said McGintry was moving too far left with the alliance. "Bernie Sanders is an honest-to-goodness, self-described socialist and today, Katie McGinty is showing support for Sanders’ brand of far-left extremism that includes abolishing the CIA, supporting Fidel Castro’s communism, and raising taxes by $15 trillion," said Toomey in a press release.

But Democrats may have had the last laugh with a joke only young people familiar with the online dating site Tinder would get. "When Pat Toomey sees a big Wall Street bank, he swipes right," said Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, who introduced McGinty, to a big laugh from the crowd.

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, September 16, 2016

After Complaints, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts to Install Banner for Emerging Artist

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 5:16 PM

In her 14 years in Pittsburgh, artist Sarika Goulatia had always admired the big banner that hung outside Pittsburgh Center for the Arts exhibitions during the prestigious annual shows honoring each year's Artist of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year. Both artists were invariably listed on the sign, which was installed on the Center’s lawn by the busy intersection of Fifth Avenue at Shady.

  • Sarika Goulatia with some of her artwork from "Dressed With D.R.E.S.S"
  • Photo courtesy of Divya Annamraju
This year, after the opening reception honoring Richard Pell as Artist of the Year and Goulatia herself as Emerging Artist of the Year, she was dismayed to see that the PCA’s banner bore only Pell’s name. “I was really upset about it,” says Goulatia.

But following a couple of weeks of outcry on social media, and discussions between Goulatia and PCA personnel, a remedy is at hand. Pete Mendes, Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts interim executive director, told CP today that a banner with Goulatia’s name has been ordered and will be installed as soon as possible.

Goulatia says that in her initial discussions with PCA staff, she was given a variety of reasons why she was not acknowledged with a banner, including the organization’s financial struggles. But in an interview with CP last week, Goulatia said she didn’t understand why, if the group could afford one banner, it couldn’t have ordered one naming both artists.

Mendes says the problem was logistical. In years past, the banner — bearing both of that year’s honored artists’ names — has been hung on a stanchion near the intersection. But that stanchion kept breaking, and fixing it was getting expensive — $1,000 or more each time, he says, only to have it break again.

  • The Center's 2016 banner, as viewed from the Fifth Avenue perspective
  • Photo courtesy of Sarika Goulatia
Instead, PCA’s exhibition staff decided to hang this year’s banner on the PCA’s landmark yellow mansion itself. However, that move put the signage further from traffic, meaning that to include both artists’ names would have made the text illegibly small from the road, Mendes says.

Goulatia herself says she noticed the absence of her name only a couple days after the Aug. 19 opening reception for her show of installation art, Dressed With D.R.E.S.S., and Pell’s The Myth of the Great Outright Extraordinary.

Others viewed the absence as disturbing, too. “I thought that was very odd,” says Kilolo Luckett, a local writer and art historian. Luckett says she personally spoke to PCA personnel about what some in the community perceived as a snub of the Goulatia, who was born in India, as a woman artist of color.

Others simply emphasized the value of signage to an artist. “Artists do rely on those things,” not only to get people to see their work but to pursue future work and exhibitions, says artist Ivette Spradlin. Without signage on the PCA, “It makes it seem like, ‘Oh, there’s not an emerging artist this year,’” says Spradlin, who herself has exhibited at the PCA and is an instructor at Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

  • The Center's 2014 Artist/Emerging Artist of the Year banner included both honorees' names
But Mendes says no slight of Goulatia was intended. He says he was apprised of complaints about the signage only late last week. By this past Tuesday, when he met with Goulatia at PCA, he had already decided to order an additional banner with her name on it, he says. Interviewed today, he did not yet have a date by which the banner would be hung, and he said PCA was still deciding the best way to hang it.

However, Mendes emphasizes that in all its press releases and other promotional materials, Goulatia’s show was billed equally to Pell’s. “This is not an issue of did we not promote the event, and did we not promote the artist, it’s a question of the manner in which we promoted it,” he said.

Here’s CP’s review of Goulatia’s exhibit, by Veronica Corpuz.

Both Goulatia's exhibit and Pell's will be at the PCA until Oct. 30.

Tags: , , , ,


Submit an event


Sign up for Daily Rundown and get the freshest content sent right to your inbox.


Read Past Issues

© 2016 Pittsburgh City Paper

Website powered by Foundation

National Advertising by VMG Advertising