Bill O'Driscoll

Arts & Culture Reporter

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Most recently, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat.

Courtesy of Pennsylvania Resources Council

When people envision a sustainable future, they might think of such industrial-scale, tech-heavy approaches as solar arrays and electric vehicles. But creating a greener civilization also includes strategies as simple as finding new homes for stuff you don’t want any more.

Dominque Jouxtel

The very first Three Rivers Arts Festival, as created by the Women’s Committee of the Carnegie Institute, took place in June 1960. It ran four days, and drew 28,000.

National Archives at College Park, Md.

The Vietnam War indelibly marked recent history. But many Americans who lived through the war – not to mention those born after – remain minimally informed about basic facts about the conflict.

Photo by Barbara Weisburger / Photo courtesy of STAYCEE PEARL dance project

Fans of novelist Octavia Butler love her explorations of alternate realities for what they say about the complex world we actually live in. In Pittsburgh, Butler aficionados include choreographer Staycee Pearl, who this week debuts her second work inspired by the late Butler’s writings.

Used by permission. © Tom Olin - Tom Olin Collection.

The Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. But like any civil-rights legislation, it required a fight. And photographer Tom Olin was on the front lines

Courtesy of the artist

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE is a multidisciplinary artist well-known for decades in the local underground scene. He makes experimental films, writes eccentric books, and plays music – lots of music.

Courtesy of Silver Eye Center for Photography

Asked to name good cities for artists, most people would say New York or Los Angeles, maybe Chicago. And artists have indeed flocked to those towns for decades, if only because they’re where art buyers have flocked for decades. Silver Eye Center for Photography wants to help artists who live elsewhere get noticed.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Fringe

First thing to know about this year’s Pittsburgh Fringe: don’t go looking for it on the North Side, where it's been held for the past couple of years.

Courtesy of the Braddock Carnegie Library

When Andrew Carnegie dedicated his first library in the United States, on March 30, 1889, he couldn’t have foreseen all the twists that lay in its future – including closure, rebirth, and a reworking in the mid-21st century. 

Photo by Sarah Huny Young

Damon Young has a new tattoo.

In what’s got to be a relatively rare move for an author, the Pittsburgh-based blogger had the title of his new memoir, “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker,” inked on his right bicep in inch-high letters, and then multiple times in smaller text running shoulder to elbow. 

Courtesy Tom Dugan

Simon Wiesenthal died in 2005, at age 96. But his legacy remains as relevant as ever.

Courtesy of Autumn House Press

Growing up in Chicago, recalls S. Brook Corfman, he was unsure where he fit in a world where everyone seemed to be either male or female. 

Photo by Andrea London

Andrea London has been a portrait photographer for 30 years. She works from her studio in the heart of Shadyside, where she shoots everyone – individuals and families – the same way: in black-and-white, on film, with a neutral backdrop. And she says she has always let her portraits speak for themselves.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

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

Photo by Derek Minto

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

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

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

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.

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. 

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. 

Photo by Bill Gardner / 90.5 WESA News

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

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.

AP

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.

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.  

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.

Renee Rosensteel

Jimmy Cvetic, a singular Pittsburgh character, has died.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

For 32 of its 48 years, arts group Contemporary Craft has been headquartered in the Strip District, in a big space capping the eastern end of the landmark Produce Terminal. There it’s hosted more than 200 exhibitions featuring work by an international array of artists doing cutting-edge versions of traditional disciplines like ceramics, fabric art and metalwork.

Photo courtesy of the August Wilson Cultural Center.

In its third year, the Black Bottom Film Festival is broadening its footprint. The festival, which starts Friday and continues through Feb. 25, features films spotlighting the African-American experience. It’s run by the August Wilson Cultural Center, located Downtown, which hosts the screenings along with a new venue for the festival, Row House Cinema, in Lawrenceville.

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