Thursday, December 22, 2011

PositivelyPittsburghLive, PPL Magazine Internet/Radio/TV Network Staff

PPL Magazine Internet/Radio/TV Network Staff

"It takes a village" is so true in so many businesses and as we approach the end of our fourth year of PositivelyPittsburghLive and third year of PPL Mag, Internet Radio and TV Network, I thought it might be time to introduce the staff and a few of the channel owners. - Joanne Quinn-Smith

Today's Guests:
Jo Ann Forrester: CFO of PPLMag and host of Empresss of Biz Talkcast
Gregg Mathis: Audio Engineer, owner of Pro Fry, Audacious Audios and host of Gourmet Eaters
Martin Thomas: PPL Videographer and Songwriter of "In the Burgh"
Joyce Kane: PPL Admin and owner of Cybertary in Pittsburgh
Delana Flowers: PPL Good News Reporter and Independent Creative Writer

Let's start with Jo Ann Forrester...

I started "The Empress of Biz" three years ago in hopes to help small businesses survive and thrive in difficult economic times. I try to relay information about resources out there, by including both national and local guests.

I've had guests such as Carl Knoblock, District Director of the SBA, and others who can really provide listeners with some great ideas for expansion. Our goal is to help small businesses by offering tips and letting people share advice. We have a lot of fun on the show and it's been amazing to go from never doing a radio show before to having a syndicated show. I have to credit Joanne though, as my producer. If she is the technogranny, I'm for sure the nanogranny. If I can push a wrong button, I do it! So she has been a huge help in getting me up to speed in this technical world. And we've been working together with PPL Mag since the very beginning.

Joanne and I were also able to work together as she entered The SBA's National Journalist of the Year Award in 2009, I love hearing small business owners' stories, especially the obstacles they had to overcome, and I developed a style of profile writing for these individuals. I help write the package for them (I've done hundreds) and then submit them to different award opportunities. I've had over 300 winners, Joanne being one of them, and that was a great experience we had together. We traveled to DC for the award acceptance and Joanne defnitely gave me credit for helping her submit for the award, telling alot of the attendees, "the red head did it!"

You can call me at 412-440-6969.

Joanne Quinn-Smith:
Just a reminder of all the aspects of our Positive Pittsburgh efforts:, The PPL show, TechoGranny show, Positive Pittsburghers on LinkedIn, and which has 245 members. When we get to 500 members, Tambellini's will give everyone on the list free zucchini! I invite everyone to subscribe to these pages for updates and register on the PPL Mag site.

Next up:
Gregg Mathis...

I help with audio assistance for PPL, I'm the host of the Gourmet Eater show, where I interview Pittsburgh restaurants (hoping to resurrect this show in early 2012) and I'm also the owner of Pro Fry. We are in our 6th year of business and we help restaurants, hospitals, colleges, etc. save money on cooking oil by recycling it. The oil can last longer, while still creating high quality food, thanks in part to our patented machine. This is a green business and one I definitely didn't ever think I'd be a part of. Can you imagine me telling my college counselor I wanted to recycle cooking oil?

I used to DJ a show on a local college station many years ago and after they told me to play the playlist or get off, I left. I spent the next 22 years at Carnegie Mellon, the last 15 of those as the Director of the AV Department. I learned a lot about the technology, and it was one of the world’s great jobs. I got to install technology in as many ways as you could think of in many rooms; what a wonderful experience. I was looking for more ways to be in charge of my world and that's when I started doing audio assistance and also started Pro Fry.

I met Joanne and one of the highlights of my work with her and PPL was interviewing centurions for the celebration of PPL's 100th show. We had to work to make sure the audio quality was right for these men and women, who had such strong ideas and advice, but not always a voice to match. Our voices weaken as we age, but their stories were inspiring and heartfelt, and luckily our audio relayed that.

You can call me at 412-720-6363, email me at , visit our site (currently under redevelopment) or look for the yellow and white Pro Fry vans driving around!

Next up:
Martin Thomas...

I do a lot of volunteer work. I am Martin the troubadour and I perform toe tapping music for all occasions. My music is performed from the "American Songbook" [songs from the early 1900s through the 60s] for seniors. I console the sick and dying through music therapy, make custom music beds for commercial advertisements, compose and record songs, and I after a request from Joanne, I put together the song at the beginning of the show. I often trade work for work and I really enjoy what I do.

The video man is always the low man on the totem pole. It’s funny how people just walk in front of a camera, they just want that 15 minutes of fame, legitimately or not! Joanne and I have been working together for a while now, since my return to Pittsburgh in 2007. I was out West and even in Central America, but always found myself back and forth to Pittsburgh over that time. Joanne starting the show and me returning to Pittsburgh in the same year was a happy coincidence.

Joanne and I have done a lot of videos together but one that sticks out was the QR Code video. That really showcased the powerful marketing tool the QR code would become and it was a lot of fun to do. I have also interviewed many jazz greats and that has been a highlight of my work, as well.

You can email me at or call me at 724-335-0624.

Next up:
Joyce Kane...

I own a virtual assistant service, Cybertary, providing the gamut of administrative support services to business owners, individuals and busy executives, ranging from bookkeeping, office support, web/graphic design, desktop publishing, travel planning and logistics, marketing and business planning… and much more.

We celebrated our second anniversary in September and I have been working with PPL for just about two years. PPL was one of our first clients and as a non-native of the City, but now living here for over 20 years, it’s great to be a part of all of this. I post all the events to the PPL calendar and the traffic is quite high on the site. People want to know the positive cultural events they can partake in around our City. I also post press releases to the Dreamweaver Marketing site

People all around the City send us their news and events and I post the information complete with photos, which aids in the creation of the PDF of the magazine, which will soon become a weekly creation. I love all the family-children oriented events around the City, often for free or at low cost. It’s a great testament to Pittsburgh and how it continues to grow and welcome new families. If you have positive news, you can send it to me at

And if you’re looking for virtual administrative help, “Do what you do best, let Cybertary do the rest.”

You can email me at, visit our website at  or call me at 412-428-9595.

Next up:
Delana Flowers
Joanne and I met at Entrepreneurial Thursdays a few years ago. I am a writer, and when we met, she was in need of someone to help with all of the work for PPL and we’ve been together ever since. I post all the blogs that recap the PPL shows and I also do reviews for many theatre shows around town. I love the arts, being a singer and actress myself, so doing this work for PPL has been very rewarding. I’m very active in the independent theatre community and I also own my own freelance business: Ingenuity by Delana Flowers. I offer writing assistance for ads, brochures, invitations, press releases, anything that needs written.

The most fun I have had working for PPL thus far, was the privilege of going to my first opera. I wrote a review, after having no idea of what to expect, and it turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences in my entire life. I was also overjoyed to hear that the folks at the Pittsburgh opera loved the review.

I am also not a native Pittsburgher, moving here about five years ago from Lancaster. PPL has truly helped me learn to live in a big city. I didn’t know what to do with myself when I first came here and now I am exposed to events I wouldn’t have ever known about. It’s great to be part of this team. You can email me at

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive News done by Joanne Quinn-Smith.
Listen to the show in its entirety here.
(c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2011 All rights reserved.

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Nutcracker Ballet, Magic Inside the Theatre and Out!

The lights, the scenery, the costumes, the Christmas fantasy!  What a tradition here in Pittsburgh, the Nutcracker Ballet.  A friend told me that she had been going to see the Nutcracker for forty years.  My question is how did Tchaikovsky know  that his music would fascinate both children and adults during the Christmas season for over one hundred years?    The original ballet in Russia was not a success but the music was and later the costume and fantasy of E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" became a holiday tradition. 

The Magic and the Fun! Picture by Rich Sofranko
Some will remember the debut of the Nutcracker here in Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and then later the Syria Mosque in Oakland, now gone.  But wherever and however many times you have enjoyed the Nutcracker Ballet, you must know that in the words of a child, it gets, “gooder and gooder” year after year.  I have no idea how the Pittsburgh Ballet will top this year as from start to finish, it was magical.

It did not matter to my three year old granddaughter Anaiyah that the scenery was set in turn of the Century Pittsburgh.  All she saw was the scenery and the costumes and the ethereal excitement of this Christmas fanasy ballet.  That has got to be the trick—to entertain a three year old whose comments were, “This is really good dancing.” And “what a beautiful princess.”

Almost like Chinese New Year, picture by Rich Sofranko
But her escorts, two “over sixties” were just as enthralled as she.  There was artistry and humor and real magic and ethnic dancers.  Of course the most popular with the adults were the harem dancer and her partner, in lavender no less.

And yes, there is romance at the Nutcracker Ballet also.  And it was not lost on my three year old granddaughter as she told me, “Grandma, I want to see better,” and crawled onto my date’s lap.  Nothing like a little girl getting a “career grandfather” to fall in love with her. "Oh, they just put a crown on her, now she's a princess." 

Every little girl wants to be a fairy princess.  Picture
by Rich Sofranko
Of course a grandfather is a grandfather and after the ballet in the parking lot he magically produced a beautifully sequined Nutcracker.  Now that too must have been magic because neither grandmother or granddaughter   noticed him purchasing it.

There are two days left of the Nutcracker in Pittsburgh, so dress your grand daughters like princesses (we did) and take them out to see the Fairy Princess and the Mouse King and the very handsome and talented Nutcracker.
Joanne Quinn-Smith, host of
 PostivelyPittsburghLive, Publisher

Joanne Quinn-Smith, Good News Reporter
Editor and Publisher of Pittsburgh's First Internet Radio and TV Network, at:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Positively Pittsburgh Live News 12-13-11

Breaking the Records: The Mask of Moriarty most beloved play in PICT's history!
Critics and audiences agree The Mask of Moriarty is the must-seeevent of the holiday season!
"A zany time"
    Sharon Eberson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

                           "Hilarious and highly entertaining"
                                  Alice T. Carter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

                                                            "An unbridled romp"
                                                                  Michelle Pilecki, Pittsburgh City Paper

"Not to be missed"
   Joyce Kane, Positively Pittsburgh

                                    "Everyone must go. Fabulous."
                                           Carla, Facebook

                                                                        "We all thoroughly enjoyed the performance."
                                                                            Carol, email

"The most fun I've had in the theatre in a long, long time!"
Judy, email

The Mask of Moriarty: NOW through Dec. 17th, The Charity Randall Theatre, Oakland
by Hugh Leonard
The Mask Of Moriarty

BEST seats are selling FAST! Call ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353 or CLICK HERE to purchase online!

Bringing your family? Ask for the Family 4-Pack!
Two adult tickets and up to two youth tickets (under 26)
for only $100!! - up to a $50 savings!!

Free Parking Downtown
Welcome to Downtown Pittsburgh...our Winter Wonderland awaits you! Come Downtown this weekend and take advantage of FREE and easy parking at Pittsburgh Parking Authority Garages on Fridays after 4 p.m. and all day Saturdays & Sundays. While you're here, enjoy plenty of free holiday activities, beautiful exhibits, holiday performances, great shopping, top-notch dining and more. To make it easy, we'll even help you plan your day! Read more.

Happy Holidays!
Jeremy Waldrup
President and CEO
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Give Toys and Spread Some Cheer

Pittsburgh Cares will be hosting a toy collection to benefit the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation in Downtown's historic Market Square on Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Downtown patrons, visitors, employees, and residents are invited to attend this holiday mini-event. In conjunction with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Goodfellows Fund, the event seeks to collect new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages. Those who attend the event and donate a toy are also invited to enjoy hot chocolate, games, volunteer activities, and receive information on how these organizations provide holiday cheer to needy children in our region.

Holiday Concerts and Performances
Highmark Holiday Pops with Marvin Hamlisch!
Dec. 15 – 18, Heinz Hall; tickets start at $20

Marvin Hamlisch
 Highmark Holiday Pops is a Pittsburgh holiday tradition! Celebrate the season with favorite carols and holiday music, including Sleigh Ride and Hallelujah from Handel’s Messiah, as well as special surprises brought to you by Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch. Do not forget to take in the ornate decorations and the 25-foot tall tree featured in the Grand Lobby of Heinz Hall! Get additional performance details here.

Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra
Dec. 18, 6 p.m. - August Wilson Center, tickets run $20 - $40

Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra

Old favorites receive a jazz makeover, as the skilled musicians of the PJO render a new treatment on holiday classics, and turn the holiday season into a unique celebration of wonder, bliss and merriment the whole family will enjoy. More information here.

Dec. 15 - 18, Benedum Center; tickets run $22.75 - $90.75
The Nutcracker

Revel in the wonder of Pittsburgh's favorite holiday tradition! Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre creates a full experience from the moment you enter the Benedum! Dazzling costumes, a larger-than-life Christmas tree, more than 80 dancers and Tchaikovsky's glorious score make The Nutcracker a can't miss production! Click here for details.

A Musical Christmas Carol
Dec. 16-18, Byham Theater; $26.75 - $46.75 - Half-price tickets for kids 3-14

A Musical Christmas Carol
Join Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and a host of colorful characters for a remarkable CLO holiday presentation of A Musical Christmas Carol. With dazzling special effects, holiday charm and ticket prices even Scrooge would approve of, this Charles Dickens classic is a wonderful way to celebrate all the tradition of the season. Click here for details.


The newly revitalized Hollywood Theater in Dormont is hosting a special Pittsburgh double-feature for the holidays on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 7 p.m. featuring WQED’s recent high-definition all-aerial production Pittsburgh From the Air which will make its big screen debut and My Tale of Two Cities, a Pittsburgh comeback story which is coming home playing 25 cities across North America. Read the entire release here.

Roving Pittsburgher Report

No BS Marketing Meeting
Event date (Tuesday, December 20, 2011), 3:00 pm
This all meat, no fat marketing meeting is guaranteed to have you walk out with at least one actionable tactic that you can implement immediately and drive business your way. All strategies taught are direct response marketing oriented and based on ‘what’s working now’. Limited to 39 people; register now!

Roving Pittsburgher Report
The NAWBO "Mining for Gold" event held last week was really cool. There was so much information given on bidding for jobs in the state of PA, and if you missed it, I really recommend trying to catch the next one. We were even shown how to download a list of all the certified women business owners - there was 2700, can you believe that!

Then alot of us headed over to Penn Future's Party for some great food! Mary Pam Kiglore reports that there was some "filking" going on. Meaning there was singing of some popular Christmas carols, but the words were changed to environmental issues instead.
It was a great time had by all! Penn Future is located at 425 6th Ave., Ste. 2770 Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

The Staar Financial and Etoufee Catering Party was a lovely dinner affair held at the Quality Suites in Greentree. There was a little room upstairs, very intimate, that was just a stellar location for the event.
Shandra Lynn Weisbrad was a perfect Southern hostess. We dined on apple cider pork, shrimp creole, sweet potato dish pie,beans and spaetzel to name a few.

If you haven't been to Tanger Outlets yet, be sure to take a stroll through the many, many stores! I'm getting addicted myself. You can find some really phenomenal deals there, just in time for the holidays. And, since you're just right across the street from The Meadows, you can hop over and test your luck on some slots or table games. Tanger Outlets is located at 2200 Tanger Boulevard,  Washington PA 15301.

And last but certainly not least, I found a great new place to dine in Squirrel Hill called Taza21. WOW! They specialize in Middle Eastern food, and they are known for their wraps. I had the BEST baba ghanoush I have ever tasted and I consider myself an aficionado when it comes to Middle Eastern fare! Taza21 is located at 1827 Murray Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Check out their site here.

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith.
Listen to the show here.
(c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2011 All rights reserved.

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

You Might Be a Pittsburgher If

Hope that you enjoy the collection of "You Might Be a Pittsburgher" Sayings that we have collected in five years of broadcasting.  The poster is available at the Buy Now Button on right column of the blog.

It's Elementary at the Mask of Moriarty, Review

It’s Elementary at The Mask of Moriarty--Roving Pittsburgher Report

The elements were all present for an enjoyable performance of the Mask of Moriarty. Mystery, intrigue, humor, plot twists, lively dialogue, credible casting, period costuming all characterized the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre’s production of the Sherlock Holmes tale.

It may help to be a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous sleuth to understand some of the more esoteric references sprinkled throughout the dialogue; from the audience’s reaction, though, the subtext of the story was strong enough to be independent of the full body of work featuring the classical mental duel between Holmes and his arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty.

The staging and sets were impressive, enhanced by the incorporation of the stagehands as recurring and vocal characters (the O’Shaughnessy Brothers). While sometimes this device can seem contrived, this production was instead enhanced, especially since one of the ‘brothers’ was an Emily.

The opening scene on the Waterloo Bridge transported the audience to Victorian London with the thick fog and eerily lit silhouette of Big Ben. Holmes’ lair at 221B Baker Street was so faithfully recreated you could envision how his critical deductions based on the’ power of observation’ found inspiration. Indeed, Sherlock demonstrated his impressive power of observation in deducing the status of Watson’s circumstances yet seemed oblivious when the faithful ‘everyday innocuous sinister family retainer’ tried to get his attention in the Melmoth Castle crypt.

Speaking of Watson, he literally stole the show with his unique costume choice (selected by Sherlock Holmes, of course) in the fourth act, holding the audience in his silk clad hands through the final act.

The intimacy of the Charity Randall Theatre within the Stephen Foster Memorial enhanced the audience’s experience with the play. The troupe demonstrated great flexibility with several of the actors assuming multiple roles. The recurring themes castigating the intelligence of the British Bobby, Constable Travesty, and the ever-bumbling Inspector Lestrade kept the audience engaged, wanting more.

The cast’s enthusiasm for the Hugh Leonard script showed they enjoyed performing as much as the audience enjoyed the performance. The Mask of Moriarty is a Holmes & Watson caper not to be missed.

The PICT’s Mask of Moriarty continues through December 17.

Reviewed by Joyce Kane
Joyce is the Owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Positively Pittsburgh Live News from December 5, 2011

Imagination Movers in Concert!
April 21, 2012: 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Benedum Center

Imagination Movers in Concert
 Rich, Scott, Dave and Smitty – of the Emmy-winning Disney Channel TV series “Imagination Movers” – bring their high-octane rock concert to Pittsburgh with the Rock-O-Matic Tour! The Imagination Movers’ danceable power pop songs, extremely catchy choruses, and knack for inspiring audience participation will deliver rock ‘n’ roll excitement! Throw in a heaping helping of onstage silliness and you’ve got a recipe for a live musical event that will truly engage the littlest of kids along with older siblings, parents, and grandparents! Don’t miss the most popular live family act of the year!

Use promo code rockomatic to order tickets before they go on sale to the public Friday, Dec. 9!
Buy tickets online here. Or call 412-456-6666, or get them at the Box Office at Theater Square
*Groups 10+ call 412-471-6930 for tickets.

Glenn Lewis
 Pittsburgh Opera presents Glenn Lewis in an all-Schubert program, featuring “Trout” Quintet
Sunday, December 11: 5:30 pm/Doors open at 4:45 pm
Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Avenue, in the Strip District
Admission is free. No RSVP required.
Read more.


Pittsburgh Public Theater Welcomes 2012 with Comedy
The Second City returns with new show: Laugh Out Loud!
Thurs. Jan. 5 at 8:00 pm, Fri. Jan. 6 at 8:00 pm, Sat. Jan.7 at 5:30 pm and 9:00 pm

Laugh Out Loud
 If you’ve resolved to put more fun in your life, start the year at Pittsburgh Public Theater with The Second City, the famed Chicago comedy troupe that launched the careers of Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, and many others. Read more.


Sunday Afternoon Music Series: Mr. Banjo's Old Time Christmas Sing-Along

Sunday, December 11, 2011: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Carnegie Library Main (Oakland) - Quiet Reading Room, First Floor
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh

Walt and Susie Olsen will lead an old-fashioned sing-along of Christmas favorites. They play 4-string banjo, guitar, and bass guitar. Contact: Tara 412.622.3151or


“Downtown Pittsburgh: Memories Made Here” Weekends
To celebrate the holiday season and to encourage people to come Downtown to shop, dine and play, the PDP is offering free horse-drawn carriage rides each Saturday.

  • Sponsored by One Oxford Centre and PPG Place
  • Rides available at One Oxford Centre from 11am to 3pm and PPG Place Plaza from 3pm to 8pm
  • Shoppers can also take advantage of the free Holly Trolley, sponsored by Fifth Avenue Place, which will run each Saturday and Sunday (except for Dec. 27).
  • For details about these offers and other Downtown events during the holiday season, click here
 When mining for gold do you know what you are looking for and what to do with it when you find it? Mining for information can be trickier. You don’t always know what you will find or whether what you find will be useful. Data Mining the Pennsylvania Web Sites will introduce you to areas of information you may not know exist, what you will find there and what you can do with it to grow your business.

NAWBO Greater Pittsburgh Chapter and the
PA Bureau of Minority and Women Business Opportunities Present
Data Mining the Pennsylvania Web Sites
Wednesday, December 7, 2011: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Best Western Parkway Center Inn
875 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220

• How to find opportunities to bid on work with the Commonwealth
• How to find opportunities to work as a subcontractor on both Commonwealth and private projects
• Information for building or enhancing your potential client data base.
• Information on your competition.
• Information on the market for your goods and services.

There will be free wireless available so grab your laptop or tablet.
Cost: $15.00/ includes lunch
To register click here.
For more information contact Mary Pam Kilgore:

Roving Pittsburgher Report
The Porch
I recently visited The Porch in Oakland in the Schenley Plaza. We dined on Pumpkin polenta with porchetta mushrooms and gorganzole sauce, Harvest salad with roasted vegetables, and Fire baked Margherita pizza.There is a beautiful patio with standing outdoor fireplaces and overhead heaters, which make for an absolutely romantic ambience. Another little bonus is the purse hooks under the bar. We were waited on by Neal.

Choral Group at St Paul’s Cathedral

My granddaughter, who is three years old, said the Duquesne Men’s and Women’s Choral groups “sounded like angels.” My son’s fiancé said she had never experienced anything quite like it. From the Latin Ave Maria to the Nigerian arrangement Betelemetu by Olatunji to old favorites like O Come All Ye Faithful, it was sheer unadulterated Christmas inspiration, enjoyment and fun. Thanks to the Free and Almost Free Meet Up Group or PPL would not have known about it and my family would not have had the pleasure of enjoying it.

No BS Marketing Meeting whose name is now changed to Profit Catapult Business School
I received some great information and attended a very fun Christmas after party at Kretzler’s Tavern on Babcock Boulevard. Have you ever passed by a place repeatedly, finally gone inside and it felt like you were coming into an old familiar place? This is a neighborhood bar with excellent food, various video games and even pinball machines (those got my vote). It’s well lit, nice and clean, and houses an overall congenial atmosphere.

A Musical Box, Lamb Lays Down on Broadway
Recreation of a 1974 Genesis multi media production
Somehow for me it lost something in the translation in over thirty years and that was the consensus of many of the Baby Boomers who attended. I think it might have been the absence of artificial stimulants. But the concert was amazing. I know because my 20 year old nephew stayed during the second hour and he told me it was. There are not many real rock concerts out there and as they go this one is not only legendary but exquisitely executed complete with an outrageous slide show, great music and some general tomfoolery which made for a great show. The ushers told me the concert was two hours without intermission and me at 62 years old was a bit skeptical. It started at 8 pm and I had a great time until 9:12 pm before saying to myself, “I don’t think I can take another 48 minutes of this.” But that was my age talking and definitely not the concert!

Overly's Country Christmas®, located at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds
Celebrate the season at Overly’s Country Christmas®, an impressive holiday light display complete with a walk-through Christmas Village that’s filled with an array of old-fashioned traditions and treats. Sing carols ‘round the bonfire, revel in the model train display, have your picture taken with Santa (in the days before Christmas) and shop for gifts in the C. Edgar & Sons General Store as you experience the beauty of this illuminated winter wonderland! 724-423-1400

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith.

Listen to the show here.
(c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2011 All rights reserved.

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Positively Pittsburgh Live News from 11-28-11

Andrea Rivette

Neil Berg's Broadway Holiday Sunday, December 4, 2011, at 3:00 p.m., Byham Theater Broadway composer, lyricist and producer, Neil Berg, presents his critically-acclaimed revue. Read more.


CLC students working hard
 Conservation Leadership Corps:
Applications for 2011 Start Now!

SCA’s Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) is a great way for high school students to meet new people, develop new skills, and see new places. High school students aged 14-18 as of January 1, 2012 will be interviewed and selected in November and December 2011 for the program, which starts in January 2012. Apply online  For more information about CLC, contact Josh at SCA:, 239 4th Avenue, Suite 2100, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, 412-325-1851 x30.

Free Day
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Carnegie Trees with a day of free admission to the Art and Natural History museums, thanks to the Women's Committee of Carnegie Museum of Art.

Family Holiday Sing-Along
Saturday, December 10, 2011
2–4 p.m. - Hall of Architecture
Part of Free Day at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
Join singer/songwriter Frank Cappelli for an afternoon at the museums, featuring a lively and festive sing-along of your favorite seasonal tunes.


Alan Stanford
 Alan Stanford presents “A Christmas Carol”
Sunday, December 4th, 7:00 p.m., The Charity Randall Theatre.
Legendary actor and director Alan Stanford will present a special one-night-only reading of Charles Dickens' classic tale of redemption, "A Christmas Carol," as a benefit for PICT. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for youth under 26.


The Mask of Moriarty by Hugh Leonard
Dec 1st through the 17th, The Charity Randall Theatre

The Mask of Moriarty
Join Sherlock Holmes - the world's most famous consulting detective - and his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson as they confront their most dastardly opponent ever! A family-friendly comic mystery tale! Call ProArtsTickets at 412-394-3353 or CLICK HERE to purchase online! Ask about the Family 4-Pack: Two adult tickets and up to two youth tickets (under 26) for only $100! (up to a $50 savings).
Quantum Theatre presents Fat Beckett Dec 2nd through the 18th
(Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8pm/Sundays at 7pm).

Fat Beckett

Written by Gab Cody in collaboration with Rita Reis, directed by Samuel Turich

Fat Beckett is a sly, decidedly female, comedic response to the great Samuel Beckett's men who wait. But instead of waiting, our two heroines are on a whirlwind journey of time-and-space-travel in search of their beloved goat, Biquette. Join us in Lawrenceville at 4830 Hatfield Street. Quantum's parking lot entrance is off of Butler Street between 48th and 49th Street. *PICT email subscribers get a special discount of 15% off with the promo code: PICTbeckett. Order your tickets online or by phone 1.888.718.4253.


Feel Like Going On
A collective of Black photographers showcasing the positive and uplifting side of Black life and times in the Pittsburgh and surrounding regions.

On Monday, Nov. 21 2011, a group of African American photographers launched a partnership with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: a photography blog aimed at providing more positive, fuller images of African American life in Pittsburgh. It is rooted in a community project that began six years ago to willfully counter some of the all-too-often negative portrayals of African American people in the local mainstream media. The blog was inspired by the work of Charles “Teenie” Harris, an NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists) Hall of Fame honoree.

“Feel Like Going On” was founded by journalist Ervin Dyer as a way to respond to the lack of positive images of Blacks in mainstream newspapers. It was also a way to celebrate the legacy of Mr. Harris -- a prolific photographer whose work is now garnering national attention in a retrospective of his work at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.

The “Feel Like Going On” blog will allow a core group of photographers to regularly contribute fine art images, news images, and photographs of life as it unfolds in black Pittsburgh’s churches, communities, workspaces, playgrounds, etc.

Would You Move to Pittsburgh for $100,000?
By Patrick J. Kiger

The city is offering a $100,000 prize to "experienced dreamers" age 45 and over who are willing to relocate to the former smokestack-city-turned-high-tech-mecca and take a stab at achieving their second-act ambitions.

The contest is sponsored by a group of Pittsburgh-area government and community organizations, among them the Heinz Endowments and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and managed by Leadership Pittsburgh, a local round table for government officials and business leaders. Contest spokesman Shawn Bannon says that so far, the entries run the gamut from people who want to start new businesses to those who want to write or create great art.

Would-be midlife movers and shakers are invited to submit applications by December 16 to the contest's website, Applicants must be at least 45 years old and must have lived outside a 100-mile radius of Pittsburgh for at least the past 10 years. The winner also must be willing to relocate to the city by December 2012. The prize includes a $50,000 cash stipend and a $50,000 donation to a charitable trust that will be set up in the winner's name in 2013. Here's the online application form, which asks applicants to explain how their dream would benefit the onetime Steel City and to make a case for why they have the background, smarts and drive to accomplish it.

Bannon tells SecondAct that Pittsburgh leaders decided to hold the contest, in part, because of a 2009 survey that put the lie to the notion that cities must rely on young residents to drive growth. If Pittsburgh can attract 1,250 entrepreneurs age 45 and over who are eager to reinvent themselves, the study concluded, the city would realize an economic benefit of $2.5 billion over the next two decades.

Out of Rubble premieres at SPACE
December 2nd through January 29, 2012
Read the entire press release here.

Pittsburgh Opera’s Holiday Brown Bag Concert
Saturday, December 3, 12:00 p.m.
 Doors open at 11:30 a.m.
 Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Avenue in the Strip District

For the past three seasons at holiday time, Pittsburgh Opera’s Resident Artists have surprised and delighted audiences at the December Brown Bag Concert with breathtaking renditions of holiday classics as well as unexpected charmers such as “The Twelve Pains of Christmas” and “Hanukkah in Santa Monica.” Read more.
Straight No Chaser
Tuesday, December 13, 2011, at 8:00 p.m., Benedum Center

The perfomers of Straight No Chaser
 By reinventing the idea of a cappella on the modern pop landscape, the unique Straight No Chaser is ten vocalists who have come together to create remarkable music, and combined with their sense of humor, entertain and leave audiences begging for more. This performance is presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and is part of the 2011-2012 Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series. Read more.

Roving Pittsburgher Report
Franco’s Penn Ave
Portabello stuffed with spinach, gorgonzola on marinara, beautiful friendly bar

Red at Pittsburgh Public Theatre
RED as "the King" would say could use "a little less talk and a lot more action". That said, what banter. Abstract painter Mark Rothko (Jeff Still) battles his demons(not the least of which is becoming obsolete) and delivers a muscular performance. Jack Cutmore-Scott (Ken) stays the course as he morphs from submissive apprentice to formidable antagonist. My favorite scene is when Rothko and Ken brush a canvas with a plum color. As they splash on paint, hearing music in the background, we share the physical exhilaration of creating art. (A GO SEE. Connie Cannon)

Pittsburgh Whiskey Festival
The theme was America 1961 and 100% of proceeds from the silent auction benefited the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Western PA Chapter. So, visually the party was great fun. I think we ran into the Blues Brothers multiple times and I did not drink enough to see. Sat between two Tom’s half way through the first lap at the Heinz Field East Lounge and had an Origi. We think it was Origine Vodka, but orangish red and made with persimmons and citrus fruit. The other vodkas we liked:

• Zaya Fernet Branco bitter spirits nobody likes but ¾ of the way around the first lap it definitely was what grandma ordered for your tummy and brought back memories of grandma although she only gave you half a teaspoon full and you took it like the medicine it was supposed to be.

• Effen Cucumber Vodka as always was amazing

• Cake Vodka which the vendors obligingly turned into Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Pinnacle definitely can be responsible for having your cake and drinking it too. Word of warning, when you go to a Whiskey Festival you are expected to drink at most of the fine spirits or whiskey stations. Not being much of a drinker I was obliged to take a date that could drink his share and mine, too.

Did I mention the food was also great?! Now to more serious stuff.

Each One Teach One Conference
Carnegie-Mellon University
Margaret Morrison Hall, Room 103

Real Rock…A chat on Black Rock moderated by Christiane D with Duane Jones,
Andrew W. Thornhill our "Transmedia" expert.

Also saw The Help at the Maxi Saver Cinema for $1.00.

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith.
Listen to the show here.
(c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2011 All rights reserved.
Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

PostivelyPittsburghLive, Pittsburgh Fall Festivals

Positively Pittsburgh Live! 8-15-11
Pittsburgh Fall Festivals

Fall is not just for hayrides and scare houses, there are lots of other exciting events going on in Pittsburgh in early fall.

Today’s Guests
Nan Krushinski, Executive Director Irish Partnership, Inc., 21st Annual Pittsburgh Irish Festival
Karla Owens, Executive Director of Bloomfield Development Corporation, Little Italy Days
Beth Rush, Penn's Colony Festival's "Living History Challenge"

Historic Saxonburg, Butler Co., PA, Sept. 17-18 and 24-25, 2011, Saturdays 10-6, Sundays 10-5
French March Forward
Each September, Penn’s Colony Festival revives the 18th century for two colorful, authentic and vibrantly alive weekends in Saxonburg, PA – 30 minutes north of Pittsburgh.  Set on 12, easy walking, tree-shaded acres and with the French and Indian War era (1750s) as a framework, Penn’s Colony celebrates the region’s daily life, history, arts and entertainment in a hands-on, interactive atmosphere perfect for family fun, as well as the collector of American Folk Art and Hand Craft. Over 150 master craftsmen and folk artists and fine artists set up shop in a quaint, outdoor Early American village setting to demonstrate and sell furniture, folk art, primitives, fine arts, pottery, carvings, decoratives, seasonal accents and more...all made in America by the artist. This year’s FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS include:

Penn's Colony Surrey Gate
·        Many new artisans featuring handmade in America wares, furniture and gifts to enhance daily life and decorate contemporary homes.  The marketplace features 150 exhibits.
·        Rich Patrick Band – the three-member band entertains with lyrical and bawdy songs of the 18th century from colonial America across the pond to England, Ireland and Scotland.

·        Brigadoon Highlanders Pipes and Drums (17th, 18th and 25h)
·        Celtic Eagle Pipes and Drums (24th)
·        Hidden History – An entertaining introduction to the history secrets behind the successes of our French, Native, British and European colonial ancestors.  Presented twice daily on the Kuskusky Clearing stage.
·        18th c. Native American Eastern Woodland educator and demonstrator on Sept. 24-25.
·        New this year for KIDS: Bring your favorite rock and identify it at the Panning for Gems activity.  Learn the techniques to separate ordinary rocks from gems.
·        Yuck! What’s that bug?  Then Insect Creations will show you how to preserve your bugs and create a collection.  Considered one of the “green” arts, the preservation display actually helps to sustain the economy and preserve the tropical forests.
Re-enactment Cannon
  • Award winning festival right in our own backyard, that's commemorating/celebrating events that impacted the world, yet the event is unique to the Pittsburgh region.
  • Something positive for every age and interest.
  • Market of folk art, furniture and fine crafted collectibles is a prime example of buying local and benefiting the community.
  • Spending time outdoors. Step back in time and learn about Colonial heritage, but also learn more about yourself.
  • Penn's Colony has a long history of educating and entertaining folks about colonial times,
  • BUT this year they have added a new exciting dimension called the Living History Challenge and to share their experiences on the Facebook page or enter the contest through the website.
  • Hidden History - offers a different adventure every time. Penn's Colony strives to provide the "excellent adventure" in the French & Indiana war era.
  • Dozens and dozens of opportunities to try handcraft throughout the master craftsman marketplace or in the living history camps.
Living history challenge
Colonial Shops at Penn's Colony
The Festival’s founders and top historians are giving the public a chance to experience these activities up close and personal as well as from the comfort of their homes through the new Living History Challenge.  This event is a rare opportunity for students, hobbyists, families or anyone curious about daily living during Colonial times to travel ‘back in time.’  Here is how to take part in the Living History Challenge:
·        For participation AT Home:  Select your challenge, and commit to it for a period of two weeks.  Write a brief, 1-2 paragraph essay describing what you did and the impact the challenge made in your life. Post it on the Penn’s Colony Facebook Page.
·        For participation AT the Festival, select the challenge in which you would like to participate if you win.  Winners must be able to make the commitment to participate on the date and time specified for their challenge. Penn’s Colony Festival is not responsible for transporting winners to or from the challenge event.
Beth Rush, Penn's Colony Festival, PO Box 431, Saxonburg, PA 16056

September 23, 24 and 25, 2011
The Bloomfield Development Corporation
·        501c3 non profit community development corporation whose mission is:
·        Oversees the implementation of various economic development strategies such as business recruitment, business expansion, business and job development and pursuit of funding opportunities to achieve these goals.
·        Addresses residential issues such as housing, public safety, and education to improve the quality of residential living.
·        In the sixth year of the Mainstreet program and participates in planning and development activities throughout the East End. 
·        Hosts events and activities that promote Bloomfield as a destination place.
Karla Owens
·        A community leader and Bloomfield business owner with 20 years experience in education, management, sales, marketing, customer service and business development
Karla Owens
·        Received an MS Ed from Duquesne University in Education/Instructional Technology and a B.S. from Clarion University in Business Administration/Marketing.
·        Currently enrolled in University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Graduate Studies.
·        A member of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s Blue Ribbon Economic Development Committee, Owens also earned a Paralegal Certificate from Pennsylvania State University.
·        as Mainstreet Manager of the BBA are: developing a strategic Business District Action Plan, increasing membership by 15%, assisting local businesses with façade improvement grants, and receiving more than $200,000 in grant money for neighborhood development.
Little Italy Days
·        Created as a method of celebrating the local Italian Heritage. 
·        Liberty Avenue comes alive with music, food games and activities amidst Bloomfield’s unique shops and fine restaurants. also bocce tournament, kids games, raffles, and spaghetti eating contest
·        This is the 10th anniversary.
·        Attendance over three days is over 25000.  Local people return to the neighborhood and hold family reunions during the event.
·        Free Admission, family friendly, one of the only ethic festivals in the city of Pittsburgh
·        Hugely recognized promotional event, but we have been able to quantify as business development tool. Visitors have expressed interest in setting up and expanding locations once they see the location and vitality of the neighborhood.
·        Charter buses from Italian organizations come from State College, Baltimore, Monnessan.
·        Live broadcast on Friday on Radio Italia, WEDO 801 a.m. and Comcast Local Edition TV Show.
·        Tents lined up both sides of Liberty Avenue, traffic still moves through, this is why the event has grown so much.
·        Residents, businesses, churches all participate,;the community comes together during the weekend.
·        Little Italy Days Mass at Immaculate Conception Church, Edmond St. at 11:30 on Sunday followed by Procession of the Madonna dellacivita
·        The event logs over 11,000  volunteer hours
·        In 2004, the event was recognized as Best Special Event in the City of Pittsburgh by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and in 2008 was recognized as Best Special Event Statewide by the Pa Downtown Center for advancing "the sense of place, quality of life and economic vitality of Pennsylvania's downtowns, traditional neighborhood business districts and nearby residential neighborhoods."
Karla Owens, Executive Director, Bloomfield Development Corporation
412.681.8800-office, 412.401.3750-cell

September 9-10-11, 2011
Our goal is to contribute to the rich cultural expression of Irish history and tradition that exists in Pittsburgh.  The Pittsburgh Irish Festival:
·        Celebrates the richness of Ireland through lively music, savory Irish food and world championship dancing at the Riverplex at Sandcastle! 
·        Brings together the Pittsburgh community for three days of Celtic camaraderie.
·        An authentic Irish marketplace, wide selection of tasty Irish cuisine, extensive children's area, and four continuous entertainment and cultural stages. 
·        Variety of Irish dogs, dance the jig, play the harp and Irish drum, and learn the Irish language.
·        Celebrate Gaelic Mass on Sunday. 
·        Draws more than 25,000 visitors. 
·        The largest Irish festival in the state!
Nan Krushinski,
·        Pittsburgh Irish Festival is also Executive Director Irish Partnership, Inc., 21st Annual Pittsburgh Irish Festival
·        Direct all facets of multi-cultural and corporate events from conception to completion.
·        Consult, execute, and train on all principal aspects of sponsorship for non-profit organizations, corporations, concert promoters, and festivals. 
  Create and distribute multiple-length public service announcements.  Effective event spokesperson on all media formats including television, radio and print.
·        Facilitate copywriting, ad buys, ad creation and distribution, grassroots and commercial promotions, and all facets of public relations/advertising campaign.
·        Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Public Relations at University of Pittsburgh, PA,

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