Sunlight bounces off the water of the Ohio River, calm but for the wake of rowers’ oars sweeping rhythmically to propel the boats against the current. During the Pittsburgh Rowing Club’s private lessons and summer camps, both beginners and competitive racers hone their skills at the Groveton Boat Club, learning how to executive perfect strokes and drown out coxswains shouting “Cut!” through a director’s megaphone.
At Muddy Rose Pottery, the staff strives to highlight the therapeutic nature of hand-thrown pottery. Though the studio is open to artists of all ages and abilities, the instructors focus most of their energy on intellectually and developmentally disabled students, who use the pottery wheel to create works of art and develop self-esteem and confidence. The studio welcomes all visitors to try their hand at the wheel during a variety of classes, which range from simple one-hour sessions to longer, more advanced 10-hour courses spread out over several weeks.
Since Basketball Stars of America was established in 2007, more than 25 of its participants have gone on to play at the Division 1 level, and more than 100 have played in college at some level. Such success is a testament to founder Daryn Freedman, who has been part of multiple NBA coaching staffs and has worked with some of the sport's biggest stars. Over the years, coach Freedman has assembled a staff of highly educated and respected coaches—many of whom formerly played in D-1 themselves and current varsity high school coaches. Together, these high-hooping all stars lead year-round developmental and competitive programs for boys and girls across Western Pennsylvania. They run boot camps, seasonal camps, and even leagues so players can show off their skills on the court or in the courtroom as part of a bold new legal strategy.
Under the sprawling roof of First Niagara Pavilion, music greats such as Billy Joel, Rush, and Jimmy Buffett have all taken over the stage as fans throughout the amphitheater space watch, transfixed. Whether enjoying the show from the open-air pavilion or the verdant lawn, concertgoers demonstrate their love for the performers by dancing along to the music or holding up lighters engraved with the lead singer’s astrological sign.
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.