Chris McGinnis

Director of Rivers of Steel Arts

Chris McGinnis is an arts leader, visual artist, husband, and father of two crazy little girls in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As the founding director and chief curator of Rivers of Steel Arts, he leads a dedicated team of creatives working to reimagine Pittsburgh’s urban-industrial legacy through the lens of visual art and placemaking. Chris and the team at the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark have developed some of the region’s most dynamic visual art experiences, including Alloy Pittsburgh, the Festival of Combustion, and LightPlay.

As an artist and curator, Chris is similarly inspired by America’s industrial story and notions of progress understood through the lens of technology, social economics, and cultural identity. He has created projects for the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, SPACE Pittsburgh, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, and The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, among others.

Chris has also taken on numerous leadership roles through his volunteer service to the community.  As vice president for the Brew House Association Board of Directors, he helped steward the nonprofit arts organization through a complex, multi-million dollar merger and redevelopment process. In 2020, Chris successfully completed the Leadership Pittsburgh XXXVII program. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Society to Preserve the Murals of Maxo Vanka.

Contact Chris

Chris can often be reached in his office at the Bost Building by calling 412.464.4020 ext. 253, or by emailing

Chris McGinnis