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A painting of the U.S. Steel Homestead Works

Rivers of Steel Presents Memory Scenes: A Kathleen Ferri Retrospective

By Press Room

US Steel, Homestead, PA by Kathleen Ferri, collection of the artist.

Rivers of Steel Presents Memory Scenes: A Kathleen Ferri Retrospective

Exhibition Highlights the Painting Career of the Mon Valley Artist

Homestead, PA (September 29, 2021)—On October 8, Rivers of Steel will unveil a collection of works by artist Kathleen Ferri, whose “memory scene” paintings preserve the small-town streets of her childhood with an intuitive sense of history and warmth of sentiment.

In this solo show, 57 of Ferri’s paintings are on view as a collection for the first time—including many that are receiving their public debut. They radiate with color and burst with joy as expressive figures make their way through downtown Turtle Creek, riverside mills, Kennywood heritage days, and more.

The exhibition will be on view at the Bost Building in Homestead, October 8, 2021 through February 27, 2022.  It is presented by Rivers of Steel and augmented with archival artifacts from the organization’s collections. The show is curated by Barbara L. Jones, chief curator of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, and Ron Baraff, director of historic resources and facilities for Rivers of Steel.

The opening reception on October 8 welcomes drop-in visitors from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in conjunction with the Homestead Live Fridays event happening that evening. The artist will join the reception from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., when a limited amount of timed tickets will be offered. Both parts of the reception are free.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Rivers of Steel is offering Memory Sketches: A Drawing Workshop on Tuesday, October 26 and Tuesday, November 16. Two Curator-Led Gallery Talks are offered on Saturday, November 6 and Saturday, November 20, 2021.

Kathleen Orgill Ferri was born in 1926 and raised in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. In 1946, Kathleen married James Ferri, co-owner of the Ferri Brothers Market, after he returned from war. They raised their four children together on Oxford Street, near the Turtle Creek High School. After her husband’s death, Kathleen began painting in community art classes during her late 50s. She primarily paints from memory, recreating scenes from the Mon Valley towns of her youth.  She is now 95.

View details and the full schedule of programs in conjunction with this exhibition.

About Rivers of Steel
Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical & 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

 

Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing cmccoy@riversofsteel.com.
Rivers of Steel | The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead PA 15120
www.riversofsteel.com

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Google Arts & Culture—Pittsburgh: Proud and Powerful

By Press Room

From 1957 – 1974, Jack Boot Displays was commissioned to print mill safety signs for the United States Steel Corporation. This collection is highlighted in the “Safety First in Poster Art” story through Google Arts & Culture’s Pittsburgh: Proud and Powerful online, interactive exhibit.

Google Arts & Culture—Pittsburgh: Proud and Powerful

Explore Pittsburgh culture in a new interactive online project by Google Arts & Culture, in collaboration with 15 local organizations including Rivers of Steel, at g.co/explorepittsburgh

Homestead, PA (September 28, 2021)—Today Google announced its partnership with 15 world-class Pittsburgh institutions to bring the city’s culture—past and present—online on its Google Arts & Culture platform and app at g.co/explorepittsburgh.

For the first time, everyone everywhere can engage with these organizationsincluding Rivers of Steelacross the city in one digital location and discover its unique culture. Through the Pittsburgh: Proud and Powerful page, Google Arts & Culture hopes Pittsburghers can rediscover just how much their city has to offer, and that visitors will be encouraged to discover the city for themselves. 

Pittsburgh is the first city in the Northeast and fifth in the U.S. to be featured in Google Arts & Culture’s global initiative to capture and share the unique culture of cities. Along with Kansas City, Milwaukee, Charlotte, and Atlanta, Pittsburgh joins European cultural hubs on the platform including Milan and Naples, Italy, Lyon, France, and Hamburg, Germany. 

“We are excited to be a part of the Google Arts & Culture Pittsburgh project,” said August Carlino, president and CEO of the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation. “The cornerstone of Rivers of Steel’s work is its dedicated efforts towards the preservation and interpretation of southwestern Pennsylvania’s cultural and industrial heritage. For our partnership with Google, we’ve highlighted two stories that speak to this regional narrative; one, a story of a labor struggle that reverberated for generations, and the other, a reflection of the hazards of daily life for Pittsburgh’s mill workers.”
Rivers of Steel’s contributions help show how a legacy of manufacturing and hard work put Pittsburgh on the Rust Belt map. The Strike that Changed American Labor exhibit examines how the Homestead Strike became a turning point in American union relations, while the Safety First online exhibit examines how foundries and mills used graphic design to keep workers safe.
“We are proud to present Pittsburgh’s thriving art scene, community, and heritage to the world online at Google Arts & Culture,” said Todd Underwood, Senior Director Engineering and Google Pittsburgh Site Lead. “Pittsburgh is a trailblazer in American culture–from manufacturing to contemporary art–and now everyone can experience the sights and sounds that make it so unique thanks to our 15 local partners.”
The project brings together local Pittsburgh partners to celebrate the city’s heritage and cultural DNA. The 15 partners have brought together 55+ stories and 3,200+ artifacts to share the city’s culture with the world, including it’s manufacturing history, legacy in sports, historic architecture, and contemporary art.

Now anyone, anywhere can experience Pittsburgh by visiting g.co/explorepittsburgh or downloading Google Arts & Culture’s free Android or iOS app.

Partners include: 

91.3 WYEP, The Carnegie Museum of Art, BOOM Concepts, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Mattress Factory, Rivers of Steel, Clemente Museum, University of Pittsburgh Library System, Carlow University Art Gallery, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Ballet, August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Senator John Heinz History Center, and the Frick Pittsburgh.

About Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 2.000 cultural institutions from 80 countries at your fingertips. If Google’s mission is to make the world’s information more accessible, then Arts & Culture’s mission is to make the world’s culture accessible to anyone, anywhere. It’s your doorway to explore art, history, and wonders of the world. Discover stories about cultural heritage ranging from Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings, Puerto Rico’s heritage, Sports in Australia or the women’s right movement to ancient Maya temples, Japanese Food and Indian Railways

About Rivers of Steel

Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical & 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing cmccoy@riversofsteel.com.

Rivers of Steel   |   The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Ave, Homestead PA 15120

riversofsteel.com

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A group in hard hat walk through the ore yard in front of the Carrie Blast Furnaces.

Rivers of Steel Receives a Save America’s Treasures Grant

By Press Room

Rivers of Steel Receives a Save America’s Treasures Grant
from the National Park Service

Grant funds critical restoration of the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark

 

Homestead, PA (September 23, 2021)—Rivers of Steel has received a $358,667 Save America’s Treasures grant from the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service (NPS), Department of the Interior, for the restoration of key structures at the Carrie Blast Furnaces.

Rivers of Steel will use the funds to continue the restoration and stabilization of three critical sections of the furnace site: the #6 Cast House where iron was tapped, the stove / purification decks which generated heat for the site and processed furnace gases, and the water flume, a slag byproduct transportation trough.

The funds will help to ensure that Carrie remains open to the public and that integral portions of the contributing structure of the site are not damaged beyond the point of repair and mitigation. The #6 Cast House and the stove decks are currently accessed by the public on industrial tours, while the water flume area is restricted for safety.

“We are so grateful for the support from our partners at the National Park Service for this grant that will help continue our work of stabilization and restoration of the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark,” said Augie Carlino, president and chief executive officer of Rivers of Steel. “The Save America’s Treasures program is highly competitive, and it is an honor to have Carrie selected as one of the NPS’s critical investments in our nation’s history.”

“We are also thankful to Senator Bob Casey and Congressman Mike Doyle for their continued leadership and support of our work at Carrie and throughout the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area,” Carlino continued.

“The Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark has immense cultural and historical value, highlighting Southwestern Pennsylvania’s role as the steelmaking capital of the world in the twentieth century,” said Senator Casey. “As the centerpiece of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, Rivers of Steel has worked tirelessly in recent years to stabilize and restore Carrie Furnaces #6 and #7. The Save America’s Treasures grant will accelerate their efforts to preserve these structures for future generations, ensuring the contribution of Carrie Furnaces to the historic legacy of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s industrial heritage.”

“I was pleased to support Rivers of Steel’s application for this Save America’s Treasures grant,” Congressman Doyle said today. “Steel workers and the steel industry have had a major impact on Pittsburgh’s culture and economy, and it’s essential in my opinion to preserve these important artifacts so future generations remember and appreciate our region’s heritage.”

Save America’s Treasures is a program of the NPS, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

The grant to Rivers of Steel is just one of 49 projects in 29 states supported by this year’s Save America’s Treasures grants, totaling $15.5 million. In Pennsylvania, the Carpenters’ Company of the City and County of Philadelphia also received funds for the Carpenters’ Hall Preservation Project.

“From the Rose Bowl Stadium in California to Lucy the Elephant in New Jersey, the Save America’s Treasures program seeks to preserve and rehabilitate some of the most significant and iconic American structures and collections. Together with our partners, these grants help enable museums, states, Tribes, local governments, and nonprofits to fulfill their preservation work for future generations to experience, learn from, and enjoy,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge.

About Rivers of Steel

Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical & 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

About the Carrie Blast Furnaces

Once part of legendary U.S. Steel Homestead Steel Works, the Carrie Blast Furnaces are a vestige of Pittsburgh’s 20th-century domination of the steel industry. In 2006, Blast Furnaces #6 & #7 were declared a National Historic Landmark. Today, visitors to the site can connect with the region’s industrial and cultural past through a myriad of public tours and programs offered by Rivers of Steel.

Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing cmccoy@riversofsteel.com.

Rivers of Steel   |   The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Ave, Homestead PA 15120

riversofsteel.com

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The Explorer Riverboat with the Carrie Blast Furnaces in the background. and early fall leaves.

Rivers of Steel Announces Mini-Grant Funding Opportunity

By Press Room

Rivers of Steel 2021 Mini-Grant Program Applications Available

Homestead, PA (September 1, 2021)—Rivers of Steel is now accepting applications for its Mini-Grant program, which assists heritage-related sites and organizations, as well as municipalities, within the borders of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area. The Mini-Grants may be used to develop new and innovative programs, partnerships, exhibits, tours, and other initiatives that are consistent with the mission and vision outlined in Rivers of Steel’s Management Action Plan. The Mini-Grant program is funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, via DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program and the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

Proposals that increase heritage tourism, enhance preservation efforts, involve the stewardship of natural resources, encourage outdoor recreation and/or include collaborative partnerships are strongly encouraged.

Application Deadline: Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. EDT

Grant Awards Announced: December 2020, anticipated.

Rivers of Steel works to conserve the industrial and cultural heritage that defines southwestern Pennsylvania. Through its Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area program, Rivers of Steel champions the region’s natural, cultural, educational, recreational, and industrial resources as key components for preserving the region’s heritage, focusing on developing a sense of place, as well as contributing to the economic vibrancy of the region’s citizens and communities.

Applications are ranked using the following criteria: 1) a detailed and complete project narrative, 2) budget, 3) alignment for heritage tourism development, 4) and project outcomes.

Special consideration will be given to organizations applying for the 2021 Mini-Grants that are black- and/or minority-led organizations or organizations that primarily serve BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) audiences and communities. Rivers of Steel reiterates our long-held belief in diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion and strengthens our commitment to fighting systemic racism and discrimination against people of color amidst the nationwide call for ending racism.

Nonprofit organizations with a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status, local governments and educational institutions are all eligible for the Mini-Grant program. All projects must be within or across Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington, or Westmoreland Counties and have a significant connection to the mission of Rivers of Steel. Grant requests for a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $25,000 will be considered. Applicants must match (at a 1:1 ratio) these grant funds with additional funding and/or pre-approved eligible non-cash (in-kind / volunteer) services.

More information and the application can be downloaded here (Word document). Applicants will also need to download the budget worksheet here (Excel document).

About Rivers of Steel
Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical & 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

About the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area

This eight-county region is one of 55 National Heritage Areas designated by the U.S. Congress and one of 12 State Heritage Areas. A National Heritage Area is a place of national significance to America. For Rivers of Steel, Congress recognized the industrial and cultural heritage of southwestern Pennsylvania. Through a public-private partnership with the National Park Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Rivers of Steel supports heritage conservation, heritage tourism, and outdoor recreation as a means to foster economic redevelopment and enhance cultural engagement.

Contact Amy Buchan Baldonieri at 412.464.4020, ext. 235 or by emailing amyb@riversofsteel.com.

Rivers of Steel | The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead PA 15120

riversofsteel.com

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An illustration of a giant green shirt over a photo of the Carrie's Blowing Engine House

Rivers of Steel Announces Programs for Alloy Pittsburgh 2021

By Press Room

Bradford Mumpower’s vision for his Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 installation at the Carrie Blast Furnaces, a larger-than-life representation of the “greens” worn by workers.

Rivers of Steel Announces Programs for Alloy Pittsburgh 2021

Community Opening Reception, Meet-the-Artists Happy Hour, & Tours

Homestead, PA (August 11, 2021)—With its opening reception on August 28, the Alloy Pittsburgh exhibition of newly-created, site-based artworks returns to the Carrie Blast Furnaces. This is the fourth iteration of this journey by local artists to explore the National Historic Landmark’s legacy and its current and future role as an icon in the Mon Valley.

The opening reception is free to the public with advanced registration. Additional opportunities to experience the artworks include two Meet-the-Artists Happy Hour programs on September 9 and 23, which include a reception and artist-led tour of the exhibition, along with special, guided tours offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through the end of the show’s run on September 26, 2021.

The Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 tours are a special version of Rivers of Steel’s Arts and Grounds Tour, which shares how the site is interpreted through a creative lens, from the management of its ecology to the various art programs that activate the site. This one-hour tour includes the Iron Garden, graffiti artworks in the Ore Yard, the renowned Carrie Deer sculpture, other metal arts sculptures, and current (and past) Alloy Pittsburgh installations.

The Meet-the-Artists Happy Hours are $25 per person; tours are $10 per person. Tickets and information are available at riversofsteel.com/alloy-pittsburgh-2021.

Through Alloy Pittsburgh, Rivers of Steel seeks to examine the history, current condition, and possible future of the Carrie Blast Furnaces without permanently transforming the site’s characteristics, while offering regional artists a unique exhibition opportunity and career-building experience.

In 2021, Rivers of Steel and the Alloy Pittsburgh collaborators unveiled a new programmatic structure. With the funding from a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 reached beyond the walls of the Carrie Blast Furnaces to place resident artists in five neighboring communities of Braddock, Hazelwood, Homestead, Rankin, and Swissvale, Pennsylvania.

The following artists were paired with partner organizations in each municipality for a three-month residency period. During that time, artists communicated, collaborated, and connected with Mon Valley residents to develop their final projects at the Carrie Blast Furnaces. Each institution worked collaboratively with the Alloy Pittsburgh team to select and pair artists with the venue most suitable to their work.

  • Darnell Chambers—hosted by Dragon’s Den in Homestead
  • Reba Harmon—hosted by Three Rivers Village School in Hazelwood
  • Lori Hepner—hosted by Braddock Carnegie Library Association in Braddock
  • Sandy Kessler-Kaminski—hosted by Rankin Christian Center in Rankin
  • Jan Loney—hosted by Rivers of Steel at the Carrie Blast Furnaces (in Rankin & Swissvale)
  • Bradford Mumpower—hosted by the Wilkins School Community Center in Swissvale

“Community-based art programs, like Alloy Pittsburgh, provide a vital pathway for residents across the Mon Valley to celebrate and share their industrial heritage. They also help reimagine the changing role of places like the Carrie Blast Furnaces in the region’s future,” said Augie Carlino, president and CEO of Rivers of Steel. “Generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and all of our local partners helps ensure these meaningful connections thrive.”

In May, the program launched with a weeklong research residency for the artists. During that week, the artists explored Carrie Blast Furnaces to learn about its history through various perspectives.  They met with former steelworkers, Rivers of Steel staff historians, and talked to other local scholars. The keynote speaker was Edward K. Muller, an emeritus professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and former board chair of Rivers of Steel. The artists also met with former Alloy Pittsburgh resident artists to learn about their work, processes, and past experiences working in community-based residencies.

Following the kick-off week, the artists began working out of their community spaces, which shaped the nature of their engagement with their communities.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Additional support for Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 has been provided by the Fine Foundation, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and Eaton Corporation, with media sponsorship from Pittsburgh City Paper.

About Rivers of Steel
Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical & 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

About Rivers of Steel Arts
Rivers of Steel Arts celebrates creative inquiry by crafting opportunities to interpret the region’s past, reimagine its future, and explore a sense of place. Through exhibitions, festivals, workshops, tours, and happenings, Rivers of Steel Arts helps individuals connect with their communities in meaningful ways.

Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing cmccoy@riversofsteel.com.
Rivers of Steel | The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead PA 15120
www.riversofsteel.com

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Rivers of Steel Logo

Rivers of Steel is Hiring for Two New Part-time Coordinators

By Press Room

Join the Team!

Rivers of Steel is excited to announce that we are hiring for two new part-time positions—an Administrative Services Coordinator and Special Events Coordinator.

The Special Events Coordinator will serve as the primary point of contact during facility rentals and special events primarily at the historic Pump House at the Waterfront; Bost Building National Historic Landmark in Homestead; and Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Swissvale. Customer service, building management, overseeing event set up/tear down among other duties. Strong attention to detail and ability to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
The Administration Services Coordinator will assist with many of the day-to-day functions of the office, the staff, and the visitors and patrons of the organization. Customer service, scheduling, admin support among other duties. Strong attention to detail and accuracy. Proficient with Microsoft Office and data entry experience.

Application Instructions

Required application materials include, 1) a letter of application specifically addressing the job requirements and outlines qualifications; 2) a current resume; and, 3) a list of three professional references.  All required application materials must be sent electronically to:

employment@riversofsteel.com

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled; however, applications received on or before July 15, 2021, will receive priority consideration. Only applicants most closely qualified for the position will be contacted for an interview.

Rivers of Steel is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring, transferring, promoting, terminating, paying, training, benefits or any other actions affecting employees. Rivers of Steel does not make any personnel decisions based on an employee’s race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, ancestry, marital status, veteran’s status, non-job related disability or handicap, or other prohibited criteria as these terms are used under applicable law. Rivers of Steel abides by applicable federal, state, and local laws that govern human rights in the employment process.

The Explorer riverboat on the Mon Riveri

Rivers of Steel Launches New Tour on the Explorer Riverboat

By Press Room

The Explorer riverboat travels on the Monongahela River with Pittsburgh’s First Side in the background.

Rivers of Steel Launches New Tour on the Explorer Riverboat

The Uniquely Pittsburgh Sightseeing Tour Begins June 18

Homestead, PA (June 1, 2021)—On Friday, June 18, Rivers of Steel will launch a new tour on the Explorer riverboat—the Uniquely Pittsburgh Sightseeing Tour. The 90-minute excursion on Pittsburgh’s three rivers seeks to answer the question “What makes Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh?”

Traveling on the Ohio, Monongahela, and Allegheny Rivers, this tour shares the big stories of our region’s past—along with many lesser-known tales—as it explores a sense of place. It encourages participants to sit back, enjoy the skyline, and see the sights as they discover how Pittsburgh’s unique history shaped the city we have today.

“For more than 25 years, Rivers of Steel has worked to tell the stories of southwestern Pennsylvania,” explains August R. Carlino, president and chief executive officer of Rivers of Steel. “With the Uniquely Pittsburgh tour, our region’s legacy will be amplified, enabling locals and tourists alike to connect the past with the present and gain a greater appreciation of Pittsburgh’s role in American history.”

“This new tour was written with locals in mind,” said Brianna Horan, Rivers of Steel’s manager of tourism and visitor experience. “As we emerge from the pandemic, many folks are exploring places and attractions closer to home, so we crafted this experience to ensure local audiences would be just as entertained and educated as those visiting from farther away.”

Tours will be offered at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday from June 18 through the end of August. Prices range from $12 to $23 with adult, senior, student, and child rates. Advance ticket purchases are required.

Proceeds from tours and charters on the Explorer riverboat help to underwrite Rivers of Steel’s STEM-based education programs onboard the vessel for students throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.

Visitors can listen to the narrated tour from the main and upper decks via a 30-speaker sound system. The interior, temperature-controlled cabins and open deck spaces can currently accommodate 50 people for a tour (a limit of 50% of the standard capacity). There are three restrooms, including one ADA-accessible restroom on the main deck.

The 94-foot Explorer is the world’s first vessel to have LEED standards applied to its entire engineering and construction process. Features of the riverboat are a nod to “green” in terms of durability, sustainability, and the environment.

About Rivers of Steel

Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical and 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences through tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing cmccoy@riversofsteel.com.
Rivers of Steel | The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead PA 15120
www.riversofsteel.com

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A small group of people stand in courtyard, looking up at the Carrie Blast Furnaces.

Rivers of Steel Announces Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 Artists

By Press Room

Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 artists tour the Carrie Blast Furnaces, April, 2021.

Rivers of Steel Announces Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 Artists

New this year: Community-based Artist Residencies

Homestead, PA (April 29, 2021)—Rivers of Steel is excited to announce the selection of artists for Alloy Pittsburgh 2021, a unique visual and performing arts initiative developed for the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark and administered by Rivers of Steel.

Through Alloy Pittsburgh, Rivers of Steel seeks to examine the history, current condition, and possible future of the Carrie Blast Furnaces without permanently transforming the site’s characteristics, while offering regional artists a unique exhibition opportunity and career-building experience.

In 2021, for its fourth iteration, Rivers of Steel and the Alloy Pittsburgh collaborators are excited to unveil a new programmatic structure. With the funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 will reach beyond the walls of the Carrie Blast Furnaces to place resident artists in five neighboring communities of Braddock, Hazelwood, Homestead, Rankin, and Swissvale, Pennsylvania.

The following artists will be paired with partner organizations in each municipality for a three-month residency period. During that time, artists can communicate, collaborate, and connect with Mon Valley residents to develop their final projects at the Carrie Blast Furnaces. Each institution worked collaboratively with the Alloy Pittsburgh team to select and pair artists with the venue most suitable to their work.

  • Darnell Chambers—hosted by Dragon’s Den in Homestead
  • Reba Harmon—hosted by Three Rivers Village School in Hazelwood
  • Lori Hepner—hosted by Braddock Carnegie Library Association in Braddock
  • Sandy Kessler-Kaminski—hosted by Rankin Christian Center in Rankin
  • Jan Loney—hosted by Rivers of Steel at the Carrie Blast Furnaces (in Rankin & Swissvale)
  • Bradford Mumpower—hosted by the Wilkins School Community Center in Swissvale

“Community-based art programs, like Alloy Pittsburgh, provide a vital pathway for residents across the Mon Valley to celebrate and share their industrial heritage. They also help re-imagine the changing role of places like the Carrie Blast Furnaces in the region’s future,” said Augie Carlino, president and CEO of Rivers of Steel. “Generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and all of our local partners helps ensure these meaningful connections thrive.”

The program launches on May 17 with a weeklong research residency for the artists. During that week, the artists will explore Carrie Blast Furnaces and learn about its history through various perspectives.  They will meet with former steelworkers, Rivers of Steel staff historians and talk to other local scholars.  The keynote speaker will be Edward K. Muller, an emeritus professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and former board chair of Rivers of Steel. The artists will also have an opportunity to meet with former Alloy Pittsburgh resident artists to learn about their work, processes, and past experiences working in community-based residencies.

Following the kick-off week, the artists will begin working out of their community spaces. At that time, they will determine the nature of their engagement with their communities. Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 opens to the public on Saturday, August 28 and runs through Saturday, September 25, 2021. Opening reception and tour schedule to follow.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Additional support for Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 has been provided by the Fine Foundation and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

About Rivers of Steel
Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical & 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

About Rivers of Steel Arts
Rivers of Steel Arts celebrates creative inquiry by crafting opportunities to interpret the region’s past, reimagine its future, and explore a sense of place. Through exhibitions, festivals, workshops, tours, and happenings, Rivers of Steel Arts helps individuals connect with their communities in meaningful ways.

Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing cmccoy@riversofsteel.com.
Rivers of Steel | The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead PA 15120
www.riversofsteel.com

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The Carrie Blast Furnaces appear across the river with an industrial furnace cap in the foreground.

Rivers of Steel Reopens Mon Valley Attractions

By Press Room

Rivers of Steel Reopens Mon Valley Attractions

Expanded hours for the Carrie Blast Furnaces, plus new hours and admission for the Bost Building

Homestead, PA (April 13, 2021)—Rivers of Steel is excited to announce the opening of its 2021 season at the Carrie Blast Furnaces, located in Rankin and Swissvale, along with the reopening of the Bost Building museum and visitors center in Homestead, and the W.A. Young & Sons Foundry in Machine Shop in Rices Landing.

Saturday, May 1 marks the opening of the tour season at Carrie Blast Furnaces. Industrial Tours of this National Historic Landmark, which highlight the site’s iron-making technology, its workers, and their culture, will initially be offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in May, and will resume to a full Wednesday through Sunday schedule in June. The tour season ends on October 31.

Guided tours of the W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop will resume on May 2, 2021 and will be offered most Sundays, May through October. The Machine Shop is a National Historic Landmark located along the Monongahela River in Rices Landing, Greene County.

On June 2, the Bost Building will reopen to the public for the first time since March of 2020 to small groups via timed ticketing. Admission to the museum galleries will be free to all for the remainder of 2021.  The safety of our guests and staff is paramount, so capacity will remain limited indefinitely and ticket pre-registration will be required. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

“It is our hope that by removing the admission fee for visitors to the Bost Building, that it will make this storied landmark more accessible and welcoming to all,” said Augie Carlino, president and CEO of Rivers of Steel. “The new hours echo the public tour schedule at the Carrie Blast Furnaces as well, so that visitors and locals alike may extend their experience by exploring the exhibitions on display or by discovering more things to do in the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area via our visitors’ center.”

The From the Vault: Staff Picks from the Rivers of Steel Archives exhibition is currently on display in the main gallery of the Bost Building. An exhibition of works by Mon Valley artist Kathleen Ferri will open on October 1, 2021 and remain on display through February 27, 2022. The artworks will be juxtaposed with items from the Rivers of Steel Archives.

Parking for the Great Allegheny Passage trailhead at the Pump House in Munhall is currently open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to make use of this outdoor space, by enjoying the public art, walking the labyrinth onsite, reading the text panels about its historic legacy, or simply picnicking by the river. It is once again available for rental events.

Rivers of Steel also hosts the Carrie Carpool Cinema and a number of arts workshops at the Carrie Blast Furnaces. Workshop offerings include a range of metal casting workshops, for the novice to the professional, along with photography and graffiti / style-writing experiences.  For the creative and the curious, Rivers of Steel’s workshops are designed to foster new perspectives while providing opportunities to build skills, network with peers, and connect with southwestern Pennsylvania’s cultural and industrial heritage. Workshop registration is open now.

Capacity restrictions, mask requirements, and social distancing will remain in place for all Rivers of Steel attractions, and will be updated as the situation evolves. Additional details regarding Rivers of Steel’s COVID-19 policy can be found here.

About Rivers of Steel
Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical & 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

About the Carrie Blast Furnaces

Once part of legendary U.S. Steel Homestead Steel Works, the Carrie Blast Furnaces are a vestige of Pittsburgh’s 20th-century domination of the steel industry. In 2006, Blast Furnaces #6 & #7 were declared a National Historic Landmark. Today, visitors to the site can connect with the region’s industrial and cultural past through a myriad of public tours and programs offered by Rivers of Steel.

 

Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing cmccoy@riversofsteel.com.
Rivers of Steel | The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead PA 15120
riversofsteel.com

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Carrie Carpool Cinema Banner image

Rivers of Steel Announces the 2021 Schedule of Movie Screenings at the Carrie Blast Furnaces

By Press Room

Rivers of Steel Announces the 2021 Schedule of Movie Screenings at the Carrie Blast Furnaces

Homestead, PA (March 25, 2021)—Rivers of Steel is excited to announce the return of the Carrie Carpool Cinema at the Carrie Blast Furnaces. This drive-in movie-style experience offers curated films, along with coordinated programmatic activities, mini-tours of the National Historic Landmark site, and concessions for purchase.

The series, which will run one weekend a month April through October, offers themed feature films paired with complementary program activities or preview shorts.

On April 16 and 17, the series starts with films shot in and around Pittsburgh. Friday’s feature is Fences. The Dark Knight Rises will be the main event on Saturday. Short films by Braddock filmmaker Tony Buba will be screened as a preview to both features.

May 21 and 22 offer up a pair of samurai movies with Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: the Way of the Samurai on Friday and the film Shogun Assassin on Saturday. Building off the intersectionality of cultures in Ghost Dog, the pre-film activities embrace the culture of street art with live graffiti painting and a DJ set on both nights, while mini-tours also highlight the murals and graffiti artworks at the Carrie Blast Furnaces.

Highlights of coordinated programmatic activities include a Hot Metal Happening in July and a post-film ghost tour in October.

Feature film tiles for the full series are listed at https://riversofsteel.com/carrie-carpool-cinema. Tickets are available now.

Pricing is $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 4 through 17; $3 from each ticket purchased directly supports the conservation of this National Historic Landmark.

For opening weekend, the site will open at 7:00 p.m. with the first film to follow at 8:30 p.m. Mini-tours of the site are available for purchase at $10 / person. The 45-minute tours will begin at 7:30 p.m. Times will be adjusted for sunset throughout the season.  Sweet & savory concessions by the Fudge Farm food truck will also be available for purchase this season.

Outside of the vehicles, social distancing protocols will be in place for the safety of guests and staff, following the most recent recommendations by the CDC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

About Rivers of Steel
Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical & 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

About the Carrie Blast Furnaces

Once part of legendary U.S. Steel Homestead Steel Works, the Carrie Blast Furnaces are a vestige of Pittsburgh’s 20th-century domination of the steel industry. In 2006, Blast Furnaces #6 & #7 were declared a National Historic Landmark. Today, visitors to the site can connect with the region’s industrial and cultural past through a myriad of public tours and programs offered by Rivers of Steel.

 

Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing cmccoy@riversofsteel.com.
Rivers of Steel | The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead PA 15120
riversofsteel.com

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