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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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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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Rivers of Steel Announces Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grants

By Press Room

Rivers of Steel Announces Folk Arts Grant Opportunity

Call for applications for the 2021-2022 Master Artist and Apprenticeship grants through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

 

Homestead, PA (March 19, 2021)—Rivers of Steel is excited to announce the official call for applications for the 2021-2022 Master Artist and Apprenticeship grants through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Open to folk and traditional artists from across the state of Pennsylvania, these grants provide funding over a one-year period to a partnership between a master artist and a qualified apprentice, enabling them to work together for in-depth learning that encompasses the acquisition of techniques and artistry as well as the context of the culture. Apprenticeships are offered annually in both performing and craft traditions.

Interested artists can read more about the grants and download an application here. All applications must be submitted to Dana Payne at danpayne@pa.gov by April 19, 2021.

At noon on March 26th, Rivers of Steel will be hosting a video seminar to walk applicants through the paperwork and give advice on writing a great proposal. Attendance is not necessary to apply but may help artists present their best work and create a compelling curriculum. Register for the webinar here.

As the Folk and Traditional Arts Partner Organization representing PA Region 14, Rivers of Steel is happy to work with artists residing in Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, or Washington counties who are interested in submitting an application for this program.  Artists living in counties outside of this region can find their representing organization here.

Rivers of Steel has been a PA Folk Arts partner for nearly two decades, helping to celebrate and conserve this region’s diverse cultural heritage. This system of local and regional organizations convened under the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts forms a mutually supportive network specializing in folk and traditional arts.

Current partnership organizations, including Rivers of Steel, collectively serve 40 counties by promoting the creation and documentation of folk art; engaging the public in understanding the quality, breadth, and diversity of folk and traditional arts across the state; conducting critical discovery fieldwork in under-represented communities; and providing technical assistance for folk and traditional artists through workshops and gatherings.

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 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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Rivers of Steel Supports Reauthorization Bill

By Press Room

Rivers of Steel Supports Rep. Cartwright and Sen. Casey’s Lead on Bipartisan PA Delegation on Bill to Reauthorize PA National Heritage Areas and Uplift Local Economies

Homestead, PA (February 25, 2021)—Rivers of Steel commends U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) and U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) for their efforts earlier this week leading a group of Congressional Democrats and Republicans representing Pennsylvania in introducing the Pennsylvania National Heritage Area Reauthorization Act.

This bill would reauthorize for 15 years five National Heritage Areas (NHAs) in the Commonwealth: Lackawanna Valley, Delaware & Lehigh, Schuylkill River Valley, Oil Region and Rivers of Steel.

Rivers of Steel is grateful to Congressman Cartwright and Senator Casey for their leadership on the statewide NHA legislation.  August Carlino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rivers of Steel said, “We are fortunate to have the support on this legislation of so many others in our Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation.  Pennsylvania has seen incredible economic success across the Commonwealth with our National Heritage Areas, and our state continues to lead the nation and set a national benchmark for how these public-private partnerships benefit the communities in which we work.  We look forward to continuing our work in southwestern Pennsylvania.”

NHAs are partnerships among the National Park Service (NPS), states, and local communities, in which the NPS supports state and local conservation and economic development through federal recognition, seed money and technical assistance. They remain in state, local, or private ownership or a combination thereof, and are supported by grants from the federal government and other sources, which can support job-creating projects and businesses.

“Our national heritage areas bring federal money directly to Pennsylvania to benefit small businesses and conservation efforts in our communities,” said Rep. Cartwright. “By reauthorizing Pennsylvania’s national heritage areas, we invest in our economy and the protection of Pennsylvania’s beautiful natural resources for years to come.”

“This legislation recognizes the value of our natural and cultural resources and will protect Pennsylvania’s National Heritage Areas, supporting local conservation and stimulating local economies,” said Senator Casey. “We must continue to fund the vital conservation and economic development work of our NHAs.”

The bill would also remove the funding caps and increase their authorization so Congress can continue funding the heritage areas. The heritage areas then leverage this federal funding many times over through other funding streams, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity in the region. These NHAs need to be reauthorized by the end of fiscal year 2021 in order to remain eligible for federal funding.

Last August, Rivers of Steel released an economic impact study that estimates the generation of more than $92 million of economic benefit and 922 jobs each year as a result of spending by visitors to Rivers of Steel and its partners, including the expenditures of Rivers of Steel on grantmaking, operations, and capital improvements.

The annual average of direct, indirect, and induced economic impact estimates a $92 million return on the annual investment of $664,000 by the National Park Service through the National Heritage Area program and an average investment of $200,000 by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources through the Heritage Parks Program.  The result is more than a 100-fold return on investment in terms of ultimate economic benefit for the eight-county region.

This legislation is co-sponsored in the U.S. House by U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA-18), Madeleine Dean (D-PA-04), Dwight Evans (D-PA-03), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-06), Mike Kelly (R-PA-16), Conor Lamb (D-PA-17), Dan Meuser (R-PA-09), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA-14), Brendan Boyle (D-PA-02), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA-05), Glenn Thompson (R-PA-15) and Susan Wild (D-PA-07).

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 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 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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Rivers of Steel Awards Mini-Grants

By Press Room

Rivers of Steel Awards Nine Mini-Grants

Funding for local nonprofits provides $60,000 for heritage tourism,
community development, and placemaking initiatives

 

Homestead, PA (February 3, 2021)—Rivers of Steel recently awarded $60,000 to nine nonprofit organizations within the eight-county region of southwestern Pennsylvania that the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area represents.

The Mini-Grants will be used to develop new and innovative programs, partnerships, exhibits, tours, and other initiatives that are consistent with Rivers of Steel’s mission and that increase heritage tourism, enhance preservation efforts, involve the stewardship of natural resources, encourage outdoor recreation and / or include collaborative partnerships.

Mini-Grants were award to:

Ambridge Historic District Economic Development Corporation, $5,210, for the stabilization of the Bicentennial House building located at 284 13th Street in the Ambridge Historic District and for preliminary investigations into the needs for preservation and rehabilitation.

Center of Life, $12,000, for installation of interactive art objects that function as urban furniture, planters for nascent local species, and instigators of conversation that will be installed at a tree nursery on a site at Hazelwood Green, before transitioning into permanent residence within the Hazelwood community.

Donora Historical Society, $1,000, for the development of glass plate negatives from the Bruce Dreisbach collection and other archival photo and film related projects.

Historic Harmony, $4,000, for the completion of the Visitors Information Cabin, by building out the interior as an interpretive exhibit space to demonstrate how early settlers worked.

Josh Gibson Foundation, $10,000, for the creation of the Josh Gibson Virtual Tour, an interactive tour that will highlight the accomplishments, triumphs, and barriers Josh Gibson experienced in his life.

Kelly Strayhorn Theater, $4,000, for the build out of the Gallery KST & Lounge, which will activate the historic lobby space for community events, while enhancing the patron experience and supporting creatives to achieve artistic fulfillment, financial resilience, and social impact.

Steel Valley Trail Council, $3,790, for the research, creation, and installation of interpretive signage along the trail that highlights the historical importance of Braddock’s Expedition, the Flyover Trail Bridges, the Thompson Run Waterfalls, and the industrial history of the area traversed.

Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, $12,000, for the design, fabrication, and installation of the Rolling Melting Pot exhibit, an interactive educational tool that will allow students and other visitors to understand the impact that immigration had on trolleys, and that trolleys had on immigration.

Westmoreland Museum of American Art, $8,000, to support Stephen Towns: Declaration and Resistance, a solo exhibition of artist Stephen Towns, a Black painter and fiber artist whose work explores how American history influences contemporary society.

Rivers of Steel works to conserve the industrial and cultural heritage that defines southwestern Pennsylvania. Through the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, 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.

While the funding is provided via DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program and the Environmental Stewardship Fund for these Mini-Grants, Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation applies for, administers, and accounts for the distribution of the grants throughout the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area. Both nonprofits and municipalities are eligible for grant awards.

This year, as part of its ongoing diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion efforts, Rivers of Steel gave special consideration to black- or minority-led organizations and organizations that serve a majority BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) audience and communities. Rivers of Steel is committed to working with organizations who share our long-held belief in diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion and are committed to fighting systemic racism and discrimination against people of color.

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 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 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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National Park Foundation Logo

Rivers of Steel Receives New Capacity Building Grant from the National Park Foundation

By Press Room

Rivers of Steel Receives New Capacity Building Grant from the National Park Foundation

Grant expands Rivers of Steel’s ability to update strategic plan to include DEAI initiatives.

 

Homestead, PA (January 21, 2021)—Rivers of Steel has received a grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF) that will allow for the re-examine the organization’s strategic plan to ensure that diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) are addressed in every area of its operations, projects, and programs.  Rivers of Steel is one of 36 park partner organizations to receive a Strong Parks, Strong Communities capacity-building grant from NPF, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service.

“The funds from this grant will help us fulfill the promise that we made to our partners and the communities of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area in the wake of the tragic murder of George Floyd,” said Augie Carlino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rivers of Steel. “Rivers of Steel is committed to telling the whole story of our industrial and cultural heritage—the stories that are good and those that are difficult and uncomfortable to discuss or admit.”

Through the strategic planning initiative, Rivers of Steel will engage with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members of the southwestern Pennsylvania community to develop programming and projects that focus on ending racism, bigotry, inequality, intolerance, injustice, and prejudice toward Black Americans, people of color, and other minorities.

The grant from NPF will provide resources to further Rivers of Steel’s efforts, which were catalyzed amidst the BLM movement of 2020. The initiative, entitled RESPECT – Re-Examination of our Strategic Plan for these Exceptional and Changing Times – will include a professionally facilitated strategic planning process with community members throughout the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, including local members of the community. The RESPECT process will support Rivers of Steel’s parallel efforts initiated in 2020 for both the promotion and facilitation of black, indigenous, and people of color in the field of historic preservation and to expand resources for BIPOC-led organizations through its Mini-Grant Program.

Rivers of Steel’s efforts are also happening in conjunction with our partners: the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Museums, Galleries, and Cultural Institutions Working Group, the Greater Hazelwood Historical Society, and Boom Concepts, among others. The plan will also develop recommendations on ways Rivers of Steel can increase diversity among staff, board, partners, and audiences in historic preservation.

The Strong Parks, Strong Communities grant program helps address nonprofit park partner needs that have come to the forefront amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants enable park partners, including Rivers of Steel, to expand their impact through new technology, website redesigns, creative visitor engagement, strategic plan development, fundraising campaigns, professional development, and more.  A full list of Strong Parks, Strong Communities grantees can be on the National Park Foundation’s blog.

“The National Park Foundation is committed to increasing national park philanthropy across the board and being responsive to current needs,” said LaTresse Snead, chief program officer for the National Park Foundation. “The capacity-building grants help advance park partners’ goals to preserve natural and cultural resources, increase access to public lands for all people, and develop innovative programming.”

Strong Parks, Strong Communities is a collective effort to grow national park philanthropy, consisting of approximately 450 local philanthropic organizations across the United States.

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 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 National Park Foundation

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connects all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Find our more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.

 

 

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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