Creative Placemaking

Rivers of Steel works with communities throughout the Heritage Area, collaborating and supporting programs that foster the creative economy, while working together with creative professionals, enterprises, and communities to establish the region as a thriving destination—to live, work, and play.

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.

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Three women and a man pose for a photo while holding paint rollers on extension poles. They are standing over a blue painted pavement that is clearly in progress.

Creative Leadership Program

The Creative Leadership Program is one of five key strategies in Rivers of Steel’s Partners for Creative Economy initiative. Presenting a long-term vision for the future of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, the larger initiative fosters transformational opportunities for communities left out of recent economic growth and prosperity as seen nearby in the city of Pittsburgh; the Creative Leadership Program helps heritage partners throughout southwestern Pennsylvania develop and implement long-term placemaking strategies for their communities.  Currently, the program is active in the Mon Valley Community of Monongahela in Washington County and Brownsville in Fayette County. In 2025, Rivers of Steel will expand their efforts in Rankin in Allegheny County as part of these efforts.

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Graffiti style-writing that reads "Community"

Murals on a Mission

Murals on a Mission: New Kensington is a project designed to energize the community of New Kensington, Pennsylvania through high-impact public art. The partnership harnessesthe power of large-scale, text-based murals to enhance the visibility of the city, create a sense of place—and bring color, vibrancy, and new character to the urban environment.

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Learn more about the events

such as tours, workshops, and festivals happening at each unique attraction.