Saturday, May 7, 2022
A bicyclist pedals toward the Horizon Observatory at the Hoheward Landscape Park—the largest slag heap in Europe that is now a recreational space in Herten, Germany.
Embracing Industrial Culture

So often American industry's story is one of boom and bust. Resources are depleted and the jobs are gone just as quickly, leaving communities left behind. Though that's not exactly the story of Big Steel—it had a pretty good run, but communities were still left behind. And thirty-five years on, for some places around Pittsburgh it's still not the same.

What can you do in the wake of industry's exodus? One answer is to tell the story of the industrial culture as a connection to the region's sense of place and as a way to encourage tourism and economic revitalization. Earlier this month, staff from Rivers of Steel traveled to Ruhr Valley in Germany to explore their route industriekultur—a concept that was broadly accepted (and resourced) immediately after their steel industry subsided in the 1980s. To learn more about the cultural exchange and the intention behind it, view this photo essay from Augie Carlino, Rivers of Steel's president and CEO.

One of the striking similarities between the Mon and the Ruhr Valleys is how both have championed trails as a way to embrace their former industrial thoroughfares. Our friends at WQED have explored of one of America’s most treasured biking destinations which cuts right through our post-industrial landscape—the Great Allegheny Passage. On June 16, they will premiere The Great Ride: Landmarks Along the Trail on WQED-TV—but you can see it first on June 7 at the Pump House! Join us for this special community screening and panel discussion!

In other adaptive reuse / community collaboration news—get your tickets for the Beers of the Burgh Festival at the Carrie Blast Furnaces. It's a unique way to experience the site, and a portion of the proceeds benefit Rivers of Steel's conservation work of this National Historic Landmark.

Of course at Rivers of Steel, we celebrate the industrial and cultural heritage of the region, which is precisely why we want to help spread the word about the Tamburitzans' 85th anniversary celebration! Their work as cultural ambassadors not only carries on folk traditions through dance, but it also provides scholarships for students attending local universities.

If you are as passionate about the region's industrial and cultural heritage as we are, perhaps you'd like to work for us. Rivers of Steel is looking to fill two full-time positions—a manager of tourism and a new director-level position responsible for the facilities' operations and construction project management—along with a part-time coordinator for the Creative Leadership Program. Join us as we continue to grow our team!

That said, you don't have to work for us to be part of our creative community. You can simply sign up for one of our upcoming metal arts workshops! We welcome you to join us for tomorrow's Doodle Bowl Experience or this week's three-day Sculptural Aluminum Casting workshop.

That's all for today—thanks for reading!
A map outlines the many former industrial sites that celebrate the identity and culture of the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany.
Post/Industrial Ambassadors
Augie Carlino, president and CEO of Rivers of Steel, shares an overview of the recent visit to Germany’s Ruhr and Emscher Valleys by members of the organization's staff.
A ride along the Great Allegheny Passage. Photo courtesy of WQED.
The Great Ride: Landmarks Along the Trail
Prior to its TV premiere, WQED and Rivers of Steel are inviting bikers, hikers, lovers of the trail, and history buffs to attend an exclusive free community screening event of The Great Ride: Landmarks Along the Trail. The one-hour documentary will be screened, followed by a panel discussion and Q/A session led by WQED Producer Beth Dolinar, key members of the production team, and GAP trail representatives and volunteers.
Beers of the Burgh Festival
The Beers of the Burgh Festival is going bigger than ever in 2022. Join us for the first two consecutive Saturdays in June for a gathering of more Pittsburgh-area breweries than ever before, with 40 plus each day and in excess of 70 total! Each Saturday will also feature a unique line-up of local food trucks and bands.
The Tamburitzans Celebrate 85 Years
June 2 – 5, 2022
The Tamburitzans, America’s longest running stage act, announced the celebration of their 85th anniversary year, to be commemorated by a fundraiser gala, performance, and additional events in their hometown of Pittsburgh. The Tamburitzans are dedicated to perpetuating international cultural heritages through entertaining live performance—while awarding scholarships to talented and deserving students attending a Pittsburgh-based university.
The Doodle Bowl Experience
May 22, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., Carrie Blast Furnaces
Not your typical “sip and paint” party, this workshop has quickly become one of Rivers of Steel’s most in-demand programs. With guidance from Rivers of Steel’s metal arts team, you’ll design and carve a bowl that is cast in solid aluminum! Take home your new, functional work of art at the end of the night! No experience is needed—just bring your creativity, a friend, and your own beverage!
Sculptural Aluminum Casting
May 24 – 26, 4:00 – 8:30 p.m., Carrie Blast Furnaces
This workshop will introduce the process used to create three-dimensional sculptural forms in cast aluminum—patternmaking, mold-making and casting. Participants will create small- to medium-sized castings and discuss various surface treatments and finishing options. If you can't make this week's workshop, sign up for the second and final session of the season in July.
Members of Rivers of Steel's staff—join the team!
Rivers of Steel Is Hiring
Rivers of Steel is excited to announce that we are hiring!

We are in search of candidates for two full-time positions—a new construction project manager and facilities operations director—and a manager of tourism. Our program staff is also expanding, so we're in search of a part-time program coordinator.

Qualified candidates come from a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds. Take a look at the job descriptions to see which might be a good fit for you or someone you know!
Help preserve our region’s industrial and cultural heritage! Your tax-deductible contribution will help ensure that Rivers of Steel can continue to offer vital, engaging, community-based arts, education, and heritage programs for the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.