Saturday, December 18, 2021
Pittsburgh’s Skyline at Christmas by JP Diroll / Visit Pittsburgh.

Whew—we made it to the end of 2021! If 2020 was about adaptability, 2021 was definitely about resiliency. To that end, we’re happy to take a moment here to focus on the good things that can happen when we work together—or simply when we get together!

Our featured story this week comes from our Community Spotlight series. In this story, Gita Michulka takes a look at how a Rivers of Steel Mini-Grant helped to support a project outside of Mill 19 in Hazelwood Green, bringing together partners from Center of Life, Carnegie Mellon University, Arts Excursions Unlimited, and local students in a process centered around community and innovation with an exceptional end product.

And in our Heritage Highlights story, celebrating hospitality and traditions has helped one of Pittsburgh's cultural communities find comfort and joy for nearly a century. Jon Engel spent time with members of the Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center; there, he met a community that's bound by their rich folklife and universal love for food, music, and each other. 

Speaking of food, Brianna Horan is offering up a lively follow-up to her Ultimate Holiday Happenings Guide—one featuring local restaurants, breweries, and distilleries that are capturing the spirit of the season. Check out this month's specials in Making Spirits Bright!

Also, don't forget there's a tasty way to support Rivers of Steel this weekend. Stop by the Auntie Anne's Pretzel Truck at the Pump House today and tomorrow. Ten percent of their proceeds will be donated back to support our work.

Thanks for your support throughout 2021. We wish you the best this holiday season. Stay safe and warm. With gratitude, we raise a glass to you, our Rivers of Steel community!
Project partners from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture and Hazelwood’s Arts Excursions Unlimited pose with the newly installed Rocking Cradles in Hazelwood Green, a project created in partnership with Center of Life and supported with funding from Rivers of Steel’s Mini-Grant program. Photo by Lake Lewis.
Community Spotlight: Center of Life Collaboration
With an array of community partners, the Rocking Cradle—Urban Furniture for Environmental Justice project took shape over the last year. These 3D-printed cradle rockers are embedded with community-created art and will serve as both seating and planters for native species.
Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center
This month, Jon Engel popped down the street to 449 West Eighth Avenue in West Homestead, which has been home to the Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center for nearly a century. There, he met a tight-knit—yet ever-expanding—community, bound by their rich folklife and universal love for food, music, and each other. He spoke with some of their members about the specific traditions that the Center seeks to preserve, why those traditions are valuable, and how they remain relevant to this day.
Making Spirits Bright
In this companion piece to our Ultimate Holiday Happenings Guide, we share local restaurants, breweries, and distilleries that are capturing the spirit of the season with special menus and offerings. Raise a glass of cheer, or take a warm meal home to go and be fueled by the holiday spirit!
Auntie Anne's at the Pump House
December 17 – 19, 2021
Grab a snack and support Rivers of Steel this holiday season! On December 17 – 19 the Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Truck will be at the historic Pump House in Munhall—and 10% of the weekend’s proceeds will be donated to Rivers of Steel!
"One of my highlights of 2021 was working with Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center to create a prototype of an augmented reality experience for visitors to the Carrie Blast Furnaces. This AR simulation will allow visitors to see aspects of the National Historic Landmark 'come alive.' It has been an interesting and exciting learning experience to blend new technology with our region's 20th-century industrial heritage."
—Suzi Bloom, Director of Education,
Rivers of Steel
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.