Saturday, May 15, 2021
Profiles in Steel


I'm Carly McCoy. I'm the person who crafts these newsletters. But when I write, I use the editorial "we"—because I'm speaking for Rivers of Steel as an organization. That said, the core of who we are as an organization is really a representation of the values, talents, and even relationships of who we are as individuals. From our Board of Directors and staff to our volunteers and patrons, the individual level is often reflective of the passions and interests that many of us hold.

At the same time, we also celebrate the unique journeys of our community members. That's one of the reasons we choose to launch a new series, called Profiles in Steel, to highlight those stories. Up first is an interview with Ed Parrish, a sculptor and metalworker who also is Rivers of Steel's metal arts coordinator and furnace master.

This week we also get to hear from Kirsten Paine, a local scholar who is a tour guide at the Carrie Blast Furnaces. In her piece, Getting to the Heart of the Hardest Working River, she takes us behind the scenes, reflecting on the creation of the riverboat tour of the Monongahela that she authored, which runs for two weekends only this spring, starting today.

And once you've gotten to know Ed & Kirsten a bit, you may just want to register for their programs—links are included below, along with a couple other fun, upcoming events.

Enjoy and take care!
Ed Parrish during a metal pour at the Carrie Blast Furnaces.
Profiles in Steel: Ed Parrish, Jr.
Ed Parrish, Jr. was part of the first crew to cast iron at the Carrie Furnaces in the post-industrial era. It only seems fitting that we would begin our Profiles in Steel series with him!
Getting to the Heart of the Hardest Working River
Read our latest blog post in which Kirsten Paine considers how the Pittsburgh of the past reconciles with the Pittsburgh of today.
The Explorer riverboat at the beginning of its excursion up the Monongahela River.
Hardest Working River Tour
Saturdays, May 16 & 22 and Sundays May 17 & 23—various times
The Hardest Working River Tour is back! Offered for the first time last fall, this special seasonal tour returns this spring for two weekends only in May!

Journey with Rivers of Steel up the Monongahela River and hear the stories about how this mighty river helped to shape Pittsburgh’s early commercial and industrial success, helping to define the city we have today!
Carrie Carpool Cinema—Samurai Street Art
Friday, May 21, 7:45 to 11:15 p.m.
Explore the hero’s journey with Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: the Way of the Samurai. 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, while mini-tours also highlight the murals and graffiti artworks at the Carrie Blast Furnaces.
Sunday, May 23, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Join Ed Parrish and the metal artists at Rivers of Steel for this in-demand workshop! Located in the Power House of the Carrie Blast Furnace, this event allows for a social experience, with enough physical distancing to keep you safe and comfortable. No experience is needed—just bring your creativity, a friend, and your own beverage!
Sunday, June 6, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Offered just once this season, the Sunset Photo Safari is an opportunity to capture the magic of half-light at the Carrie Blast Furnaces. Recommended for folks with some experience shooting in low light or those who are simply ready to embrace long shadows and the golden hour glow.
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.