Arts + Culture,
Free event

Vertical Bridges: A Presentation & Poetry Reading about Pittsburgh City Steps

Jul 20, 2023 - Jul 20, 2023 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Pittsburgh has more than 800 sets of steps, which connect communities and provide access to city residents. Historically, these steps were used by the working class to commute between their neighborhoods and their places of employment. Today, Pittsburgh’s City Steps are used for more than just commuting – artists use the steps as canvases to express their creativity, hikers walk the steps to explore and work on their physical fitness, and historians study the steps to understand the evolution of our city’s neighborhoods.

This program will feature a presentation about the City Steps by Lee Ann Draud and a poetry reading by Paola Corso. Learn about their projects that engage this unique feature of our landscape and celebrate one of the physical characteristics that makes our city unlike any other in the United States.


Vertical Bridges: A Presentation & Poetry Reading about Pittsburgh’s City Steps is free with advance registration. Please register in advance online. The program will take place in the museum’s first floor Great Hall. For additional questions, please contact Melissa E. Marinaro, director of the Italian American Program, at memarinaro@heinzhistorycenter.org.

About Paola Corso

Paola Corso’s fiction and poetry books are set in her native Pittsburgh and included on Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s Literary Map. Her latest is “Vertical Bridges: Poems and Photographs of City Steps.” She co-founded Steppin Stanzas, a grant-awarded poetry and performance project celebrating Pittsburgh public stairways and paying tribute to the early immigrants who built them in a short video, “On the Way Up: City Steps, City Immigrants.” Corso’s essay on city steps was published in Western Pennsylvania History Magazine and a short vignette of her was aired at the Pittsburgh City Steps Symposium. As a member of a Brooklyn artist’s collective, she exhibits her photographs in open studios and galleries. Her first solo photography exhibit, “Vertical Bridges,” includes not only city steps in Pittsburgh but countries where she travels, most recently Turkey and Mexico. It is a traveling exhibit, viewed most recently at Carnegie Library-Oakmont. Learn more.


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