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Will Pittsburgh forget the lessons learned from its toxic past in writing the next chapter for its future?


Several organizations concerned about the region’s air quality, environment and future have come together to present a multimedia exhibition that draws on the parallels of the environmental degradation of Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” and that region’s reputation for having one of the highest rates of cancer in the country and petrochemical development in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Allegheny County ranks third worst out of all 3200 counties nationally for cancer risk due to point source pollution. What happens when a new health-impacting industry adds to this heavy burden?


This exhibition draws on the book “Petrochemical America” by Richard Misrach and Kate Orff (New York: Aperture, 2012) and Petrochemical America: Project Room, an exhibition held at Aperture Foundation in New York City in 2012. The exhibit pairs the drawings of landscape architect Kate Orff of SCAPE Studio with images from the Photographers of the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project, audio recorded by Public Herald and a selection of documentary films to relate a unique narrative of the people who live in the midst of this polluting industry. CREATE Lab has created an interactive visualization of the EPA’s National Air Toxics Assessment Toxic Release Inventory for public exploration. The visualization will make tangible the breadth and scale of toxic chemicals and will highlight known carcinogens from industrial sources in the U.S.


This show is curated by Sophie Riedel in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, Clean Air Council, Beaver County Marcellus Shale Awareness Committee and PennFuture through the Air Quality Collaborative.


The two-week exhibit will open in downtown Pittsburgh’s SPACE gallery, Sept. 27-Oct. 7, and move to the Beaver Station Cultural & Event Center for a second showing Oct. 16-20. Three events are planned in Pittsburgh and one is planned in Beaver, Pa.




Opening Reception with Wilma Subra
September 27 – 5:00 to 8:00 pm


Regional Visioning Session. Elected officials and the public are invited to a conversation around a healthier economic future.
October 4 – 3:30 to 6:00 pm


Closing Reception with Gena Wirth of SCAPE Studio
Bus Tour of the Petrochemical Plant in Potter Township

October 7 – 5:30 – 8:00 pm


Opening Cocktail Reception with Sandra Steingraber
Beaver Station Cultural & Events Center

October 16


Petrochemical America hopes to engage citizens of SWPA and ignite a deeper conversation and actions around our right to clean air and water in Pennsylvania. This show is curated by Sophie Riedel in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, Clean Air Council, Beaver County Marcellus Shale Awareness Committee and PennFuture through the Air Quality Collaborative.

Photo: From Pipe to Plastic Bag, Petrochemical America by Richard Misrach and Kate Orff.

“GASP for Clean Air! Sources, Symptoms, and Solutions” is an art exhibit put on by GASP and hosted at Assemble throughout August 2017. This family-friendly exhibit focuses on air quality issues impacting Southwestern PA and what they mean for the people who live here. Through a variety of interactive installations, the exhibit addresses how air quality interacts with environmental justice, human health, and life in an increasingly industrialized world.


Join GASP for the Air Fair on August 10. Explore the art exhibit while snacking on free “air pollution desserts,” courtesy of Shelby Brewster, from the University of Pittsburgh. Meet representatives from organizations invested in our region’s air quality, and learn what these groups are doing to better the air we breathe and how you can play a role.


GASP Air Fair
August 10, 2017 from 6-8:00 p.m.
Location: Assemble, 4824 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224


RSVP now.


Question?  Contact Chelsea at to learn more.

Join Climate Reality for their Leadership Corps training and work with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators to learn about what’s happening to our planet and how you can use social media, powerful storytelling, and personal outreach to inspire audiences to take action.


October 17 – 19, 2017
Pittsburgh, Pa.


Apply now to participate!


Celebrate the first youth designed exhibit at the Senator John Heinz History Center. The Opening Celebration will showcase an art installation crafted by cohorts of high school learners from seven area schools. The students spent several months exploring the 1940s Smoke Control Campaign, current air quality concerns, and social change strategies. The installation will feature archival sources remixed by the students to make a statement about change and the future of Pittsburgh.


May 22, 2017, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Senator John Heinz History Center


Admission is FREE, but you need to register.


Making the Connection Series: Physical Activity, Air Pollution and Asthma in the Urban Environment.


Dr. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir will discuss her research and afterwards there will be a panel of health and community experts to respond to her presentation. Networking and refreshments will be from 5pm – 6pm in the Hutchinson and Hayashi Auditorium.


Registration is $5 per person. Please sign up online before attending.


Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
May 3, 2017
5:00pm – 8:00pm


The People’s Climate March Pittsburgh will take place in tandem with the march on Washington D.C. from 10 a.m. to noon. Join fellow Pittsburghers in marching for our air, water and land along with clean energy jobs and climate justice.


April 29, 2017
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cathedral of Learning
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


More information.


Learn about the Green Building Association’s progress in Downtown and Oakland toward achieving emission reduction goals.


April 25, 2017
4-7:00 pm
Heinz History Center


Registration required.


Join Clean Air Council and others for a strategy and goal-setting workshop to identify shared goals in protecting families and children against the risks of industrial pollution.


April 25, 2017
6:30 pm
City of Clairton Municipal Buildin

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