Upcoming Events

All evening programs are open to the public and held at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Avenue, and begin at 7:30 pm.

If you have any suggestions or ideas for future speakers or topics to put on our agenda, please email us at historysqhill@hotmail.com.

YEAR 2019

July 23, 2019 (Tuesday) *Date changed due to speakers’ schedule
History of the Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop and a Reading by the Poets
Facilitator:  Rosaly DeMaios Roffman
The poets/speakers will include (as scheduling permits):  M. Soledad Caballero, Ann Curran, Ziggy Edwards, Nancy Esther James, Don Krieger, Christine Doreian Michaels, Rosaly DeMaios Roffman, Joanne Matone Samraney, Shirley Stevens and Arlene Weiner.

A Short History of the Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop
The Squirrel Hill Poetry workshop began in 1978 to bring together local poets for reading and a discussion of each other’s work. It was founded by Sue Saniel Elkind at the Squirrel Hill Library, a branch of the Carnegie.  In 1991, longtime member H. Kermit Jackson assumed the directorship of the group. Rosaly DeMaios Roffman became facilitator when Kermit Jackson died in 2000, and she presently leads the workshop with assistance from some current members.

The group originally met at the Squirrel Hill Library, but in 2010, the workshop moved to the CC Mellor Library in Edgewood where they meet every two weeks. Membership has remained steady, typically with 16 poets, and has included persons from varied professional backgrounds, including a kindergarten teacher, a salesman, a composer, college professors, a retired biochemist, a librarian, a biomedical researcher, an occupational therapist and a psychologist.

The workshop has published two anthologies: The First Decade (1988) edited by H. Kermit Jackson which featured the work of SQPW members and Pittsburgh and Tri-State Area Poets (1992) edited by Sue Saniel Elkind which featured the work of members and other local poets.

Nearly all members have published at least one book or chapbook, several have edited poetry anthologies and two have founded magazines and online journals.  Individual members have won literary prizes in national competitions and have read their poetry not only in venues around the United States, and also in Canada, Jerusalem, Athens and Bratislava.

In June of 2018, the Squirrel Hill Poetry Workshop celebrated their 40th Anniversary with a celebration at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

For more on our workshop, poems, biographical notes and photographs, go to: www.squirrelhillpoets.org

Also of interest:  Issue #29 of UPPAGUS, an online journal edited by Ziggy Edwards and Jude Rosen.  This issue is devoted to the poetry and history of the workshop.  For instance: https://uppagus.com/interviews/roffman1/

About the Facilitator
Rosaly DeMaios Roffman taught creative writing, Classical Literature, World Mythology, and founded a Myth/Folklore Studies Center at IUP. She co-edited the prize-winning Life on the Line, and is the author of Going to Bed WholeTottering PalacesThe Approximate Message, and In the Fall of a Sparrow. She has read her poems in Ireland, Greece, Mexico, Israel, Spain, and Bratislava and has collaborated on 23 pieces with composers and other artists.  She as received grants from the National Endowment and the Witter Bynner Foundations and was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award in the Arts at IUP.  In 2012 Tebot Bach published her latest book of poems, I Want to Thank My Eyes.

August 13, 2019 (Tuesday)
“The History of The Frick Pittsburgh, the Fricks and Clayton”
Speaker: Amanda Dunyak Gillen, Director of Learning & Visitor Experience
Amanda will present a program about the Frick family and its most important legacies in the city—their mansion and art museum in Point Breeze.

About the Speaker:
Amanda Dunyak Gillen is the Director of Learning & Visitor Experience at The Frick Pittsburgh.  She has a B.A. in History from Allegheny College, received a certificate in Elementary Education, and has an M.A. in Public History from Duquesne University.  At the Frick she oversees all adult, student and family programs related to the museum’s diverse collection.

Prior to her work in education, Amanda began her museum career in the curatorial departments at the Senator John Heinz History Center and at the Frick.  For several years her work spanned across both curatorial and education departments as she served as curator of Clayton, the historic home of Henry Clay Frick, and simultaneously developed tours and trained interpretive staff.  Amanda was part of the design team for the Frick’s $15 million dollar expansion that resulted in the creation of a new Visitor Center, a renovated Car & Carriage Museum, collections storage, and a new Education Center with facilities to support programming for learners of all ages and needs.

Amanda serves on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums and on the steering committee of the Pittsburgh Museum Educators Roundtable, a professional organization that seeks to build a community of practice for museum educators in the Pittsburgh area by providing an opportunity for networking, partnering, and shared professional development. She is also an adjunct professor in the Public History graduate program at Duquesne University, where she teaches a course on public programming.

September 10, 2019 (Tuesday)
“Getting To Know Our Neighbors: The History of Hazelwood”
Speaker: JaQuay Edward Carter, Founding President, Greater Hazelwood Historical Society of Pittsburgh

October 15, 2019 (Tuesday)
“Prohibition Pittsburgh”
Speaker: Richard Gazarik, Journalist
Richard was a journalist for four decades and the author of four books, Black Valley: The Life and Death of Fannie Sellins; Prohibition Pittsburgh; Wicked Pittsburgh; and the Mayor of Shantytown coming out in November.  He is currently working on books on jazz and McCarthyism.

November 12, 2019 (Tuesday)
“The New Pittsburgh City Archives: Highlights of the Collection”
Speaker:  Nick Hartley, Pittsburgh City Archivist
Nick Hartley is the City Archivist for the City of Pittsburgh. Previously, Mr. Hartley was an archivist at the Library and Archives of the Heinz History Center, where he processed record collections of industrial corporations from Western Pennsylvania. He is a founding Steering Committee Member of the Three Rivers Archivists. He received a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. He holds a Certified Records Manager designation from the Institute of Certified Records Managers and a Certified Archivist designation from the Academy of Certified Archivists.

December 10, 2019 (Tuesday)
“The Irrepressible Sophie Masloff”
Speaker: Barbara Burstin, SHHS Member and on the faculty of CMU and Pitt

About the Speaker:
SHHS Member Dr. Burstin teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, including Osher classes. Her courses deal with the American Jewish experience, the U.S. and the Holocaust, and now a new course on the history of Pittsburgh. In addition to Jewish Pittsburgh, Dr. Burstin is the author of Steel City Jews, a history of Pittsburgh and its Jewish community from 1840 to 1915, and its sequel, Steel City Jews in Prosperity, Depression and War, published in 2015, looks at the community in the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. She has produced a film, A Jewish Legacy: Pittsburgh. Barbara Burstin has just completed a book on Sophie Masloff, The Mayor from Squirrel Hill, which will be the subject of this talk.

Year 2020

January 14, 2020 (Tuesday)
“Homestead and Squirrel Hill”
Speaker: Tammy Hepps, Founder of HomestadHebrews.com
This talk will explore the surprisingly symbiotic relationship between the communities of Homestead and Squirrel Hill that began in the 1890s and continues to the present day.  Originally linked by long-forgotten urban infrastructure, Homestead and Squirrel Hill have since traded community and commerce for generations.  Everything you think you understand about about Squirrel Hill will look quite different when contextualized within the longer history and strikingly different social fabric of its neighbor to south.

About the Speaker:
Tammy Hepps is a local historian who focuses on topics within American Jewish history, especially small towns and synagogues. Her projects combine research techniques from genealogy and history and draw heavily upon her technology expertise to break new ground in data gathering and interpretation. She is best known for her research into the Jewish community of Homestead, PA.  Please see her project website HomesteadHebrews.com for more information.

February 11, 2020 (Tuesday)
“The Art Collecting of Pittsburgh’s Gilded-Age Titans” 
Speaker: Elizabeth Roark, Professor of Art History, Chatham University
This talk examines the collecting practices of Pittsburgh’s industrial age’s “big three”: Carnegie, Frick, and Mellon, and the impact it had had on the city (and beyond). Focusing primarily on their desire to advance Pittsburgh’s cultural profile, it explores their collecting philosophies and early purchases, the formation and character of their collections, and the art institutions they founded. It also provides insight more broadly into Pittsburgh’s art taste and period art installations.

About the Speaker:
Elizabeth (Beth) Roark is a Professor of Art History at Chatham University, where she has taught for 22 years.  She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and B.A. from Allegheny College where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Other awards include a Mellon Fellowship and a Smithsonian Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.  Beth has published and presented widely on colonial and nineteenth-century American art.  She has worked with the Carnegie Museum of Art, The Frick Pittsburgh, and wrote the entry on Andrew Mellon for the Grove Dictionary of Art.

Professor Roark has been a major friend of the SHHS.  This will be her fourth lecture to the Society and she has also either run or supported five of our walking tours over the years.


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