Civic Season at the History Center

The Heinz History Center is inviting young people in Western Pa. to share and celebrate what they stand for as part of the second annual Civic Season, held in partnership with the Made By Us coalition. 

Beginning on Juneteenth (June 19), and culminating after Independence Day (July 4), the Civic Season will engage young citizens throughout the United States with more than 450 programs and resources, including live events, local and digital volunteering opportunities, educational curriculums, and crowdsourced media projects at more than 100 of nation’s most iconic history museums.  

Civic Season in Western Pennsylvania

June 18 – Guided Tour: The African American Impact on Western Pa. and Beyond
11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Heinz History Center 

On select Saturdays, the History Center’s docents will lead special hour-long tours of exhibitions, which explore important themes in Western Pennsylvania history. Discover the achievements of African Americans in medicine, journalism, the arts, activism, and during World War II in the Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation exhibition. The tour will also wind through the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum to explore the city’s unmatched Negro League baseball legacy and the careers of groundbreaking Black athletes from our region. Visitors must sign up for Guided Tours at the admissions desk prior to each tour. To book groups in advance or for questions, please contact Robert Stakeley at rostakeley@heinzhistorycenter.org or 412-454-6359.

June 21 – USCIS Adult Citizenship Education Seminar
9 a.m.-4 p.m. 
Heinz History Center
For Educators 

The History Center is partnering with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to host a day-long seminar for adult educators on Tuesday, June 21. The seminar is designed to enhance the skills needed to teach U.S. history, civics, and the naturalization process to green card holders. These skills will help educators, volunteers, and organizations offer a comprehensive adult citizenship program.  

June 21 – USCIS Naturalization Ceremony
2 – 3 p.m.
Heinz History Center 

The History Center and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will welcome new U.S. citizens during a special Naturalization Ceremony in the museum’s Campbell Gallery. Families and guests will watch as young immigrants become American citizens as part of this pivotal milestone in the naturalization process. The Naturalization Ceremony is open to the public. 

June 22 and June 24 – Guided Tours: Many Faces, One City
11 a.m. each day
Heinz History Center

Learn about fascinating stories of Pittsburgh history and enhance your museum experience on a Guided Tour at the History Center. The museum’s docents will lead special hour-long tours of exhibitions, which explore important themes in Western Pennsylvania history. Visitors must sign up for Guided Tours at the admissions desk prior to each tour. To book groups in advance or for questions, please contact Robert Stakeley at rostakeley@heinzhistorycenter.org or 412-454-6359. 

June 22: Learn More
June 24: Learn More

June 28 – Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: African Americans at the Ballot 
6–8 p.m.
Heinz History Center and virtual (hybrid program) 

Join the History Center for a panel discussion, “Freedom is a Constant Struggle: African Americans at the Ballot,” that will explore the history of voting rights, in conjunction with the Civic Season theme of “Rewind, Reflect, and Reimagine.” Keynote speaker and civil rights activist Annie Pearl Avery will reflect on her time as the project director of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in Hale County, Texas, as well as her experience marching on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on “Bloody Sunday” in 1965. Panelist Dr. Ray Block of Penn State University will discuss voting history in Pennsylvania, from state jurisdictions under the Constitution, to the 15th Amendment, through today. Miracle Jones of 1Hood Media will serve as moderator and will join the panelists in reimagining the history of voter rights connected to current voting issues. The program will be offered both in-person and virtually. Admission is free, but pre-registration is required. Stay tuned to heinzhistorycenter.org/events for more details.  

Learn More

July 2 – Guided Tour: George Washington in Western Pennsylvania 
11 a.m. and 1 p.m.  
Heinz History Center 

Learn about fascinating stories of Pittsburgh history and enhance your museum experience on a Guided Tour at the History Center. On July 2, museum docents will lead a special tour of the Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation and Clash of Empires exhibitions to discuss George Washington’s Pittsburgh and Western Pa. connections. Visitors must sign up for Guided Tours at the admissions desk prior to each tour. To book groups in advance or for questions, please contact Robert Stakeley at rostakeley@heinzhistorycenter.org or 412-454-6359. 

Learn More

July 3 – Independence Day Celebration
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village 

Celebrate the spirit of America with historical demonstrations and period games at Meadowcroft’s 18th-century frontier area and 19th-century rural village. 

July 4 – Fourth at the Fort 
1–4 p.m.
Fort Pitt Museum  

Join the Fort Pitt Museum on Monday, July 4, for its annual Fourth at the Fort event in Point State Park. At 1 p.m., Fort Pitt Museum staff, scouts, and local veterans will help kick off the Fourth of July holiday by raising a 36-foot American flag. The ceremony will commence in the Fort Pitt Block House yard thanks to an ongoing partnership with the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, owners of the Fort Pitt Block House – the oldest building in the region. Following the patriotic flag raising ceremony, visitors can enjoy a family-friendly afternoon of living history demonstrations.   

Virtual Offerings

Visit the American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith virtual exhibition 

The History Center examines the bold experiment to create a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” in its dynamic online exhibition, American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith. Developed in partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), the exhibit showcases the history of how we’ve voted, protested, and engaged with our politics, from the nation’s formation to today. The exhibit was on view at the History Center in 2021.

America 101

The History Center’s involvement in Civic Season and the Made By Us national coalition is an extension of its ongoing civics initiative, America 101, which engages the public to learn American history through public programs, special exhibitions, digital learning tools, and educational curriculum. Through the America 101 initiative, the History Center has hosted the award-winning “Be the Change: 9th Grade Civics Summit” program, U.S. naturalization ceremonies, American flag folding events, and other forums to discuss issues such as civics, government, immigration, and history. 

America 101 is supported by Nimick Forbesway Foundation, Grable Foundation, Jack Buncher Foundation, Charity Randall Foundation, and UPMC. 

The Civic Season is funded thanks to generous support from Maria Carlucci as well as AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate, a Mars Wrigley brand.