Steps We Take – Fineview

Gene Thompson, in collaboration with Fineview Citizens Council, is organizing two free participatory performance events in Fineview on Friday, October 11th and Saturday, October 12th, celebrating the ways city steps connect people both physically and energetically. These events will feature a line-up of communal wearable sculpture interactions both on and around the two sets of city steps, celebrating our potential to connect to one another in unlikely spaces. 

This work uses physical proximity as a transformative tool, asking the audience to join in the creation and production of a performance to a thoughtful house music–style dance track in which the voices of local youth announce their individual truths. Thompson has curated eight performing artists to facilitate audience members’ experiences of the wearable sculptures from both the inside and outside using segments of movement choreographed by youth.

Event Details

Carrie Street Steps Block Party

Date & Time: Friday, October 11th (4pm-7pm)
RSVP: Click here to RSVP

Location: Carrie St & Henderson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

  • Bus: 11 to Carrie St. and Henderson St. or Warren St at Catoma St and walk over
  • Bike: Take Henderson St. bike parking available at event
  • Where to park: Street Parking
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Graib Street Steps Block Party 

Date & Time: Saturday, October 12th (3pm-6pm)
RSVP: Click here to RSVP 

Location: Henderson St, & Graib St, Pittsburgh PA 15212

  • Bus: 11 to Henderson St at James St Steps
  • Bike: Take Henderson St. bike parking available at event
  • Where to park: Street Parking
  • Not Wheelchair Accessible (Requiring accommodation – please contact info@bikepgh.org)

Join BikePGH and the Office of Public Art for a new event series to celebrate city steps and walkable neighborhood connections. Learn more at BikePGH.org/StepsWeTake. This program is generously supported by the Hillman Foundation.


about the Artist

H. Gene Thompson is a non-binary artist who uses soft sculpture, performance, and interactive sound to highlight unseen narratives, exploring themes of closeness, isolation, confining factors such as gender, social and economic oppression. Thompson’s wearable work is made up of colorful shapes working both as membranes to be resisted against and barriers to be broken through, both separating and connecting people, questioning human connectivity through wearable fabric sculptures. Thompson works to hold space that challenges social interactions, bringing people together socially through the organization of events and performances that empower.

Thompson has a strong foundation as a fiber artist, sculptor and printmaker and has spent the past 10 years developing and leading workshops. The multimedia workshops act as a conduit for social emotional learning by way of connecting a wide range in ages and communities to themselves through learning new media in order to help to create connections within and across communities.


Advocate for Your Steps

Pittsburgh has approximately 800 sets of steps – more public staircases than any other city in the United States. The steps are an important and under-resourced connection between communities, which thousands of residents rely on to get around. Nearly two-thirds of the steps are in low- or moderate-income areas and many are located in the City’s hilliest neighborhoods. Many of these neighborhoods also lack strong public transit resources. Here are some ways that you can get involved.

311 – Report a Problem

Contact the City’s 311 system to report problems, fixes, and issues with the steps to the City’s 311 Response Center. The easiest methods to contact them are by:

Tweeting @PGH311
Calling 3-1-1 (Between 8am-6pm, Monday- Friday )
Outside of Pittsburgh, call 412-255-2621
Download the MyBurgh app
Visit the website: pittsburghpa.gov/311

Contact your Council Person

Your council person is there to serve you, their constituents and advocate at the City on your behalf. Reach out to them with your concerns for the steps and let them know what the steps mean to you. The easiest way to contact them is to email or call their offices

Contact Information for  Fineview:
City District 1
Councilwoman Darlene Harris
Chelsey.Berry@pittsburghpa.gov
412-255-2135

Read the City’s Step Plan

“Repairing or replacing an on-structure staircase is a logistical, design, and construction undertaking comparable to a small bridge project. As a result, the City has taken on only a few staircase projects in the last few years. There is a need to prioritize these investments to make the most impact for people walking in Pittsburgh’s hilliest neighborhoods.” Learn more about the Steps plan: https://pittsburghpa.gov/citysteps/

Get Involved With Your Community

Join your neighborhood’s Community Group to get involved with neighborhood issues, fixing the stairs, and making sure that walking and biking concerns are heard in the community.

Fineview Citizens Council
Website: www.fineviewpgh.org
Twitter: FineviewC
Instagram: fineviewcitizens
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fineviewcitizenscouncil
Email: fineviewpgh@gmail.com
Community Meetings: 4th Tuesday of Every Month – at 5:30pm – Locations vary