Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Welcome to Solidarity Works, a podcast from the United Steelworkers union. We’re here to have conversations and start conversations about the past, present, and future of the labor movement, as well as talk about some of the work the union is doing, with USW activists leading the way.

Jan 31, 2024

When Croatian painter and immigrant Maxo Vanka first visited Pittsburgh in 1935, he fell in love with the steel town and developed a friendship with Father Albert Zagar of the St. Nicholas Croatian Church in Millvale. 

Zagar longed for color on his church’s plain walls, but he didn’t want the usual imagery found in most religious houses. He knew Vanka was the perfect artist for the job.

Vanka then painted 25 individual murals that cover every inch of the church, and today, artists and activists, including members of the USW, are working to preserve the historic art to its original glory. 

Today we’re talking with two of these members who are dedicating their time and expertise to saving these murals and what they mean for Pittsburgh and the labor movement as a whole.

Learn more at

Music from today’s episode includes Dancing at the Marketplace by Lobo Loco and 13 Hora Din Clejani Cigansko by The Underscore Orkestra.

Episode photo of Angelica Marks by Matt Dayak (DAYAK CREATIVE LLC).