Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka
To conserve and protect for permanent public exhibition the nationally recognized Maxo Vanka Murals within St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, enabling the immigrant artist’s “gift to America” to serve as an enduring catalyst for community engagement and education, inspire social and cultural dialogue, celebrate diversity, and forge connections through reflections on the extraordinary American experience.
To establish a lasting national monument to America’s storied immigrant experience, utilizing the ongoing conservation of the historic Maxo Vanka Murals to create a nexus for community engagement, education and socially and culturally oriented programming that evokes reverence for the past and inspiration for the future.
The Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka was incorporated in 1991 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to raise awareness and educate the public about the murals and their significance to Pittsburgh’s history, and their depiction of America’s immigrant experience.
Because of the Society’s efforts, the murals have received historical designations by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and the National Register of Historic Places. SPMMMV also manages the volunteer docent program that offers regular Saturday tours and responds to special requests for tours from individuals, organizations, schools and other private groups. The organization is also responsible for the fundraising effort to facilitate immediate conservation and lighting of the murals. SPMMMV also prioritizes the ongoing development of a diverse audience — local, national and international — with the intention of sustaining the murals for the enjoyment and education of generations to come.
Since 2009, SPMMMV has raised more than $1M from generous individuals and institutions making it possible to conserve and light 12 of Maxo Vanka’s 25 stunning Murals covering the walls of St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale. In addition, the organization welcomes 4,000 visitors annually through its docent tour program and mission-related events and activities. Public interest, awareness and access to the Murals increases each year through the Society’s efforts and with the support of the community.