School & Youth Field Trips

Visit the awe-inspiring and thought-provoking murals of Maxo Vanka with your middle or high school students at St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church!

Students participate in facilitated discussions and activities led by our skilled educators to explore how the artist’s life story and the experiences of working-class people and immigrants influenced his painting of these murals in 1937 and 1941. Vanka’s murals provide a great platform for learning about the immigrant experience, social justice, history, art, and more.

Through creative hands-on activities, students will also reflect on the relevance of the mural’s themes of love, justice, and empathy in their own lives and in society today.

Workshops for teachers and educators are available, visit our Student and Teacher page for information or email bgaugler@vankamurals.org to discuss options.

About the programs

These 90-minute programs are for up to 35 students, although as many as 50 students can be accommodated upon request. Whenever possible, classes will be split up into smaller groups of 10-15 students during the program to maximize engagement.

  • Programs may be scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays starting as early as 9AM.
  • School & Youth Programs are $12/student, with a minimum of 10 students or $120.
  • Required chaperones (1 for every 15 students) are free.
  • Any additional adults are $15/person.
  • All materials are included in costs.
  • Each 90-minute program may be extended (with or without educators) and space for eating lunch may be reserved for additional fees.
  • School and youth field trips must be arranged at least three weeks in advance.

Additional Information

Know Before You Go

St. Nicholas is an active church and, on rare occasions, programs may be delayed or canceled due to church activities. We will contact you as soon as possible should this occur.

Educational Resources

To help students prepare for and reflect on their visit, you can explore the 360° virtual tour together in the classroom, and/or use our Vanka-inspired educational resources that include ready-to-use activities that encourage close looking, creative expression, and critical thinking skills.

Getting here

St. Nicholas Church is located at 24 Maryland Ave, Millvale, PA 15209

Driving & Parking: Follow the directions via Google Maps.

Tour participants can park in the St. Nicholas Convent parking lot, located across the street from the church. Parking is also available for buses in this lot.

Walking: A sidewalk with curb cuts runs up Maryland Ave to the church. The accessible building entrance is located on the Rectory (south) side of the church. If walking from Lawrenceville, the church can be reached via a short, picturesque walk across the 40th Street Bridge or the Millvale Riverfront Trail.

Accessibility

SPMMMV welcomes all visitors and strives to provide the best possible experience for everyone.

Accessible parking spaces are clearly marked and available in the church-side parking area with direct access to the accessibility ramp entrance on the east side of St. Nicholas between the Church and the Rectory. The ramp location is clearly indicated on the Church building.

Please note that the restrooms are only accessible via stairs, so there is no accessible restroom at the church.

If you have questions about accessibility that are not addressed below, please contact us at 412-408-3180 or by email at info@vankamurals.org

Frequently asked questions

When can the murals be viewed by the public?

Public tours, led by docents, are held on Saturdays at 11:00 am and 12:30pm. Private tours at other times are by appointment only. A minimum of eight people or a donation of $120 is required. Due to church schedule, private tours are not available after 3:00 pm on Saturday or before 12:30 pm on Wednesday.

For advance reservation (including pre-payment of admission fee) and private tour requests email us at tours@vankamurals.org.

When should we arrive?

Please plan to arrive 10 minutes ahead of your scheduled tour or program to allow for checking in with your docent or educator. Tours and programs will start on time. 

Is there on-site parking?

Yes. Please follow directional signage upon arrival. Parking is available in the convent parking lot (15 Maryland Ave) across from the church. If your group is arriving by tour bus, email us for instructions: tours@vankamurals.org.

Please note: Exit from church-side parking lot is behind the Rectory building with right turn up Maryland Avenue and left turn left on Logan Street or down to Sheridan Avenue.

Caution: The traffic coming down Logan Street (to the right next to the entrance to the church) does not stop and may be making a sharp left onto Maryland.

Other Parking:  

  • Accessible parking spaces are clearly marked and available in the church-side parking area with direct access to the accessibility ramp entrance on the east side of St. Nicholas between the Church and the Rectory. The ramp location is clearly indicated on the Church building.
  • Street parking can be found in Millvale if lots are full.
May we photograph/video the murals?

Flash photography is not permitted. However, photography for personal use is allowed. Any other photography must be approved by SPMMMV. For more information, please contact Anna Doering, Managing Director, at: adoering@vankamurals.org or leave a message: 412.408.3180.

We request that any posts to publicly accessible websites or blogs include a link back to our website – www.vankamurals.org – to assist us in our ongoing efforts to raise awareness and support for the murals. And if you are sharing to social media, please include hashtag #SaveMaxoVanka. We also welcome submissions for inclusion on our website at: info@vankamurals.org.

More questions? tours@vankamurals.org

Shrines of Pittsburgh

Shrines of Pittsburgh

In 2019, St. Nicholas was named as one of the Shrines of Pittsburgh.

The Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka is an independent and registered 501 (c)(3) organization. Contributions are fully tax deductible.
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