International Festival of Firsts

Community
1:42 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

After More Than 1 Million Visitors, Pittsburgh Duck To Leave Its Nest Sunday

Netherlands artist Florentijn Hoffman's Rubber Duck Project will leave Pittsburgh Sunday. This was the duck's first US appearance.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Despite an online petition with more than 4,636 signatures (as of this story being published), the Rubber Duck Project will leave Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

“From the beginning we always said October 20th is its date,” said Paul Organisak, vice president for programming at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The work of art has always been, was meant to be, a temporary installation. The power of it is the concentrated period of time to bring people together knowing that they must get down to see it.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:31 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Duck, Duck, “DUCK!” - The History of the Rubber Ducky

The 40 foot tall rubber duck created by artist Florentijn Hoffman, will continue to float at Point State Park until October 20th, 2013.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

If you are a resident of Pittsburgh, you have undoubtedly heard about the enormous 40 foot tall rubber duck that is now floating majestically in the river. But where does this iconic bath toy originate from?

According to Joe Wos, Executive Director of the Toonseum, it goes all the way back to the late 1800’s, when regular Saturday baths first became popular. In order to be clean for church on Sunday, the entire family would gather to take their one and only bath of the week. Wos says dips in the tub went from oldest to youngest, Dad went first, then oldest brother, down to the youngest child.

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Arts & Culture
9:31 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Just How Big is that Giant Floating Rubber Duck?

Artist Florentijn Hofman's giant floating rubber duck will make its way to Pittsburgh Friday as part of the International Festival of Firsts.
Credit Photo courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman

Artist Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck Project will float down the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers Friday, kicking off Pittsburgh’s Festival of Firsts.

The duck has been on display all over the world, with stops in Amsterdam, Lommel (Belgium), Osaka, Sydney Harbour, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong. It's also spawned some counterfeit quackers.

Now the real deal is set to make its American debut.

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Arts & Culture
3:25 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Giant Rubber Duck Poised to 'Change Pittsburgh for a Bit'

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has been handing out miniature rubber ducks in anticipation of the Rubber Duck Project. The giant duck will make its first American appearance on Pittsburgh's waterways Friday.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

A giant, floating rubber duck will temporarily change the Pittsburgh skyline this weekend as the American debut of the Rubber Duck Project kicks off the Pittsburgh Festival of Firsts.

In the meantime, one is reminded of the question asked by Arthur Weasley in the movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:" "What exactly is the function of a rubber duck?”

Many would say its function is a child’s bath toy, but to others, it’s art.

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Arts
3:12 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Four-Story Duck Headed to Pittsburgh

Artist Florentijn Hofman's giant floating rubber duck will make its way to the Steel City in late September as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s International Festival of Firsts.
Photo courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman

The task of making Pittsburgh stand out as an international city has fallen on the shoulders of a floating rubber duck.

The four-story duck is part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s International Festival of Firsts.

Cultural Trust CEO and President Kevin McMahon said the purpose of this festival is not solely to bring money to Pittsburgh.

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