Boots on the Sound: COVID-19


Ricardo Robinson


2019 (in progress)


Greater Pittsburgh, PA

Collaborating Organization

Rethink Vets


Boots on the Sound: COVID-19 is a two-year collaborative art project developed by artist Ricardo Robinson, as part of Shiftworks’ Artist Residency in the Public Realm program.


In 2019, Shiftworks partnered with Rethink Vets to produce an artist residency that would facilitate creative collaboration between an artist and members of the post-9/11 veteran community in the greater Pittsburgh area. During the first year of the program, Robinson collaborated with the Rethink Vets coalition members to engage veteran and non-veteran communities throughout the region to facilitate dialogue and learn more about the challenges that veterans face.


In March of 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 crisis, Robinson redeveloped the engagement phase of the project to include web-based interviews and sound recording workshops. Dubbed Boots on the Sound: COVID-19, this virtual engagement strategy allowed Robinson and local veterans to stay connected and continue to design a final creative project.


The second year of the program will be dedicated toward implementing a creative project that will be generated from the first year of collaboration and engagement, with a focus on veterans’ response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Please check back for more information, which will be posted here when available.

This project is generously funded by The Heinz Endowments.



Sibyls Shrine

This artist residency program created by artist Alisha B. Wormsley supports Black creative mothers in Pittsburgh, PA.

Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson

Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson is an audiovisual artist. He is founder of Sonarcheology, a creative art practice merging improvisational listening with environmental archeology. By way of this method his art attempts to listen to the interrelationships between sound and shape, language and space, or what he calls “the ancestry of sound.”

For more information about his work, please visit

About the Collaborating Organization

Rethink Vets, an initiative of The Heinz Endowments, is a coalition of nonprofit organizations working to: drive better outcomes for service members, veterans, and military families; address misconceptions; and reshape public opinion about veterans in the Pittsburgh region. Visit

The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping southwestern Pennsylvania prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to our work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls our region home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive. Visit



Sibyls Shrine

This artist residency program created by artist Alisha B. Wormsley supports Black creative mothers in Pittsburgh, PA.

Image credits

Gallery, top:
(1) Sound workshop with veterans, image courtesy artist; (2) Artist Ricardo Robinson, photo courtesy artist; (3,4) Sound workshop with veterans, images courtesy artist