Mother Jones Launches DC LaborFest

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mother Jones Launches DC LaborFest(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)

The DC LaborFest is a month-long celebration of labor arts in the nation’s capital. Work, workers and their lives and issues are explored through films, plays, poetry, music, art, literature and history throughout the month of May. Events are free unless otherwise noted; click here for the complete line-up. Please post widely on Facebook, Twitter and other social media!

Mother Jones Launches DC LaborFest
Spotlight on Immigrant Rights
LaborFest Adds New Play to Line-Up
COMING UP: Fasanella; Elizabeth Warren; Happy Birthday Pete Seeger; Brother Hal and Sweet Joan of the Textile Mills; Salt of the Earth; Rivera's "Man At The Crossroads" 

Mother Jones Launches DC LaborFest: The first annual DC LaborFest kicks off today, May 1 – celebrated around the world as International Worker’s Day -- with a mid-day May Day wreath-laying in honor of legendary labor organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones’ 184th birthday. The 12:30 p.m. event will take place at the Mother Jones marker at 2601 Powder Mill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20903 in front of the Hillandale Baptist Church. In addition to the wreath-laying and songs in honor of the labor icon, organizer Saul Schniderman will share rare Mother Jones memorabilia. Also available will be hot-off-the-press copies of the LaborFest program guide. NOTE: in case of inclement weather the event will be held inside the Hillandale Baptist Church.

Spotlight on Immigrant Rights: At dusk tonight (8p), the AFL-CIO will literally spotlight the struggles of immigrant workers by projecting onto the AFL-CIO building (815 16th Street, 16th & I NW) the names and faces of some of the immigrant workers devastated by the deportation crisis. The brief video “highlights the refusal of Congressional Republicans to allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform as well as the urgent need to end the inhumane deportations tearing apart families across the United States,” says the AFL-CIO. 

LaborFest Adds New Play to Line-Up: Living Out, a comedic play by LisaLoomer about working mothers, race, class and immigration status, has just been added to the DC LaborFest line-up.Click here for details about a special $15 ticket offer for the 8p show tonight at the GALA Theatre. The play focuses on Ana, a Salvadoran nanny and a mother of two, and Nancy, a lawyer challenged by fulfilling both personal and professional goals. Two working mothers who make difficult choices so they can provide a better life for their children. “A funny and touching play that explores the shared humanity between a nanny and her employer and the differences wrought by race, class and immigration status.”

Ralph Fasanella: Free noontime screening on Friday, May 2 of the film Fasanella at the AFL-CIO, which is also hosting exhibits of Fasanella paintings and drawings, as well as a collection of classic labor film posters.  A major exhibit of Ralph Fasanella’s paintings also opens Friday at the American Art Museum, which will host a 6:30p discussion Friday night with Fasanella exhibit curator Leslie Umberger and Marc Fasanella, Ralph’s son.
Elizabeth Warren: The senior United States Senator from Massachusettschronicles her inspiring life story in her new memoir, “A Fighting Chance” at 5p Friday at the AFL-CIO (free but space is limited and RSVPs required).
Happy Birthday Pete Seeger: Joe Uehlein performs his Birthday Tribute to Pete Seeger Saturday night at Zed’s in Silver Spring and on Saturday & Sunday, around the corner at the Round House Theatre are the first performances of Brother Hal and Sweet Joan of the Textile Mills, two labor-themed plays performed by young actors. Brother Hal is a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V, performed by a cast of local actors ages 13-18; Sweet Joan examines the plight of child labor, performed by Lumina Studio Theatre's youngest actors, ages 8-12. Tickets required; click on the appropriate play for details. 
Salt of the Earth: Originally banned by the U.S. government and now recognized by the Smithsonian as among “the greatest 100 films ever made,” this classic 1954 film – which tells the story of Mexican-American workers who strike to attain wage parity with Anglo workers and explores the pivotal role their wives play in the strike -- celebrates its 60th anniversary 7:30p Monday night at the American Film Institute in Silver Spring (tickets necessary). Introduced by Tom Zaniello, author of “Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff: An Organized Guide to Films About Labor” and includes DC Labor FilmFest t-shirt raffle!
Ongoing: Rivera's "Man At The Crossroads": TheEmbassy of Mexico, through its Cultural Institute, hosts an exhibit that reconstructs the history of Diego Rivera's Man at the Crossroads mural. The exposition centers around the mural Rivera painted in New York City, reconstructing its history with reproductions of previously unpublished material, including letters, telegrams, contracts, sketches, and documents, following Rivera's commission, subsequent tension and conflict, and finally, the mural's destruction. Daily through May 17. 


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