2013 Cultural Focus: Washington Works

The 2013 Festival celebrated our work.  For many of us, our work not only pays the bills, it gives meaning to our lives.  Washington Works explored the ways people in our state make a living, with a special emphasis on union jobs.  This region has a long history of labor organizing, and Washington State has one of the largest union work forces in the country.  When we polled the Northwest Folklife staff, we found mothers, fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, and part-time staff who were machinists, firefighters, teachers, teamsters, carpenters, stage and theatrical workers, and airline pilots.

At the 2013 Festival, audiences learned more about other people’s jobs through panels and presentations on the Narrative Stage at SIFF Cinema (sponsored by KUOW 94.9FM), through the art exhibit in the Lopez Room, through demonstrations and storytelling sessions in the Olympic Room, and through the discussions and exchanges heard all over the Seattle Center during the weekend.

A Brief Workers’ History of Washington State

About MayWorks: An Annual Celebration of the Culture of Work

Labor Art Exhibits in the Lopez Room

Sleeping in Seattle: A Bed Making Contest!

Rosie the Riveter:  A World War II Icon and Part of Washington History

Some Significant 20th Century Events in Northwest Labor History

Find Out More About Labor in Washington

About the Washington State Labor Council