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Season 5, Episode 83

Art and culture are a part of the organizing mix



Guest Name:

Ken Grossinger

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Ken Grossinger, author of “Artworks: How Organizers and Artists are Creating a Better World Together,” appeared on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and spoke about the power of art and how it can lead to social change. 

Grossinger explained his belief that art is a contributor to social change. While organizing campaigns can sometimes lead to legislative victories, those wins can be rolled back through new legislation. Art, he believes, is powerful enough to change hearts and minds. Unlike organizing, art can penetrate popular culture. Today, on a larger scale, art and culture are a part of the organizing mix.

Art can be short-lived or have a long shelf life. He compared the impact of a photo project about immigration, which had a short-term effect, to the long-term impact of the song “We Shall Overcome.” This song, and other songs, helped to make an impact during the Civil Rights movement and still effects people today, Grossinger contends.

He then explained the extent to which unions are becoming community action targets or community-building institutions. Specifically, Grossinger discussed museums and noted that over 450,000 museum workers are trying to organize. This is important he argued, as museums are becoming catalytic for communities and not a target for when they do not respond to contemporary demand. 

Listen to the whole podcast to learn more about the impact of art and social change: 

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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