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  • The Labor Heritage Foundtion Presents We Were There

    WeWereThereFeb13_2015On Thursday, March 5th, 2015 at 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm The Labor Heritage Foundation is presenting We Were There–A Celebration of Women’s History Month.

    With Bev Grant, singer/songwriter/cultural worker & choral director. Check out our poster for all the other great talent that will be making this evening an exciting and enjoyable night!

    The evening is co-sponsored by AFL-CIO Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Department, American Federation of Teachers and the Coalition of Labor Union Women.

    Elise Bryant and Fran Owens at the PMN Winter Gathering

    Our own Elise Bryant and Fran Owens led a round of Soon and Very Soon at the Saturday evening’s Round Robin. The Winter Gathering was held in Greenfield, MA. Enjoy this moment.



    We here at LHF are so excited to share our new website with you. It was our intention to create a space that is informative and engaging. We wanted our virtual space to clearly show our appreciation of the past and how it helped shape the present and most importantly, how it will direct our future here at LHF. We are as committed as ever in our mission. We have a driven purpose to preserve and promote knowledge of the cultural heritage of the American worker through the arts, including music, poetry, written works, theatre, and artistic works.

    It is our deepest desire to strengthen the labor movement through the use of music and arts–Using creative organizing methods, artistic opportunities, and cultural activities we are the “synergy, heart, and soul” that brings the passion for equality, fair labor standards and practices, and a just society together in the labor movement.

    In part, union is defined as a joining, uniting, or a unification. It is in this spirit that we would love to hear from you. Let us know what you expect from the Labor Heritage Foundation. This is a journey that requires us all to engage, enlighten and inspire.

    Let us hear your voice.

    In the next weeks and months we will be tweaking our site to make it the best we can. Please visit often and remember, if you have a story about a local event using the arts to further the labor movement that you feel we should know about, drop us a note; if you attended an event filled with labor arts and spirit we would love for you to share your experience; if you have photos all the better!

    You can send your stories and experiences to us via this link. Here’s my story!

    Solidarity Sing Along Continues in Wisconsin

    The daily noon hour weekday Solidarity Sing Along at the Wisconsin State Capitol continues! It’s outdoors on Fridays, and yes, even during the winter! It is on the State street side of the State Capitol building. Bring your fiddle or guitar.  It’s been running for three years every day, like the ferry. And it will ferry union spirits during the exile days of Scott Walker.

    Pete Seeger – A Time For Peace

    Pete Seeger, singer, song writer, activists, who understood that to be a citizen of this country, took more than waving a flag. While he was a gentle, deeply humanistic being, his values were worn like battle armour.  He gave no quarter while being victimized by McCarthyism in 1955 when he was summoned before the House Un-American Activities Committee. When the committee tried to compel him to name names and tell of his associations and beliefs he never wilted or flinched.  Instead he stood strong against the swelling tide of McCarthy’s witch hunt and struck back.

    “I decline to discuss, under compulsion, where I have sung, and who has sung my songs, and who else has sung with me, and the people I have known. I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent this implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, or I might be a vegetarian, make me any less of an American. I will tell you about my songs, but I am not interested in telling you who wrote them, and I will tell you about my songs, and I am not interested in who listened to them.”   (Pete Seeger – 1955)

    Countless numbers of us grew up singing songs written or co-written by Pete Seeger.  “If I Had A Hammer”, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”, “Turn, Turn, Turn” and so many others that he made popular such as “We Shall Overcome”.  He said he just changed one word – he changed ‘will’ to ‘shall’ and it became the anthem of generations fighting for their civil rights.

    When Pete Seeger sang we all sang. He preferred to join his voice with others as he did many times at the Great Labor Arts Exchange. He recieved the Joe Hill Award to honor his body of work in the field of labor culture. Maybe it was because his spirit inherently understood the power we have when we join together, rising up as one with a singular purpose.  Sadly the struggles are not over, but we can still join our voices. We can join them with the echoes of Pete’s banjo and his voice that enveloped us – compelling us to rise and stand strong against the surge of oppression and injustice.

    Pete was 94 when he died on Monday of natural causes. Toshi, his wife of 70 years died last year.

    Take a moment and rejuvenate your spirit while watching this video of Pete. Of course Pete’s voice is softer than the audience, but then this would not be Pete Seeger if he sang alone. If you want to hear more of Pete’s songs, you can find them here.
    Pete Seeger – Turn, Turn, Turn

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