Conference on Creative Organizing


glae_webready-600pxwidev2The 2012 CCO will take place June 22-25, 2012.  

Register for the Conference on Creative Organizing

Contact our office if you are interested in having a CCO program in your area.

Program Details

Conference on Creative Organizing (CCO)

The Conference on Creative Organizing Program is a leadership-training program for union staff, organizers, activists, and rank-and-filers. Participants learn how to think outside the box and approach organizing challenges creatively from a different point of view. They will also develop new skills including how to involve others in songs, chants, skits, game shows, costume, theater, and other creative strategies. Learn to use cultural tools to combat fear, get members involved, attract media attention, integrate contemporary or “pop” culture into organizing strategies, and inject “excitement” into union and political campaigns.

Participants will:

  • Exchange experiences and ideas for creative campaigns;
  • Work on actual union campaigns;
  • Share resources with organizers and artists from the Great Labor Arts Exchange;
  • Return home with a plan, educational materials, and a battery of new ideas and tools that will make your campaigns more compelling;
  • Gain a clear understanding of the structure and simplicity of good street theater, and how to apply these basic elements to multiple issues.

Program highlights:

  • Gain tools for tapping into the creative resources that members of your organization or union local possess;
  • Hands-on techniques for making props, puppets, banners and posters;
  • Creative, rhythmic picket line techniques;
  • Fresh ideas for local campaigns-“think tank” ideas generated from a wide variety of artists and performers;
  • Learn ways to utilize the Internet to tell workers’ stories and struggles.

Previous CCO participants said:

“The Conference on Creative Organizing has given us a whole new range of tools and strategies.”

“Union members … hunger for the kinds of edifying experience [the conference] offers. Songs that tell the stories of workers, martyrs, labor struggles, history, and offer hope, motivation and solidarity are like summer rain on a parched desert. Art depicting the evils of discrimination, privatization, and worker safety sacrificed to corporate greed are so welcome. It is commonplace at AFL-CIO headquarters, but it does not exist where my associates live and work. They need to know that their struggles are universal, and timeless.”

“It’s a wonderful experience. We learned some comprehensive hands-on tactics to use in our specific organizing situation that we could fine-tune to any drive.”

“Any activist attending this conference will come back with countless creative ideas for their campaigns.”

“We will be back.”

Labor Heritage Foundation Presents:


For more information or to book a creative organizing training

in your area contact 202-639-6204

Learn to use cultural tools to combat fear and inject “excitement”

into union and political campaigns.

The Great Labor Arts Exchange is a gathering of union and community activists, rank and filers, organizers, cultural workers, artists, labor educators, and youth who use, or support the use of, songs, art, poetry, theater, skits, posters, cartoons, and film to strengthen the labor movement.

Conference on Creative Organizing is a series of workshops for union staff, organizers, activists, and rank-and-filers. Participants learn how to think outside the box and approach organizing challenges creatively using the arts.

Camp Solidarityis an exciting weekend day camp program designed to enrich the lives of young people, ages 7-17, with opportunities to develop lasting friendships and explore social justice, human rights, civil rights, and union/labor history and culture through the creative arts. Unlike other summer experiences, Camp Solidarity also includes unique and powerful explorations of progressive movements.


Apply for John Handcox Scholarship

The John L. Handcox Scholarship Fund encourages the promotion of a movement that is multi-ethnic, multi racial, and provides for a diversity of activities by providing opportunities for organizers, artists, and activists of color to participate in the labor movement via The Great Labor Arts Exchange and the Conference on Creative Organizing.

*Donations to the John Handcox Scholarship Fund are greatly appreciated.

Apply for the Julius Margolin “Youth In Labor” Scholarship Award

This scholarship is open to everyone; the only requirement is that applicants must be under 30 years of age at the time of the festival. Recipients will receive between $250 and $500, based mostly upon travel requirements. Recipients who reside within 50 miles of the festival location will receive sufficient funds to cover registration, transportation and meals for the Great Labor Arts Exchange.

LHF is a 501(c)3 organization, donations are tax deductible

For more info call 202-639-6204 or email