SEIU Uses Art As Path Into                               e Union      More money for organizing was critical to the union’...
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Seiu uses art as path into the union - SEIU utilise l'art pour communiquer au sein du syndicat

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The SEIU Greenhouse program run by Nina Shapiro-Perl used an array of arts.music, photography, theater, film, storytelling, and more.to give voice to the lives and struggles of members and to bring their stories to the larger public. It recognized that the arts not only inspire people to action, but are a path into the union.a way of in- volving people who might otherwise not be active. The traditional sounds of labor songs such as Solidarity Forever were still heard at SEIU events, but the soundscape now in- cluded hip-hop, Latin, and world music.a re!ection of the new and varied cultural programming being created by and for SEIU members.

Le programme "Greenhouse" , mené par Nina Shapiro-Perl, utilise une vaste gamme d'arts - musique, photographie, théatre, film, récital, et plus encore - pour donner une voix aux vies et batailles des membres du syndicat, et pour exposer leurs histoires à un plus large public.L'art n'est pas seulement une manière d'engager des actions, il permet aussi de créer une union - une manière d'impliquer des gens qui ne seraient pas impliquer autrement. Les chants traditionnels de syndicats comme le "Solidarity forever" sont toujours entendus dans les manifestations de SEIU, sauf qu'aujourd'hui le style musical a tourné au hip-hop, rythmes latino, ou styles internationaux, un reflet de la variété culturelle générée par et pour lezs membres de SEIU.

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Seiu uses art as path into the union - SEIU utilise l'art pour communiquer au sein du syndicat

  1. 1. SEIU Uses Art As Path Into e Union More money for organizing was critical to the union’s marketed broadly within the progressive community.growth, for sure, but SEIU in 1996 also invested in a cre- Over the years, members got training in how to useative approach to building the union—a lively arts and photos, video, and other digital media to tell their stories incultural program. e SEIU Greenhouse program run by their own voices. One of the most exciting projects beganNina Shapiro-Perl used an array of arts—music, photog- in New York, with 100 donated cameras, volunteer profes-raphy, theater, lm, storytelling, and sional photographers, and studentsmore—to give voice to the lives and who wanted to show life from theirstruggles of members and to bring own perspective as home care work-their stories to the larger public. It ers, migrant workers, taxi drivers,recognized that the arts not only restaurant workers, and other serviceinspire people to action, but are a sector employees. ey took mov-path into the union—a way of in- ing and provocative pictures, andvolving people who might otherwise had their work exhibited in venuesnot be active. e traditional sounds ranging from union halls to countyof labor songs such as Solidar- courthouses. e project spread toity Forever were still heard at SEIU locals throughout the country, withevents, but the soundscape now in- members in Ohio, Wisconsin, andcluded hip-hop, Latin, and world elsewhere taking part. In 2005, 300music—a re ection of the new and of the images were published as thevaried cultural programming being created by and for book unseenamerica: Photos and Stories by Workers.SEIU members. Like the wider culture itself, SEIU’s arts program con- One of the rst projects was Tales from the Trenches, a tinually evolved. By 2010, much of the work had shiftedvideo capturing the stories of member-organizers. When to a relatively new program in the union, called PopularNew York’s 1199 a liated with SEIU, the Greenhouse Media Organizing. Its mission was to connect popular cul-program entered into a partnership with 1199’s Bread and ture and the labor movement in new and compelling ways.Roses program, which had been created in the 1970s to In 2008, that included teaming up some of Hollywood’smerge art and social justice concerns. e rst collabora- politically progressive television stars with SEIU activiststion was the 1999 SEIU Women of Hope calendar, show- who also were volunteering in the Obama campaign. In-casing photographic portraits of courageous women from stead of the actors simply making speeches at a rally, theyboth inside and outside the labor movement, such as nov- were out door-knocking in neighborhoods. It was a novelelist Toni Morrison and Native American activist Wilma way to create buzz about support for Obama—and a wayMankiller. It was the rst of a series of SEIU Social Justice to get even more SEIU activists motivated to do someCalendars featuring works by a diverse range of artists and door-knocking, just like the stars.

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