Local 802 members will soon have the opportunity to learn photography while taking part in an innovative program of documenting their lives and work. Beginning on April 6, Local 802 and the Bread and Roses Project are offering a free photography class to 802 members. Classes will be held every Friday, from noon until 2 p.m., on the union’s fifth floor, and will continue until May 25.
The Bread and Roses Project, an organization that promotes art among union members, initiated a new program entitled Unseen America this year, aimed at having workers document their own experiences through photography. Its organizers point out that, too often, the labor movement is seen through the eyes of those who have never been part of it. Unseen America tries to rectify this problem. And who better to show the connection between labor and art than unionized musicians? This is a great opportunity to educate the general public on who musicians are and how they perform.
Other unions and worker advocacy groups – including SEIU 32B-J, 1199, UNITE, Asbestos & Abatement Workers Local 78 and the Center for Worker Education – have already taken advantage of this project. The Bread & Roses Project has lined up several galleries in which the photography will be exhibited. By the end of summer, the goal is to have one large group showing and then to have each individual group exhibit in separate gallery spaces. If this project is successful, the photography will be exhibited nationally.
This class is offered to all 802 members in good standing. If you don’t own a camera, one will be provided. All developing, including negatives and prints, will be paid for by the Bread and Roses Project. The photography teacher is Frances Miller, who specializes in documentary photography. Please contact Aubrey Gaby at (212) 245-4802, ext. 101, if you would like to participate.