PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release Press Contact: Steve Thompson Thompson Communications 856-942-4434 “THE TRADESMEN: MAKING AN ART OF WORK” NEW DOCUMENTARY FILM FEATURING THE ESSENTIAL VALUE AND ARTISTRY OF THE TRADES SCREENS IN THE 2011 GREAT LABOR ARTS EXCHANGE SATURDAY JUNE 18, 12:30PM, AT THE NATIONAL LABOR COLLEGE, SILVER SPRING, MD The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work -- These are the people who build the foundations for our lives June 7, 2011 -- Baltimore, MD -- The Labor Heritage Foundation, as part of their 2011 Great Labor Arts Exchange is hosting a screening ofThe Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work on Saturday June 18 at 12:30pm, at the National Labor College, 10000 New Hampshire Avenue; Silver Spring, MD Mike Rowe, creator and host In June 1979 longtime union singer, songwriter and educator of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, discusses the value of the Joe Glazer invited fourteen labor musicians to a three-day trades in the film, taped at a recent EG Conference in Monterey, California gathering at the George Meany Center for Labor Studies in Silver Spring, MD (now the National Labor College). Thus began the annual Great Labor Arts Exchange (GLAE), which continues to be one of the core engines of their activities. GLAE has grown to include many different forms of labor arts and culture. In addition to the many rank-and-filers and union staff, participants have included singers Utah Phillips, Pete Seeger, Hazel Dickens, Baldemar Valesquez, and Bernice Johnson Reagon; artist Ralph Fasanella; cartoonists Gary Huck and Mike Konopacki; muralists Kathleen Farrell and Mike Alewitz; photographer Earl Dotter; and poets Chris Llewellyn and Professor Louie. The Labor Heritage Foundation (LHF) was founded in 1983, and incorporated in 1984, as a result of inspiration of the GLAE gatherings, by Joe Glazer, Joe Uehlein, and Saul Schniderman. They brought together that small committed group of labor leaders, artists, and activists to build on a growing network of people sharing a passion for the labor movement. What began as a labor arts exchange has grown into a strong and vibrant national community organization where artists, activists, and organizers could share music, art, and performance works that speak to their experiences, vision, and work for and in the labor movement. LHF works 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; and conducts historical research through written and oral histories. Our mission is 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. The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work portrays the real life work, idiosyncrasies, and personal convictions of a multitude of working professionals, including two plumbers, two painters, a stone / brick mason, several carpenters, two auto mechanics, and numerous other craftsmen. The film recognizes the essential contributions that these tradesmen provide, and shows only a few of the many challenges they face and the problems they solve in their everyday work. Their stories are combined with academic analysis of the socioeconomic, intellectual, and philosophical aspects of modern trade work. In a recent EG conference in Monterey, California, Baltimore native and creator and host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe discusses the value and innovation found in today's trade work, which is commonly overlooked in our contemporary high tech society. The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work will leave you with an understanding of the personally rewarding opportunities that still exist in America in the trades, and an appreciation for the work of tradesmen that make every aspect of our modern lives possible. # # # # Writer, director, producer Richard Yeagley is available for interview by appointment. Please contact: Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications 580 Haddon Avenue; Collingswood, NJ 08108 856-942-4434 firstname.lastname@example.org National Labor College 10000 New Hampshire Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20903 1-301-431-6400 1-800-462-4237 Labor Heritage Foundation 815 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20006 202-639-6204 The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work is A Dickie Bruce Production With appearances by: Mike Rose UCLA Judith Lombardi Ph. D. from the Union Institute in Human Relations and Cybernetics Joe Lamacchiardi www.bluecollarandproudofit.com Mike Rowe Baltimore native and creator and host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs www.mikeroweWORKS.com And several Baltimore area skilled tradesmen and women! Audience Website: www.thetradesmendocumentary.com The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TradesmenDocumentary V8 6-7-2011 Director’s Statement from Richard Yeagley I was raised in a place called “Charm City “ - most know it as Baltimore. Growing up, I vividly remember the blue-collar nature of the individuals and the city itself. At this point in my life I no longer have a daily connection to the blue-collar worker, and I have lost touch with the very essence of my upbringing and the people who occupy my childhood and adolescent memories. After graduating from college, moving away from my hometown, and entering the workforce, I began to notice a pervasive bias against work that required any form of manual labor and described as blue collar. In principle, this sentiment, without any firsthand experience, was unfair and disparaging towards tradesmen and their work. But why are such attitudes ubiquitous within our current cultural landscape? Where does the current cultural bias come from? Is it influenced by technological advances and novel opportunities in other occupations? Or opinions of limited financial prosperity in trade-work, and the potential for higher wages in other fields? Or is it inherent in the current educational curriculum and paradigm? I wanted to produce a documentary which sets out to explore these questions, and The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work is that documentary.
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