The Art of Liberation: Then and Now

This art exhibit was the first event hosted by Next Generation, the labor council's young worker program.

The labor movement has drawn strength from the power of telling stories that illustrate the struggles and lives of workers. Similarly, art has been a visual medium of storytelling that has the power to connect people and elicit reactions.

One focus of the young worker group at the Labor Council, Next Generation, is to build power for workers by going back to our roots and learning about the history of the labor movement.

By uniting the story telling abilities of labor and art, Next Generation hoped to provide an engaging event to start a dialog about the struggles our grandparents fought and those we are fighting today. This led to a partnership with Assembly member Dickinson and Sol Collective, a local art gallery, to host an art exhibition highlighting the importance of the labor movement “then and now”.

More than 300 people attended “The Art of Liberation: Then and Now” on October 18, the opening night of the art exhibit. Through sponsors and donations, the kick-off included: art by four original artists, a discussion about the labor movement, a labor history timeline, silk screening demonstrations, free food from Mayahuel, free organic wine from local wineries, and live music performed by the local band Son Jarocho.

The evening was a huge success and sparked conversations about labor’s place in America, how it’s up to the workers to continue labor’s legacy and ways to get involved locally.

Next Generation is proud to have been part of the event and will continue to find creative and engaging ways to showcase the importance of the labor movement and people staying involved. If you are a young worker or know a young worker, 35 years old or younger, and would like to be part of the movement, contact Sara Walling at on how you can join Next Generation. 


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