The Aspen Institute partners with Project& to engage the multimedia art exhibit and initiative “Working in America”
CHICAGO—June 7th, 2017—The Aspen Institute, in partnership with Project&, and Aspen’s Pitkin County Library, announced today that the multimedia art exhibit “Working in America” will open in Aspen, Colorado on June 9th at Pitkin County Library to engage the larger Aspen and library communities, the Aspen Institute, and the Institute’s Resnick Aspen Action Forum. This will continue the Institute’s mission to provide culturally significant and thought-provoking ideas to its summer visitors, including members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Inspired by Studs Terkel’s 1974 book, “Working,” and created and conceived by Project&’s President and Artistic Director, Jane M. Saks, the exhibit features powerful photographs by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario. Those photos, along with accompanying text, tell the raw, honest stories of 24 workers from around the country, including a veteran-turned-urban-farmer, a retired oil-field worker, a professional escort, a high school principal, an Olympic gold-medalist, an electrician, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and others.
“The exhibit as well as the entire initiative focuses on the centrality of work in all our lives – not just the way we make a living, but also how we make a life. It is about the dignity of all work and all workers, visible and invisible. And about how our work or lack of work affects how we see ourselves, others, our role in our communities, families and our sense of self. It is the thread that connects us all. This conversation is as important as ever in the United States and globally,” said Saks, who founded Project& with a small group of individuals in 2013 to create collaborations with artists that build new models of cultural participation with social impact in the arts.
“We are excited to have ‘Working in America’ in Aspen for the Resnick Aspen Action Forum,” said Peter Reiling, executive vice president of the Aspen Institute. “It’s an immensely important exhibit that spotlights the dignity of American workers and puts a human face on broad labor trends – from the rise of the gig economy to the growing gap in incomes – that have reshaped our country in recent decades. We hope this exhibit will inspire our Fellows to think and elevate our ongoing conversation at the Action Forum around the re-sets taking place in the economy and society.”
“The Working in America installation is directly in line with Pitkin County Library’s mission to ‘inspire lifelong learning,” County Librarian Kathleen Chandler noted. “When we renovated our library building last year, this type of program and the community conversation it will inform is how we envisioned our new space could be used. The Library is thrilled to host the exhibit while it is in Aspen.”
The exhibit, which was designed in collaboration with Jeanne Gang + Studio Gang Architects, is part of a larger, multi-platform initiative that includes a radio series that aired in September on National Public Radio and that was co-produced by Saks and Radio Diaries Executive Producer Joe Richman. The initiative also includes a living, online community called “Your Working Story,” where anyone across the country can add their own working stories and photographs. Go to Working.org.
Along with announcing the partnership with the Aspen Institute and the Pitkin County Library, Project& is also proud to announce the national partnership with New America. “Working in America brings the lives of American working people into the policy and advocacy arenas where their experiences and perspectives can have real impact on field leaders and elected officials. This work couldn’t come at a more crucial moment, when digital technology and now artificial intelligence are throwing the future of work deeply into question. We are thrilled to be a national partner in Project&’s innovative injection of new voices and the power of art into an important public conversation,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of New America.
The exhibit will be on display at Aspen’s Pitkin County Library from June 9th through September 30th. Special programming held in conjunction with the Aspen Institute’s Resnick Aspen Action Forum (July 27-31) will be announced in July. There will be public tours by Saks and other programming to be announced. For location and hours, go to www.pitcolib.org. For media requests, contact meredith(at)projectand.org.
Project& collaborates with artists to create new models of cultural participation and experiences with social impact. We amplify artistic voices that risk, engage, investigate and inspire, highlighting issues at the forefront of our time including: race, gender, human rights and economic inequality. We create models and new work that cross platforms and focus on human experiences putting new narratives, agency, and equitable participation at the center. We hold multiple creative roles that are shaped by the context and vision of the work, and vary from project to project. They include creator, initiator, partner, producer, distributor and convener. They work with artists including: Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright Lynn Nottage, acclaimed visual artists Hank Willis Thomas, Cheryl Pope, and Jim Hodges, MacArthur Fellow and renowned musician Claire Chase, Award Winning Filmmaker Yance Ford as well as Lynsey Addario and Jeanne Gang. For more information, visit www.projectand.org and www.working.org
About Jane M. Saks
Saks is Founding President & Artistic Director of Project&. She is a creative collaborator, arts producer, writer & educator who has worked to challenge and champion issues of gender, sexuality, human rights, race and power within the worlds of arts and culture, politics and civil rights, academia and philanthropy. She was the founding Executive Director, Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media creating an award-winning Fellowship program of works that went on to win Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur Genius Awards, Obie Awards and Guggenheims. A published poet, she collaborates with artists Kerry James Marshall, Jim Hodges, and Inigo Manglano-Ovalle. She is the creator, author, producer, co-producer on original creative works including: “Sweet Tea: Gay Black Men of the South,” “Congo: Women Portraits of War,” JOMAMA JONES/RADIATE, the international radio series with NPR, “Gender, Human Rights, and Leadership.” Recent work: conceived, curated, created, collaborated: “Working in America,” multi-media initiative (working.org), “Just Yell/Poetry as Self-Defense” Youth Response to Violence with Cheryl Pope, “This is Reading,” in collaboration with Lynn Nottage, “PAN” 21st century Greek chorus of community collaborators and a 100 migrating instrument orchestra in collaboration with Claire Chase and Marcos Balter. She serves on Cultural Advisory Council City of Chicago, LGBT Pride Action Tank, Trustee/Nathan Cummings Foundation, International Center on Race and Ethnicity, South Africa Constitutional Court Artworks/Architecture Committee, Radio Diaries. She is an invited lecturer, visiting critic at Yale University, Harvard University, Regional Judge for the White House Fellows and Inductee to City of Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame.
About Lynsey Addario
Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist who regularly works for The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time Magazine. She is a Project& Fellow. Lynsey’s recent work includes reportage on Syrian refugees, the ISIS push into Iraq, the civil war in South Sudan, and maternal mortality in Sierra Leone. In 2015, American Photo Magazine named Lynsey one of the five most influential photographers of the past 25 years. She has received the MacArthur Fellowship and the Overseas Press Club’s Olivier Rebbot Award. She is also the author of the 2015 New York Times best-selling memoir “It’s What I Do,” which chronicled her life as a photojournalist coming of age in the post-9/11 world.
About the Aspen Global Leadership Network
The Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of more than 2,500 high-integrity, entrepreneurial leaders from over 50 countries who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. Fellows convene annually at the AGLN’s flagship event, the Resnick Aspen Action Forum. For more information, visit agln.aspeninstitute.org.
About The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, CO; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.
About New America
New America is a think tank and civic enterprise committed to renewing American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age. New America generates big ideas, bridge the gap between technology and policy, and curate broad public conversation. Structurally, New America combines the best of a policy research institute, technology laboratory, public forum, media platform, and a venture capital fund for ideas. They are a distinctive community of thinkers, writers, researchers, technologists, and community activists who believe deeply in the possibility of American renewal. New America was founded in 1999 to nurture a new generation of public intellectuals—scholars, policy experts, and journalists who could address major social, economic, and political challenges in ways that would engage the public at large—and to provide a set of blueprints for American renewal in an era of globalization and digitization. The initial challenge, which continues today, was to find the minds and foster the debates needed to guide American renewal in an era of profound, exhilarating, but often threatening change.
Under the leadership of founding president Ted Halstead and his successor Steve Coll, New America became a vibrant intellectual community and public policy institute. Its fellows and program staff have incubated and advanced breakthrough ideas in a wide range of domestic and international policy arenas. Today, New America has a staff of some 150 people, a budget of roughly $25 million, and a wide array of programs and undertakings. New America’s CEO and president is, Anne-Marie Slaughter, who assumed the role in 2013. For more information, visit www.newamerica.org