CHICAGO, IL, January 14, 2016 Today the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced a $100,000 grant and partnership with Project& in support of Working in America , which takes an intimate look at how we feel about what most of us do all day long: work. Working in America is a multiplatform documentary initiative chronicling the everyday challenges, triumphs and realities of working ( and not working ). Within the common thread that everyone has a relationship to work, this powerful visual and audio initiative is inspired by the 40 th anniversary of Studs Terkel's influential book, Working , as a springboard for a contemporary conversation about the meaning of work and the physical and psychological realities of working in America today.
As Jane M Saks, President/Artistic Director of Project& and Creator of Working in America explains, "What Studs Terkel understood 40 years ago has exploded onto the mainstage of America: Our ability to work and the value placed on us and our labor significantly defines our sense of identity, dignity, and humanity, and that of our entire country. This initiative gives the changing and complex landscape of working in America the human focus, engagement, and creativity it deserves at a time when we are collectively gearing up for an election that could show what we value ( or don't ) by voting on the direction of our nation's economy and political future."
Project&'s W orking in America is one of only 19 grants awarded for documentary and interactive projects. These grants, totaling nearly $2.5 million, represent MacArthur's largest singleyear investment in documentaries. " It was an extremely competitive year," the Foundation states, "We are delighted to include W orking in America in this group of outstanding and important documentary and nonfiction multimedia projects."
Working in America includes three components: a nationally traveling photographic exhibition featuring images of veterans, janitors, tech and finance entrepreneurs, farmers, athletes, oil field workers, artists, domestic caregivers and more from across the US captured by PulitzerPrize winning photographer and Project& Fellow Lynsey Addario. The exhibition will be designed by renowned architect Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang. W orking in America will launch at Chicago's famed Harold Washington Library on Labor Day Weekend 2016 with a series of compelling programs, and the exhibition will travel to city libraries across the US in 2017 and 2018. The initiative also includes "Your Working Story," a dynamic online archive that provides everyone the opportunity to upload images of themselves and their working stories; and Project& will assist local libraries in developing programming and dialogues that ask how we can reimagine work to enhance the dignity and quality of life for individuals, families, communities, and the nation.
Project& has partnered with Radio Diaries to coproduce a radio series titled "Working Then and Now" that will broadcast on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." Project&working with The Studs Terkel Radio Archives, Chicago History Museum, and the Library of Congresshas been given unprecedented and exclusive access to the neverbeforeheard field recordings Terkel conducted for his book. "Working Then and Now" expands on these recordings with current interviews with those he interviewed 40 years ago and with workers today. The radio series will reflect upon the dramatically changing American working landscape, charting the decline of the manufacturing industry and the rise of the "gig economy" alike, knowing that Terkel's research remains more relevant today than ever.
Other key partners in the Working in America initiative include Access Living, exhibition design by Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects, Chicago Public Library, the US Department of Labor, The Center for American Progress, the Chicago History Museum, the Library of Congress, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Rap Sessions, the Shriver Center for Poverty Law, Spark, Women Employed, YOUMedia, and the Reva and David Logan Foundation.
Project& wants to know y our working story! What does work mean, look and feel like to you, your friends, and your family? Post your story and you'll have the chance to be featured by Project&! You can do so by tagging Project& in your vintage and/or contemporary photos of working in America and using the hashtag "#workinginamerica." You can find us on Instagram at @project.and, on Twitter @_projectand, and at facebook.com/projectand.
About Project& In collaboration with artists, Project& creates new models of cultural participation with social impact. We amplify artistic voices that risk, engage, investigate and inspire, highlighting issues at the forefront of our time including: race, justice, access and equity, identity, gender, cultures of violence, human rights and economic inequality. Through extraordinary collaborations with emergent and awardwinning artists such as MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prizewinning photojournalist Lynsey Addario, MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prizewinning Playwright Lynn Nottage, MacArthur Fellow and revolutionary flutist Claire Chase, acclaimed visual artist Hank Willis Thomas, accomplished scholar and artist E. Patrick Johnson, Award Winning Filmmaker Yance Ford, and Innovative visual artist Cheryl Pope, Project& examines and influences critical policy, social, and community discussions.
About the MacArthur Foundation The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. MacArthur is one of the nation's largest independent foundations. See more at www.macfound.org .
About Project& Fellow Lynsey Addario Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist who regularly works for The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time Magazine. In 2000, she traveled to Afghanistan to document life under the Taliban, and has since covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Darfur, South Sudan, and Congo. 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 for her series, "Veiled Rebellion: Afghan Women." Lynsey's recent work includes reportage on Syrian refugees for The New York Times , the ISIS push into Iraq, the civil war in South Sudan, and maternal mortality in Sierra Leone for Time . She released a New York Times bestselling memoir, It's What I Do , which chronicles her life as a photojournalist coming of age in the post9/11 world. Follow Lynsey Addario on Twitter @lynseyaddario, and see her work at www.lynseyaddario.com .
About Jane M. Saks Jane M. Saks is Founding President and Artistic Director of Project&. She has decades of experience, is a curator, creative collaborator, producer, cultural activist, writer and educator working to challenge and champion issues of gender/sexuality, human rights, race and power within arts and culture, politics and civil rights, and academia and philanthropy.