In the years since we launched the Working Lives Project, a lot has changed in the economy and even in the nature of work itself. I’m so happy that we were able to help people across the state reflect with one another on the past, present, and future of work.
Today, I want to give a special shout-out to the two dozen presenters who made the ShopTalk speaker program such a success. This month, we’re celebrating the completion of the program, which brought over 200 presentations and lively conversations about work to communities from Bayfield to Milwaukee, from Rice Lake to Cross Plains.
“ShopTalk topics were timely and timeless, and seemed designed to spark discussion and foster connections among humans,” said one library host.
Space doesn’t permit me to list every speaker and talk, but among our most popular were Corey Saffold on the paradox of being African American and a police officer, Jim Leary sharing the folksong traditions of Wisconsin workers, Rachel Monaco-Wilcox educating audiences about human trafficking, Alan Anderson on the forgotten craftsmen who build Frank Lloyd Wright’s furniture, and Jesus Salas on migrant workers in Wisconsin.
As we celebrate the end of the Working Lives Project, I want to offer my thanks as we say good-bye to Carmelo Dávila, who directed the project and brought his passion to the sparking of great humanities conversations.
PS: We are so excited that Governor Tony Evers has proclaimed October Arts and Humanities Month in Wisconsin! Thanks to our partners at the Wisconsin Arts Board for their great work around the state. And thanks to all of you for being part of this work, every month of the year!