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Collection Occupational Folklife Project

Washington State Workers

In 2012, Northwest Folklife, a nonprofit arts organization based in Seattle, received an Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center for "Washington State Workers," an oral history project documenting the culture and traditions of union workers throughout the state of Washington. Conceived and directed by Northwest Folklife’s Deputy Director, folklorist Deborah Fant, the project conducted 20 in-depth interviews with a cross section of Washington’s union workers, including nurses, teachers, health care workers, grocery store cashiers, bus drivers, machinists, communication workers, hospitality and airline workers, teamsters, electrical linemen, theatre workers and stage hands, members of the building and construction trades, and a classical musician who also owns and operates an auto repair shop. Fant and her colleagues at Northwest Folklife worked in collaboration with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC), which provides services for more than 600 local unions and trade councils and represents approximately 450,000 rank-and-file union members throughout the state of Washington.

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