The Way We Worked
The Way We Worked is a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit that explores the importance of work in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years.
The Michigan Humanities Council is coordinating the exhibit's tour in Michigan, where it will reach six rural communities: Rogers City, Dowagiac, Hartland, Escanaba, Clare, and Hart (see sidebar for complete schedule and venues). Hosts were selected via a competitive application process.
For more information, contact Michigan Humanities Council at 517-372-7770.
About the Exhibit
The Way We Worked, adapted from an original exhibtion developed by the National Archives, draws from the Archives' rich photographic collections to tell the story of work in American culture. Why, where and how we work? What value does work have to individuals and communities? What does our work tell others about us?
Using large-format pictures, objects and interactive components, the exhibit will show how we identify with work, as individuals and as communities. Hosts will complement the exhibit with public programming focused on the local work history for each area. This might include development of an additional exhibit, discussion programs or community-based documentaries. The Council supports host communities with grants, program planning workshops and tour logistics.
John Beck will serve as Michigan's exhibition scholar, acting as the lead academic consultant for host communities and the Council. Beck is Associate Professor in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University, and co-directs the "Our Daily Work, Our Daily Lives" program, which explores and presents the culture of workers in the workplace.
2012-13 Exhibit Schedule
Sept. 14 – Oct. 29, 2012
Presque Isle County Historical Museum
Nov. 6 – Dec. 14, 2012
Dale A. Lyons Building
Southwestern Michigan College
Jan. 4 –
Feb. 9, 2013
Cromaine District Library
Feb. 19 - March 28, 2013
Besse Center - Bay College
April 9 - May 18, 2013
Pere Marquette District Library
May 24 – July 6, 2013
Hart Area Public Library
The Way We Worked has been made possible in Michigan by the Michigan Humanities Council - with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and CMU Public Broadcasting. The Way We Worked is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils across the country. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.