The Labor Heritage Foundation (LHF)is a national organization that makes a unique contribution to the arts and humanities by providing access to union and working class culture. Since 1978, LHF's annual gathering of cultural workers, The Great Labor Arts Exchange (GLAE), brings together professional and amatuer singers, musicians, visual artists, and writers for a 3 day celebration of labor culture. In the intervening years, many GLAE participants returned to their home states and began their own regional version of the Arts Exchange. LHF provides seed money and acts as fiduciary agent for several local arts groups including the DC Labor Chorus, Cultural Works, and the Charm City Labor Chorus. I am eternally grateful to the LHF for bringing me to the beautiful campus of the National Labor College (NLC)and introducing me to my future and current employer, the NLC.
Among its many projects, LHF supports the Charm City Labor Chorus, a new group of singers in Baltimore. Darryl Moch, the director of the LHF, is Charm City's musical director, doing a wonderful job to help us bring songs of justice, labor, and civil rights to audiences in the area. LHF's Cultural Arts Exchange is a fantastic event each summer, where many labor choruses from around the country come together to sing with folks interested in labor traditions and justice.
This organization changed my life in powerful and positive ways. It brings together established artists with strong commitments to the working class and rank and file activists from unions across north america and occasionally europe. the opportunity to interact with these established professionals... e.g. Pete Seeger, Joe Glazer, John Handcox, Charlie King, John McCutcheon, Si Kahn ... inspired me to become a full time artist myself. I have never regretted that decision. I have attended every Great Labor Arts Exchange since 1988 - unless there was a death in my immediate family.