Skip to main content

Why Are Unions in the Folklife Festival

In 1971, for the first time since the Folklife Festival was established, labor unions were invited to take part. A large proportion of the some 750,000 people who came to the Festival saw and wondered at the skills displayed by members of five AFL-CIO unions: the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America, the Bakery and Confectionery Workers International Union of America, the Glass Bottle Blowers Association, the Iron Workers, and the American Federation of Musicians.

In spite of the obvious enjoyment visitors to the Festival experienced watching sheep-shearing and expert meat-cutting, the making of sausages and displays

Read Full Article

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.