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‘Labor in Olympia’ events begin on May 19

The following is from the City of Olympia regarding some special upcoming events happening there, including some in conjunction with the WSLC’s MayWorks:

OLYMPIA (May 17, 2016) — The Olympia Heritage Commission is teaming up with multiple partners to celebrate Preservation Month under the theme, “Labor in Olympia: This Place Matters.”  Part of a national campaign each May, Preservation Month recognizes the historic places that matter to communities all over the country.

oly-dignity-in-labor-sculptureThe catalyst for choosing this year’s theme is the donation of a sculpture by local artist John Vanek to the City of Olympia.  “Dignity in Labor,” gifted by the Thurston-Lewis-Mason County Central Labor Council, will be installed in front of the Labor Temple in the Olympia Downtown Historic District, 119 Capitol Way N. (In this photo by The Olympian, the “Dignity in Labor” sculpture was on temporary display in 2014 along the Percival Landing boardwalk in downtown Olympia.)

Join the Preservation Month partners for these free events highlighting the stories and places that reflect our region’s rich labor and industrial history:

●  Thursday, May 19 at 7 p.m. — Three Magnets Brewing, 600 Franklin St SE — Trivia night on state labor history, hosted by the Washington State Historical Society and Washington State Archives.

●  Saturday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. — Labor Temple, 119 Capitol Way N — “Dignity in Labor” sculpture dedication, hosted by the Olympia Arts Commission, Olympia Heritage Commission, and Thurston-Lewis-Mason County Central Labor Council.

oconnor-john●  Saturday, May 21 at 7 p.m. — Bandha Room, 3rd floor of the Labor Temple, 119 Capitol Way N — Performance of “Hold the Fort: Stories and Songs of the Wobblies” by labor troubadour John O’Connor, featuring songs by Joe Hill, Ralph Chaplin and T-Bone Slim, as well as his own original music, hosted by the Thurston-Lewis-Mason County Central Labor Council.

●  Monday, May 23 at noon — Schmidt House, 330 Schmidt Place SW: Panel discussion by Don Trosper and Drew Crooks: “Views on South Sound Industry: Two presentations on the working worlds of the Olympia Brewing Company and the artist Edward Lange,” hosted by the Olympia Tumwater Foundation.

●  Friday, May 27 at 8:30 a.m. — New Caldonia Building, 116 5th Avenue SE — Downtown Academy: Illustrated talk on labor and industry in Downtown Olympia by Ben Helle (Washington State Archives & Olympia Heritage Commission) and Michelle Sadlier (City of Olympia) (hosted by the Olympia Downtown Association).  RSVP at

In addition to these events, details on a self-guided walking tour produced by the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum will be available at all events.  The public is also invited to an ongoing exhibit of historical photos in the City Hall second floor lobby, 601 4th Avenue E, and other locations Downtown starting May 30, 2016.

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