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Stecher to receive prestigious national Joe Hill Award

Special to The Stand

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 30, 2017) — Janet Stecher, director of the Seattle Labor Chorus and a member of Musicians Local 76-493, is this year’s recipient of the Joe Hill Award, granted by the Labor Heritage Foundation of Washington, D.C.  The award, named after labor organizer and songwriter Joe Hill, is a lifetime achievement award for persons who have contributed to the successful integration of arts and culture in the labor movement. It is granted to persons based on their dedication, participation, and promotion of labor, labor arts, culture, organizing, and/or history.

The award has been given annually since 1989. Previous recipients include artists Pete Seeger, Utah Phillips, Anne Feeney, and Guy Carawan, and labor organizer Cesar Chavez.

The Labor Heritage Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the American labor movement through the use of music and other arts, including writing, theater, and the visual arts. The foundation also conducts historical research into labor history through written and oral histories. It sponsors the Great Labor Arts Exchange in Washington D.C. in June every year, and this will be the occasion on which the award will be presented to Stecher.

Janet Stecher has been a figure in topical music in Seattle through her participation in the singing group Shays’ Rebellion, and in recent years, in the duo Rebel Voices, with Susan Lewis. She has conducted the Seattle Labor Chorus since its founding in 1997. She was also a longtime Board Member of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association.

Edna Oberman is a member of the Seattle Labor Chorus.

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