From the city-wide cable car strike of 1907, Bloody Thursday (July 5, 1934) and the resulting general strike and march of 1934, to more recent alliances between union members and other activist movements, unions have been crucial in shaping the city of San Francisco. Syndicate will look at this history with a special focus on the role of union workers in visual and performing art spaces. In 1889, theatrical technicians in San Francisco formed an alliance with the Theatrical Mechanics Association in New York, and by 1892 Local 16 had been granted a charter with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, who are still active today in YBCA’s theater and forum and at most of San Francisco’s performance houses. In collaboration with the Labor Archives and Research Center, these artists have researched organized labor at nearby theaters and museums to create a series of sidewalk stenciled chalk paintings portraying active union members working or defending their rights. A podcast and map are provided for self-guided tours. Historian-and-artist-led walking tours of these venues will leave ybca at noon on July 26 and October 4. Reservations can be made at 415.978.2787. Audio can also be accessed by calling 415.294.3627.
Jessica Tully, Kim Munson, Wendy Crittenden, Tom Griscom, Christine Wong Yap, Greg O’Toole and the Labor Archives and Research Center