The online cultural group LaborArts has honored creative portrayals of work and workers in its annual contest Making Work Visible since 2010. CUNY undergraduates have a chance to win up to a $1,000 award when they submit poetry, fiction, nonfiction or visual art in the contest that “aims to expand student engagement with the underappreciated history of work and workers in this country, and to revitalize the study of labor history at CUNY,” as stated in the contest call on laborarts.org. The deadline to submit entries online is midnight on Monday, March 6, 2017.
“The LaborArts contest provides a vital and all-too-rare opportunity for CUNY students to think, write and create art about labor – their own labor, the labor of their family members, friends and neighbors, and the labor that makes our city run,” Joseph Entin, an associate professor in the Brooklyn College English department, told Clarion. Entin is the contest’s coordinator and is working on expanding the pool of students who participate. “So many of our students are workers themselves, or hail from working-class families, and LaborArts offers students a chance to reflect on and respond to that work through art.”
Winning entries from last year’s contest include a narrative reflection on the labor activism of Chinese-American garment workers, an acrylic painting of barbers trimming hair in a Bronx barbershop and a poem about stacking boxes of tangelos in a grocery store. More information available on contest details, or contest officials Joseph Entin and Patrick Kavanagh.