What does “work” mean to you?

Are you in a traditional 9-to-5 job? Working part-time? Perhaps your work is more non-traditional and you are able to make your own hours.

Your work might be caring for your family. It might be the creative work of artistic output. Or maybe your work is looking for employment. Work could mean something entirely different to you.

Kenosha has an incredible work history, reflected through the storied histories of its inhabitants (that’s you).

This fall, Kenosha Public Library, in conjunction with the New York Public Theater and other Kenosha community partners, is presenting an exciting series of programs inviting our community to come together and discuss the nitty-gritty of what it means to work in Kenosha. Come share your story.

Join us on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the UAW Local 72 Hall to engage with a special performance of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “SWEAT” by Lynn Nottage, that dives headfirst into the real-life, often murky depths of a Pennsylvania town faced with the realities of deindustrialization.

This performance, brought to Kenosha by the New York Public Theater, is destined to be the water-cooler talk of the season.

Continue the conversation by connecting with your fellow Kenoshans at a series of “Kenosha Works!” programs, running from September to November this fall.

Events include discussions on the history of local industry, learning to record family stories about work, what it means to work as a creative, as well as discussions on work in our community, racism and employment, and (of course) book discussions on “SWEAT” by Lynn Nottage.

For more information, call KPL at 564-6130 or visit us online at https://tinyurl.com/kenoshaworks.

Jennifer Meixelsperger is public programming librarian for the Kenosha Public Library.

Reading about work

In the meantime, dig into the topic with some of these titles”

“SWEAT” by Lynn Nottage: Our inspiration! KPL has secured extra HOT copies for the season, so you can get your hands on one.

“Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich: Read this popular title to explore what it means to be working-class poor in today’s America.

“Working” by Studs Terkel: Try out this classic title and an inspiration to the more current title Gig by Marisa Bowe, about what it means to work.

“More Than They Bargained For” by Jason Stein and Patrick Marley: This informative title covers this history of labor and unions in Wisconsin, especially the events of 2011.

“There Is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America” by Philip Dray: If you want to dig into the big picture surrounding labor history in the United States, this one is for you.

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