The Way We Worked, adapted from an original exhibtion developed by the National Archives, draws from the Archives' rich photographic collections to tell the story of work in American culture. Why, where and how we work? What value does work have to individuals and communities? What does our work tell others about us?
Using large-format pictures, objects and interactive components, the exhibit shows how we identify with work, as individuals and as communities. Hosts will complement the exhibit with public programming focused on the local work history for each area. This might include development of an additional exhibit, discussion programs or community-based documentaries. The Michigan Humanities Council supports host communities with grants, program planning workshops and tour logistics.
John Beck will serve as Michigan's exhibition scholar, acting as the lead academic consultant for host communities and the Council. Beck is Associate Professor in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University, and co-directs the "Our Daily Work, Our Daily Lives" program, which explores and presents the culture of workers in the workplace.
The Way We Worked has been made possible in Michigan by the Michigan Humanities Council - with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and CMU Public Broadcasting. The Way We Worked is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils across the country. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.