TLC #49: The fight for $15 minimum wage and paid family leave, plus the risks of making art

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Hey Greylock Nation! Today is Wednesday, September 20th 2017, and you’re listening to episode number 48 of the Top Left Corner. I’m your host, Jason Velazquez, and I thank you for tuning in. Today, we speak with Eric Bauer of Massachusetts Jobs with Justice about the push to place two ballot questions in front of the voters this November—a $15 minimum wage and paid family leave. We also heard from Debi Pendell about the upcoming exhibition, “Out on a Limb,” that explores the risk-taking inherent in making art, coming to the Eclipse Mill Gallery September. I found both conversations are truly fascinating, so I hope you enjoy the listen.

"At This Point," by Debi Pendell; mixed media collage.

“At This Point,” by Debi Pendell; mixed media collage.

This episode is sponsored by The Hancock Shaker Village, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their beloved Country Fair. And by Headwater Cider, a local orchard and mill that believes hard cider is best when you grow what you press, and press you grow.

Eric Bauer on workers’ justice ballot questions on tap for November

This information appears on the website of Mass Raise Up

Why We’re Fighting for $15

Our state’s economy works best for everyone when all working people are able to meet their basic needs. This economic security depends on access to good paying jobs. But today, a full-time worker in Massachusetts earning the current minimum wage of $11 an hour makes only $22,880 a year. A minimum wage earner would have to work 94 hours every week in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Many workers earning the minimum wage work three or more jobs and still can’t afford the cost of groceries, housing, heating and other basic needs.

It’s time to build on our past progress and continue the minimum wage increases we’ve seen over the past few years. We’re fighting for a statewide $15 minimum wage to make sure that all workers can earn a living wage.

Why Paid Family and Medical Leave Matters

Emergencies arise for all of us at some point, but 87% of workers in New England lack access to paid leave. In Massachusetts, 1.2 million workers risk losing their jobs if they take time off work to take care of a family medical emergency or to care for a new child. Many workers who are eligible for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act can’t afford to take unpaid time off from work in an emergency. They’re often left to choose between taking care of a child they love or keeping the job that puts food on the table.

Paid family and medical leave would allow these workers to take time to take care of their health or the health of a loved one without fear of losing their job or the risk of financial ruin. And new parents, both mothers and fathers, would be able to take time off to care for a new baby, or a newly adopted or foster child.

 

Upcoming Eclipse Mill exhibition highlights risks and rewards of artmaking

"Fun Detail," by Betty Vera

“Fun Detail,” by Betty Vera

This information appeared in a released statement by the artists

North Adams, Mass. – The Eclipse Mill Gallery is excited to announce the opening of Out on a Limb, a three-person exhibition of new and in-process works by Eclipse Mill residents Debi Pendell, Sarah Sutro, and Betty Vera. The opening reception, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 6-8pm at the gallery in the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts in downtown North Adams.

Out on a Limb explores the creative process and how it engenders a final product. The exhibiting artists employ painting, collage, fiber art, and preliminary drawing to embody how new ideas push change.

Taking new risks in art making is like being “out on a limb.” Pendell, Sutro, and Vera veer away from previous work, watch shoots emerge that change their path, and work underground on ideas that break out from time to time into surprising new work. Entering the studio is a process of not knowing what will come next, and Out on a Limb bucks tradition by shining a spotlight on this process.

"Orange Marsh," by Sarah Sutro; acrylic.

“Orange Marsh,” by Sarah Sutro; acrylic.

The artists vary in their techniques and materials—paint, paper, yarn, photography, ink—but they find common ground in approaches to layering and complex abstraction using materials, surface, and subject. They are open to following the thread of their work into new dimensions, and invite the viewer to witness the process of change as it takes place in their artwork.

Out on a Limb will be on view from September 30-October 29, 2017. The gallery will be open Fridays through Sundays from 12pm to 5pm, and by appointment. Email gallery@eclipsemill.com for more information.

 

About Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts

The Eclipse Mill, originally a cotton mill built in 1896, is an artists’ community consisting of forty artist studio lofts located in a district zoned industrial/residential by the City of North Adams, Massachusetts. Residents share in the use of common spaces, including the Eclipse Mill Gallery on the first floor, which hosts numerous exhibitions each year, and smaller, informal alcove gallery spaces on each floor. Visit www.eclipsemill.com for more information.

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