State of the Arts NYC had Dr. Valerie Paley, Director of the Center for the Study of Women’s History, New-York Historical Society who produced the conference Sweat Equity: Women in the Garment Industry
This was the first annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference in Women’s History. The day-long event during Women’s History Month explored the garment industry and its historical impact on women, and is organized this year in memory of Jean Dubinsky Appleton, daughter of veteran labor organizer David Dubinsky. The conference featured two keynote addresses by historian Alice Kessler-Harris and union leader Julie Kushner, along with panel discussions exploring the history and future of garment manufacturing in New York. The morning panels focused on the entwined histories of immigration, labor activism, and the garment industry’s predominantly female workforce. The afternoon panels brought together working designers to discuss production in New York City’s garment district today, and the challenges of sustainability–both economic and environmental–in the fashion industry.
Also joining us was Daniel Katz, Ph.D., Scholar in Residence, Brooklyn College, City University of New York Visiting Scholar, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library to talk about the Labor Movement in the Garment District and how it has effected the Fashion Industry.
Mary Anne Trasciatti is President of Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition Inc. and Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Labor Studies, and Women’s Studies at Hofstra University. She is spearheading the project to build a permanent memorial at the site of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire to honor the 146 mostly young immigrant women and girls who died and the movements for social justice that emerged from its ashes.