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  • Hundreds Gather for "A Table for Two at the Dill Pickle"

    co-authored with Charlie McBarron; Photos courtesy Charlie McBarron Hundreds packed the Erin Room at Chicago’s Irish American Heritage Center on November 13, for the world premier of Larry Kirwan’s one-act play, A Table For Two at The Dill Pickle. We were at capacity for this event. The audience reception was fantastic. The play imagines a meeting of early 20th century labor icons Mother Jones and Big Jim Larkin at a Chicago pub in 1919, The conversation is about the struggle for worker's rights and an end to child labor, but it’s both funny and bittersweet, as Larkin pines to return home to his family in Ireland and Jones continues to grieve for her family, which was wiped out by a yellow fever outbreak. Veteran Chicago actors Brigid Duffy and Will Casey played Jim Larkin and Mother Jones, respectively, while Suzy Brack played the waitress at the event. The play came to life after two visits to Chicago Irish consulate events. About a year ago, we were honored to be invited to a meeting with Ireland's Ambassador to the U.S. Dan Mulhall. Seeing our statue committee member Brigid Duffy, who has played Mother Jones for our project, he quipped, "We should put on a show where you play Mother Jones and I play Big Jim Larkin!" Shortly after that meeting, Brigid was one of the attendees at the premier of the Broadway-bound Paradise Square, and she mentioned the proposal to Larry Kirwan, who conceived that show. Kirwan generously agreed to write the one-act play . Brigid did the work of bringing together the actors with director Kay Martinovich. What a team, and a great combination Will Casey and Brigid made. A well-deserved enthusiastic standing ovation followed. Great performances by quintessential professionals. We gratefully acknowledge their work, and the approval of Actors Equity for producing this as a non-profit production. Learn more about the Dill Pickle and other background history to the play in the playbook, below. We also had bonus performances by Gavin Coyle, who started us off with a powerful There is Power in the Union, and then a masterful version of Larry Kirwan/Black 47's The Day They Set Jim Larkin Free. Brian Weddington brought a virtuoso performance as A. Phillip Randolph. I had suggested a speech by Randolph from 1919, and then he took it, adding touches that brought it to life and were relevant to the present. It was stunning and brought another standing ovation. Weddington & Gavin performances were arranged by Bill Fraher, a statue committee member. The program was a fundraiser for the campaign to erect a statue of Mother Jones in her adopted hometown of Chicago. The statue has beep approved by the City of Chicago and the work on the statue its expected to begin in 2023. At the event, we announced the new location, to wild cheers of the audience. Here is the playbook, where you can take a closer look at the talent and background of the performers and learn more about the talent that brought this staged reading performance together. We wish to thank the Irish American Heritage Center for providing this venue to us. A special shout out to Meg Ryan and specifically the contributions of Martin Quirk. We thank all those volunteers listed who helped us make this happen.

  • Dangerous Women Exhibit July 5, 2022-January 7, 2023 -St. Louis Public Library

    Dangerous Women: Mary Harris “Mother” Jones and Frances “Fanny” Sellins exhibit at the Carnegie Room, St. Louis Public Library. The exhibit calls for a historical marker at the site of 13th & Washington to honor Sellins, who was murdered by enemies of the labor movement. The exhibit is looking for a new home in 2023. This new exhibit opened on July 5, and so far, the response to it has been fabulous. The exhibit was funded in part by an Emigrant Support Grant from the Government of Ireland. I want to thank the Chicago Consulate for this support. At NIU, I worked with brilliant undergraduate Emma Flynn Barton-Norris, who was funded by a Student Engagement Fund grant by NIU. The staff of the library is working with us for some programming. We'll update on this site when we have those dates ready to announce. The folks at OC Creates ( have been wonderful to work with on the graphic design, including posters that we were invited to add to the exhibit at the last minute. Leslie Latimer created this and was a dream to work with. OC Creative's Brian Oster gave us a huge in-kind donation for their work as well and the entire staff cared about the project. We can't thank them enough for their hard work and innovative contribution. We commissioned two works of art for this project from the funds from the grant, one by Kathleen Scarboro-- the centerpiece mural. I worked initially with Kathleen Farrell and Kathleen Scarboro but Scarboro initiated this work. The colors in the piece are embedded in the exhibit board as well. We've posted previously about Lindsay Hand's work for this exhibit, and it's great to pair her portrait of Fannie Sellins with the 2017 Mother Jones painting that was originally commissioned for the Mt. Olive museum, but is now part of this exhibit. At the last minute, project friend Jim Schoppman came through with a frame for this new Sellins portrait. It's been great working with the staff of the St. Louis Public Library. Cathy Heimberger and Barbara Higgins facilitiated and installed this exhibit, paying for the production of most of the exhibit boards. Here is a sneak peak at the exhibit: The Intro Board: The exhibit connects Mother Jones and Fannie Sellins, but also tells the story of the way that law and threats were used to reinforce the hierarchies of the workplace. It tells the story of Marx & Haas, where Fannie Sellins organized with others to contest that hierarchy. On the Library main level, you will find these poster kiosks, with 16 posters. Thanks to Dave Dowling for these images. Below: Sara Dowling produced this Fannie Sellins stand up, and Leslie Latimer of OCCreative completed it. We paired it with the Mother Jones stand-up and two images from Kate Klimut, who helped in numerous ways to initiate this project. The exhibit seeks to draw connections between Mother Jones and Fannie Sellins, portray the violence in the law and policing of these times, and profile their attempts to build a multi-ethnic solidarity. For the first time it gives a fuller explanation of how Fannie rose from the St. Louis movement, and why she was not remembered there after she died. The exhibit also seeks to generate a historical marker at the site of the sweatshop where Fannie Sellins worked and fought back. Fannie, as leader of the garment workers, was prohibited from picketing or visiting Marx & Haas, the largest clothing maker in the city at the time, at 13th & Washington (now called the Knickerbocker Lofts). See to donate for this marker. The exhibit has some great items in the vitrine cases, including the delegate badge seen in this photo below! Below: The exhibit connects past and present. Mother Jones took May Day as her birthday, and this recent version of the May Day vision by Christen Alqueza is displayed next to the one from her era. Thanks to all who helped to make this exhibit. In addition to those named below, Jim Schoppman and Sara Gene Dowling assisted after this panel was completed:

  • Hundreds Gather for Mother Jones Birthday Party

    So many wonderful people gathered for a festival of solidarity at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. These images and videos illustrate the wonderful celebration that was accomplished by our great volunteers. Special thanks to Marc Ritterbush who completed the graphic artistry for our substantial commemorative booklet. If you would like a copy of this booklet, we will send you 1-2 copies for a $10 donation ( while supplies last. Sara Nelson, President of Association of Flight Attendants- CWA, AFL-CIO speaking at the Mother Jones May Day Birthday Party, May 1, 2022. (You need facebook to view the videos). And Sara even sang Happy Birthday to our own Brigid Duffy! We are grateful to Paddy Homan, who sang this great rendition of Joe Hill at the event, as well as other songs from his repertoire Below Sara Nelson with Mary Lou Edwards, who presented the tribute to Helen Ramirez-Odell, pictured in one of the ad tributes to her from the May Day event. Helen was a leading member of the statue committee, whose loss we mourn. Helen was a leader in the fight for a statue, inspired us all, was our steadfast friend, a leader in the CTU women's committee. Seated on the right is Helen's daughter Moira, who also lost her father this week. We extend our heartfelt sympathies and we will remember Helen as we move forward. We thank everyone for honoring Helen's memory, and we will continue to honor her as we go forward. We awarded fine art giclee reproductions of Lindsay Hand's "Chicago March, 1915" at our May Day Birthday Party event (wrapped in protective covering). We are so grateful to these large donors, including Chicago Painters District Council 14Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers ADC 1 of IL, Chicago Teachers Union #1, Chicago Federation of Labor, United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers Local 11 Sprinkler Fitters 281. We are grateful to all our donors. And so glad that by spreading this art, we spread knowledge of Mother Jones. Thanks Lindsay Hand and the Consulate General of Ireland, Chicago for the grant that funded the original oil art. Lindsay Hand was unable to join us as originally planned, but she sent personal greetings for all the recipients.

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  • Events | MotherJonesMuseum

    Dangerous Women exhibit -free Tue, Jul 05 St. Louis Public Library Jul 05, 2022, 7:00 PM CDT – Jan 07, 2023, 7:00 PM CST St. Louis Public Library, 1301 Olive St, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA They faced jail and death to challenge power on behalf of workers’ rights. Exhibit is open during library hours-check. Details A Table For Two at the Dill Pickle Sun, Nov 13 Chicago Nov 13, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Chicago, 4626 N Knox Ave, Chicago, IL 60630, USA This new play imagines a delightful and powerful conversation between two early twentieth century labor icons: Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, the "most dangerous woman in America" and Big Jim Larkin, the radical Irish exile. +23 more RSVP Mother Jones at Labor Day Celebration Pullman National Park Mon, Sep 05 Chicago Sep 05, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Chicago, E 11th St, Chicago, IL 60605, USA Mother Jones performs at 3:30. Don't miss it! See the full schedule at Details Chicago Labor Day Parad Sat, Sep 03 Chicago Sep 03, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Chicago, Chicago, IL 60617, USA We kick off at the Chicago Labor Day Parade with Mother Jones in the Lead! Join us and see the fun events of the dayhere: Details Mother Jones May Day Birthday Party May 1 2022 4-6 pm Chicago Sun, May 01 Chicago May 01, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM CDT Chicago, 4626 N Knox Ave, Chicago, IL 60630, USA Join our live celebration at the Irish American Heritage Center 5th Province Pub 4626 North Knox Avenue, Chicago +229 more Details Communities of Ludlow --zoom Wed, Apr 20 register at ZOOM LINK; RSVP for reminder Apr 20, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM CDT register at ZOOM LINK; RSVP for reminder On the anniversary of the 1914 Ludlow Massacre, join a Panel of contributors to this exciting new book on the practices and activism of public history around Ludlow. Learn about the way that local activists and academics brought Ludlow to recognition and remembrance. +28 more Details Mother Jones: We Shall Rise #Blair100 conversation Thu, Aug 26 Mother Jones: We Shall Rise #Blair100 Aug 26, 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT Mother Jones: We Shall Rise #Blair100 Details Mother Jones Chicago Statue-A Conversation and Request for Input Mon, Apr 12 Mother Jones Chicago Statue-A Conversation Apr 12, 2021, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Mother Jones Chicago Statue-A Conversation Click RSVP to access registration for zoom virtual event. Details Mother Jones We Shall Rise May Day Party Fri, May 01 Zoom meeting May 01, 2020, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM CDT Zoom meeting We couldn't celebrate her birthday this year, but we can meet in a zoom meeting Details Mother Jones In Heaven _ Irish American Heritage Center Fri, Nov 01 Irish American Heritage Center Nov 01, 2019, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM CDT Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Ave, Chicago, IL 60630, USA The musical’s playwright, Si Kahn, will be at this Chicago premier of his show about Mother Jones ! Get your tickets here Details Belleville Labor & Industry Museum Exhibit Opening Sat, Jun 01 123 N Church St Jun 01, 2019, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM CDT 123 N Church St, 123 N Church St, Belleville, IL 62220, USA Belleville, Illinois June 1, 2019 * Learn more about the special relationship between Belleville’s mining community & Mother Jones: A New permanent exhibit! Details Labor Day Art & Media Exhibition event Sat, May 11 Southern Illinois University May 11, 2019, 6:30 PM Southern Illinois University, 1263 Lincoln Dr, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA Details Mother Jones Birthday Party Wed, May 01 4626 N Knox Ave May 01, 2019, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM 4626 N Knox Ave, 4626 N Knox Ave, Chicago, IL 60630, USA Details St. Patrick's Day Parade Sat, Mar 16 North Columbus Drive Mar 16, 2019, 7:00 PM North Columbus Drive, N Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL, USA Details Museum Exhibit Opening, Workers Educational Society, ST. Louis Sun, May 27 St. Louis May 27, 2018, 11:00 AM – May 26, 2019, 2:00 PM St. Louis, 2929 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118, USA Details Upcoming and Past Events

  • Mother Jones | Mother Jones Museum | United States

    Learn More Who was Mother Jones? When Mother Jones was mocked as the “grandmother of all agitators,” in the U.S. Senate, she replied that she would someday like to be called “the great-grandmother of all agitators.” Born Mary Harris in Cork Ireland in 1837, she was an immigrant refugee who lost her entire family in a pandemic, then lost everything in the Chicago Fire of 1871. ​ ​ She became a rebel for justice, and became known simply as "Mother Jones," the mother of the working class. An icon of labor history, she organized against child labor, for workers rights, and helped to shape a spirit of civil disobedience in the cause of justice. Mother Jones believed that a workers movement would replace “this moneyed civilization with a higher and grander civilization for the ages to come.” To learn more, including a short documentary about her, see : Who was Mother Jones? Chicago Mother Jones Statue Campaign Statue Campaign Recent Blogs Dangerous Women Exhibit July 5, 2022-January 7, 2023 -St. Louis Public Library 0 Post not marked as liked Hundreds Gather for Mother Jones Birthday Party 0 Post not marked as liked Communities of Ludlow Discussion 0 Post not marked as liked St. Patrick's Day Parade, 2022 0 Post not marked as liked Mother Jones' Funeral, 1930 0 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Mother Jones fans at Paradise Square Opening Night 0 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1

  • | MotherJonesMuseum

    Join Us November 13, 3PM

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