Full programme of 2014 Festival now online

MJ poster 2014The full programme of events for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014 is now available to download on this site and printed version is currently in production.

This year’s festival runs from Tuesday 29th July to Friday 1st August.  You can download the full programme by clicking on the link below:

Programme 2014

You can also download the official poster for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014 by clicking on the following link:-

 

Mother Jones poster 2014

 

 

Si Kahn to play at Cork Festival

Si Kahn

Si Kahn

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted to announce that Si Kahn, singer, songwriter, writer, community organiser, union activist and environmental campaigner is coming to Cork for the 2014 Spirit of Mother Festival.

Si has been an active supporter of the Spirit of Mother Jones festival in Cork since it began in 2012 and will perform his sole Irish concert at this year’s event.

The concert will take place at the Firkin Crane centre on Thursday 31st July at 8.30.

Background.

Si was born in 1944 and was greatly influenced by the Civil Rights movement. He began his organising career in 1965 in Arkansas with the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the student wing of the Civil Rights movement.

During the 1970’s, he worked with the United Mineworkers of America in the Brookside Strike in Harlan County, Kentucky, and was an area director of the J.P. Stevens campaign for the ACTWU in Roanoke Rapids in North Carolina. These historic labour struggles are portrayed in the movies Harlan County USA and Norma Rae.

 

Aragon Mill 

 

In the early 70’s he spent a few days in Aragon, Georgia where a textile mill had closed down putting about 700 people out of work. He wrote the folk classic Aragon Mill which is a haunting song of quiet despair after the closure of the local mill.

“And the only tune I hear

Is the sound of the wind

As it blows through the town,

Weave and spin, weave and spin”

“There’s no children at all

In the narrow empty streets

Now the looms have all gone

It’s so quiet I can’t sleep”

Aragon Mill was included in “New Wood”, Si’s first album. It has been recorded by Planxty, Hazel Dickens, Hans Theessink and many others. The Furey Brothers recorded it as Belfast Mill and there is a version called Douglas Mill.

Si’s songs have been recorded by many of artists including Dolores Keane, Eleanor Shanley, Dick Gaughan, June Tabor, Peggy Seeger, the Dublin City Ramblers and Kathy Mattea.

Si has toured all over Europe, Canada and North America. He has released 14 albums of original songs, a CD of original songs for children, “Good Times and Bedtimes”: a collection of traditional labour, civil rights and women’s songs recorded with Pete Seeger and Jane Sapp.

In 1980, Si founded Grassroots Leadership, a Southern-based national progressive organisation, and he served as its Executive Director for 30 years, retiring on May Day 2010. For the past 13 years, Grassroots Leadership has worked to oppose privatisation and to defend the public sector.

He is currently very involved with a campaign to stop what would be the world’s largest open pit mine in Alaska and by doing so to save Bristol Bay, one of the greatest remaining wild fisheries in the world. He released an album in 2013 entitled “Bristol Bay” and is active with Musicians United to Protect Bristol Bay. He is also campaigning against mountaintop removal in West Virginia.

Si is also an accomplished author. In 2010 he wrote “Creative Community Organising: A guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists and Quiet Lovers of Justice (Berrett-Koehler 2010).

An earlier book in 2006 “The Fox in the Henhouse: How Privatisation Threatens Democracy” was co-authored with feminist philosopher Elizabeth Minnich, his long term partner and spouse. Two earlier widely used organizing handbooks, “How People Get Power” and “Organising: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders”, have sold over 80,000 copies.

“Si Kahn is one of the best….a solid thinker who is able to humanize the political……I hope he lives to be 120” is longstanding friend and fellow songwriter’s Pete Seeger’s view of Si.

Rosanne Cash stated “I put Si in the same category as Woody Guthrie, as Pete Seeger and in a strange way my Dad, who shared his righteous sense of humanity and his love of the meek who he truly believed would inherit the earth.”

Si has recently completed a musical about Mother Jones, “Mother Jones in Heaven” and hopes to perform it some day in Cork. With his permission some of the songs from this musical were originally performed at the inaugural Mother Jones Festival in 2012 by Jim Williamson. The dream of the Cork Mother Jones Committee is to see the full musical, “Mother Jones in Heaven” performed in Cork, the birthplace of Mary Harris.

We are indeed very honoured to welcome Si Kahn and Elizabeth Minnich to Cork for the 2014 festival. 

2014 Festival line-up begins to take shape

JimGreen(Color)-FINAL

It’s that time of year again folks and the Cork Mother Jones committee are busy preparing the final line-up of speakers and performers for the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival which will take-in an extended programme from Sunday, 27th July to Friday, 1st August 2014 as part of Cork City’s official Mother Jones Week.

Over the coming weeks we will introduce our performers to give a taste of what’s to come.   We start with Jim Green who will deliver the 3rd Annual “Mother Jones Lecture” at the Firkin Crane, Shandon at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 29th January.

Professor James Green is a writer, teacher and activist. He is professor of History at the University of Massachusetts where he founded the Labour Studies BA degree program and the Labour Resource Centre; he currently teaches history and directs the public history graduate program. He has had a long and distinguished career in ensuring that the history of social movements such as trade unions, civil rights groups and community empowerment groups is detailed and their stories told.

He was born in Oak Park, Illinois and raised in Carpentersville, a small factory town outside of Chicago and educated at Northwestern University.

He is the author of five history books on labour and protest movements in America and he is working on the story of Mother Jones the West Virginia mine wars which will be published by Grove Atlantic. The book will be the basis of a television documentary film for the Public Broadcasting System to air as part of the award-winning American Experience series. He also teaches courses on the history of Boston, working class history and a course on Social Justice.

Originally inspired by John F Kennedy and later by Martin Luther King, Jim Green admired politicians such as senators Paul Douglas, Eugene McCarthy (he worked for his Primary campaign) and George McGovern.

He earned a PhD in history from Yale University in 1972.He had played an active part in the student and anti-war movements in the late 60s and early 70s. He had developed an interest in social movements and sought ways through his scholarship to bring their stories to a wider public.

In his website jamesgreenworks.com, Jim describes how “four experiences offered me stimulating opportunities to practice history in the world outside the academy: first, living and working in a contested neighbourhood, Boston’s South End; second, participating in the Radical America editorial collective; third, teaching in England and discovering the History Workshop movement and four, joining the faculty at the College of Public and Community Service, located within the University of Massachusetts Boston.”

During the 1980s he became very active in the trade union movement where he taught courses for union members such as the United Mine Workers of America as well as lecturing at the Harvard Trade Union program. He helped to make a video with film maker Barbara Kopple of the Pittston Strike in Appalachia in 1989.

In 1995-96 he was a historical consultant to the documentary film “The fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers” produced by Paradigm Productions, San Francisco.

In 1998 he was selected as a Fulbright Senior Scholar and taught at the University of Genoa in Italy. One result of this was the publication of his book “Taking History to Heart” in 2000 which he describes as “a personal and political reflection on making movement history”

Jim has held lectureships at Warwick University in England and at Harvard University, where he has taught in the Trade Union Program since 1987. He has published widely in many international academic journals. In 2002 he was elected president of the Labour and Working Class History Association, and in 2004 he was awarded a fellowship by the Bogilasco Foundation to study and write at the Liguria Study Centre in Italy. In 2009, the Sidney Hillman Foundation presented Professor Green with the Sol Stetin Prize for his accomplishments in the field of labour and working-class history.

He has also had a particular interest in the events at Ludlow in Colorado on 20th April 1914 when children, women and men were massacred and which has become infamous in American labour history. His article entitled “Crime Against Memory at Ludlow” available on his website is particularly powerful.

A further book “Death at the Haymarket” in March 2006 allowed Jim to tell the epic story of the events that took place in Chicago on 1st May 1886, events which had a huge influence on generations of labour and trade union activists around the world including Mary Harris. 20,000 copies of this have been sold and it has been adopted in many college courses.

With almost 50 years of active contribution to the telling and documenting of the history of working class and social movements behind him, Jim is a very welcome and worthy contributor to the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.

Mother Jones Festival 2013 – Music Programme

Mother Jones Festival Concerts 2013

Admission Free

The following is line up for the Mother Jones Theatrical Musical Concert in the Firkin Crane, Wednesday,July 31st at 9pm is as follows:

Group: Cork Rokk Choir who will perform a medley of songs from the Mother Jones area for ( 15 minutes).

Next we will have Cork Shakespearean Company who will perform a MJ monologue for ( 7 minutes).

James P. McCarthy, Musician/Singer will perform more MJ songs (15 minutes ).

Shakespearean Company will then performing another theatrical monologue on MJ (7 minutes).

Muddy Lee will blast out Cork Songs and the new Mother Jones song titled: A True Cork Rebel by (15 minutes ).

William Hammond and friends will finish off the Concert with some popular high spirited tunes.

 

 

Maldron Hotel Concerts 2013

Wednesday, July 31st – 10.00pm:  Hank Wedel & Friends

Tuesday, July 30th – 9.30pm: The very popular Cork Singer’s Club.

Lunch Time Concerts

Wednesday, July 31st – 1pm – 2pm: Cork Rokk Choir members will perform popular songs and Muddy Lee performing good auld songs of Cork as part of the Gathering as well as the Mother Jones Song titled: A True Cork Rebel.

Thursday, August 1st – 1pm -2pm: Cork Memory Lane Group will perform popular songs.

Jimmy Crowley Workshop

Wednesday, July 31st at 4.30pm – Jimmy Crowley with Songs of the Beautiful City.
Admission Free

 

Thursday, August 1st – Mother Jones Day

Maldron Hotel at 10.00pm – Two Time Polka

 

 

 

Andy Irvine Concert

Firkin Crane Centre, Smurfit Theatre, Shandon

Thursday, August 1st at 8pm

Tickets  €15 each

Tickets available from http://www.tickets.ie and the Maldron Hotel, Shandon, Cork

Festival Programme

2013 Poster

Preliminary poster for 2013 Festival

Festival Programme 2013

Tuesday July 30th

3pm to 9pm         Mother Jones Exhibition                           Shandon Quarter Ex. Center

7pm                    Hillsborough: “The long fight for Justice”   Firkin Crane Centre

Speaker: Margaret Aspinall

Hillsborough Family Support

Group.

9.30pm                 The Cork Singers Club                                      Maldron Hotel.

Wednesday July 31st

9am to 9pm           Mother Jones Exhibition                                  Shandon Quarter Ex. Centre

2pm                     116 Days: The Vita Cortex Workers          Maldron Hotel

Struggle; a film by Declan O’Connell.

3.30.                       Slavery on our Seas                                   Firkin Crane Centre  (downstairs)

Speaker: Ken Fleming of the International Transport Federation

7.00                        The Dublin Lockout: The Centenary.      Firkin Crane Centre (upstairs)

                             Speaker: Padraig Yeates,     Writer, journalist and historian

.

8.30                        “Jim Larkin speaks” with Jer O’Leary      Firkin Crane Centre.

9.00                        The Mother Jones Commemoration

                               Concert with Richard T.Cooke and friends.      Firkin Crane Centre.

10.00                       Hank Wedel and Friends                           Maldron Hotel

Thursday 1st August,

 

 

Mother Jones Day.

 

 

 9.00                        Mother Jones Exhibition.                                   Shandon Quarter Centre

 

11.00                       “Mother Jones, the most dangerous woman in America        Maldron Hotel

(a film by Rosemary Fuerer)

11.45                      Remembering Mother Jones Festival 2012         Maldron Hotel

(a film by Framework Films)

3.00                        The 2013 Mother Jones Lecture                          Firkin Crane Centre (downstairs)

Speaker: Professor Simon Cordery.

Chair of History, Western Illinois University.

Author: Mother Jones, Raising Cain and

Consciousness

7.00                        Mother Jones Tribute.                                 Mother Jones Plaque

March past of Union Banners:

Butter Exchange Band Tribute to Mother

Jones.

Presentation of Mother Jones Award.

8.30                        Concert with Andy Irvine                                  Firkin Crane Centre

10.00                     Music, Two Time Polka,                                      Maldron Hotel.

Andy Irvine tickets in big demand

Andy Irvine – a unique performance at Shandon

There is considerable interest in the unique Andy Irvine concert which will take place as part of the Cork Mother Jones Festival on Wednesday, 1st August in Cork’s historic Shandon Church, starting at 8.30pm.
This is the first time Shandon has hosted an event of its type and Andy Irvine is proving to be a very popular choice with heavy demand for tickets.   If you want to see Andy perform in Shandon you will need to act fast.  Tickets are still available on http://www.tickets.ie at this link and a small number are also available at the Maldron Hotel, John Redmond Street.  Price  is just €10.  The Mother Jones committee also have some tickets, for details ring Ger on (086) 3196063.

The concert will begin at 8.30pm, immediately after the unveiling of the Mother Jones commemorative plaque at John Redmond Street.  We would ask all those attending to ensure they take their seats as soon as possible once the unveiling ceremony is complete.
A reminder also that on the same evening there will be a live session in the Maldron Hotel with a selection of local musicians and other performers.  There will be no admittance fee to the Maldron event which will begin at 9.30pm.

Mother Jones events programme announced

The Cork Mother Jones Commemorative committee has announced the preliminary programme of events for the Fesitval which will be held in the Shandon area on the Northside of Cork City, Ireland from 31st July to 2nd August 2012.

The Festival opens on Tuesday, 31st July with the Irish premiere of Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman with the film’s director / producer Rosemary Feuer present to discuss the film and its subject. This will be followed by an evening of music and song at the Maldron Hotel with the Cork Singers’ Club.

Day two, entitled “The Main Event”, opens with a commemorative Mass at Cork’s North Cathedral where Mary Harris was baptised exactly 175 years earlier to the day on 1st August 1837.   This will be followed by a tour of the area for our guests and the official opening of the Mother Jones Exhibition and a concert at the Firkin Crane centre, part of Cork’s historic butter market.  In the afternoon there will be a lecture and discussion with Prof. Elliot Gorn, biographer of Mother Jones; and Marat Moore, former miner, writer and US labour activist.    Wednesday evening’s events will be opened with the ringing out of the world famous Shandon Bells over Cork City at exactly 18.37 hrs to mark the 175th anniversary of Mother Jones’ birth.  This will be followed by a recital from the local Butter Exchange Brass band and the official unveiling of the Mother Jones plaque, beautifully sculpted by artist Mick Wilkins, at John Redmond Street, Shandon.

The night will be completed with the “Freedom Bells” concert at St. Ann’s Church of Ireland Shandon with the renowned singer / songwriter Andy Irvine who has recorded a song dedicated to Mother Jones   There will also be an event entitled Mother Jones – music, song and dance at the Maldron Hotel, featuring Hank Wedel, Two Time Polka and a host of musicians, singers and dancers.

The event will end with a day long tour for the guests, taking in Shandon, Cobh and Inchigeelagh, all places which were associated with Mother Jones.

You can download the preliminary programme Mother Jones Programme.   The final programme will be published in early June.