Working Artists: A Labor Day Special

View archived episode below!

When we think of the “labor” in Labor Day, we imagine waiting tables, working construction or cleaning hotel rooms—seldom playing an instrument, writing, painting or dancing. As a result, we erase the unrecognized (and often unpaid) value of the labor artists perform, not to mention the working conditions many artists face in their day jobs. In honor of Labor Day, September’s episode of Hidden Histories seeks to recognize the “working artists” of San Antonio, asking: How do artists make a living? Exploring the wide range of lived responses to that question, we talk with musicians who gig and teach, poets who work at call centers, writers who teach online, pianists who play in bank lobbies, and trumpeters organizing for better pay and conditions as part of the local musicians’ union. Finally, reprising our homage to Studs Terkel’s Working, September’s episode also presents a new collection of short film interviews with a range of San Antonio residents on one question: What was your first job?

Originally a part of the city’s Tricentennial arts activities, Hidden Histories is a monthly, magazine-format video series that pursues and preserves the stories, lives, and places that make San Antonio and surrounding regions an inspiring cultural treasure. Now in its second season, Hidden Histories continues to premiere monthly screenings live in our studio, free of charge. Each screening uncovers important cultural histories of the region by featuring archival interviews with community leaders; significant performances by musicians, dancers and poets; interactions with working artists; lost documentaries; forgotten narrative films; and vintage discussions of important community issues.

All episodes can be viewed for free either live at URBAN-15 studio (2500 S. Presa 78210) or online at

After each live screening, all episodes are archived online for 24/7 access at

For more information on the series, visit


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