Press Center

PopWork USA developing and promoting popular expressions about work and working families




Date:            August 31, 2011



For Labor Day, Part 1 of 2011 Workers’ Voice Awards announced by PopWork USA highlighting efforts in

pop culture about work


Demonstrating its commitment to encouraging and promoting entertainment and art that reflect work, workers, and their issues, PopWork USA announced its list of nominees for Best Films, TV Shows, and Art Displays this week.


                   Among feature films, those under consideration for “best” and worth viewing for this Labor Day weekend include A Better Life, Company Men, Made in Dagenham, Too Big to Fail, and Even the Rain.  A full list of all Part 1 nominations are listed on a separate page. Part 2 nominations in other categories will be released September 8.


                  “Perhaps it’s the economy or perhaps it’s the fact that artists and entertainers are identifying more directly with the real stories that lay right in front of us,” said PopWork USA blog editor Wyatt Closs, “but we are definitely seeing more offerings with commercial potential this year across the board – especially in film. And the incredible actions in Wisconsin this year inspired others to create more art, songs, and web video. People have some real choices this year in celebrating Labor Day rather than just watch Norma Rae or sing ‘Solidarity Forever’ again. We encourage people to see these works and reflect on the struggles and what’s at stake for American workers today. “


Criteria. Works must have been:

1) Presented or Released or Published between August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011


2) Exhibited, presented, or distributed in a commercially-accepted and/or industry-respected manner


3) Identifiable in 1 of 12 categories. They are: Film (Feature length); Film (Documentary); Web Video (under 10 min); TV (Drama); TV (Comedy); TV (Reality); Books (Fiction); Books (Non-Fiction); Art Display, Show, or Exhibit; Theatrical Production (any form – musical, play, monologue, dance); Music – Song (For Listening); Music – Song (For Rallying)



Starting Aug 1, PopWork USA sent a call out for ideas and suggestions from its network of  people with a knowledge or passion about expressions that reflect work, workers’ lives, or workers’ issues based using the blogs by Wyatt Closs in 2010 as a guide. This universe of people includes those in the entertainment industry, labor union activists, writers, academics, artists and community-based “artivists”.   Those suggestions were then culled and reconciled to produce the list of nominees below. A jury will vote on this list and “the best” in each category will be announced in mid-October.


The Categories (Part 1)

Film (Feature length)

A Better Life

Company Men

Made in Dagenham

Too Big to Fail

Even the Rain


Film (Documentary)


Freedom Riders

Triangle: Remembering the Fire

Way Down In The Hole

Locked Out


TV (Drama)

Friday Night Lights


Nurse Jackie

How to Make It in America


TV (Comedy)

The Office

The Simpsons

Parks and Recreation

30 Rock


TV (Reality)

Deadliest Catch

Dirty Jobs

Cake Boss

Undercover Boss

South Beach Tow


Art Display, Show, or Exhibit

America Now and Here (Kansas City, Detroit, Chicago)

One Nation Display (Los Angeles)

MLK Memorial temporary display (Washington, DC)

Power to the Poster online printable gallery

Wisconsin Labor: A Contemporary Portrait (Madison, WI)


Part 2

Includes listings of Web Video (under 10 min); Books (Fiction); Books (Non-Fiction); Theatrical Production (any form – musical, play, monologue, dance); Music – Song (For Listening); Music – Song (For Rallying). They will be released September 8, 2011.

2011 Workers’ Voice Awards Nominations

The Categories (Part 2)

For criteria and process explanations and other categories, see Part 1


Web Video (under 10 min)

“Rebuild the Dream “Lie #1: America is Broke”

“What Have American Unions Done for Us?”

MADTOWN: A Wisconsin Protest Documentary

“We are Wisconsin”

We Are One videos from WI(5690 results on you tube)

“From Memphis to Madison”

“Why are the Koch Brothers Buying our Democracy?”


Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction)

A Moment in the Sun by John Sayles

Townie by Andre Dubus III

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Griftopia by Matt Taibbi

Punching Out by Paul Clemens

News of the World by Phillip Levine

Stayin’ Alive by Jefferson Cowie


Music – Song (For Listening)

“I Need A Dollar” by Aloe Blacc

“The Living Proof” by Mary J Blige

“El Jardinero” by Ozomatli

“Which Side Are You On?” by Tom Morello

“This City” by Steve Earle


Music – Song (For Rallying)

Tom Morello – “Union Song”

Dropkick Murphys – “Take ‘Em Down”

Melissa Czarnik – “Jump Start”

Beyonce – “Lets Move Your Body”