× Expand Cameron Kiszla/Park Labrea News/Beverly Press AFSCME, which assisted the Marciano Art Foundation’s employee organizing effort and protest, shown here, is also working with MOCA employees to unionize.
As a promising wave of organizing helps shift the narrative around labor unions in the U.S., recent polls suggest public support is at its highest rates in decades.
As part of this trend, organizing in art museums, nonprofits, and cultural institutions is having a moment.
Taking inspiration from newly formed unions at the Guggenheim, the Tenement Museum, and the New Museum in New York, employees at the Marciano Art Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art, both in Los Angeles, recently submitted union cards to the National Labor Relations Board.
Things came to a head when new director Klaus Biesenbach took the helm in 2018, explains Brenda Escobar, a full-time floor lead who, along with Lamb and Leiter, is part of her union’s organizing committee.