PUEBLO, Co. — The El Pueblo History Museum (EPHM) will feature a new exhibit that chronicles the steel industry’s defining period in the city’s history starting June 10.
The Steel City: 1980-2004, exhibit will highlight the work of steelworkers who fought for labor rights during a time of nationwide economic collapse. The exhibit will be one of the museum’s core exhibits spanning more than two decades of the steel industry.
EPHM says the creation of the Steel City exhibit took more than four years as curators assembled oral histories, archival documents, historic photographs, newspaper clippings, and more to illustrate the impact of the steel mill on Pueblo history and culture.
Visitors will have the chance to experience the evolution and history of a steel making community in the late twentieth century. The exhibition will emphasize individual and collective actions leading up to the historic labor strike of 1997.
“Steel City has been a labor of love for everyone associated with the production of this exhibit,” said Dianne Archuleta, director of El Pueblo History Museum. “We also want to honor those who lived through this tumultuous period and share some of their stories of resistance and resilience.”
Steel City will display narratives from a broad representation of steelworkers who provide firsthand accounts of how Pueblo came together as a community, created new opportunities and aided one another in fighting for worker’s rights during these times, stated EPHM.
“Southern Colorado’s labor movement is excited to support this project because it is so important for people to understand that workers are really who build a community, and that we don’t need to look for someone outside of us to save Pueblo,” commented Hilary Glasgow, president of Southern Colorado Labor Council. We’ve been saving ourselves for a long time.”
EPHM said Steel City has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy Demands Wisdom. Additional support was provided by the Southern Colorado Labor Council, United Steelworkers District 12, Robert Hoag Rawlings Foundation, Colorado WINS and the City of Pueblo.