A year-long conversation about the past, present and future of work life in Connecticut.

From late 2013 through 2014, Connecticut Humanities will lead a year-long conversation about the past, present and future of work life in Connecticut. The catalyst for this effort is The Way We Worked, an exhibition created by the Smithsonian Institution that traces the changes that have affected the American workforce and work environments throughout our country's history. Based on images from the National Archives, the exhibition will make six-week stops at venues in seven towns: New Haven, Torrington, Hartford, Waterbury, Coventry, Stamford and Groton.

While The Way We Worked exhibition serves as the foundation of this effort, it is a small part of a larger, statewide public programming initiative. Each region will feature book discussions, author talks, films, music, community conversations, local history, art, photo essays, storytelling, walking tours, oral histories, poetry, theater, gallery talks and exhibitions that relate to the past, present and future of work particular to each region.

There are several goals of the project.

Engage a broad and diverse range of Connecticut's citizens in a conversation about the role of work in our state's history, in our lives today and in the continued vitality of our communities.

Foster collaboration between groups and institutions within and among the seven regional venues of The Way We Worked, especially among those that do not normally interact. We seek to build broad cooperation between organizations in the humanities, culture, art, municipal government, business and education, along with community groups.

Encourage programming that reaches beyond traditional subject matter and formats to spark dialogue, broaden public understanding of and appreciation for all forms of work, and address issues of pressing concern to our state and each region.

The Connecticut at Work Project kicks off with a day-long conference on December 9 at Wesleyan University. Some of the speakers and panel members at the kick-off event include,

Governor Dannel P. Malloy

Adam McLaughlin, Relationship Manager, Webster Bank

Ben Berkowitz, CEO of SeeClickFix and co-leader of InsideOut New Haven

Julie Daly Meehan, Executive Director, Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (HYPE)/MetroHartford Alliance

Michelle Cote, Director of Programs, reSET

Slate Ballard,founder, The Grove

Aurelia "Rory" Gale, Creative Director and Studio Chief, Hartford Prints!

To find out more about the December 9th kick-off event, visit the Connecticut Humanties web site at http://cthumanities.org/ctatwork . Please note that there is a fee to attend.