A collaboration of the Culinary Union and UNLV's Public History Program,
College of Liberal Arts and University Libraries.
Dec. 5, 2014 • April 1, 2015 at
Culinary members pinned this “scab” button to their shirts in opposition to non-
union workers hired by casinos during strikes. One difficultly creating this exhibit is finding a place in the
story of the Culinary Union for these non-union workers.
Mirna Preciado loaned many items from the Frontier Strike to Line in the Sand. The
experience of the Frontier Strike, symbolized on this t-shirt, stands as a rallying point for many current and former Culinary Union members.
This picket sign portrays a visually arresting graphic of Culinary members with raised fists. Many groups, from the Black Panthers, to the United Farm Workers, to various socialist groups worldwide, have used variations of the clenched fist symbol to convey collective solidarity, unity, and/or defiance.
Line in the Sand will featuremany picket signs and objects that demonstrate how the voice of the Culinary is heard: from the quiet, such as pinning a button on a work uniform, to the loud, in the form of picket signs, banners, paper mache forms, and the organization of large groups of members chanting for workers’ rights on the sidewalks of the Las Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas conjures images of neon lights, lavish casinos, and spirited high rollers. Few of the 40 million annual visitors think about the 385,000 hospitality laborers supporting the tourist industry of Las Vegas and Clark County. At the heart of making Las Vegas work is the Culinary Workers Union Local 226. Line in the Sand: the Power, People, and Progress of the Culinary Union highlights the history and culture of the union and the impact of labor unrest on union members, workplaces, and the city. Against the backdrop of one of the country’s most thriving cities, the exhibition builds upon themes of labor and labor unrest in Las Vegas; the changing demographics of the region and the Culinary; the history of 20th century unions; gender inequality; and interracial cooperation and discord. Line in the Sand explores the evolution of the Culinary Union in conjunction with the social, cultural, and economic changes in Las Vegas for the past five decades.
Take a behind-the-scenes look with curator Hannah Robinson.