Destinations Magazine

NYC: Events Commemorating the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

By Cheapchicknyc
Hey all, I've found lots of cheap and free events relating to the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire from a variety of sources.
If you know of any other events related to the fire's centennial, please feel free to add a comment/link on the blog!
Cheap Chick in the City
Events commemorating Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire around NYC!
March 23
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 108 Orchard St., 212-982-8420
For the Tenement Museum’s second day of remembrance events, author of the powerful account, Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, David Von Drehle will discuss how the fire changed American labor conditions. The discussion is free, but space is limited and those who preorder a signed copy receive guaranteed seating. 6:30 p.m.
Hand-Sewing in the 1850's-60 Years Before the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
Merchant's House Museum, 29 E. 4th St.
Learn how ladies fashioned clothes before H&M and event the sewing machine as the museum demonstates old-fashioned sewing techniques during this exhibition/lecture prepared in conjunction with Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition. 7 p.m., $15
March 23–24
Women Movers and Shakers Tour: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
The Lower East Side History Project offers a special, two-time-only tour of the LES, the birthplace of the Women’s Suffrage movement, Planned Parenthood and International Ladies Garment Workers Union, among other feats. The walking tour will last approximately two hours, covering 15 blocks. Each tour begins at noon and costs $20 per person. RSVP for meeting location.
March 23–27
From the Fire
Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Sq. South, 212-477-0351From the Fire dramatizes the Triangle fire’s history, blocks from where it happened 100 years ago. The dramatic oratorio was created by a team that includes Tony-nominated composer Elizabeth Swados and is sponsored by the Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts. Performances are March 23–26 at 7:30pm; March 27 at 6pm. For reservations, call 212-229-5488.
March 23—25 in New York City
Join SweatFree Communities and International Labor Rights Forum to Commemorate the Centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and Find Solutions to Today’s Sweatshops
On March 25, 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, located near Washington Square in Manhattan, killed 146 workers who could not escape because the doors were locked—to prevent theft, the employers said, and to keep out union organizers from the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. Most workers were young women and recent immigrants. The fire became a rallying cry for the labor movement, resulting in changes in labor law and fire safety regulations that continue to protect all of us today.
In 2011, 100 years later, the garment industry again operates like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. Sweatshop conditions are the norm worldwide, and in countries like Bangladesh garment workers are even killed in fires when they are locked in and unable to escape—just like in the Triangle fire. In the United States, laws and protections won in the aftermath of the fire are under renewed attack. In March 2011, SweatFree Communities and International Labor Rights Forum are putting on a series of events with workers and labor rights organizers from Bangladesh to educate about the factory fires and sweatshops of today, and to spark renewed action for decent working conditions and basic protections for workers worldwide.
Midnight March 23 to 4:00pm March 25
THE SIXTEENTH ANNUAL 40-HOUR FASTOn the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle fire tragedy, the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State invites the people of New York to fast from solid food for 40 hours, to pray and to spend quiet time reflecting on what kind of workplaces we want for all who labor within New York’s borders… and beyond.Sponsored by the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State, a founding partner of SweatFree Communities.
More information here.
Wednesday, March 23, 5:00-7:30 pm at Fashion Institute of Technology
5:00pm free food! 5:30-7:30pm panel and runway show
John Liu, New York City Comptroller
Kalpona Akter, former child garment worker and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity
Mitch Cahn, President of Unionwear, a U.S. garment manufacturer
Judy Gearhart, Executive Director, International Labor Rights Forum
Runway show showcasing solutions to the global sweatshop, live music, and more!Fashion Institute of Technology, Great Hall, D Bldg, NW corner of Seventh Ave & 27th St. (entrance on 27th) Free and open to the public. Learn about cutting edge initiatives by industry, government, and workers to humanize the global garment industry and promote the local industry.
March 24
Out of the Smoke and the Flame: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and its Legacy
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., 212-642-2029A musical performance of From the Fire, lectures on labor, panel discussions that include professors from some of the country’s top universities and board members of international labor organizations and a book signing of The New York City Triangle Factory Fire. Registration is free for the events, which begin at 9am and last through 8:30pm. Visit for a full schedule.
Thursday, March 24, 9:00-9:45pm at The Living RoomSweatfree Campaigner & Musician VALERIE ORTHValerie successfully organized a coalition of over 52 organizations in San Francisco to pass one of the nation’s first and strongest sweatfree purchasing laws in 2005. Now a fearless singer/songwriter, she promotes social justice through her music. This special performance aims to spread the word for Sweatfree New York!The Living Room, 154 Ludlow St, NYC9:00pm sharp, $10, Ages 21+For more information, and to see her new music video, visit
March 25
Workers United Official Commemoration
Washington Place and Greene St.The annual Workers United Commemoration, held outside the former home of Triangle Waist Company, begins at 11am with music and a memorial procession, and continues with a selection of speakers, including US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, at noon. Finally, flowers are laid as school children, family members of those who passed in the fire and retired garment workers read the names of the victims aloud. The Centennial marks the first time the name of every victim will be read, as the few remaining unidentified bodies were
positively identified this year.
7:00-9:30pm at Cooper Union Great Hall
100 YEARS AFTER: THE TRIANGLE FIRE REMEMBERED AND RETHOUGHTThe culminating centennial event — An evening of music, spoken word poetry, and solidarity in commemoration of the 146 victims.Hear Metropolitan Klezmer performing klezmer music written about the tragedy, uncovered 100 years later. Spoken word poetry from youthful voices from the New York City area. Clara Lemlich’s historical speech from the very stage where the Uprising of the 20,000 began. Solidarity Forever by the NYC Labor Chorus. Irish folk rock from Larry Kirwan of Black 47. Worker testimonials from Bangladesh, Egypt, and West Virginia.Cooper Union Great Hall, 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003Sponsors: Cooper Union, Education and Labor Collaborative, Labor and Working Class History Association, Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, Sparkplug FoundationFree and open to the public
Now through March 26 and April 12–July 9
Art/Memory/Place: Commemorating the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
NYU Grey Art Gallery, 100 Washington Sq. East, 212-998-6780This NYU memorial exhibition traces the tragedy’s history from the (unsuccessful) ladies’ garment workers strike of 1909, two years before the fire, to the press coverage the day of the fire, to the fire’s legacy with the rise of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in the New Deal Era, 50th anniversary events from 1961 and modern-day memorializations. The gallery has a $3 suggested admission fee.

Walking Tour March 26 and 27
On the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, Discovery Walking Tours is leading a tour through Greenwich Village, including a stop at the where the tragedy occurred that sparked the labor movement. Other stops include the Jefferson Courthouse where protesters of the factory’s conditions were tried; Father Demo Square named in honor of the cleric who befriended many victims’ families; and a firehouse that responded to the alarm. Other sites cover those influenced by the event, including Emma Goldman, John Reed, FDR, and Eleanor Roosevelt." 2 p.m., Call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting place, $18!
March 27
Triangle Fire Tribute–100th Anniversary Event
Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., 212-219-0888The Museum at Eldridge Street offers an afternoon of music and poetry, with 146 participants to portray the victims. Yiddishist Caraid O’Brien will read from original works of the Sweatshop Poets, who wrote of the deplorable working conditions in factories of the 1900s, in Yiddish and English. The concert begins at 3pm and tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students.
Triangle Fire: A Documentary Screening with Filmmaker Jamila Wignot
Women’s eNews HQ, 6 Barclay St., 212-244-1720The new PBS documentary Triangle Fire follows the conditions leading up to the infamous fire and its lasting impact on the nation, from labor reform to women’s suffrage. The film’s director/producer, Jamila Wignot, will introduce the documentary before the screening. RSVP at
[email protected].

"Birds On Fire," a play, 3:00-5:30 p.m. at Theater for the New City

Following the play, Judy Gearhart, Executive Director of International Labor Rights Forum will share brief remarks on modern day sweatshops and factory fires.Theater for the New City presents the world premiere of “Birds on Fire” by award-winning playwright Barbara Kahn with music by EMMY nominee Allison Tartalia. Birds on Fire portrays what might have been the lives of four unidentified victims of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village.March 17 – April 3, 2011. Thurs – Sat at 8 P.M., Sun at 3 P.M. Tickets: $12, 212-254-1109.155 1st [email protected] 10th St. Subway: L to 1st Ave, 6 to Astor Place.For more information about these events, visit or contact [email protected] or 413-586-0974.

March 28
A Day to Remember and Reflect: 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
St. John's Staten Island Campus, 300 Howard Ave., 718-390-4455St. John’s University’s Staten Island campus hosts a special lecture with Dr. Richard Greenwald, author of The Triangle Fire, the Protocols of Peace and Industrial Democracy: In Progressive Era New York (Labor in Crisis), and League of Women Voters of the City of New York Director Sheila Hosni, followed by a candle light vigil with a live, original music performance by university students. The discussion begins at 1:30 p.m.
March 30
The Deadline Club and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists will present "How the Media Cover Immigration," a panel discussion about news coverage of immigration issues, at the Salmagundi Club (5th Ave. b/t 11th and 12th streets). Panelists include Telemundo Channel 47 producer Ninoska Arriaga, CUNN contributor and Lehman College professor Miguel Pérez, Time magazine immigration reporter Nathan Thornburgh, and Yvonne Latty, author, documentary filmmaker and director of NYU's graduate journalism program who created the Beyond the Border project, a collaboration between NAHJ, NYU and University of Arizona. Josh Robin of NY1 will be the moderator. Space is limited, so email us to save a seat.
At a glance:
What: Panel discussion about media coverage of immigration issues
When: 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Where: Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Ave. b/t 11th and 12th Streets
RSVP required: [email protected]

Through May 19
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: One Hundred Years After
NYU Open House, 528 LaGuardia Place, 212-998-2630NYU’s Open House Space remembers the Centennial with a powerful collection of historical photos, artifacts and film clips, and an exploration of its effects on labor, all displayed but a few blocks from where the fire originally took place.
Compiled from: Tali Weinberg blog (,, and Time Out New York.

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