Roadwork: The movement that put women’s culture on the road.
View the Website
Roadwork Oral History & Documentary Project
A History of Roadwork
Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage
View Youtube Video
“There and Back Again” An Audiovisual Journey Into Roadwork, 1978-2018
By Amy Horowitz, Introduction Susan J. Erenrich
Washington Post Articles
Laying the Roadwork for Sisterfire
June 26, 1982
By Richard Harrington
The Spread of Sisterfire
June 27, 1987
By Kara Swisher
Sisterfire at Six
June 26, 1988
By Claudia S and Lin
June 27, 1983
By Elizabeth Alex
‘Sisterfire” Event Grows into Equestrian Center
June 25, 1987
By Freddie A. Brown, Jr.
Amy Horowitz: From B’nai B’rith Girls to ‘Sisterfire’
June 14, 1984
By Janis Kaplan
Washington Jewish Week
Sisterfier ’84 Festival
Women’s Culture: ‘Playing with Fire’
By Carol Jones
Some Factors in the Equation
By Amy Horowitz
Chapter in We Who Believe in Freedom
Sweet Honey Book
The 1987 Sisterfire Marketplace incident
and Roadwork’s response:
Violence Against Lesbians at Sisterfire
By Lin Daniels and Myriam Fougere
Off Our Backs, A Woman’s NewsJournal
Off Our Backs, A Woman’s NewsJournal
The decades of the 1970s and 1980s are often dismissed, even though they were years transformed by the exuberance of women’s movements; the floodgates of cultural expression opened by lesbian/gay movements; the urgent responses to violations of human rights, international social justice and nuclear madness; the continuities of African-American civil rights movements and labor movements of earlier decades.
Drawing inspiration from the foundation built during the civil rights and labor movements Roadwork Inc. emerged in 1978 as a national and international multiracial, cross-cultural women’s arts organization. Over the next 15 years, Roadwork was at the forefront of coalition efforts based on artistic collaboration among diverse communities.
In 2000, Roadwork expanded its focus to the role of culture and art in conflict zones. In keeping with its expanded mission, the organization assumed a new name, Roadwork Center for Cultures in Disputed Territory. We see disputed territory as not only encompassing geo-political conflict but also addressing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, class and disability.
Roadwork houses the Living Jerusalem Project, an engagement among Israeli, Palestinian, and U.S. artists, activists and scholars. We initiated the Protest Music as Responsible Citizenship project that began with a four-day dialogue between Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Holly Near.
Roadwork has initiated a digital archive project. The purpose of this archive is to gather together personal recollections and artifacts from artists, organizers and audiences who participated in the Roadwork experience during the 1970s and 1980s. We are committed to open access to the archive so that connections across boundary lines can continue to be made in the future. In addition to the archive project, we are initiating the Roadwork Oral History and Documentary Project.
We will accomplish our mission by acquisition, preservation and making available materials that document the history of the organization since its inception in 1978. This collection will be initially focused on but not limited to artifacts, documents, recordings and written accounts. The scope of the collection will be elastic enough to include written and oral personal histories via audio or video recording.
Pursuit of this mission provides us a source of grassroots and multiracial women’s memories that will offer a creative and life-affirming vision for future generations of activists and those trying to reveal the truth of what came before.