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This Culture Spotlight was created on Sep 30, 2015 @ 04:13:54 pm

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North America Mike Stout and The Union Proj

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Read About Passion for Justice and Freedom

The World's Ghood Grievance Man

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"Mike’s lyrics speak for the working class more than any other musician around today" -Jim Jordon Electric Pencil

"It’s high time to make the powers that be dance to a different tune and Mike has supplied the soundtrack for that mission. I believe music can be a driving force for change and I’m glad Mike Stout is XXX[ez lee excitable] -Paulo Freire of elecpencil.wordpress.com

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Mike Stout is an internationally known socially conscious singer song-writer and in your face take charge social activist. Taking his music to the picket lines and protest rallies Mike leads crusades against economic and environmental injustice calling people to action. Like his musical heroes Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger his songs urge people to unite in solidarity to fight for a better life and to fight for a world safe from war and environmental degradation. For more than three decades, Mike Stout has been writing, recording and performing songs that tell the stories of the working class heroes of U.S. labor history and their struggles for peace, social justice and a decent standard of living.

Working with all-star casts of nationally known Pittsburgh musicians and producers Mike has released 13 independent CDs and recorded over 150 songs. Mike Stout's "Point of Pittsburgh", "Americana Dreams" and "Breaking The Chains" CDs were named notable releases by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. His "Calling Steeler Nation" video was viewed over 100,000 times and was named "One of the best tributes I've ever seen to the borderless 'nation' of Steelers fans" by Dan Gigler in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Blog-N-Gold. The song 'People to People" from his "Full Circle" CD brought him to the attention of music fans in Germany.

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On Sept 7, 2012 Mike was invited to perform in tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the birth of folk-singer Woody Guthrie at the PA Labor History Society concert held at the State Theater in State College, Pa. He performed with Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul, an Mary), Anne Feeney, and Si Kahn. The event was part of the national Grammy Awards Woody Guthrie celebration. Mike performed his ode to Woody "America's Favorite Son"

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As a union leader and social activist Mike Stout has fought for improved worker safety and came to the aid of the unemployed by founding food banks and economic development councils. As an environmentalist he works to educate the public on the dangers of global warming and fracking. Mike was one of the founding members of Pennsylvanians United For Single-Payer Healthcare (PUSH) that has been in the forefront in the fight for single-payer, universal healthcare. In Pittsburgh Stout fought the closing of the Braddock Hospital and successfully stopped the closing of trolley stops used by the elderly.
In 2007 the Pennsylvania Labor and History Society presented Mike Stout with the Mother Jones Award for his efforts as a social leader and as a performer who uses music to bring about change.
Mike was a blue collar steel worker and a union leader. Mike tells stories from his heart about people who are affected by unemployment, social injustice, environmental hazards, or war. Mike is not out to be a rich rock star. As he’s stated on numerous occasions,“the kind of ‘change’ I’m interested in ain’t coins or money, but social movements.”

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Stout performs in schools across Pennsylvania teaching students with his songs about the forgotten unsung heroes of history. They are people who fought for worker safety, the 8 hour work day, free speech, and freedom, but who are not mentioned in our school history books. They are working class organizers such abolitionist and renaissance man Martin Delany, the cotton mill women of the 1840’s, Crystal Eastman, Fannie Sellins, the workers of the Pressed Steel Car Strike in McKees Rocks, the union organizers of the New Deal, Father Charles Owen Rice, Captain Sean (George.) and the resisters of the plant shutdowns in the 1980’s. His message is that we should not take for granted the rights that they won for us.

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