Irene Merrow, Community Manager & Publicist
(207) 400-7869

This History is for Everyone

The Oldest Profession Podcast, in partnership with Sex Work Rights, SWOP Behind Bars, and the Sex Work Project at the Urban Justice Center, is funding an art build in five cities across the country to celebrate the anniversary of the first sex worker-led protest in the United States. The #OldProProject is a nationwide community collaboration that brings the lives of historical sex workers to life through a variety of art mediums, from music videos and murals, to posters and zines.

The #OldProProject provides resources to sex worker artists and advocates to celebrate our shared history. The #OldProProject is working with City Coordinators connected to active decriminalization efforts in five cities. Those City Coordinators, in collaboration with their community, proposed art projects to capture and celebrate their local old pro history. This year we are working with communities in New York, NY, New Orleans, LA, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA and San Francisco, CA.

On January 25th, 1917, 300 sex workers in San Francisco led a protest to fight the imminent closure of their brothels, where they lived and worked. Their basic demands were ignored but their story continues to inspire living sex worker rights advocates.The #OldProProject seeks to celebrate this historic moment, which you can learn more about on The Oldest Profession Podcast episode Why January 25th Matters.

“It’s important to remember that we’re part of a multigenerational struggle, and that sex workers have been resisting their criminalization since the beginning,” explains Savannah Sly, National Coordinator of the #OldProProject.

Dr. Charlene Fletcher PhD, historian for the #OldProProject says, “This history is for everyone. These stories belong to all of us and they should be celebrated.” 

All of the projects being undertaken in cities across the US can be viewed on the #OldProProject website. The national team, as well as local artists and advocates working with the project, can be reached through our publicist Irene Merrow.