Singer, activist John O'Connor

Hartwick’s Yager Museum to Host “Songs of Struggle” Concert

December 17, 2019

Hartwick College’s Yager Museum of Art & Culture will host a concert entitled “Songs of Struggle” by musician and activist John O’Connor.  O’Connor will perform traditional and modern protest music from the labor, anti-war, and civil rights struggles. The concert at the Museum will be held Wednesday, January 8, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Elting Gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

The concert coincides with the museum’s newest exhibit, Art/Politics: Power, Persuasion, and Propaganda, currently on display.

O’Connor has a long history of performing, teaching, and organizing within the overlapping realms of music and politics. A working musician since the 1970s, O’Connor has released five albums, including his most recent, 2017’s Rare Songs. All feature his unique combination of hummable melodies, sensitive and humanistic songwriting, and incisive political commentary.

He was instrumental in the 1993 formation of the Local 1000 North American Travelling Musicians Union of the American Federation of Musicians, and has remained involved in Union organizing, activism and education. His upcoming performance at the Yager continues a long career of teaching and performing about the history of American labor and struggles for freedom and equality.

“A performance by John O’Connor is the best combination of entertaining and educational,” said Dr. Quentin Lewis, the Museum’s collections and programs manager. “He combines an encyclopedic knowledge of American labor and rights songs with a sharp wit and a bold voice. We are delighted to bring him to the Museum as an aural accompaniment to our exhibit, Art/Politics, and we know that students, faculty, and members of the greater Oneonta and Central New York communities will be delighted by his performance.”

More information about O’Connor and his work can be found at

The Yager Museum’s galleries will be open during the performance, and visitors can explore the Museum’s current exhibits including: Earth Water Sky: Landscapes from the Yager Museum; Silent Lakes and Flashing Rivers; Of Time and the River: 12,000 Years in the Upper Susquehanna Region; From Viking to Insight: Henry Cooper and the Quest for Life on Mars; Art/Politics: Power, Propaganda, and Persuasion; Sculptures in Silver: America’s Standing Liberty Quarters, 1916-1931; and Masterpieces of European and American Art: The Hartwick College Art Treasure Room.

The Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. when the College is in session. To reach the Museum, take West Street to Clinton Street and turn right onto Cayuga Drive. Follow Cayuga Drive to Yager Hall. Parking is available adjacent to the Museum entrance.

For more information on the Museum, visit its Facebook page at or call 607-431-4480.