Those who ran New Deal art projects were often artists themselves, but they were artists who thought art should not be limited to an elite. They refused to restrict artistic creativity to those talented enough to paint museum-quality work or perform on a New York concert stage. Most New Deal artist-administrators believed deeply that the projects had a responsibility to explore art's many expressions, to reach out to as many Americans as possible, and to put art to practical use. This philosophy, along with the numbers of people employed, allowed for great variety in the artistic endeavors the projects undertook. These included teaching art and music classes, writing children's books, copying examples of folk art, producing posters, making models, and creating handcrafts. Such socially useful arts were not intended to create masterpieces, but they did produce many excellent works, allowed thousands of artists to pursue their vocation, and enriched and informed the lives of Americans.

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