New Deal for the Arts Events
Press Release · Thursday, November 19, 2009

Washington, DC

The National Archives presents special programs in December in remembrance of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal for the Arts and its enduring legacy. These events are free and open to the public, and will be held at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, which is fully accessible. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on the corner of 7th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW.

Panel Discussion:   When Art Worked: The New Deal, Art, and Democracy
Tuesday, December 8, at 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater

Under the New Deal's Federal Arts Project, the American government helped artists get through a difficult time in history. The New Deal provided food, work, and wages, but it also employed out-of-work artists who worked to enhance communities and protect America's national heritage. This illustrated discussion features rarely seen photographs of New Deal art and architecture as well as newly commissioned works. Roger G. Kennedy, director emeritus of the National Museum of American History and former director of the National Park Service, will discuss his book When Art Worked: The New Deal, Art, and Democracy. Joining the discussion will be David Larkin, editor and designer for When Art Worked. The program will be moderated by Nick Kotz, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and historian. A book signing of When Art Worked will follow the program, and the book is available from the Archives Shop. Call (202) 357-5271.

75th Anniversary Noontime Film Series From the Vaults:  The Arts

Short Films
Thursday, December 10, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater

The final installment of the year-long 75th Anniversary Film Series presents a selection of short films from the holdings of the National Archives including U.S.A., a New Deal-era short about the Federal Theatre Project; Upbeat in Music, a March of Time newsreel from 1943; and Rocka My Soul, a film profile of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company produced in 1967 by the United States Information Agency. (70 minutes.)

Film:   Cradle Will Rock
Thursday, December 10, at 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater

The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film, in partnership with the Washington Film Institute, presents a screening of the 1999 motion picture Cradle Will Rock. Written and directed by Tim Robbins, the film artfully recreates Depression-era New York City and dramatizes two watershed events from the time—the opposition to the Works Projects Administration/Federal Theatre Project's production of Marc Blitzstein's pro-union stage play The Cradle Will Rock, and the controversial commissioning of Mexican artist Diego Rivera to create a mural for Rockefeller Center. Stars Emily Watson, John Cusack, Hank Azaria, Bill Murray, and Cary Elwes. (132 minutes.) Please note—some scenes may be inappropriate for younger viewers.

To request an accommodation (i.e. a sign language interpreter) for a public program, please email or call 202-357-5000 at least two weeks prior to the event. To verify dates and times of the programs, call 202-357-5000 or view the Calendar of Events online.

This page was last reviewed on June 17, 2019.
Contact us with questions or comments.