The artists of the 1930s gave the world a gift in capturing the memories of a challenging time in American history. Now, in partnership with the Frances Perkins Center, Lincoln Theater is bringing the newly remastered film “The New Deal for Artists,” to the big screen, a documentary about The Arts Project of the Work Projects Administration, a USA government agency established to support writers, theater people, painters, sculptors, and photographers. Please join us, along with guest speaker, Sarah Peskin, for two screenings only Thursday, July 29 at 2 and 7 p.m.
With the failure of President Hoover’s policies at the end of 1929, marked by the stock market crash on Oct. 24, 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, the decade that began with the dream of endless progress and prosperity came to an end with millions unemployed. American industrial workers who had lost their jobs lined up in the streets for a bowl of soup and hunk of bread. Depression, new technology and foreclosure by the banks drove more than half the American farmers to bankruptcy.
By 1932 something had to change and the newly elected President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, created the New Deal to put America back to work. The Works Project Administration (WPA) and Farm Security Administration (FSA) were formed to carry out this plan. Every American artist born between 1900 and 1915 spent his formative years in The Arts Project, finding themselves under attack by aggressive political agendas. It was the beginning of a whole new history in the United States – the history of the role of American artists in FDR’s Works Progress Administration.
“Studs Terkel himself, in classic finger-wagging mode, opens this Orson Welles-narrated film exhorting the viewer to absorb the information presented,” states Neely Swanson of the Easy Reader News. “You will be blown away by the sights, sounds, and information. Education was never this fun.” Digitally remastered from 16MM negative, “The New Deal for Artists” features a who’s who of 20th century luminaries including John Houseman, Arthur Rothstein, Howard Da Silva, James Brooks, Nelson Algren, and more.
And, Lincoln Theater is pleased to welcome Sarah Peskin, chair of the Frances Perkins Center board, for a post screening talk back at both the matinee and evening screenings. Sarah has a BA in art history, and a master’s degree in urban planning. She shares her long-standing interest in New Deal art and infrastructure as an instructor for the Center’s Senior College courses. She lives mostly in Walpole, Maine where she retired after 30 years with the National Park Service.
Join us, at 2 Theater St. and experience “The New Deal for Artists,” the film Sandy Rovner of The Washington Post calls “a dazzling and moving portrait of a period that deserves its place in the sun.”
For this event, admission is general seating. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door, concessions will be available, and masks are optional.