Depression Digital History ID 2489|
Media type: mural
Annotation: The WPA's most unusual feature was its spending on cultural programs. Roughly five percent of the WPA's spending went to the arts. Artists were hired to catalog the plight of the nation, photograph it, paint it, record it, and write about it. In photojournalism, for example, the Farm Security Agency (FSA) employed scores of photographers to create a pictorial record of America and its people.
Valuable in their own right, the WPA's cultural programs had the added benefit of providing work for thousands of writers, artists, actors, and other creative people. In addition, these programs established the precedent of federal support to the arts and humanities, laying the groundwork for future federal programs to promote the life of the mind in the United States.
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