In what ways did the New Deal deliver art to the public?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The New Deal had many programs designed to help unemployed Americans find jobs and begin working. While most of the programs dealt with construction projects, conservation, or farming, there was a program designed for those who were skilled in the fine arts.

The Works Progress Administration, or WPA for short, provided money for construction projects like roads, bridges, and parks. It also provided money for artists, writers, and musicians to get work. Artists were paid to create murals and do paintings in public buildings. Theater groups and musical groups formed and performed for the public. There was a great deal of criticism for funding these kinds of projects when so many people weren’t working. However, Roosevelt believed people skilled in the fine arts should also have opportunities to find employment. Roosevelt believed these people were also workers and should receive aid just like construction workers did. Thus, the WPA helped deliver art and music to the public.