They’re proof that times of turmoil turn artists into activists In the depths of the Great Depression, one in four Americans was unemployed, and millions lived on the streets. So the US government made massive investments that unleashed the productive capacity of American people to collectively raise the standard of living and develop a shared vision. During the New Deal, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration and employed 8.5 million Americans to improve the country with new infrastructure, parks, schools, hospitals, and the supplies to beat fascism abroad during WWII. By the end of the era, the country had fostered full employment, lifted itself out of the Great Depression, and ushered in a period of unprecedented prosperity—and a template for a society-wide mobilization for the greater benefit. The astonishing mobilization very much extended into the arts—the WPA commissioned thousands of murals, photos, and posters that were intended to inspire and inform. It was art that demanded a response, a change in the public’s actions. Times of political turmoil, after all, have a way of turning artists into activists. It’s why Workman Publishing last month unveiled Posters for a Green New Deal: 50 Removable Posters to Inspire […]


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