UCSF Medical Center Murals to Stay in Place

The Zakheim murals at the UCSF Medical Center will stay in place after a court order. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the work to remove the mural has been temporarily halted after Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch granted a motion for a restraining order requested by San Franciscans for Balanced and Livable Communities.


Investing In Prosperity

The Fireside—News and Views from The Living New Deal

Investing In Prosperity

wpa  The New Deal was an unprecedented campaign of national construction. According to a study by economists Price Fishback and Valentina Kachanovskaya, the New Deal cost $41.7 billion at the time—about $827 billion in today’s dollars. What did America get for its money? Michael Hilzik, in his book The New Deal, A Modern History, summed it up this way: “The WPA produced 1,000 miles of new and rebuilt airport runways, 651,000 miles of highway, 124,000 bridges, 8,000 parks and 18,000 playgrounds and athletic fields; some 84,000 miles of drainage pipes, 69,000 highway light standards and 125,000 public buildings were built, rebuilt or expanded. To this day, Americans still rely on its work for transportation, electricity, flood control, housing and community amenities.” The New Deal laid the foundation for the decades of productivity and prosperity that followed. Eighty years on, America’s infrastructure has fallen into desperate disrepair. President Biden’s $1 trillion plan to “build back better” is a belated downpayment on decades of deferred maintenance, as well as investment in America’s future.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: NEW DEAL BOOK AWARD FOR 2021

The Living New Deal invites submissions for the First Annual New Deal Book Award.  

This award has been established to recognize and encourage non-fiction works about the history of the United States in the New Deal era, 1932-1942, or inclusive of a substantial portion of that remarkable decade between the nadir of the Great Depression and US entry into World War II. 

Submissions for the award must have a 2021 imprint and be nominated by a publisher or colleague.  Hard copy books or locked PDFs should be submitted no later than November 15, 2021.

The winner will be announced in Spring 2022 with a cash prize of $1,000. Presentation of the award will take place during the Roosevelt Reading Festival at the FDR Library at Hyde Park NY in Summer 2022, to which the five finalists will be invited. 

For submission details please find information at the Living New Deal website.

Interactive Map of New Deal Sites in New Mexico

The New Mexico Chapter of the National New Deal Preservation Association and the New Mexico Humanities Council collaborated to produce this interactive map of New Deal sites in New Mexico. The map features New Deal projects that include CCC camps, public buildings, public art, and monuments. See more details and view the map here.

Interactive Map of New Deal Sites in New Mexico

An American Renaissance

The Fireside—News and Views from The Living New Deal

An American Renaissance

Rep. Martin Dies with Hollywood studio executives, 1939
Texas Rep. Martin Dies, first chair of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Photo Credit: National Archives & Records Administration. Courtesy, Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the midst of the Great Depression the federal government initiated a series of programs to hire unemployed artists and writers. Today, these provide a lens through which American history, values and everyday life were viewed in the 1930s. The first such program, the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), 1933-1934, hired more than 3,700 artists during its 5-month existence. They produced more than 15,000 artworks in practically every type of public building. PWAP was replaced by the Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture (TSFA),1934-1943, which sponsored competitions and awarded commissions to selected artists who turned out more than a thousand post office murals. The WPA launched the Federal Art Project (FAP) in 1935, along with the Federal Writers’ Music and Theater Projects. All came under attack from conservatives in Congress and ultimately were defunded. The creative output that resulted from this unprecedented era of government sponsorship is now regarded as an American Renaissance. 

 

Interest in the New Deal Is Growing. With your help, so are we!

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In every state, volunteers equipped with the Living New Deal’s new mobile app are sending us their New Deal discoveries. Our online New Deal map and database document 17,000 New Deal sites. We believe we’ve just scratched the surface! Our website draws more than a million visits a year.  

OurMap and Guide to the Art and Public Works of the New Deal in Washington, D.C.” is hot off the press.  It reveals the wealth of art and infrastructure the New Deal added to our nation’s capital—a reminder of what Americans built together during hard times and what a new New Deal could achieve today.

Our monthly newsletter, “The Fireside,” and a webinar series, “The Next New Deal,” feature leading writers, artists and scholars on such topics as the Green New Deal; New Deal art; social movements of the 1930s; and reigniting a Federal Writers’ Project.
 
The New Deal left a legacy that continues to inspire to this day.  With your help, we can keep the lessons and legacy of the New Deal at the forefront.  We are grateful for your generous support.
 
Donors of $100 will receive a thank you gift of the Living New Deal’s new Map and Guide to the New Deal in Washington, D.C. Receive all three New Deal maps—DCSan Francisco and New York City for a donation of $200 or more.

Thank you! 
 
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Why we need a new WPA

In an CNN opinion piece titled, “Why we need a new WPA,” Paula M. Krebs makes a case for addressing today’s economic woes by using policy lessons from a time when the government stepped in to provide paid work for construction workers and artists alike. Read the full piece here.

“Photographic print from New York production of Macbeth.” Source: CCN.

New Deal Arts Programs – Lessons for Struggling Artists Today

In a piece published in Artnet, Ben Davis, reflects on calls to help distressed art institutes in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic by drawing on the lessons of the New Deal Arts Programs. Davis examines the history of the programs and sets out to dispel a few misconceptions. “Without filling in the nitty-gritty of the history that impelled the United States’s singular experiment with government arts patronage, I get the sense that we are calling people into battle without arming them for the fight.” Read more here.

Artist Allen Saalburg directs WPA artists at the American Museum of Natural History. New York, 1935. (Photo by New York Times Co./Getty Images