WPA painting of a granite quarry
photo - Times Argus

Primo Maggio 2018 continues – The WPA: The Depression & Great Art

Sunday, April 29 at 4:00 pm

With unemployment at its highest rate in the history of the U.S. and extreme hardship all over the country, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt embarked on a program to put people back to work by creating the the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Large scale projects built by these workers are still found all over the country, including Vermont, including flood control dams and other major landmarks that are still in use.

In addition to its well-known building and infrastructure projects, the WPA also oversaw a group of programs collectively known as Federal Project Number One. These programs employed artists, musicians, actors and writers. One part of the WPA was the Federal Art Project which put to work hundreds of artists in creating works that have left their mark all over the country.

Dr. William Tortolano
Dr. William Tortolano

To help us continue our celebration of Primo Maggio 2018, Dr. William Tortolano will talk about the impact of the WPA art projects here in Vermont. The depression was a highly creative period that resulted in countless, magnificent creations. Despite the fact that many have sadly been destroyed due to “new” construction. Some works miraculously still exist including several in Vermont which Dr. Tortolano will introduce with slides and music to highlight the story.

Dr. Tortolano is Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at Saint Michael’s College where he taught for over 50 years. He is an author, composer, conductor, and organist, and has performed at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He was a visiting fellow at Cambridge University and had a fellowship at Yale in Medieval Studies. He is old enough to vividly recall “The Depression”.

Admission is free. Tea and biscotti will be served following the presentation

For more information, contact us: