Remember when the government paid artists to make art? It was early 1934, and the United States was near the depths of a depression with unemployment close to 25 percent. As the Federal Emergency Relief Act, a prototype of the New Deal work-relief programs, began to put a few dollars into the pockets of hungry workers, the question arose whether to include artists among the beneficiaries. But Harry Hopkins, whom President Franklin D. Roosevelt put in charge of work relief, settled the matter, saying, “Hell, they’ve got to eat just like other people!” Thus was born the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP).
Forgotten Stories: Northwest Public Art of the 1930’s at the Tacoma Art Museum looks at some of the thousands of artworks created in our region whose stories are mostly unknown. This trip has some special added value; we will start with coffee and pastries and a talk from Gery Gerst, a former Olympia teacher and cur-rent faculty in Senior Services’ Academic Program. He will share the historical context in which the WPA was created and a summary of other projects. After visiting the museum we will head over to the new McMenamin’s in the historic Elks Temple where you can explore and get a meal on your own at one of the restaurants onsite.
$65/$75 Member/General Public
Includes transportation, snacks and museum admission.
Meal on your own at McMenamin’s.
Departs OSC 8:30/LSC 9:00 am. Returns apprx. 5:00 pm.