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Supporting the Arts through the WPA

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Supporting the Arts through the WPA

Short | 01:32

One of the greatest experiments in public art gave voice and vision to American artists, authors and musicians.

On TV

    • Saturday
    • 4:00pm
    Jul 15
    • Monday
    • 2:00pm
    Jul 17
    • Monday
    • 4:00am
    Jul 24

More About This show

In the grip of the Great Depression, WPA writers searched for America and discovered the Soul of a People. This show explores one of the most controversial public assistance programs of its time and shows nothing less than the creation of America's first ever self-portrait.

Bios

  • Anzia Yezierska
  • Ralph Ellison
  • John Cheever
  • Richard Wright
  • Zora Neale Hurston
  • Jim Thompson
  • Vardis Fisher
  • Anzia Yezierska

    Anzia Yezierska

    Read Full Bio
    Known as "The Cinderella of the Tenements," Anzia Yezierska's stories of immigrant life in New York's Lower East Side made her a popular novelist and screenwriter in the 1920s, where her films included Hungry Hearts and Salom'e of the Tenements. After the stock market crash of 1929, however, publishers were no longer interested in immigrant success stories. Though Yezierska felt the indignity of being on a welfare project, she later described how interaction with younger writers on the Writers' Project renewed her morale, making her "feel like a bit of withered moss grown green again." In 1950, she published a fictionalized memoir, Red Ribbon on a White Horse, with an introduction by W.H. Auden. She continued writing until her death in 1970.
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