The period of severe poverty that followed Wall Street’s collapse in October 1929 is remembered as the Great Depression (1929-1939). As destitution tore through the United States and a looming World War posed threats of horror, hatred, and despair, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) chose an unlikely priority. As part of his New Deal – a program designed to lower the crushing unemployment rate and stabilize the economy – FDR advocated for the mass-production of art
While the economy is (presently) more stabilized than it was in the 1930s, the extreme political turmoil following watershed events such as Brexit and Trump’s election places the world in a contemporary ‘Great Depression’ of the mental, emotional, and spiritual variety. The international community has exhibited immense collective strength and resilience, which makes the need for artistic beauty and reflection even greater. An outlet for frustration, creative expression can help fortify the fighting spirit.
To petition for the NEA’s preservation, click here or here.