About the artwork on these pages

Much of the artwork at the top of these pages is from vintage posters, and many (but not all) are from government-funded posters, including WWI and WWII posters, and from the Works Progress Administration (renamed the Work Projects Administration in 1939), better known as the WPA, and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

Almost every community in the USA had a park, bridge or public building constructed by the WPA or the CCC, which employed millions of Americans at a time of great economic strain. Until ended by Congress and war employment in 1943, the WPA was the largest employer in the country.

"During its existence, the WPA constructed more than 600,000 miles of roads and built or repaired more than 124,000 bridges, 125,000 public buildings, 8,000 parks, and 850 airport runways. In addition to hiring people from traditionally working-class backgrounds, the WPA also created programs for academics, actors, and artists. Among these programs was the Federal Arts Project, which paid artists to paint murals in public buildings, to teach art classes, and to catalog pieces of art. The Federal Writers' Project hired people to compile histories of communities across the United States. The Federal Theater Project employed actors and directors to bring live theater productions to towns and cities throughout the United States." (from Ohio History Central).

Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress's collection of more than 900 is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in the nation as a whole and in individual communities.

I love vintage posters. I really love WPA and WWII propaganda posters. You know exactly what era they are from as soon as you see them, without having to read any of the text. They have a distinct look and evoke an immediate emotional response - at least for me.

In addition, I would love to see a return of the WPA. Until then, in the USA, we have:

    AmeriCorps VISTA, the American national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. A year or two of VISTA service would give you skills and experience that could help get an employer's attention for working abroad. During your service, you receive a modest living allowance, health care, and other benefits. Upon completing your service, you can choose to receive either a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or post-service stipend. You might also want to look into AmeriCorps.

    AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), a full-time, team-based residential program for men and women age 18-24. AmeriCorps NCCC members receive a living allowance of approximately $4,000 for the 10 months of service (about $200 every two weeks before taxes), housing, meals, limited medical benefits, up to $400 a month for childcare and an education award upon successful completion of the program. Members are assigned to one of five campuses, located in Denver, Colorado; Sacramento, California; Perry Point, Maryland; Vicksburg, Mississippi; and Vinton, Iowa. The mission of AmeriCorps NCCC is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. In partnership with non-profits, secular and faith based, local municipalities, state governments, federal government, national or state parks, Indian Tribes and schools members complete service projects throughout the region they are assigned. Members serve in teams of eight to 12 and are assigned to projects throughout the region served by their campus. They are trained in CPR, first aid, public safety, and other skills before beginning their first service project.

 
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Credits & Copyright
2010-2014 by Jayne Cravens, all rights reserved. No part of this material can be reproduced in print or in electronic form without express written permission by Jayne Cravens.

 

 
 
 
 

Disclaimer
Any activity incurs risk. The author assumes no responsibility for the use of information contained within this document.