The Federal Writers' Project


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Photo: caption follows

Staff of the Federal Writers' Project. Photographer unknown. Photograph, 1938. Courtesy of the National Archives. (69 N, box 4, negative 18021).

The WPA included a provision for unemployed artists and writers: the Federal Arts Projects. If they were poor enough to qualify, musicians, actors, directors, painters and writers could work directly for the government. The New Deal arts projects made a lasting impact on American cultural life and none contributed more than the Federal Writers' Project. At its peak, the Writers' Project employed about 6,500 men and women around the country, paying them a subsistence wage of about $20 a week.


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