Revive the WPA?

WPA

display of WPA-initiated crafts (public domain image)

What became of the Obama meme-machine? How could the campaign that so vigorously appropriated the viral marketing strategies of such mainstays of youth culture as social networking and graffiti graphics get it so wrong when selling actual policy? Where’s the poetry? “Public option“..!? “Single payer“..!? How about starting over by re-branding the issue to capture the imagination of the most mobile and active constituency that brought the administration into office? I’m thinking something like the HHH (Healthy Happy Humans) may be more like it.

Let’s hope the Obama administration regains its footing and begins to pay closer attention to trends in youth culture. For example, there are murmurings of a grass roots revival of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) around the edges of the contemporary art/craft/design world. My friend Christopher Robbins will be among a group of artists hosting a dinner to discuss the topic this Saturday evening at FEAST in Brooklyn. You can learn more about Christopher’s ideas on the subject by clicking here, and you may read my interview with Christopher by clicking here.

It’s never too late to tap the innate enthusiasm to simply do good shared by the majority of Americans, particularly the young, whose idealism demonstrably motivates them to action.

3 replies on “Revive the WPA?”

  1. Thanks for the mention, Scott! I completely agree: we must not let Obama lapse into DC-ness; we need the change he inspired, and if his administration won’t do it, then we will. Maybe we can even inspire him back.

    One thing to clarify in your post: I am one of several artists on the roster for funding at the next FEAST, so not really a host. FEAST was started by Jeff Hnilicka as a way of Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics, and you can learn more about it here.

  2. Scott,
    This brings to mind Walker Evans work for the WPA & FSA (1936 – 1941). One of the titles for his concealed photos of people on the NY transit, so appropriately titled today is “Many Are Called”

Comments are closed.