PROJECT: The Federal Community Art Center Initiative, 1935-1942

Sara Woodbury (William & Mary) created the StoryMap, “The Federal Community Art Center Initiative, 1935-1942: Mapping Art Access in the Great Depression.” From the introduction,

In 1935, the Federal Art Project (FAP) launched one of its most ambitious arts-sharing initiatives when it opened its first community art center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Founded in cooperation between the FAP and local community groups, federal community art centers (CACs) introduced viewers to historical and contemporary art by sharing exhibitions, staff, and other resources on a national scale, with approximately one hundred centers opening in more than twenty states between 1935 and 1942, and around 15 million people experiencing their services [1]. Although less remembered today than the post office murals of the Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP) or the various workshops affiliated with the FAP, community art centers were no less ambitious in their scope [2].

This project represents a preliminary effort to map the FAP’s community art center initiative. It is also a place for readers interested in CACs to share their research, with the eventual goal of collecting all data under a singular project. All participants who share their data will be credited as researchers and collaborators in this initiative.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Ruth Carpenter, Rachel Hogan, Mimosa Shah, Michelle Speed, Vera Zoricic (Editors-at-large for the week), Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara and Pamella Lach (Editors for the week), Claudia Berger, Linsey Ford, Hillary Richardson, John Russell, and Rachel Starry (dh+lib Review Editors).