Watch Again

Supporting the Arts through the WPA

Watch More
back to video

Supporting the Arts through the WPA

Short | 01:32

One of the greatest experiments in public art gave voice and vision to American artists, authors and musicians.

More About This show

In the grip of the Great Depression, WPA writers searched for America and discovered the Soul of a People. This show explores one of the most controversial public assistance programs of its time and shows nothing less than the creation of America's first ever self-portrait.


  • John Cheever
  • Jim Thompson
  • Ralph Ellison
  • Zora Neale Hurston
  • Richard Wright
  • Anzia Yezierska
  • Vardis Fisher
  • John Cheever

    John Cheever

    Read Full Bio
    Acclaimed novelist and short story writer, John Cheever joined the Writers' Project as a promising young writer after publishing several stories in The New Yorker. Cheever worked in the Washington, DC office and later returned to New York where as deputy editor he wrote sections of the New York City guide, and helped to prepare it for publication. After the Depression and World War II, Cheever went on to become one of the foremost writers of American literature, writing the National Book Award winner The Wapshot Chronicle and acclaimed short stories such as "The Enormous Radio" and "The Swimmer." His 1979 collection of short stories, The Stories of John Cheever, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Return to Video Page