50 American artists of all stripes to look back at the projects created during the New Deal era and make work that reflects the contemporary United States.

From 1935 to 1943, the United States government funded a massive economic and cultural effort that redefined the way we see America. Called Federal Project Number One, the initiative was administered by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the ambitious New Deal agency that put millions to work during the Great Depression carrying out public works programs like the construction of highways and bridges, stadiums, and parks.

With the establishment of Federal Project Number One, the government recognized that cultural producers, too, had a critical role to play in the nation’s recovery. Federal One, as it was known, had five divisions: the Federal Art


Back to the Music, Back to the Game

A visit to the juke joints in the Florida Everglades where migrant laborers could go to relax.

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This Land Is Your Land

During the Depression, the federal government urged Americans to visit the country’s natural wonders.

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The Exquisite Catalog of a Crow Fair

Wendy Red Star brings illustrations from the Denver Art Museum’s card catalog to the Crow Nation’s annual gathering.

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The American Guide to the New Vermont

Shane Lavalette follows the refugees who have made their home in the whitest state in the nation.

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Stoop Life and Survival

Documenting a life of a neighborhood means covering street life in all of its joy and pain.

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Hot, Wet, and Out of Control

The history of Texas’s power struggle with water.

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The Afterlives of Slaves

Snapshots of a life after slavery, and an imagining of a world without bondage.

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Portraits of Hard Living in America

The faces and places of a forgotten swath of American life.

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She Works Hard for the Money

During the Depression, women were advised to “sing for their supper” as a way to survive hard times.

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Hands Across America

Manual labor can be hard and exhausting, practical and poetic.

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More Federal Project No. 2