Version Fest 09 (which will feature “An art parade, temporary housing structures, independent contemporary art space networking, one day only exhibition formats, video sweat lodges, an artist run art fair, a reincarnation of the depression era Public Works of Art Project, a social networked free public school, impressive musical performances, boring theoretical nonsense, the revamping of a local community center, mapping projects, a design agency for social movements, and korean polish bar-b-queing….”) is the pride and joy of Bridgeport’s own Lumpen Magazine (an independent, locally-based, critical arts and culture publication, published six times a year). One of the phenomena they will attempt this year is the Bridgeport WPA (FDR-style Alphabet Soup for modern times), and its Public Works of Art Project.
Below is an audio interview with Emily Clayton from Version Fest on how art can heal our wounded economy…and feed our soul (and the lasting legacy of the Works Progress Administration of the Great Depression). Originally on Vocalo.org (interview conducted by Steve Walsh and myself).
the I-only-have-a-minute-or-so, but-this-interests-me version
the this-is-a-near-and-dear-topic-I’ll-make-fifteen-minutes-of-time-for version
NOTE: I love the WPA. The historical version built up our infrastructure and kept our painters, ethnographers, dancers, sculptors, and writers (like Zora Neale Hurston [below]) working and on government salary. Amazing.
To thumb through an online version of Lumpen, click
here or here
also, to hear a Slave Narrative (or first hand account of plantation days) recorded by John & Ruby T. Lomax as part of a WPA initiative during the Great Depression, click here.
if you are an artist, and/or would like to involve yourself with Version Fest ‘o9, click here.