75th Anniversary of the New Deal

A Three-Floor Exhibition

unemployed men sitting on the side of the SF Public Library Exhibit 1: A New Deal for San Francisco-Thanks to WPA!- Civic improvements to parks, streets & public buildings; arts & theatre programs; controversies & labor unrest.
Main Library, Sixth Floor, Cases Outside the San Francisco History Center, March 22-August 30, 2008

  • Image credit: Unemployed Men sitting on the sunny side of the San Francisco Public Library” by Dorothea Lange. Feb. 1937. Courtesy of the San Francisco History Center

Exhibit 2: Government at Work: A Chronology of Federal Agencies from the New Deal - Domestic agencies that started with the Roosevelt Administration and still exist today are featured.
Main Library, Fifth Floor,Wall Display near the Government Information Center, March 22-June 29, 2008.

Exhibit 3 (two locations): WPA Years A New Deal Explosion of Art, Public Works and Labor - A rich collection of documents, illustrations & photographs from projects that returned the unemployed to the workplace and strengthened workers rights; also featuring federal art and theatre programs that enriched the cultural life of our city and country.
Main Library, Fourth Floor, Art, Music & Recreation Center; and Business, Science & Technology Center, March 22-August 10, 2008. WPA Related Programs: The New Deal in the Sunset: An Illustrated Talk by Gray Brechin - Discover the invisible public legacy of the Great Depression in a talk commemorating the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Dr. Gray Brechin is project scholar of the California Living New Deal Project--a statewide collaborative effort to identify, map and interpret those essential public works. Half a dozen agencies created to lift the United States out of the Great Depression built hundreds of socially beneficial projects we depend on today. Among them is the West Portal Library, built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), lovingly renovated and reopened in 2007.
View and contribute to the project at http://livingnewdeal.berkeley.edu. Tuesday, July 15, 7-8pm, West Portal Branch Library, 190 Lenox Wy. (at Ulloa) For a Better America: The New Deal in Film - A mini film festival of historical shorts covering the Depression and the New Deal from the motion picture holdings of the National Archives. Cosponsored by the San Francisco History Center and LaborFest, a month-long celebration of labor culture, history and the arts.
Saturday, July 12, Main Library, Lower Level, Koret Auditorium, 12-3 p.m., 100 Larkin Street (at Grove) The Indispensable New Deal: Discovering the Invisible Public Legacy of the Great Depression and What it Means for Us Today - New Deal agencies created to lift the United States out of the Great Depression built socially beneficial public works that we all use everyday without knowing we are doing so. Dr. Gray Brechin is Project Scholar of the California Living New Deal Project — a statewide collaborative effort to identify, map and interpret those essential artifacts. He will focus on New Deal San Francisco on its 75th anniversary.
Thursday, June 12, 2008, Main Library, Lower Level, Koret Auditorium, 6 - 8 p.m., 100 Larkin Street (at Grove) Hallelujah! I’m a Bum! - Join us for an evening of music from the 1930s. Richard Wahlberg brings original 78 rpm records from his music archives and plays them on an historic, open-horn victrola from 1906 to capture the sounds and the sprit of the 1930’s. This is part of the Library’s celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the WPA. This program will be presented twice, once at the Main Library and once at the beautifully renovated WPA West Portal Branch Library.
Thursday, May 15th, 6 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room, 100 Larkin Street (at Grove) And Tuesday, May 20, 7 p.m., West Portal Branch Library, 190 Lenox Way (at Ulloa) Tillie Olsen: A Heart in Action - A documentary on the legendary labor organizer, peace activist and author. Filmmaker Ann Hershey will present the film and answer questions.
Two screenings: Sunday, June 1st at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street (at Grove)

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