New Proposals for Support of the Arts
Current support of proposals to enlarge the role of the federal government as a patron of the arts brings to mind the period of the 1930s when federal agencies put thousands of unemployed artists, writers, actors and musicians to work on a wide variety of projects. Nothing on the scale of the short-lived New Deal arts program is contemplated today, but measures pending in Congress would give official recognition to the arts as an essential feature of American life and encourage the growth of cultural activities.
Now, as in the depression era, new federal activity in the arts would serve more than an esthetic purpose. The earlier program was motivated in large part by a need to relieve unemployment; ...