The Federal Art Project (FAP)
Arts Program had two main purposes for its existence: it was an employment
program and it was a means to bring more art to American citizens.
FAP, which ran from 1935-1943, was created to help artists earn a living
during the Depression, when many had lost their jobs in businesses that
closed. It was the largest and most long-lived of all the New Deal visual
arts programs. Unlike several earlier visual arts job programs, the FAP
allowed the artists more freedom in their choice of style, technique, and
subject matter. The FAP distributed the artists' works to tax-supported
institutions like libraries, museums, city halls, and post offices.
addition to supporting artists, the FAP wanted to raise the art consciousness
of United States citizens. The FAP hoped that by educating people about
art, the people would appreciate it and understand it better. The government
also hoped to create constructive use of leisure time by paying art teachers
to hold workshops and classes in art centers for anyone to attend and enjoy.
of one of the WPA programs, the Illinois State Museum opened a Children's
Museum section in 1940, which provided activities and materials
to teach local children about art, history, and other topics. These materials
also traveled to schools throughout Illinois, thanks to the nation's first
Mobile (use back button to return to this page).