The Federal Art Project (FAP) 

The Federal 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.

Jobs Program
The 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.

Art Education Program
In 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. 

As part 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 Museum Mobile (use back button to return to this page).