NEWCASTLE — The Frances Perkins Center has partnered with the Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta to present the remastered film “The New Deal for Artists” (1976) on Thursday, July 29 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sarah Peskin, chairperson of the Frances Perkins Center board, will present a post screening talk after both the matinee and evening screenings of the film.
With the failure of President Hoover’s policies at the end of 1929, marked by the stock market crash on Oct. 24, 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, the decade that began with the dream of endless progress and prosperity came to an end with millions unemployed. American industrial workers who had lost their jobs lined up in the streets for a bowl of soup and hunk of bread. Depression, new technology, and foreclosure by the banks drove more than half the American farmers to bankruptcy. By 1932 something had to change and the newly elected President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), created the New Deal to put America back to work. The Works Project Administration (WPA) and Farm Security Administration (FSA) were formed to carry out this plan.
Frances Perkins, secretary of labor under FDR, established programs to hire visual artists to embellish federal buildings under construction. She did this at the very start of the FDR administration. Eventually some 10,000 artists were employed by the various New Deal art programs, not to mention the thousands of writers, directors, actors, and others who were employed in their fields during the tenure of FDR from 1933-1945 and who are shown in the film.
Narrated by the iconic Orson Welles, “The New Deal for Artists” features a who’s who of 20th-century luminaries including Studs Terkel, John Houseman, Arthur Rothstein, Howard Da Silva, James Brooks, Nelson Algren and more. Peskin will speak following each performance. Admission is general seating and tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door, concessions will be available, and masks are optional. Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. For tickets and more information, visit www. lincolntheater.net.