The New Deal arts projects provided work for jobless artists, but they also had a larger mission: to promote American art and culture and to give more Americans access to what President Franklin Roosevelt described as "an abundant life." The projects saved thousands of artists from poverty and despair and enabled Americans all across the country to see an original painting for the first time, attend their first professional live theater, or take their first music or drawing class.
This lesson is an interactive analysis of some of the work that came out of this era. It has students look at pictures and/or clips of videos and come up with assumptions. It spurs on discussion of another part of the Great Depression that is oftentimes overlooked. Students enjoy the pop culture references and the idea of analyzing items on their own.