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New Deal Events

July 2 (Thursday) 6:00 PM (Free) -California Historical Society- 678 Mission St. SF
The History of Public Funding and the Arts
The Legacy of the New Deal Speakers: Lincoln Cushing, Tim Drescher and Mark Johnson Moderator: Gray Brechin
Funding public artwork benefits more than the artists – viewers witness their space transformed as the art enhances the urban landscape.
The arts were greatly supported during the New Deal era and many WPA projects are located in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the recent election of a new president, will money be used to fund art and culture? Panelists speak to the similarities between the present era and the New Deal as they relate to public arts and government funding during the New Deal era.

July 7 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM ($5-10 donation requested, no one turned away) Women’s Building - Audre Lorde Room - 3543 18th Street, near Valencia St. SF
Jobs for Artists! Building Momentum for a New Deal for the Arts in 21st Century America
A panel discussion on the legacy of federal jobs programs for artists and writers, such as the Depression-era Works Progress Administration and the 1970s CETA program, and reports on current grassroots efforts to promote federal funding for arts jobs today. Featuring Gray Brechin, New Deal historian, UC Berkeley, Jeff Chang, hip-hop journalist and arts activist, and Arlene Goldbard, co-organizer of a May 2009 White House briefing on community arts and national recovery. With short readings and performances honoring the great work of WPA-sponsored artists and writers.
Call 415-710-0187 for more information.

July 11 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at Coit Tower entrance, SF
Coit Tower Walk and 75th Anniversary of the Murals
With labor archivist Lincoln Cushing, historian Peter O’Driscoll and Tim Drescher.
Seventy-five years ago this month artists who were working with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) were working on the Coit Tower murals. These political artists were very much influenced by the general strike, and this is reflected in these historic murals.
A media hysteria was also whipped up against the art and the artists in an effort to censor them. Fortunately this failed and the murals remain a testament to the people of San Francisco and the labor movement.

July 12 (Sunday) 10:00 AM ($15.00) Meet at front of Bill Graham Auditorium - 99 Grove St., SF
WPA Bus Tour

With Gray Brechin & Harvey Smith
Join Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith as they travel through history on a bus tour of historic sites built by unionized labor. You will learn about the major contribution workers made during the depression era of the New Deal program. They will discuss 75 years of the WPA. Please be aware that the tour will take about 5 hours depending on the traffic and the discussions.
Co-sponsored by UTU Local 1740
Meet at the San Francisco Civic Center, between the Asian Art Museum and the Main Library.
Reservation required: Call (415) 642-8066 or by e-mail: and leave your name, # of reservations and phone number to get back to you in case of any changes. Make reservation, then send check to:LaborFest, P.O. Box 40983, SF, CA 94140
(Sandwiches and drinks will be available on the bus.) Bus will return to Civic Center. Tour lasts about 5 hours.

July 18 (Saturday) 2:00 PM (Free) The California Historical Society - 678 Mission St., SF
Hobos to Street People:
Artists’ Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present

By Art Hazelwood, Tim Drescher and Jos Sances
Exhibition and mural tour

California Historical Society Exhibition with Art Hazelwood, followed by a tour of history sites. The exhibition focuses on the artwork created in response to the unprecedented poverty of the Great Depression and is mirrored by contemporary artwork that looks squarely at the economic wasteland that has resulted from the last thirty years of Reaganomics.
The mural tour will include the Rincon Annex murals by Anton Refregier, the IWW memorial nearby and the Arnett Watson mural in the Tenderloin. Transportation from the California Historical Society to other sites on your own.