The Community Art Center of the Works Progress Administration as a Third Space

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This article examines how community art centers of the Federal Art Project (FAP) of the Works Progress Administration served as a third space, one that was explicitly designed to be different from art museums at that time. Created to employ artists during the Great Depression under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, goals of FAP programs included creating a national identity in the arts through cultural production, and developing individual consumers of art who would continue the support after government programs had ended. Another motivation for these programs was created in the spirit of progressivism. Thus, by incorporating art into the community, artists and organizers reenvisioned how citizens could interact with art through active engagement by developing studio experiences, art exhibitions, and community programming. The programs were conceived in direct contrast to established museums as new organizations developed with the communities they were designed to reach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-52
Number of pages13
JournalStudies in Art Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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