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A People’s WPA, a blueprint reimagining the role of artistic labor in rebuilding society.

September 21, 2021

In the spirit of the original WPA, The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture commissioned artists to produce posters that uplift the essential forms of labor needed in this historic moment.

I was honored to be asked by the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture to take part in this amazing project.  For this poster I was asked to partner with The Skid Row People’s Market, the first-of-its-kind grocery store and deli creating access to fresh produce and healthy prepared foods for the Skid Row neighborhood, an extremely low-income, predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles, to create an image that celebrated their community work. My initial designs focused primarily on food, as one would when considering how a market nourishes a neighborhood. After learning more about the work the market does within their community I was inspired to show the multi-faceted approach they take in considering how a market can become a hub of the community, providing even more than access to healthy food in an area that is often referred to as a “food desert”.

Above you can see the final design I came up with.  Luckily they are as excited about the image as I am!

You can go to: https://usdac.us/peopleswpa to see the all the posters made by all of the amazing artists including fellow Justseeds artists: Chip Thomas, William Estrada, Nicole Marroquin

Here’s the rest of the contributing artists: Alex Chiu, Alex Jimenez, Alvaro D Marquez, Ameya Okamoto, Brian Larney, , Cindy Chischilly, Cuervo Sarabia, Jay Katelansky, Jessica Denisse Villegas, Josh Yoder, Justin Giehm, Kate Deciccio, Katie Kaplan, Lehna Huie, Lisa Solomon, Micah Bazant, Naimah Thomas, Neka King, Peter Pa, Pippin Frisbie Calder, Sharita Towne.

The publication of the People’s WPA was recently released into the world and here’s what The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture has to say about it:

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (@usartsdept) is excited to introduce A People’s WPA, a blueprint reimagining the role of artistic labor in rebuilding society. Read the publication featuring the work of 25 stellar artists and collectives transforming society today, graphic poster homages from 25 acclaimed graphic artists, essays from thinkers in the field, and a policy toolkit on how to advocate for a federally funded public works program. Download at usdac.us/peopleswpa

A People’s WPA is a storytelling project with the goal of convincing policymakers to invest in arts, culture, and newly imagined sectors of labor critical to our healing and survival. Our newest publication features conversations with artists, writers, and policy makers into a policy toolkit that outlines how to create an artist jobs program at the local, state, and federal level.

 

 

 

Subjects
Anti-capitalismHealthHousing & CitiesInspirationSocial Movements

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