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Programming Feature: A People’s WPA—Reimagining Labor & Building Cultural Power

October 30, 2022

Creatives Rebuild New York is thrilled to spread the word about A People’s WPA: Reimagining Labor & Building Cultural Power, a three-part training series from the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture for artists, activists, and cultural organizers who are interested in advocating for a public service jobs program for artists at the local, regional, and national scale. 

The three-part series began on October 28 with “Circle: Artists Reimagining Labor and Justice”—and will continue with “Workshop: Cultural Organizing: A Primer” on Friday, November 4 and “Clinic: Advocating for a Local People’s WPA” on Tuesday, November 10. 

From PeoplesHub: “In 2021, the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture launched A People’s WPA (PWPA), a storytelling project and richly illustrated publication that called upon policymakers to institute a publicly-funded artist works program. A People’s WPA re-envisioned the Works Progress Administration artist employment and economic recovery program of the past, recognizing the ways that artists contribute to society along the 7 themes of Deepening Democracy, Healing, Liberation, Nourishment, Regeneration, Remembering, and Truth Telling. 

In addition to crafting a credible vision, we seek to rally communities, educate organizers and guide decision-makers to enact ambitious policies. As part of our A People’s WPA campaign, we seek to train artists, activists, and cultural organizers to embed arts and culture into their organizing strategies and to advocate for local and regional public service jobs programs. 

In our training series consisting of a cultural organizing workshop, a panel of arts and culture practitioners, and a hands-on policy clinic, creatives will use storytelling and anti-oppressive experiential activities to reimagine and redefine labor outside of capitalism and white supremacy. Participants will unpack the seven themes central to the USDAC’s PWPA storytelling project, gain skills on how to advocate for a public service artist jobs program, and be tasked with collectively envisioning a world where those most marginalized can effectively build cultural power whilst getting their material needs met. We are aiming to build a learning cohort and ask that those who are interested in the cultural organizing workshop and/or hands-on policy clinic be available for both.” 

Click here to register for the series, and click here to learn more about PeoplesHub, an online training organization that works with people and groups rooted in political movements and local communities.