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Arts Playlist: Delaware Art Museum studies CETA and the arts


The Delaware Art Museum is researching the impact of 1973 Federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) on artists and developing an exhibition highlighting work produced by CETA

And on this week’s edition of Arts Playlist, Delaware Art Museum curator of contemporary art Margaret Winslow chats with Delaware Public Media’s Kelli Steele about this project.

The Delaware Art Museum, City Lore, Inc. and Artists Alliance, Inc. recently recieved a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to launch their research into this 1970’s government program connection to the arts.

And Delaware Art Museum curator of contemporary art Margaret Winslow says they are excited to do dig into this topic.


“What that means is - we have the opportunity to pilot some programs and exhibitions. And then develop and nurture all of that research for a longer look at this important history," said Winslow. "What that means practically, is that this fall City Lore and Artists Alliance, Inc. in New York will present a pilot exhibition.”

CETA provided federal funds in the form of block grants for states to train workers during a period of high unemployment. States in turn distributed the funds to different cities, allowing the money to reach local initiatives. 

Some cities, such as San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, used CETA funds to hire artists to create public art projects. From 1974 until its repeal by President Ronald Reagan in 1982, CETA led to the employment of ten thousand artists around the country. 

In Delaware, CETA funding supported more than 50 artists and arts administrators who organized community performances, produced murals throughout Wilmington and photographed people and events in Delaware during 1976 Bicentennial celebrations.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.
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