SOURCE: WomenArts

WomenArts - Create. Connect. Change the World.

March 08, 2010 10:15 ET

Women Artists Call for a New WPA

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 8, 2010) -  WomenArts, an alliance of over 10,000 women artists world-wide, is calling for President Obama to put artists to work in his economic recovery programs. On Monday, March 22 at 7 p.m., WomenArts will present Towards A New WPA: Supporting Women Artists Now, a play reading and panel discussion, at Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street, New York, NY.

This free event is offered in collaboration with NewShoe Theatre Group, Cherry Lane Theatre and the League of Professional Theatre Women, and it is one of approximately 170 celebrations of Support Women Artists Now Day/SWAN Day taking place around the world this month.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a federal jobs program that employed over 40,000 artists at its peak. During that intense period of national crisis, the government investment in the arts resulted in a tremendous outpouring of creativity that helped lift the country's spirits. The WPA nurtured a generation of American cultural icons, including women such as Eudora Welty, Zora Neale Hurston, Berenice Abbott, and Louise Nevelson.

To bring this history to life, NewShoe Theatre Group will present a staged reading of Mixed Relief, a one-act play that juxtaposes voices of women writers of the WPA with contemporary women theatre artists. Directed by Teresa Pond with sound design by Lauren Rosen, the reading will feature actors Black-Eyed Susan, Lynn Cohen, Lizan Mitchell, and Peter Reznikoff, among others.

Following the reading, a panel of leading feminist arts activists will discuss new strategies to increase arts funding and promote cultural equality. The panelists will include Martha Richards, Executive Director of WomenArts; Elizabeth A. Sackler, founder of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum; Arlene Goldbard, author, speaker, and leading advocate for a new WPA; and Carol Jenkins, media analyst, founding president of The Women's Media Center and Emmy-winning former television journalist.

The League of Professional Theatre Women will host a reception following the panel. For reservations, please visit:

WomenArts ( is a world-wide community of artists and allies that works for visibility, empowerment, and opportunity for women artists. SWAN Day ( is an annual celebration of the diversity, beauty and power of women's creativity.

Mixed Relief is by NewShoe members Suzanne Bennett, Jill Campbell, Marya Cohn, Dana Leslie Goldstein, Michele Aldin Kushner and Andrea Lepcio.

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