Federal Music Project (U.S.)Alternative names
The prime objective of the Federal Music Project (1935-1939) and the subsequent WPA Music Program (1939-1943) was "...to give employment to professional musicians registered on the relief rolls." The project employed these musicians as instrumentalists, singers, concert performers and teachers of music. The general purpose of the Music Project was to establish high standards of musicianship, to rehabilitate musicians by assisting them to become self-supporting, to retrain musicians and to educate the public in the appreciation of musical opportunities.
From the description of Federal Music Project collection, 1935-1948 (bulk 1936-1941). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71128266
The Federal Music Project was formed in 1935 under Federal Project No. One of the Works Progress Administration to employ, train, and rehablitate unemployed musicians.
From the description of Federal Music Project records, 1939-1942. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122515171
The Work Projects Administration (known as the Works Progress Administration until July 1, 1939) was established May 6, 1935. On July 1, 1939 it was made part of the Federal Works Agency with responsibility for the Government's work-relief program. It succeeded the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and the Civil Works Administration (CWA), both established in 1933. The Work Projects Administration (WPA) was officially abolished June 30, 1943 but the Division for Liquidation of the WPA was set up in the Federal Works Agency and functioned until June 30, 1944.
The WPA operated at four organizational levels—the central administration in Washington, D.C., the regional offices, the state administrations and the district offices. Except for certain federally-sponsored projects, state and local governments helped finance and supervise WPA work projects. The Federal Arts program was approved as the WPA-sponsored Federal Project No. 1 on Sept. 12, 1935 to provide employment for qualified artists, musicians, actors, and authors on local relief rolls. It superceded all arts projects operating under FERA or WPA state administrations and consisted of the Federal Art Project (FAP), the Federal Music Project (FMP), the Federal Theatre Project (FTP) and the Federal Writers' Projects (FWP). The Writers Project included the Historical Records Survey (HRS) until Oct. 1936, when the Survey was made an independent unit. All the arts projects known as Federal Project No. 1 were terminated June 30, 1939. With the exception of the FTP, which was abolished in July 1939, the arts programs continued as state projects. The National Archives is the repository of the records of the WPA Federal Project No. 1, 1935-1940 and consists of 792 linear feet. Within these records are records of the Federal Music Project (FMP) which include correspondence, narrative, statistical and miscellaneous reports on the general program and its sponsorship, and newspaper clippings.
When all projects sponsored by the WPA were terminated on Aug. 31, 1939, a new organizational structure emerged as art projects within state WPA programs, and the FMP became known as the WPA Music Program. The prime objective of the Federal Music Project (1935-1939) and the subsequent WPA Music Program (1939-1943) was "designed to give employment to professional musicians registered on the relief rolls. The project employed these musicians as instrumentalists, singers, concert performers, and teachers of music. The general purpose of the Music Project was to establish high standards of musicianship, to rehabilitate musicians by assisting them to become self-supporting, to retrain musicians and to educate the public in the appreciation of musical opportunities. Component activities of the FMP were symphony orchestras, small orchestral ensembles, string quartets, chamber ensembles, dance orchestras, bands, theatre orchestras, music teaching, music copying, maintenance of music libraries, piano tuning, vocal ensembles, vocal soloists, operatic and light opera ensembles, vocal quartets, grand opera, opera comique and chamber opera." Dr. Nikolai Sokoloff, former conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, was appointed director of the FMP. In addition to the appointment of five administrative staff, Dr. Sokoloff appointed five regional directors and approximately 23 state directors. It was not necessary to establish new organizations in each state because large music programs had already operated under the CWA and the Emergency Relief Administration (ERA).
The Historical Records Survey (HRS) initially was part of the Federal Writers' Project; later, it became a separate project of the WPA on equal footing with the four other projects. Its basic purpose was the preparation of inventories and other bibliographical guides which would render more accessible to the public unpublished official documents of the states, counties, cities and other units of local government throughout the country, and also of significant non-public historical materials. One individual project proposed in 1936 under the HRS, in close cooperation with the FMP, was a Guide to the Study of Music in America. This project was envisioned as a three-part guide; only the first part, an alphabetical list of approximately 14,000 people, was completed and published in June, 1941, as the Bio-Bibliographical Index of Musicians in the United States of America from Colonial Times .
From the guide to the Federal Music Project Collection, 1935-1948, (bulk 1936-1941), (Music Division Library of Congress)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Federal aid to the performing arts|
|Music and state|
|Federal aid to public welfare|
|Music and state--United States|
|Public service employment|
|New Deal, 1933-1939|
|Federal aid to the arts|