Matheson Museum, ACLD & CMC Present: "Soul of a People: Writing America's Story"

Published Jimmy - Wed, 09/22/2010 - 10:00pm

Documentary Film Screening and Q & A with Federal Writers' Project Veteran,
Folklorist and Activist Stetson Kennedy

In the Great Depression, Americans endured a crisis not just of economy, but identity, and millions of
unemployed men and women looked to the government for a life raft. Hundreds of thousands found
jobs with the Works Progress Administration (WPA), most wielding picks and shovels to build roads
and schools.

For a smaller cadre, however, the tools were little more than a pen, paper and the spirit of investigation.
The Federal Writers' Project, one of four arts programs under the WPA, fed thousands of unemployed
writers and "would-be" writers, and assigned them to document America in guidebooks and interviews.
With the Project, the government pitted young, untested talents against the problems of everyday
Americans. From that experience, some of America's great writers found their own voices. Soul of a
People looks at the deeply personal stories behind the familiar images of the Great Depression and
shows the vitality of a democracy built on a diverse citizenry. The film includes interviews with Studs
Terkel, Stetson Kennedy, and Douglas Brinkley. (from

This screening, generously supported by the film's creators at Spark Media, will feature a question and
answer session with noted Florida author, folklorist, and civil rights activist Stetson Kennedy, who at
93 years of age is one of the last surviving participants in the Federal Writers' Project. Kennedy
worked for the Project in Florida, collecting African American and other types of folk tales and songs,
and served as famed novelist Zora Neale Hurston's field supervisor.

Free, donations appreciated
Matheson Museum
Thu, 10/07/2010 - 6:30pm
Matheson Museum
Free, donations appreciated