A BLUEPRINT FOR REIMAGINING OUR SOCIETY IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19
CO-CREATED BY COMMUNITY-BASED ARTISTS AND CULTURAL WORKERS
A People’s WPA is a new, beautifully illustrated publication inspired by public service job programs of the past, with an eye toward equity. The publication features the work of 25 artists and collectives transforming society today, along with 25 graphic posters, essays from the field, and a policy toolkit on how to advocate for a federally funded public works program.
What is A People’s WPA
A People’s WPA is a cultural organizing and storytelling project that seeks to uplift essential forms of labor in an effort to build an inspiring vision of our shared future. In addition to crafting a credible vision, we seek to rally communities, educate organizers and guide decision-makers to enact ambitious policies.
We are living in a critical moment that calls for deep government investment in forms of labor that repair the material and cultural damage wrought by unchecked industrialization, consumerism, and an extractive, colonial economic model. We recognize and are called to the work of deep healing, creative mutual aid, and radical imagination, in the service of racial, economic, and environmental justice.
To do this work, The People’s WPA will select a group of collaborators to support in a 6 month process. Our work will be organized around the themes of HEALING, NOURISHMENT, LIBERATION, REGENERATION, REMEMBERING, TRUTH TELLING, and DEEPENING DEMOCRACY, understanding these as vital ways in which community-based artists and cultural workers are steadfastly working to repair society and move us all into a more sustainable and enriching future.
HEALING – Uplifting traditional forms of healing and trauma reduction; honoring traditional medicines and ancestral wisdom; celebrating the work of doulas and midwives.
NOURISHMENT – Providing food for communities via mutual aid, community gardens, seed banks and food pantries; transforming empty urban spaces into urban farms; sharing cross-culturally over food.
LIBERATION – Envisioning a world without incarceration; working to tear down the walls of prisons and detention centers; demilitarizing our borders and proposing radical alternatives to current systems of injustice.
REGENERATION – Rejuvenating our natural systems; building true sustainability and addressing long standing inequality through climate and environmental justice.
REMEMBERING – Re-telling history through popular education and printed matter including books, posters and zines; supporting our elders in transferring their vital knowledge into the community and public domain.
TRUTH TELLING – Directly confronting power on the streets in order to transform society on a national level; nonviolent, creative direct action and public ritual.
DEEPENING DEMOCRACY- Creating new decision making structures that are more accountable to communities; advocating for participatory budgeting and civilian police review boards; increasing voter turnout and challenging voter suppression.
Commissioning support provided by The Laundromat Project.