Music of the WPA featured in Texas Tech Museum Program

Music and lecture complements museum exhibition

The music of Woody Guthrie and others of the 1930s and ‘40s captured the struggles and emotions of the American people facing severe economic hardships.


That music and the history of the Work Projects Administration (WPA) will be featured at 6:30 p.m. April 23 in the Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium of the Museum of Texas Tech University. The program is free and open to the public.


The program complements an exhibition of 40 lithographs, etchings and woodcuts by artists who worked with the printmaking programs of the Federal Arts Project of the WPA. The exhibition will be on display through May 3 at the museum.


The WPA was the largest New Deal agency, employing millions of people and affecting almost every area of the United States. Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA provided nearly eight million jobs.


Sara Barwinkel, a history graduate student at Texas Tech, will speak about WPA projects around the country with a special emphasis on the Lubbock area. Part of her master’s thesis looks at the colorful histories recorded through the WPA’s Federal Writers Program.


Andy Hedges will join Barwinkel during the program. A singer, storyteller and cowboy poet, he will play the music of Woody Guthrie and others who chronicled the era.