New Deal Lecture Series

Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. is pleased to announce its 2009 New Deal Lecture Series. The series will take place at 7:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month from May through October 2009 at the New Deal Homestead Museum in Arthurdale. The lectures will cover a variety of topics related to projects and events that took place in West Virginia during the 1930s.

Amanda Griffith Penix presented the first lecture in May about the New Deal Homestead Community program.  Melissa May presented the second lecture in June about the Post Office Murals in West Virginia.

The July lecture will be given on July 28 by Larry Sypolt about the Legacy of the New Deal.  What is the continuing legacy of the New Deal? Learn more about the history of the New Deal agencies and how they have influenced the generations since the 1930s. Larry Sypolt will discuss the three phases of the New Deal and each phase’s specific goal. Sypolt will address the role the New Deal policies played in getting the country back on its feet in the 1930s and how these policies shaped safeguards and securities we have today. ** Please note that this lecture will be held on the fourth Tuesday of the month instead of the third.**

The August lecture will be given by Dr. Chris Wilkinson on August 18 and will address Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia: 1930-1942.  Dr. Wilkinson will discuss the ways in which big-band jazz and dance music constituted an essential element of life in black West Virginia. Learn about the role of both radio and the press in connecting people of this region of rural America with a musical culture created primarily in the nation’s northern cities. Enjoy recorded examples of music by various national bands that probably figured in the program of one dance or another in the Mountain State and why this music was so important to African-American Mountaineers during the 1930s.

The lecture series will continue through October as follows:

  • September 15 – Rob Whetsell, The Civilian Conservation Corps in West Virginia
  • October 20 – Mark Crabtree, New Deal Photography

This project is being presented by Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the lecture series do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For additional information contact Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. at 304-864-3959 or email