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Virtual Opening Preview of Brother, Can You Spare A Dime: Jewish Artists of the WPA

Date(s) - Wednesday, June 16th
7:00 pm CDT - 8:15 pm CDT


dsc0801-version-2The everyday worker, like the artist, is critical to national infrastructure. This comparison and connection is visually evident in one of the most devastating periods of US history – the Great Depression. Artists with a range of experience, beliefs and backgrounds participated in federally funded art programs yielding a body of work reflecting an unprecedented time with parallels to current events. Featuring work by Jewish artists from public and private collections, this exhibit explores individual and collective contributions and the legacy of the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) Federal Art Project.

Join JMM for an evening of music and art that was funded through the WPA. Learn about the ethnomusicologists who captured distinctly American music for posterity including legendary blues/folk musician Lead Belly and Library of Congress holdings with Dr. Todd Harvey, Curator of the Alan Lomax Collection at LOC’s American Folklife Center. Groove to Lead Belly’s blues music performed by Fruteland Jackson including ‘Goodnight Irene’ and tour the exhibit exploring working men and women and their environments as they navigated the Great Depression.

– 7:00 pm – Welcome by JMM executive director, Patti Sherman-Cisler
– 7:10 pm – Presentation by curator, archivist and author, Dr. Todd Harvey
– 7:40 pm – Performance by award-winning blues musician, Fruteland Jackson
– 8:00 pm – Virtual tour of exhibit with JMM curator, Molly Dubin

Register by June 14 to get access to the Zoom session.
Museum Members $10 | Nonmembers $18


If you are unable to join us, we welcome donations to support our programming.

Thank you to our generous exhibit sponsors: The Mary L. Nohl Fund and The Robert and Dolores Schlossmann Family Fund of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Isabel Bader, Anonymous Foundation*, Suzy B. Ettinger*, Linda and Eli Frank, In Memory of Dr. Herbert and Ruth Giller, Marjorie and Jonathan Margolies, Milwaukee Arts Board, Gerald and Louise Stein Family*, Harriet & Jerry Dorf*, Herbert Zien & Elizabeth Levins, Marquette University Department of History, Coalition for Jewish Learning, Jewish Community Relations Council, Tikkun  Ha-Ir

*Donor Advised Fund of the Milwaukee Jewish Community Foundation

Click here to learn more about Brother, Can You Spare a Dime: Jewish Artists of the WPA.

About the Presenters:

Dr. Todd Harvey
Dr. Todd Harvey is a reference archivist, curator of the Alan Lomax Collection, and acquisitions coordinator for the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. Todd holds graduate degrees in music composition from the Ohio State University and in library science from the Catholic University of America. His ebook Michigan-I-O: Alan Lomax and the 1938 Library of Congress Folk-Song Expedition was published in 2013 by the Library of Congress and Dust-to-Digital records. Todd has curated digital collections and crowdsourcing projects relating to the Center’s Lomax family materials.

Fruteland Jackson
Electro-Fi recording artist Fruteland Jackson is a HistoryMaker. He is an author, storyteller, and oral historian. Fruteland is a five-time Blues Music Award Nominee and recipient of the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” award. He plays traditional acoustic blues and other music from the heart. Since 1992 he has presented the award-winning *All About the Blues Series- Blues in the School Programs. His program motto is “Try, Trust, and Triumph.” Fruteland works to bring more music education in our schools.

Fruteland plays acoustic guitar, focusing on pre-war and post-war blues ranging from Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzey to Memphis Minnie and Elizabeth Cotton, ragtime, and other blues styles.  

Fruteland latest CD,” Good as Your Last Dollar,” was nominated for BMA in 2020 for Best Acoustic Album and Best Acoustic Artist on Electro-Fi Records

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