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Schomburg Collects WPA Artists at the New York Public Library

October 11, 2013

A former advertising executive who sat on the global board of Ogilvy & Mather and served as Ogilvy Group North America’s co-chief executive officer, Bill Gray currently serves as an independent trustee for Century Capital. As a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Public Library, Bill Gray serves on the organization’s executive committee and as chair of its marketing committee.

The New York Public Library’s “Schomburg Collects” exhibition series highlights the work of African-American WPA artists from 1935 to 1943. A program in President Roosevelt’s New Deal, the WPA, or Works Progress Administration, was a work-relief program that employed millions in the construction of public works, including bridges, roads, parks, and public buildings. The WPA also employed tens of thousands of artists through federal programs in writing, theater, music, and the visual arts and eventually led to the founding of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Foundation for the Arts.

“Schomburg Collects” features works by famous black artists of the time, such as as Zora Neal Hurston, Billie Holiday, Paul Robeson, and Richard Wright. The exhibition will remain open through January 4, 2014, in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture exhibition hall.

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