Yesterday there was a good crowd at the Library of Congress despite the midafternoon timing for a panel about Soul of a People and the Federal Writers’ Project. Andrea Kalin (the film’s director), David Royle (Smithsonian ChannelHD) and Peggy Bulger (American Folklife Center) joined me in discussing how the book and film came about and what these stories mean. Peggy talked about how modern folklore grew out of the Writers’ Project experience, and John Cole (Center for the Book) told a story about the Library’s role in retrieving some of the lost files of the FWP.
Good questions on how the WPA guides got edited, and which FWP staff became activists from the experience. In time a webcast will be posted on the site of the Center for the Book, here.