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Traveling to Carolina with the WPA Guide

For my trip to Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill last week I checked out the WPA guide to North Carolina from the local library. In Durham, WUNC host Frank Stasio had probing questions on the WPA experience and its relevance today — you can hear the show online. We read from the 1939 guide about the work-day rhythm at the American Tobacco Factory building, now home to the WUNC studio along with other offices and restaurants, and Carolina-bred plott hounds.

At Quail Ridge Books that night, a lively discussion touched on the political factors that made the WPA arts projects happen: new legislation combined with protests by out-of-work writers and editors in early 1935. Any sign of policies like that coming up now? Stay tuned.

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