Various federal programs in the 1960s – including Kennedy’s anti-delinquency program, the War on Poverty, and Model Cities – funded large numbers of arts programs in America’s cities, often intending to provide job training for marginalized peoples or to bolster their chances of survival in modern urban society. But the process of federal grants almost inevitably defies intentions. Local community groups often put the money to different uses, re-imagining its purpose and what constituted “urban culture.”
Mark Krasovic is an assistant professor of history and American studies and interim director of the Clement A. Price Institute at Rutgers University-Newark. His first book, The Newark Frontier: Community Action in the Great Society, was published earlier this year.
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