Posters for the People - Opening Reception & Book Signing

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 1591 Irving St Rahway NJ 07065  See map

Social Impact Studios teams up with the Rahway NJ Arts District to present POSTERS FOR THE PEOPLE: Art of the WPA this spring.  This traveling exhibit, unveiled at the National Constitution Center in 2009, explores the social landscape of America during the Great Depression through posters created by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  Featuring 100s of posters, including originals and reproductions, Posters for the People communicates the values, vision, and vitality of American democracy through art.

As part of Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” the government-sponsored WPA employed thousands of out-of-work Americans, including hundreds of artists.  From 1936 to 1941, the WPA Poster Division was responsible for designing, printing, and distributing posters to raise awareness about public issues and civic programs.  Featuring hundreds of posters, including originals and reproductions, the Posters for the People exhibit communicates the values, vision, and vitality of American democracy through art.  

”Even today, the posters of the WPA still achieve their original goals,” said Ennis Carter, founding director of Social Impact Studios and author of Posters for the People.  “They call attention to important social issues and values through beautiful and meaningful design.  These posters may be 75 years old, but they still touch our lives and inspire us even today.  We are proud to preserve their story and present them again to the American public.”

The public is invited to an opening celebration of the Rahway exhibit on May 3rd.  See the poster ­originals and reproductions and hear the stories of how this collection of rare American art is being rediscovered and brought back to the public through a new comprehensive online collection.


Never-before-displayed poster designs from Newark Poster Division artist Vincent Murphy will be on display and his surviving family will be in attendance at the exhibit opening.  Also attending are families of WPA poster artists Jerry Roth, and Isadore Possoff.


Posters for the People, the book, available for sale and signing by author Ennis Carter. 

NEW SPECIAL ADDITION: New Deal Film Festival

“New Deal Film Festival” will be shown throughout the evening of the opening.  Director & Curator Andrew Ferrett compiled this collection of films commissioned by the government during Franklin Roosevelt’s administration.  With Andrew’s help, we’ll also learn how Hollywood helped promote the values and information of the New Deal during the Great Depression in America.


Depression-era music and refreshments will be on hand, including sweet treats from Philadelphia’s award-winning ice cream saloon, Franklin Fountain’s new vintage “Shane’s Candies.”


The exhibition is part of the ongoing work of Posters for the People, a citizen’s initiative started in 2002, dedicated to building the most comprehensive record of posters created under the New Deal’s Federal Art Project.  Unfortunately, no centralized government record was kept of the estimated 35,000 WPA poster designs; so, in an effort to once again bring the posters to the American public, Posters for the People has created a virtual and dynamic “living archive,” which will officially re-launch on May 1, 2012, More than doubling the number of posters thought to exist, this online resource brings posters to light that have not been seen by the public in more than seventy years.

A kiosk for accessing the online library of posters will be located in the exhibition.


Posters for the People is a project of Social Impact Studios in Philadelphia. Established in 1996, Social Impact Studios is among the first and foremost creative workshops devoted exclusively to promoting public interest social issues through artistry and activism. Visit www.SocialImpactStudios.com for more.


The New York Times called Rahway the “…Place to Watch.” And the Star-Ledger declared that the “…renaissance in Rahway is real.” Whether it’s the high-quality line up at the UC PAC, the construction of the new Hamilton Stage or the influx of new artists of all types – Rahway is quickly becoming a notable hub of arts and culture. And it has a big potential to make an impact on local economy and quality of life in town.

Rahway Arts District, Inc. is the local organization that helps bring it all together. The powerful combination of arts institutions, local businesses, residents and outside visitors are at the core of Rahway’s future. Working with the City of Rahway, Rahway Arts District is raising awareness of the exciting things already happening in Rahway – and providing resources and opportunities to the downtown area to tap the potential of Arts & Culture in this hub of activity in northern New Jersey. See www.ArtsRahway.com for more.

For more information on Posters for the People, contact: info@socialimpactstudios.com or call 267-257-6700

For more information on Rahway Arts & Culture, contact: info@ArtsRahway.com or call 732-540-1075


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