Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Communication, Media and Theatre Arts

Committee Member

Ken Stevens, Chair

Committee Member

Susan Booth

Committee Member

Melanie Schuessler


This study documents controversies that have arisen from federally funded art programs and organizations and explores the actions taken by the government and changes made to public policy in the wake of said controversies. These actions include (1) requiring matching funding from other entities, (2) reorganization of programs, changing names of programs, and/or the elimination of programs, (3) oaths/pledges from artists/arts organizations, (4) the denial of funding, (5) the delegation of responsibility/requiring advising panels, and (6) the change or destruction of art. This paper focuses on two federal agencies: the Federal One Program of the Works Progress Administration (1935- 1943) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1965- present). Another example is presented from the General Service Administration’s (GSA) Art-in-Architecture program. The intention of this study is to present federal art funding advocates and policy-makers with information that is useful in the formulation and administration of policy.