Skip to main content

Series 4: ARTS DC: CETA and the Arts in the District of Columbia 1977 – 1982, 2017

Identifier: dcpl_dcohc004

Scope and Contents

ARTS DC: CETA and the Arts in the District of Columbia 1977 – 1982 collection contains five audio interviews of ARTS DC artists. The interviews were conducted by Jonetta Rose Barras in 2017. Transcript and indexes are included for all interviews.


  • Creation: 2017


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

ARTS DC was a CETA arts program that employed over 300 theater artists, musicians, painters, dancers, poets, and other artists and arts workers in over 100 District of Columbia theaters, dance companies, galleries, music ensembles, and other arts organizations from 1977 to 1982. Artists who were employed in ARTS DC-funded jobs reflect on their ARTS DC experience, how the ARTS DC job affected their artistic careers and lives, and the impact of the program on the DC arts community. Oral history is an ideal tool to connect the stories of individual artists with the larger historical narrative of the DC arts community and of federal support of arts employment going back to the Work Projects Administration of the 1930s, and to document how the District’s use of federal CETA funds for arts employment was different from that of other cities. This project was created as part of the D.C. Oral History Collaborative, a citywide initiative to train community members in oral history skills, fund new and ongoing oral history projects, connect volunteers with oral history projects, and publicize existing oral history collections. The D.C. Oral History Collaborative is a project of D.C. Public Library, HumanitiesDC, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Learn more about the DC Oral History Collaborative on the HumanitiesDC website.


From the Collection: 1.13 Terabytes



Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001