If you believe that artists help to hold up a mirror to the society in which they live and work, then our Junebug festival offers a wide variety of perspectives on our contemporary world. Economic hard times have often inspired great art--and perhaps none more so than throughout the existence of the Works Progress Administration, an FDR brainchild that helped employ out-of-work craftspeople in the arts to help beautify, identify and celebrate the good things that the hard times of the Depression couldn't destroy. Writers created landmark guides to states and cities and visited former slaves to record their memories. Artists painted murals and created public sculpture for everyone to enjoy.
The spirit of inspiration struck in Metuchen, where the WPA writers put together a 1939 history of the town and in Edison, in an eccentric and lovely fountain near the Roosevelt Park War Memorial off Woodbridge Avenue (see sculpture, top right above). These are some of the close-range historical heirlooms which we have been left by forebears who rose up despite financial strife and took the FDR Administration's lifeline with both hands. Check them out, either at the library or at the park itself. In the spirit of the Junebug, don't forget the past but please enjoy the present!