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  • Federal Music Project Collection

The Federal Music Project began in 1935 as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal plan. The program, led by Russian-American violinist and orchestra conductor Nicolai Sokoloff, employed musicians, composers, and conductors throughout the United States including more than 400 people in Chicago.

The program provided funding for music festivals, classes, and concerts as well as the creation of 34 orchestras. The Federal Music Project conducted research on several genres of American music with a special emphasis placed on traditional American music and folk songs including cowboy, Creole, and African American music. The Federal Music Project ended at the outbreak of World War II.

Images in this collection include publicity photos of several Illinois musicians and choral groups funded by the Federal Music Project.

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