Welcome, we are glad you have come by to learn more about our Programs.
In 2007, folksinger and researcher, Tom Naples, and historian and educator, Joan Crouse, Ph.D., began work on an exciting educational and entertainment project. Along with video producer, Jason Hall, and musician/photographer, Peggy Milliron, they created a multi-media presentation that combines a live music performance with archival photographs.
The subject of this work is the Great Depression. Through music obtained from tapes at the Library of Congress and recorded at migrant camps during the Great Depression, as well as some iconic songs from Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads and photographs from the vast collections of the FDR Library and the Library of Congress, we have been able to create a powerful program. While music is performed, photographs are projected on a large screen, and between songs there is a brief narration highlighting the various subjects and how the songs relate.
Tom Naples, along with his band, the Dustbowl Ramblers, are now offering several Programs, all with the overriding theme of the resiliency of Americans. The Programs highlight how Americans never lost faith in themselves and how a whole new belief in government evolved. The songs are tragic and hopeful, humorous and serious, and the archival photographs, taken by the greatest living photographers of the time (Dorthea Lange, Walker Evans, Jack Delano, etc.), are moving and compelling.
The earlier program was presented at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, The Burchfield Penny Art Gallery, and Hilbert College, and has been sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities. The new Programs are being made available in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. There are four Programs offered: New York State And The Great Depression, Depression Overview, Ballads Of The Dust Bowl, and a Dust Bowl Talk.