The Federal Music Project (FMP) was a United States federal government project created in 1935 as part of the New Deal. It gave unemployed musicians jobs performing, teaching and creating music in communities across the nation.
The Federal Music Project was one of the first New Deal programs to put Americans back to work during the Great Depression. The program employed musicians in orchestras, bands and choirs, as well as teaching music in schools and communities. It also gave Americans exposure to a wide variety of musical genres from classical to jazz.
The project was controversial from the start, with some people believing that the government should not be in the business of funding art. However, the project proved to be a great success, with millions of Americans enjoying the music it produced.
The project came to an end in 1939, when Congress cut its funding. However, its legacy continues today, with many of the musicians and teachers it trained going on to have successful careers in music.