The work of Michael Maglaras & Terri Templeton

One Night Only at Cinema Detroit: New WPA Film Featuring Diego Rivera’s “Detroit Industry” Murals


September 15:  Connecticut filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Films are coming to Detroit to screen their new film “Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA” at Cinema Detroit. 

When Franklin Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in May of 1935, he wanted to use the arts in America to help lift us out of the Great Depression.  On September 15, at Cinema Detroit, a new film will celebrate the arts of the WPA, which helped us rebuild our society after the great crash of 1929.

This film features more than 70 works of art from this period and brings viewers behind the scenes for an intimate look at Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals through the use of archival footage of Rivera at work on the murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and of intimate moments between him and his wife, the artist Frida Kahlo.  

An excerpt can be viewed at this link.  

“I’m delighted that we’re screening in Detroit and especially in a venue such as Cinema Detroit,” said Director Michael Maglaras, who also wrote and narrates this film. “Our film is a celebration of the art of the WPA era, and even though Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals were not WPA art…it is clear that his work and example did more than anything else to spark into life the great American mural work that was done under the WPA.”

“Enough to Live On” celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Works Progress Administration and the Federal Art Project: the New Deal initiatives that put artists, writers, musicians, and actors on the federal payroll and back to work, as a part of our nation’s recovery from the effects of the Great Depression.

Maglaras commented “Eighty years ago, there was no better example than the WPA of how a belief in the value of work and the importance of community could pull a nation together. In 2015, in the city of Detroit, we have our own modern day example of grit, determination, and community coming together to re-create a city before our eyes.”

Other notable works featured in the film are by Rockwell Kent, Dorothea Lange, Stuart Davis, and Reginald Marsh. This work is also accompanied by newly discovered film footage and still photos of WPA artists at work…everything aimed at helping to tell the story of how Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal moved art in America out of the rarified atmosphere of the elite and brought it directly to the American people as an inspiration and catalyst for change and recovery in the 1930s.  

Screening dates are being added frequently and the tour will continue through 2016.  The next stop for this film is Portland, Maine.  The full schedule can be viewed at this link

WHAT:Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA” introduced by filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton. A Q&A will follow the screening.

WHEN:  Tuesday, September 15 at 7:00pm

WHERE:  Cinema Detroit, 3420 Cass Ave., Detroit, Michigan

FMI:  313-281-8301

On the Web:


Behind the Scenes