Television - Documentaries
New Deal Legacy
A Passage Through Pennsylvania's Valleys of the Susquehanna
In the heart of Central Pennsylvania, you’ll find communities steeped in history and in diversity. Towns from Bloomsburg to Bellefonte stretch out along the Susquehanna River, making up an area known as the Valleys of the Susquehanna. And while the river is the thread which connects them, each community has its own stories to tell.
New Deal Legacy is a one-hour original program produced by WVIA in cooperation with the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau, Clinton County Visitors Bureau, Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau, Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau, Lycoming County Visitors Bureau and Susquehanna Valley Visitors Bureau.
The program is a road trip through Central Pennsylvania, heading west through Bloomsburg, Danville, Northumberland, Selinsgrove, Mifflinburg, Lewisburg, Milton, Muncy, Williamsport, Renovo and Bellefonte. The show explores each town’s history from a somewhat unlikely starting point.
In the 1930s, America struggled to find its way out of the Depression. It was the era of Roosevelt’s New Deal, and the Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts commissioned artists from all over the country to create works of art to celebrate the spirit of the American people. Murals and sculptures were created depicting the cultural and economic heritage of individual communities across the country. And each was prominently displayed in the building considered to be the federal presence of any town: the post office.
Many of these works of art remain on display today, and New Deal Legacy explores the inspiration behind them and the histories they depict, as well as taking a look at the architectural styles of the post offices themselves.
The program goes on to showcase the varied styles of architecture which contribute to the tapestry of Central Pennsylvania. From the Victorian homes of Lewisburg, to the colonial influences of Mifflinburg and Muncy, to the 19th century mansions of Williamsport’s Millionaires Row and the limestone estates of Bellefonte. The buildings themselves help to tell the stories of each community’s growth.
Local residents, historians and business owners are also on hand to tell their own stories as we explore these diverse communities, as well as point out some of the things to do and places to see along this road trip through Central Pennsylvania.
New Deal Legacy is produced by Kris Hendrickson, documentary producer/director at WVIA, and by David Lembeck, a graphic designer based in State College, PA.