New Traveling Exhibit Set to Explore Washingtonians’ Depression-Era Stories

Hope in Hard Times, which opens Jan. 14 at the Asotin County Library in Clarkston, invites comparisons between the 1930s and today.

Hope in Hard Times (Tacoma Commons)

Men use a wheelbarrow as a makeshift stove in “Breakfast Outside the Tacoma Commons Mission,” a photo taken by Chapin Bowen in 1930. This image captures a bit of the ingenuity that helped people survive the Great Depression in Washington. | photo courtesy the Washington State Historical Society

CLARKSTON – Humanities Washington and the Asotin County Library invite you to Hope in Hard Times: Washington During the Great Depression. The new traveling exhibit, which debuts in Clarkston Jan. 14 and runs through March 28, focuses on the adversity and triumphs of everyday Washingtonians during the 1930s.

Hope in Hard Times is presented by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Historical Society. The exhibit will travel to eight communities around the state during the next two years.


What: Hope in Hard Times: Washington During the Great Depression
When: Jan. 14-March 28, 2013 (10 a.m.-8 p.m Mon.-Wed., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., closed on Sun.); opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18
Where: Asotin County Library, 417 Sycamore St., Clarkston
Cost: Free
On the Web:
Questions? Email Jennifer Ashby at or Mary Neuman at, or call (509) 758-5454

“The exhibit looks at real people dealing with tough times. In our current recession, this exhibit reminds us we are not alone, our fortunes are interconnected and we get through hardships as a community. Hope in Hard Times emphasizes that hope exists in all times,” said Humanities Washington Executive Director Julie Ziegler.

The exhibit is built around 10 interpretive panels featuring stories, photographs and artwork from Washington’s Depression-era past. Augmenting these traveling panels will be a variety of unique programs produced locally for the Clarkston community, including an opening reception on Jan. 18, book discussion groups, films, presentations by Humanities Washington Scholars, musical programs and a family day featuring a wide variety of Depression-era activities. In addition, the library has created a supplemental local exhibit in cooperation with the Asotin County Museum.

“We hope to kindle the interest of those who know little about the Great Depression, learn from those who lived through it and encourage community conversations about our nation’s history and resilience,” said Jennifer Ashby, Library Director.

More information on Humanities Washington’s Traveling Exhibit program is available at


Jan. 31: Riding the Rails, a screening and discussion led by Carole Simon-Smolinski [Details]

Feb. 5: Tree Army: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Washington State, 1933-1941, presented by Speakers Bureau’s Janet Oakley [Details]

Feb. 9: Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl screening [Details]

Feb. 12: Grand Coulee Dam, a screening and discussion led by Carole Simon-Smolinski [Details]

Feb. 23: Be a Time Traveler! a family program [Details]

Feb. 26: Dust Bowl, Part 1, a screening of Ken Burns’ documentary [Details]

Feb. 28: Dust Bowl, Part 2, a screening of Ken Burns’ documentary [Details]

March 11: Seabiscuit and The Bonus Army documentary screenings [Details]

March 21: Out of the Dust Book Night @ Your Library [Details]

March 23: Hard Travelin’ music program [Details]

1 thought on “New Traveling Exhibit Set to Explore Washingtonians’ Depression-Era Stories”

  1. JLOakley says:

    Thanks for the post. I’m looking forward to going to Clarkston on Feb 5th to talk about the CCCs in WA State.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Humanities Washington

Get the latest news and event information from Humanities Washington, including updates on Think & Drink and Speakers Bureau events.