John Reed Club of New York, Activities for Early 1930 from New Masses. Vol. 5 No. 12. May, 1930.

John Reed Club of New York Activities for January, 1930 from New Masses. Vol. 5 No. 12. May, 1930.

The following is a report of some of the activities of the John Reed Club during January:

The outstanding feature was the pageant, “The Belt Goes Red” arranged by Edith Segal and Emjo Basshe at the Lenin Memorial Meeting at Madison Square Garden on January 22. Over 60 dancers took part. The program was under the direction of the Workers Cultural Department of the W.I.R. Paul Keller led the brass band.

The poster drawing used for the Lenin Memorial meeting was by Theodor Scheel from the New Masses.

On January 16 the second New Exhibit of 42 drawings, paintings, lithographs, opened at the Borough Park Workers Club with a symposium led by Louis Lozowick, Gropper and Klein. The same exhibit is to be shown at 4 other Workers Clubs; the second showing at the Brownsville Youth Center on February 9 opened with an enthusiastic discussion which lasted for three hours and was led by Joe Pass, I. Klein, Adolph Wolf and Morris Pass. The experience in this and previous symposiums led to a plan to collect data on these symposiums for a pamphlet to be written at the conclusion of the winter season.

The writers-theatrical-musicians group is arranging for a pamphlet story on the life of Katovis to be written by Joseph North and A. B. Magil; puppet shows for children’s groups; and a collection of Workers Songs, American and foreign, to be arranged by Harold Hickerson, Helen Black, Emjo Basshe and Paul Keller.

The Art School in the Bronx Apartments is functioning now under the direction of Hugo Gellert. The music school with a membership of nearly 100 has among the teachers Harold Hickerson, Eugene Nigab and Lydia Cinquegrana. Both schools were organized and function under the direction of the W.I.R.

The W.I.R. Music, Art and Crafts School to be established in a downtown section in February, will have William Gropper, Morris Pass, Mina Harkavy and other John Reed Club members as teachers.

On March 15 a one-day protest exhibit of John Reed Club artists will be held at the clubrooms.

During January, 19 members of the John Reed Club contributed stories, poems and drawings to the February issue of the New Masses. John Dos Passos in France wrote an article on John Reed for Monde of Paris.

Greetings have been received from abroad during the month from the cultural department of the R.I.L U., (Moscow); Students of Tokyo and Imperial Universities, (Japan) ; The Owl Society, proletarian writers and artists group of North China.

The club is now working on the following activities during February: 5 exhibits at Workers Clubs; a Red Art Night, benefit of the Workers School at the Bronx Coop Apartments; articles, poems, drawings, reviews for various publications. A combined John Reed Club — New Masses Art Night and Dance will take place the latter part of March or in the first week of April.

New York, N. Y. WALT CARMON, Sec’y.

The New Masses was the continuation of Workers Monthly which began publishing in 1924 as a merger of the ‘Liberator’, the Trade Union Educational League magazine ‘Labor Herald’, and Friends of Soviet Russia’s monthly ‘Soviet Russia Pictorial’ as an explicitly Communist Party publication, but drawing in a wide range of contributors and sympathizers. In 1927 Workers Monthly ceased and The New Masses began. A major left cultural magazine of the late 1920s and early 1940s, the early editors of The New Masses included Hugo Gellert, John F. Sloan, Max Eastman, Mike Gold, and Joseph Freeman. Writers included William Carlos Williams, Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos, Upton Sinclair, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Day, John Breecher, Langston Hughes, Eugene O’Neill, Rex Stout and Ernest Hemingway. Artists included Hugo Gellert, Stuart Davis, Boardman Robinson, Wanda Gag, William Gropper and Otto Soglow. Over time, the New Masses became narrower politically and the articles more commentary than comment. However, particularly in it first years, New Masses was the epitome of the era’s finest revolutionary cultural and artistic traditions.

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