The Works Progress Administration began in 1935 as part of an initiative by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt. The WPA provided an economic stimulus to America during the Great Depression. By 1939 it was the largest agency of the New Deal programs. The program provided work for millions of Americans. In northern New Mexico artists and other creative people were able to secure work through the WPA.
As a teenage Angelina Delgado took part in the government-sponsored work program. She worked as a tinsmith under the tutelage of her grandfather, Francisco “Quico” Delgado. Delgado helped her father and grandfather make the light fixtures for the Albuquerque Little Theater. In addition, the family created all the tinwork for the airbase in Clovis. Other New Mexico counties secured the Delgado tin fixtures through the program.
Angelina Delgado took part in events sponsored by the National New Deal Preservation Association. In 2008 the 75th anniversary of the New Deal programs held events around the country. That year Pres. Roosevelt’s granddaughter, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, presented Delgado with an award. The reception took place in the rotunda at the state capitol. Delgado received several awards in her lifetime. The National Museum of Women in the Arts honored her. She also received the Governor’s Award for Excellence and Achievement. As a master tinsmith the Spanish Colonial Arts Society honored Delgado with their Lifetime Master Award.