~ Welcome ~
You know the story well: every day we hear that the Arts and Humanities are
in crisis. You have probably heard all of the arguments: our majors are unemployable and make little money; our departments and programs are too costly and pay back too little; and our research is frivolous and a waste of taxpayer’s money. This website hopes to shed some perspective on these remarks, not only through the words of artists and humanists who provide examples and insight into the life-long benefits of our teachings, but also through the experience and perspective of employers and leaders from fields as varied as engineering, biology, nanotechnology, social work, business administration, economics, environmental studies, entrepreneurship, physics, government or medicine. The goal of this project is to demonstrate that an education in the arts and humanities—from kindergarten to higher education and beyond—has concrete benefits to individual lives and careers and on global economic competitiveness, advancements in innovation and discovery of new knowledge, and civic engagement and responsibility.
By providing concrete examples of how humanistic studies support, enrich and innovate a variety of workplace environments, my hope is that we will gain a better understanding of why it is important to educate ourselves and support our youth in the learning of art, language, literature, history, religion, film, or theater, among other valuable fields. And while I could reiterate what is usually said: that these fields contribute to students' skills in critical and analytical thinking, creativity, communication, global cultural awareness, foreign language competency, logic, historical understanding, argumentation and problem solving, this project attempts to translate these arguments into concrete examples. How do the skills and how does the content one learns in a literature class translate into success in life and work? How can the study of a field like Philosophy, for instance, significantly add to the success of a professional in computer science? Why should the arts and humanities matter to any person, not only for their careers, but also for a better understanding of their life's worth and purpose? What new knowledge do the arts and humanities bring to any boardroom and kitchen table?
An education and appreciation of the arts and humanities are a beginning to a never ending life story. For this reason, I would like to start where many have already begun: by dialoguing with those innovators whose backgrounds in the arts and humanities have influenced how they think deeply and differently, how they communicate, build, sense, delight, change, and make meaningful marks on our worlds. It is not apart, but together that we can build a future of educated creators and deep and responsible thinkers who can put themselves in the shoes of the other, who can activate new digital media technologies to positively affect human life, and who can always live up to high ethical standards in all professional fields. If we continue to support and provide our children with skills from both the sciences and the arts, technology and communication, we will be able to lift their hearts and minds to soar through time and space, through dance, light, song, and paint. If we don't, I am absolutely certain that our children will one day wake up and find beauty, delight, feeling, and depth blurring their generation's understanding and action. And they will ask us to explain why.
Please explore this site, add and comment on how humanistic studies can or have influenced your lives and career paths through concrete examples or other material. I welcome you to read and contribute, add your ideas and impressions to the blog and comment boxes, send me your words of wisdom, experiences, and critiques, or make suggestions and recommendations. And please take a look at the "Getting Involved" page for more information on current and future related projects.
Welcome, please collaborate, and stay tuned....
~ Christine Henseler, April 19th, 2013
About our new logo . . .
Conceptualizing the 21st Century Workplace
"What is a 21st Century Workplace? How do the Humanities fit into new work paradigms? How can these be succinctly distilled into an icon that adapts to this unknown landscape?" That is where we launched our design concept discussion. And then we added, "design something that will tell people who we are, and give us a distinctive look for that undefined, transformative concept—The Arts & Humanities in the 21st Century Workplace." These were the challenges we posed to our design team—a tall order, indeed—and here is their answer.
Numbers and letters are symbols. Of themselves, they have little or no meaning, yet we put them together in endlessly dynamic compositions that mean everything. Letters and numbers mean the world to us—the past, the present and the future—and are the foundation of creative thought. Letters and numbers are the stuff of which civilizations are made…
and without which, civilizations are lost.
The design team chose the twenty-first century font Gotham,
a typeface (appropriately) designed and released in the year 2000. According to Dmitri Siegel of The Morning News, the designer, Tobias Frere-Jones, was inspired by working-class letter forms and the typographic heritage of New York City.
Like the concept of the Arts & Humanities in the 21st Century Workplace, its unassuming presence adds muscle to the world of work; Gotham works hard and communicates in a way that is both silent and powerful.
This returns us to our initial question: What does the world of work look like in the 21st century and how do the Arts and Humanities apply? These disciplines re-envision the workplace—making it better—and, in the long run, more productive. In essence, the Humanities have the ability to both frame and re-frame new economies and the spaces that make them flourish. Our logo must be reflective of that adaptability, showing how the Arts and Humanities affect and facilitate change in this workplace of the future. Thus, our team felt that in creating an overlay design, our logo would adapt to a multitude of ever-changing environments that would
maximize its use and its ability to communicate a new frontier.
Watch for us as we plan to be seen everywhere!
~ Susan Frost, Feb. 4th, 2014
Frost Marketing Communications, Inc.
Miriam Frost Jungwirth