We put the humanities in action to create positive change.
President Trump has proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting. While this is deeply concerning, it's important to remember that Congress writes the federal budget, not the president. The president's proposed budget is just one step in a long process, and we're heartened by the strong bipartisan support Congress has shown for the humanities in recent years.
The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) has partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and The Orton Family Foundation to support the City of Easton as it incorporates a humanities-based approach to community development. In this unique partnership among a government agency, a statewide nonprofit, and a national operating foundation, the city of Easton will receive a total of $47,000 in funding, with both PHC and DCED providing $23,500; in addition, PHC and the Orton Family Foundation will provide training and technical support worth $53,000.
Chester Made is looking for incoming high school juniors and seniors who would enjoy learning with local artists and historians, community members, and Widener students and faculty on a journey of discovery into Chester’s past. Space is limited to 20 campers, so we are asking students to apply online and share a statement of interest, so that we know what they bring to this experience as well as what they hope to get out of it. Applications should be completed by June 2. A brief interview will be required before acceptance. The online application can be found here.
For author Alex London, dystopias are not just a fun premise for a novel. In a recent visit to the teens of Huntingdon Valley Library’s Teen Reading Lounge program, London emphasized the extent to which dystopias should reflect and engage with real-world issues in a meaningful way. When he was 21, London had the opportunity to work with Refugees International, an organization which advocates for the rights of displaced people around the world. He wrote a “grown-up book” based on this experience, One Day The Soldiers Came, in which he interviewed children in war-torn areas. This gave him an interest in how children and teenagers are able to adapt to adverse circumstances, which over time gave him the impetus to begin writing science-fiction novels, the first of which was Proxy.
On April 19th Widener University historians Rachel Batch and Richard Hopkins and Chester Made artistic director Devon Walls presented a Community Archival Workshop in Chester. Participants explored the history that has been unearthed on the 500 block of Avenue of the States as part of the rebuilding of properties and dug into the archives at the Delaware County Historical Society to to learn more.
‘Humanities are large and embrace so many different ways of learning,” Laurie Zierer says. They can even help Pennsylvania combat two major deficiencies: gaps in achievement and political engagement."
Through funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Standing Together initiative, we've partnered with Penn VUB to expand and enhance the program’s humanities components. The primary goal is to help participants build vital skills such as synthesizing information, effective communication and critical reflection, all of which contribute to success in postsecondary education. Another program goal: building students' confidence in their ability to effect positive change, not only in their own lives, but in their communities as well.
A new video produced by Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul details the group's efforts to collect data on what matters most to the community. By gathering and analyzing stories from as many residents as possible, the Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul team helps honor memories and preserve history--and also move the community to action toward a better future.