As we celebrate our 50 years of championing the humanities throughout the state, we’re spotlighting some of the people who’ve joined us along the way and contributed to our work with their donations, time, energy, skills and creativity.
This month we spoke with Alice Trowbridge, who first became involved with PA Humanities through PA Heart & Soul. She served as the Heart of Williamsport Project Coordinator, leading her community through the Community Heart & Soul process beginning in 2016, and became a certified Community Heart & Soul coach in 2020. As a passionate believer in working collaboratively to build strong and resilient communities, she is currently coaching a number of PA Heart & Soul towns through the resident-driven civic engagement program and helps to train and mentor other coaches nationwide. Alice also has more than 40 years of experience as a landscape architect working in the private and public sector.
Can you share the impact PA Humanities has had on you?
Working with PA Humanities has expanded my understanding of the importance of human connection and interaction – something we can easily take for granted. In today’s society we have so much information at our fingertips (literally) that it is easy to get isolated, in both our thinking and in our actions. In isolation life can easily get skewed, and that often leads to judgement and fear – both of which lead to further separation and disfunction.
Personal interactions are intrinsic to our human nature and nurturing them through the work of PA Humanities helps to build stronger relationships and more resilient communities. Working with PA Humanities has made me to be a more aware person, more sensitive and inclusive in my words, thoughts and actions, and more intentional about personal engagement in my work.
As we celebrate PA Humanities’ 50th anniversary, what message would you like to share with those who’ve been part of the journey so far and/or those who will be joining the movement in the years to come?
PA Humanities has touched so many lives over the years! They elevate the human spirit through their support of libraries, speaker series, arts and culture programming and so much more. They bring neighbors together in small towns to build social capacity through their work with Community Heart & Soul. They shine a bright light in what can sometimes seem like a dark world – infusing positive energy that impacts lives in very meaningful ways.
How do you see the role of PA Humanities and its importance to the future of Pennsylvania?
I believe PA Humanities is a much-needed beacon in today’s world. PA Humanities lifts individuals and communities above the din of negativity by supporting and elevating the best in the human spirit, which promotes positivity and hope…and both are important for Pennsylvania’s future.