Join the movement: Spotlight on Jessica Herzing

December 14, 2023

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 Jessica Herzing, who first partnered with PA Humanities when she spearheaded bringing PA Heart & Soul to her home of Cameron County. Herzing served as project coordinator, leading her team through the successful completion of the four-stage process, and is a great champion for PA Heart & Soul. This fall, she joined PA Humanities’ Board of Directors and was also elected a county commissioner as she continues to serve her community in new and exciting ways. 

Can you share the impact PA Humanities has had on you?

PA Humanities’ commitment to humanities-led civic engagement and community development is contagious. The passion of their leadership and staff has instilled in me a deep awareness of the significance of people’s stories and experiences and the need to ensure those values are an integral part of the decision-making processes affecting individuals’ daily lives in communities.

What message would you like to share with those who’ve been part of the journey so far and/or those who will join the movement in the years to come?

Thank you for 50 years of educating Pennsylvania on the importance of the humanities in community life. We often forget that our lives are a real-time expression of shared humanities, and I look forward to watching this organization continue to invest in human connection, integrate the humanities into new innovative initiatives, and advocate for the equitable inclusion of voices most often overlooked in our shared spaces for 50 more.

And, finally, how do you see the role of PA Humanities and its importance to the future of Pennsylvania?

PA Humanities holds the key to shaping a more inclusive and equitable future for communities across Pennsylvania. Their impact is evident in the increased representation of previously overlooked voices at community tables, programs that give wings to growing non-profits, and bring words to life from youth. With diverse grant programs, partnerships, and initiatives, the organization’s leadership tirelessly educates elected officials, stakeholders, and residents on the vital role of humanities in community development. Witnessing PA Humanities’ commitment to building a more informed and humanities-driven community fabric is inspiring.

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