What role can the humanities play in community development? A powerful one!
The Pennsylvania Humanities Council is currently working with residents in Carlisle, Meadville and Williamsport to incorporate elements of the humanities into their planning processes. All three communities are using the Orton Family Foundation's Community Heart & Soul® method as a framework.
Orton Family Foundation Partnership
In 2015, in order to achieve the greatest impact and broadest reach through humanities-based community development, we partnered with the Orton Family Foundation to bring its Community Heart & Soul method to Pennsylvania communities. Community Heart & Soul is a proven process that empowers people to shape the future of their communities by creating a shared sense of belonging that improves local decision-making and ultimately strengthens social, cultural and economic vibrancy.
Key to the process is learning what matters most to the community through gathering stories from and engaging as many residents as possible, including those who don’t typically participate in public processes. With storytelling at the heart of planning and development, local values and voices become the foundation for building communities that are connected, innovative, competitive and strong.