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Produced by award-winning filmmakers Ewers Brothers Productions for the American
Academy of Arts & Sciences Commission on the Humanities & Social Sciences
WASHINGTON, DC | JUNE 19, 2013 – United in their concern for the future
of American education, creativity, security, and competitiveness, a distinguished
group of artists and leaders from all fields demonstrate the need for the humanities
and social sciences to America’s future in a new film, The Heart of the Matter, released today.
Produced by Emmy® Award-winning filmmakers, Erik and Christopher Ewers, long-time
collaborators of documentarian Ken Burns, The Heart of the Matter film is
a companion to a report of the American
Academy of Arts & Sciences Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. The Heart of
the Matter shines a spotlight on the urgent need to re-focus the
country on maintaining national excellence in the humanities and social sciences—and
how failure to do so will have consequences at home and abroad.
Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA) and Representatives Tom Petri
(R-WI) and David Price (D-NC) came together on Capitol Hill this morning to accept
the report, prepared at their request, by the Commission.
Appearing in the film are producer, screenwriter, and director George Lucas, actor
John Lithgow, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.
“The sciences are the how,” says George Lucas in the film, “and the humanities are
the why. Why are we here, why do we believe in the things we believe in?”
John Lithgow adds that, “Without the humanities, life doesn’t have life! That’s
the Heart of the Matter.”
Also appearing in the film are:
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Humanities and Social
Sciences is grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for supporting the creation
of this film and the work of the Commission.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a steadfast supporter of the humanities and arts
in this country, provided primary funding for the Commission on the Humanities and
Social Sciences. Carnegie Coporation of New York also provided important funding.
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