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CAMBRIDGE, MA | JANUARY 2, 2014 – The American Academy of
Arts & Sciences will bring several members of its Commission on the Humanities and
Social Sciences to Chicago next week to open the first ever Chicago Humanities Summit.
Since its release, the Humanities Commission’s landmark report, The Heart of the Matter, has generated events around the
country, celebrating the role of the humanities in education, culture, national
security and global competitiveness. Taking up the baton, the Chicago Humanities
Festival has joined with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the Modern
Language Association to present the Chicago Humanities Summit. The Summit will explore
opportunities within the public humanities, and how the academic and cultural sectors
can maximize the impact of the humanities within the broader community.
The Chicago Humanities Summit takes place Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014
from 9 a.m.–Noon at the Gratz Center, Fourth Presbyterian Church
(126 E Chestnut St).
Energy executive and Chicago philanthropist John Rowe is co-chairman of the Humanities
Commission and will be welcoming his Commission colleagues, fellow co-chair, Richard
Brodhead, President of Duke University and Judge Diane Wood of the Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals. Also taking part is Don Randel, President of the American
Academy. Karl Eikenberry, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and a member of
the Humanities Commission will also attend.
“We are thrilled that the work of the Commission on the Humanities & Social Sciences
is the inspiration for the Humanities Summit, bringing together The Chicago Humanities
Festival, the Gratz Center at Fourth Presbyterian Church, and the Modern Language
Association to advocate for the importance of the humanities in our daily lives,”
said Rowe. “This is the kind of collaboration that The Heart of the Matter
stresses. The country needs more such partnerships in support of the arts, history,
philosophy, language, and literature."
“It’s time to break free from the discourse surrounding the ‘crisis of the humanities’
and to simply take action,” said CHF Artistic Director Matti Bunzl. “The recent
publication of The Heart of the Matter has opened the door to position
the humanities as central to our society and culture.”
“The MLA is delighted to co-present the Chicago Humanities Summit with the Chicago
Humanities Festival and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” said Marianne
Hirsch, President and MLA professor at Columbia University. “MLA members are involved
in public humanities in myriad ways and the practical how-to sessions which comprise
the summit promise to provide collaboration and exchange beyond the walls of the
The Summit will begin with a conversation about The Heart of the Matter,
with co-chairs Rowe and Brodhead, and Commission member Diane Wood. The day will
also include several breakout sessions, with topics including: How to Teach
Public Humanities, How to Start your Own Humanities Festival, How to Build Relationships
with Foundations, and How to work with your State Humanities Council.
About the American Academy of Arts
About the Chicago Humanities
About the Modern Language Association
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.
136 Irving Street
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