I’m not sure if you’ve all read the Obama Arts Platform – but it’s linked here for easy access. There’s one strong piece in it, right near the top ‘Expand Public/Private Partnerships Between Schools and Arts Organizations:” – that means to me, that higher education needs to consider more about how it shares its expertise in, support of, and commitment to the ARTS – not only for those within the Ivory Tower, but in our surrounding communities.
I work for a great institution of higher learning, Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. The arts faculty are world class educators as well as top producers in their respective fields. The Zoellner Arts Center is a jewel of a facility that presents incredible guest artists. Other departments and programs have dedicated faculty and staff who recognize the intrinsic value of cultural engagement through experiencing the arts.
There are many institutions in our great country that have similar testimony. But what are we doing to share our expertise with our community? How do we effectively align our goals, learning objectives and RESOURCES so that we can see an even greater impact of our collective effort?
That’s why I’m hosting a House Meeting. That, and we have Michael Chabon (one of members of Obama’s Arts Policy Committee) coming to campus on March 22, 2009. He is a great artist, and a great thinker on the importance of the arts in our lives, our culture, and in our future. I hope that he’ll be a catalyst for renewed energy on all our efforts to keep working TOGETHER.