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A Fist Bump for the Humanities

By Keira Amstutz on September 3, 2013 in Civic Blog

Sometimes we all need a little fist bump, a little validation.  Last month, the commission on the humanities and social sciences released a report called “The Heart of the Matter”, written to articulate the need for the humanities as a part of lifelong education and for a vibrant competitive, and secure nation.  The report sparked a national conversation on the value of the humanities including this great exchange between Dr. Richard Brodhead, the President of Duke University and co-author of the report and Stephen Colbert.

Colbert Humanities Fist BumpIn 2010, Congress asked the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to create the multi-disciplinary commission to answer the question “What are the top actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century?”

While the national conversation and fist bumping on the report continues, the draft U.S. House of Representatives 2014 interior budget bill proposes a 50% cut for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Please add your voice to the conversation and share your thoughts on the report.

Keira Amstutz is the President and CEO of Indiana Humanities. She is a lawyer with experience in public policy and fund development, Keira is passionate about developing creative humanities programming that encourages Hoosiers to think, read, talk and connect. A Hamilton, Ind., native, Keira graduated from DePauw University with a degree in political science and served as a fellow in the office of former Indiana governor Evan Bayh. She earned a J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis and graduated from the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Series. In 2006 the Indianapolis Business Journal named her one of Indianapolis’ “40 under 40.” She posts from time to time here at Civic Blog.