October is National Arts & Humanities Month

Now that we’re wrapping up the first series of four o’clock exams, students and faculty are more than ready for a 4-day weekend (Pacing Break). Some students go home; others choose to stay on campus to catch up on work or sleep. Faculty work to recover the tops of their desks. Staff continues to administer all functions that support quality learning.

Yet in this briefest of breaks, there is a chance to step outside our routines to reflect, discover and perhaps even hit the re-set button. Last Friday, the President of the United States proclaimed October as National Arts and Humanities Month.  At the end of the proclamation, and all the reasons for his authority, our President stated,

“ I call upon the people of the United States to join together in observing this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to celebrate the arts and the humanities in America.”

ArtsLehigh’s business is to find and share information about what is going on in the arts and culture both on campus, and in the local community. Rarely do we launch our own initiative. Often, we support other programs and efforts to build connectivity. But we are also here to remind you of the multiple opportunities to explore different ideas and ways of expression.

In order to follow the orders of our President, I encourage you to read some posts of our nation’s best thinkers on the arts in our society. And if you feel so compelled, jump in with a response. Here are some of the conversations going on virtually. You’re not too late to the party.

Read Harlan Brownee’s Post “The Four C’s of the 21st Century”. And if you read beyond this post, there are 17 contributors from around the country. The Arts Education Blog Salon happened last week – but these posts offer much about the current state of arts education. Then think about how the next generations will understand the value of creativity without an opportunity to learn beyond memorization. Special consideration to Lehigh students – the next generation of creative thinkers. Did their early, grade school and high school education nurture their creativity? Think about yourselves. Is it ever too late to nurture your own creativity?

If the arts education conversation isn’t for you, check out the ARTSBLOG.ORG conversations going on THIS week about Arts Marketing. “From October 5-12, 2010, arts marketing experts from around the country will be blogging about everything from marketing events at an arts organization to using the latest and greatest tech innovations effectively.” This conversation is not just about “the arts,” it’s about YOU, the audience. Do you agree with what the field says about arts marketing? Do you see applications of marketing from other fields; retail, corporate, sports, education? (What?.. never thought about Lehigh’s Marketing efforts? Who’s wearing a Lehigh sweatshirt right now?)

Here are some other ways to celebrate National Arts and Humanities month locally.

  1. Come to the “Creative Conversation” at ArtsLehigh on Friday, October 15th at 3PM. Special guest; Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Space is limited to 15. Register at the link here, or by calling ArtsLehigh: 610-785-5775.
  2. Visit the ArtsLehigh website calendars. Find something to see. We have three: ArtsLehigh (in our building), Campus Arts (Department and Program events), and Community Arts (most within walking distance from campus)
  3. Schedule a visit to any LUAG gallery. Or if you notice some art, stop and really look at it.