Does it ALWAYS have to be about “art”? – Yes.

Another semester of learning, exploring, and discovery is upon us. Is it me, or does Spring semester seem a little crazier than the Fall semester? We packed a lot of activity into our “winter break.” (Break? What break?) It seems some of us barely caught our breaths before throwing ourselves back into the spin cycle of our academic lives. And yet, here we are again. Fortunate to find ourselves back with our colleagues that challenge us to do our best; to do good work and to be a better person. Isn’t this why we gather on South Mountain?

Our first week back is chock full of events that may inspire, challenge or even provoke you to think more deeply about how the arts engage ideas. Two days ago, we started the semester with an event presented by the Council for Equity and Community that helped us to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and allowed us to hear individual perspectives on diversity. Entwined with the speeches were videos of news documentary, spoken word performance, music and art.

Tonight, at City Hall in Payrow Plaza, South Side Initiative and the City of Bethlehem present the second in a series of Town Hall Lectures. This event is free and open to the public, beginning promptly at 7 P.M. in Bethlehem’s Town Hall (10 E. Church Street, Bethlehem PA).

Drawing on the research completed for his newly published book, “What Really Happened to the 1960s: How Mass Media Culture Failed American Democracy”, Professor Ted Morgan (Political Science, Lehigh University) explains how and why we got into this condition and what it might take to revitalize our democracy. No doubt, art will be a part of this discussion, even if tangential.

There is much to experience, to share, and to learn. President Kennedy said, “I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we too, will be remembered not for our victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.” And how civilized are we that we can exchange ideas and challenge each other through and with art.