Our Mission: To connect North Carolinians with cultural experiences that spur dialogue, deepen human connections, and inspire community.
Our Vision: A North Carolina enriched by the humanities and equipped with empathy, understanding, and respect.
Curiosity: We believe that a strong desire to always learn more, know more, and question more is important for growth and lifelong happiness.
Diversity of Ideas: We believe that a diversity of ideas and perspectives is essential to a thriving society. We are all different, and we each bring something unique to the table.
Empowerment: We believe that the humanities can empower change. We empower communities and people to have meaningful conversations and experiences that lead to a greater understanding of our differences and similarities.
Inclusion: We believe that each person is worthy of equitable access to opportunities and resources.
Knowledge: We believe that knowledge builds community. When we learn together, we become better neighbors and help North Carolina continue to be a great place for all.
Respect: We believe everyone is important and worthy of politeness and dignity.
What are the humanities?
We get this question often and there are many different ways to interpret its meaning.
Often we think about the humanities as a set of disciplines which help us understand what it means to be human by exploring:
Our Past: history & archaeology
Our Cultural Expressions: anthropology, literature, linguistics, languages, art history, theory, and criticism
Our Values: ethics, philosophy, comparative religion, law
The humanities can also be seen as a range of activities that revolve around exploring culture. These activities can include reading a book, listening to a story, recording your memories and thoughts, talking with people, and questioning the values and motivations of ourselves and others in the past, present, and future. When we “use” the humanities we can expand our understanding, respect, and empathy for each other’s stories and experiences.
Formally, the definition of “the humanities” according to the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act (1965) is:
“The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism, and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of [national] life.