NEH Chairman William “Bro” Adams and writer Isabel Allende
What are the humanities, why do they matter, and how have they made a difference in your life?
According to US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, “The humanities are peacemakers…one of the most powerful ways to generate peace is by listening to someone’s story, a poem, a saying. And all of a sudden our heart is moved.”
To celebrate 40 years of grant making, direct programming, and partnerships that have brought the humanities to millions of Californians, we invited a group of 40 people whose contributions to our state have enriched all of us to ask them to think about these questions and share their stories about what the humanities have meant to them. Each week, 2-3 short interviews – video, audio, text – will be released on our website and via our social media channels.
The first interview, with National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman William D. Adams, can be viewed here and it will be followed by luminaries ranging from California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, to actors George Takei and John Cho, to author Isabel Allende, civil rights advocate Angela Glover Blackwell, and astrophysicist Dr. Jill Tarter.
These accomplished men and women come from many backgrounds and experiences. They are scientists, authors, elected officials, scholars, artists, musicians, chefs, architects, and more. As a group, they embody the rich diversity of peoples, cultures, and traditions that make our state so vibrant and vital. Individually, their responses are varied, insightful, surprising, and thought-provoking. Collectively, they illuminate the variety, depth, and breadth of the humanities, and vividly illustrate how the humanities plays an essential role in enabling each of us to understand ourselves, one another, and the human experience as a whole.