The arts and humanities create a special place, an intimate space that abounds with thoughts that manifest our desire to know, understand, and interpret. Such thoughts reflect myriad concrete ways artists and humanists transform the world: The graceful artistry of dance that affirms the beauty of the human body; the ability to translate culture and words through effective, intentional language; the enchanting power of music to inspire and unite us; the masterful encapsulation of an idea on a canvas, piece of metal, or clay that speaks directly to our shared humanity; the genius manifestation of a thought on stage that moves one to self-reflection; and the quest to preserve a people’s endangered language as a treasured window into their perspective on the world.
All of these creative endeavors are at the heart of our human existence, and all of them begin with an idea that’s forged in a space uniquely embodied by the arts and humanities.
~ Photo above by University Photographer Cary Edmondson: From left, Dean Saúl Jiménez Sandoval and Juan Felipe Herrera.
This semester, we saw how poetic vision changes thought into action: Juan Felipe Herrera inspired thousands as the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States. Under the Center for Creativity and the Arts’ theme “Voice and Silence,” and with the keen direction of Dr. Cindy Urrutia, the exhibition “Magnifying the People’s Voice” showcased a journey of discovery and becoming: poetry and thought, action and words were at play in the journey that Juan Felipe took crisscrossing our country.
Through Juan Felipe’s photographs, we experienced how children and adults – from all backgrounds — were both united by the intensity of poetry and empowered to come together and celebrate the ability to convey an inner thought brimming with a desire for good and justice.
The exhibition was a clear example of a journey, one that is fluid and exemplifies the ebbs and flows of life, and one that matures into a vision of a self that shares the soulful dignity of honoring the land, fellow humans and one’s own lineage.
Currently, the President’s Commission for the Future of Arts and Humanities is exploring the possibility of a performing and visual arts center, as well as ideas and strategies that will “create awareness of the value of arts and humanities and their capacity to transform individuals and enhance the community.”
The possibility of this space, physical in its grandeur, would enable that semantic space of creativity that’s at the core and being of our College.
We are grateful that President Castro has supported our disciplines with his visionary leadership. It is exciting to see how the collective ideas of invested individuals who have been transformed by our disciplines are giving light to dialogue – one through which action will be inspired by the thought and artistry of our College.
The arts and humanities provide us a voice that changes the world, a voice through which original thought is transformed by the wit, patience, and imagination of artists and humanists into distinct manifestations of creative perspectives on the value of life.