Speaker says humanities are critical in connecting communities

Speaker says humanities are critical in connecting communities

EPHRAIM—The humanities are more critical now than they ever have been before in connecting divided communities. That’s what Utah Humanities (UH) executive director Jodi Graham said after speaking at Snow College.

The humanities are “really, the idea of rethinking—taking a moment to … consider something you maybe haven’t considered before and how that can change your outlook on life,” Graham said after Thursday’s installment of the college’s convocation series.

Graham said it’s “absolutely” true that the humanities can help with the polarization in the United States.

“That’s part of the reason why the humanities are so important,” Graham said, pointing out that the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds a humanities council in each state, was established during “another crazy, divided time in our nation’s history.”

Bringing the humanities to communities, however, is “slow, deep, hard work,” Graham said.

 “It’s not a magic wand that can be waived,” Graham said. “But it’s really people taking the time to talk and communicate with each other and mostly to listen.

“The humanities … can be applied in any number of ways,” Graham added. “It’s really the great connector.”

“There [is] no other field or area of study that can prepare you for your own adventure,” Graham said in her speech.

Graham said. “We as an organization work with so many brilliant people all over the state and any time we can help get them out so they can share their knowledge and help start conversations, it’s really a wonderful thing that I’m proud of with our organization. So many different topics and areas of expertise.”

UH partners with communities throughout the state to celebrate their stories, history, culture and art.

Graham recounted what she had learned while dealing with COVID-19 and living and working in Utah, Austria and Wyoming.

Graham loved working for UH the first time, but didn’t hesitate to move to Austria for her husband’s job. Graham said that in Austria, she went from being a “highly educated, articulate woman” to being “illiterate” and “unemployed.” On one of Graham’s drives from Wyoming to Utah to see family, she would think of the Willie and Martin Handcart companies. The pioneers traveling along the same path with the same destination as Graham made pioneer stories alive for her, Graham said.

Graham said she loves working with small museums throughout Utah and holding “community conversations” through organizations like The Village Square Utah.

UH has had to move its programming to a virtual format because of the pandemic, Graham said.

EPHRAIM—The humanities are more critical now than they ever have been before in connecting divided communities.

That’s what Utah Humanities (UH) executive director Jodi Graham said after speaking at Snow College.

The humanities are “really, the idea of rethinking—taking a moment to … consider something you maybe haven’t considered before and how that can change your outlook on life,” Graham said after Thursday’s installment of the college’s convocation series.

Graham said it’s “absolutely” true that the humanities can help with the polarization in the United States.

“That’s part of the reason why the humanities are so important,” Graham said, pointing out that the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds a humanities council in each state, was established during “another crazy, divided time in our nation’s history.”

Bringing the humanities to communities, however, is “slow, deep, hard work,” Graham said.

 “It’s not a magic wand that can be waived,” Graham said. “But it’s really people taking the time to talk and communicate with each other and mostly to listen.

“The humanities … can be applied in any number of ways,” Graham added. “It’s really the great connector.”

“There [is] no other field or area of study that can prepare you for your own adventure,” Graham said in her speech.

Graham said. “We as an organization work with so many brilliant people all over the state and any time we can help get them out so they can share their knowledge and help start conversations, it’s really a wonderful thing that I’m proud of with our organization. So many different topics and areas of expertise.”

UH partners with communities throughout the state to celebrate their stories, history, culture and art.

Graham recounted what she had learned while dealing with COVID-19 and living and working in Utah, Austria and Wyoming.

Graham loved working for UH the first time, but didn’t hesitate to move to Austria for her husband’s job. Graham said that in Austria, she went from being a “highly educated, articulate woman” to being “illiterate” and “unemployed.” On one of Graham’s drives from Wyoming to Utah to see family, she would think of the Willie and Martin Handcart companies. The pioneers traveling along the same path with the same destination as Graham made pioneer stories alive for her, Graham said.

Graham said she loves working with small museums throughout Utah and holding “community conversations” through organizations like The Village Square Utah.

UH has had to move its programming to a virtual format because of the pandemic, Graham said.

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