Hearing Landscape

Why the Arts and Humanities?

As the foundation for other disciplines, the arts and humanities concern themselves with the entire record of human experience—creating, designing, interpreting, evaluating and revising it. The arts train us to think and speak, to move and see, to hear and “be” to our fullest human potential. The humanities engage with fundamental questions of value, meaning and purpose in a systematic and rigorous way. By shaping our understanding of the human condition, the arts and humanities define our commitment to the present and open new vistas on uncharted futures.

RainingUndeniably, the humanities are foundational. They teach how to build logical arguments, make and justify ethical choices, and communicate those arguments and choices effectively. Equally, the humanities are transferable. Humanistic thought is the topic-neutral tool that can be applied to all kinds of human endeavors. Civil engineers and pediatricians, public servants and corporate lawyers, entrepreneurs and microbiologists may appear to have little in common. Yet, excellence in all these fields is predicated on the practitioner’s ability to translate findings and insights into well-designed and inspiring narratives.

Because they are foundational and transferable, the humanities, like the arts, are also enduring. In a world rapidly transforming, we cannot keep pace with all innovations. The computer skills we hone today will likely become obsolete tomorrow. We cannot foresee all our potential futures. We can, however, profit from the enduring exchange value of the humanities and the arts. In the age of globalization, the genius of transferability and the foundational methodology of humanistic reasoning ensure that we continue to adapt successfully to rapid change.

In Field TrainingIn their myriad forms and expressions, the arts share the power of both transformation and permanence. They set innovation into motion, and they challenge the passing of time. They explore and communicate the human experience in all its diversity across histories and cultures, pointing to commonalities as well as variations. The arts translate experiences and dreams into what we see in our galleries, theatres and concert halls, in our cities and in our dwellings, adding depth and value to our existence. Herein, lies the purpose of the Institute of Arts and Humanities.

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