Upcoming Humanities Issue of Maine Policy Review to be Focus of Annual Summit

The third annual Maine Humanities Summit will celebrate the upcoming issue of Maine Policy Review that features expert analysis on the dynamic intersection of the humanities and public policy in Maine.

The public is invited to join the conversation and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and dinner with three of the report’s 40 authors starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 7 at the Senator Inn in Augusta.

Ron Cantor, president of Southern Maine Community College; Sheila Jans, cultural development consultant and founder of CultureWorth; and Jessica Skwire Routhier, coordinator of the Maine Photo Project and past president of the Maine Archives & Museums, will recap their MPR articles and make brief remarks to spark discussion about the vital role of the humanities across the state.

“All of the panelists wrote strong articles for the humanities-themed MPR issue,” says Liam Riordan, a history professor and director of the UMaine Humanities Center. “Each addresses different — though related — issues, and they reflect the geographic and intellectual breadth of the humanities in Maine.”

Cantor, who wrote “Not a Big Stretch: Community College Humanities,”  earned a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in cultural foundations of education with a focus on history. His career is dedicated to partnerships for community and individual progress.

Jans founded CultureWorth, a consultancy rooted in the idea of culture as a powerful force to build better places to live. Her work is motivated by the possibilities that emerge from the intersection of arts and culture with economics. Jans wrote “The Role of the Humanities in Rural Community Development,” for the report.

Routhier, who is is an art historian, writer, editor and independent museum professional in South Portland, wrote “The Common Good: Collaboration among Cultural Institutions in Maine.”

Maine Policy Review publishes timely, independent, peer-reviewed analysis of public policy issues relevant to the state of Maine. The journal is published two times a year by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at UMaine. It is intended for a diverse audience, including state policymakers; government, business, and nonprofit leaders; students; and general readers with a broad interest in public policy. The latest issue is expected to be released in May 2015. Current and past issues are online.

The Maine Humanities Summit is co-hosted by the UMaine Humanities Center, Colby College Center for the Arts and Humanities, Maine Humanities Council and Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.

Registration to the free event is required by contacting Megan Fossa at mefossa@colby.edu or 859.4165. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, visit the UMaine Humanities Center’s website or contact Riordan at riordan@umit.maine.edu or 581.1913.

The summit is one of several UMaine Humanities Center events planned for 2015. A public recognition ceremony for award winners of Maine National History Day will be held 3:30–4:30 p.m. before the summit in Augusta’s Cultural Building atrium in partnership with the Maine State Archives, Museum and Library. A Maine student’s museum exhibit that won first place in the national competition in 2014 also will be on display. A list of winners of the statewide National History Day contest is online.