Letter from Dr. Barbara Carpenter
The language of the legislation which established the National Endowments for the Humanities and Arts in 1965 is lofty, an expression of the highest ideals for our country. The following passage illustrates the serious intention of Congress in establishing support for cultural programming:
An advanced civilization must not limit its efforts to science and technology alone but must give full value and support to the other great branches of scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present and a better view of the future.
Democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens. It must therefore foster and support a form of education, and access to the arts and humanities, designed to make people of all backgrounds and wherever located masters of their technology and not its unthinking servants.
The practice of art and the study of the humanities require constant dedication and devotion. While no government can call a great artist or scholar into existence, it is necessary and appropriate for the federal government to help create and sustain not only a climate encouraging freedom of thought, imagination, and inquiry, but also the material conditions facilitating the use of this creative talent.
The Mississippi Humanities Council, as state affiliate to the National Endowment for the Humanities, aspires to fulfill this challenge. Nearly every day, somewhere in Mississippi, a public program funded in part or in whole by the Mississippi Humanities Council helps our citizens to learn, to think, to imagine; to honor our traditions while envisioning a better society; to instill a sense of ethical behavior and civic responsibility in our children; to learn about the larger world of which we are a part. The program may be a small reading group in a public library, a family literacy program for new adult readers and their elementary school aged children, a documentary film on public television, a teacher workshop, an exhibit, or an oral history of our seniors.
This website gives an overview of what we do, every day, all over the state. Please contact us to learn how you can be a part of our program. The humanities teach us about the past, help us understand the present, and provide insight for the future. The humanities are for everyone.