Feb. 24 Wiesner Symposium looks at arts, humanities

February 20, 1997
  • umichnews@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR—With a 50-year, award-winning career in journalism behind him, Daniel Schorr will take a hard look at the future of the arts and humanities and government funding for both. Schorr, who reported on international and national issues for print, radio and television, will be the keynote speaker for the University of Michigan’s second annual Jerome Wiesner Symposium at 9 a.m. Feb. 24 in Rackham Amphitheater.

Schorr will consider the role of all levels of government in past and proposed funding for the arts and the humanities in his presentation, “A Government Lean But Not Mean.” Schorr will answer questions from the audience following his presentation.

The day-long symposium is free and open to all. It will begin at 8 a.m. in Rackham Building’s East Conference Room, with welcoming remarks in the Amphitheater by U-M President Lee C. Bollinger and Frederick C. Neidhardt, U-M acting vice president for research. Panel discussions will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Amphitheater with “Imagining a National Cultural Policy,” moderated by John H. D’Arms, professor of classical studies and former dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

The panelists will offer views on a national cultural policy and assess the future role of the federal government in supporting cultural activity ranging from performance to research and scholarship. Among the panelists are Sheldon Hackney, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Richard Ekman, secretary of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

At noon Kenneth Fischer, executive director of the University Musical Society, will moderate a panel that will discuss the complex collaborations and multiple funding sources required by successful arts and humanities ventures. Considering “What’s Working? What’s Not? Strategies of Cultural Organizations and Alliances,” the panel also will analyze what is gained and lost as a result of these requirements. This panel will meet in the Founders Room of the Alumni Center with a video feed to Rackham Building’s Assembly Hall.

“What is the Role of the University in Shaping National and Regional Cultural Initiatives?” will be discussed by a panel moderated by David Ward, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin. Panelists, including Catherine Stimpson, director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, and Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, will address the place of the university in the creation, communication, preservation and study of culture, assessing the needs and responsibilities of the university as a national and local cultural resource.

At 3 p.m. participants and members of the audience will be invited to join “breakout” groups to generate suggestions about conference outcomes in specific areas including creative ideas for published proceedings, proposals for needed studies and surveys, ideas for regional/national collaborations and for university-based initiatives. These small group discussions will be held in a number of rooms on the fourth floor of Rackham.

Lester Monts, U-M vice provost for academic and multicultural affairs, will moderate the closing session which begins at 4 p.m. in the Amphitheater. Alberta Arthurs of the Rockefeller Foundation will give an overview of the symposium and U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers, D-Ann Arbor, will give the closing remarks.

For more information, contact the U-M Office of the Vice President for Research at (313) 763-1290, by e-mail at wiesnerinfo@umich.edu.

The 1997 Wiesner Symposium, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, Office of the President, Office of the Vice President for University Relations, and the Vice Provost for the Arts, is the opening event in the University’s 1997-98 Year of the Humanities and Arts (YoHA).

National Endowment for the HumanitiesAndrew W. Mellon FoundationUniversity Musical SocietyDavid WardMacArthur Fellows ProgramBard Collegewiesnerinfo@umich.edu