By: Lorenzo Perez, Senior Writer
The clock started ticking more than a year ago, when the University of Virginia received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to organize a public event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Endowment for the Humanities. That prompted UVA’s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and community partners to spend the next 15 months working to bring more than 100 of the world’s leading authors, filmmakers, scholars and artists to Charlottesville.
The fruits of that effort will be on display next week with “Human/Ties,” a wide-ranging festival featuring a series of public lectures, performances and conversations exploring the importance of the humanities in the modern world.
The four-day event opens Sept. 14 with a Nau Hall discussion, titled “The Humanities in the Public Square,” led by NEH Chairman William Adams and Arts & Sciences Dean Ian Baucom, followed by a Newcomb Hall Theater discussion of democracy and presidential elections with UVA history professors Peter Onuf and Brian Balogh and University of Richmond President Emeritus Ed Ayers of the “BackStory with the American History Guys” public radio program.